Arizona Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Arizona is required for any facility that stores hazardous chemicals that meet or exceed chemical thresholds. Under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), submission of a Tier Ⅱ form is required when working with hazardous chemicals. This form, known as the Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms, is used to notify state officials, local officials, and the general public regarding potential hazards.
Understanding Arizona’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Arizona that has hazardous substances equal to or greater than the established threshold amounts (listed below) must report.
- Any facility that stores 10,000 lbs or more of hazardous chemicals at any one time.
- Any facility that stores 500 lbs (or the threshold planning quantity, whichever is less) or more of extremely hazardous substances.
- Retail fuel stations with underground storage tanks need to report if they store:
- 75,000 gallons or more of gasoline
- 100,000 gallons or more of diesel fuel (all grades combined)
- The Town of Gilbert Arizona has special thresholds for Tier II reporting. Facilities located in Gilbert must report all chemicals that exceed the following thresholds:
- 500 pounds (solid)
- 55 gallons (liquid)
- 200 cubic feet (gas)
- 2,500 pounds (aerosol)
- The reporting thresholds in Arizona apply to the maximum quantity stored at a facility at any one time.
- Even if thresholds are met, chemicals with reporting exemptions do not need to be included
- Only facilities in Arizona meeting or exceeding the thresholds for at least one chemical must submit a Tier II report. Facilities below the thresholds for all chemicals are exempt.
- The Town of Gilbert Arizona has different reporting thresholds than the federal thresholds.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some examples of facilities and chemicals that would likely need to submit a Tier II report in Arizona if they meet the reporting thresholds:
- Manufacturing plants: Acids like sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid; bases like sodium hydroxide; solvents like xylene, and toluene; ammonia for refrigeration.
- Wastewater treatment plants: Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, sulfur dioxide, ammonia.
- Hospitals: Oxygen, nitrous oxide, ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde.
- Universities and research labs: Acids, bases, organic solvents, compressed gasses like hydrogen, helium, and methane.
- Food processing plants: Ammonia refrigeration systems; acids like phosphoric acid; bases like sodium hydroxide.
- Farms: Anhydrous ammonia fertilizer; pesticides.
- Gas stations: Gasoline, diesel, kerosene.
- Pool supply: Chlorine, muriatic acid.
- Hardware/home stores: Paints, thinners, solvents; fertilizers with ammonia; pesticides; chlorine bleach.
In general, any facility that uses significant quantities of hazardous chemicals for industrial processes, maintenance, or retail would likely need to report those chemicals.
Arizona’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (AZSERC)
Overview of AZSERC
Arizona’s Tier II Chemical Inventory Reporting System is the online reporting system used for submitting Tier II chemical inventory reports in Arizona. The system was developed by the Arizona State Emergency Response Commission (AZSERC) to facilitate the electronic filing of the Community Right to Know Survey. The reporting system allows users to enter facility identification data, chemical inventories, storage locations, and other details required for Tier II reporting, as well as pay any applicable fees.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Arizona’s Tier II Chemical Inventory Reporting System
Here is an overview of how to submit an electronic Tier II hazardous chemical inventory report in Arizona’s Tier II Chemical Inventory Reporting System:
- Register facility and create a user account – You will need to register your facility and set up a user account with login credentials.
- Click ‘Tier 2’ from the menu
- Find your reporting facility in the ‘Current Reports’ menu
- Review and update facility, chemical, and contact information as needed on each facility’s tabs.
- When you have confirmed that the data is valid, click on the ‘Certification’ tab and add the name of the person certifying the report.
- Once submitted, you can pay your filing fees from this screen. The fee amount is automatically calculated for you.
- If your facility is subject to emergency planning, attach a copy of your facility’s emergency response plan in the ‘Plans’ section of the portal
- Depending on your LEPC and FD, you may not have to additionally submit the report to your LEPC and FD. The list can be found here. If your LEPC and/or FD is not on the list, you must separately submit a copy of your report to them. You can generate a PDF export of your report through the online reporting system.
- Each owner of a facility required to file a Tier II report is subject to a $75 filing fee for the first report and an additional $20 fee for each additional report, up to a limit of $500 per annual reporting period.
- Fees should be submitted through the online payment portal.
- Check to see if your LEPCs and fire department accept electronic reports
- More information on how to submit a Tier II report in Arizona can be found here
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Arizona, the Tier II reporting deadline is due March 1, annually regarding information on hazardous chemicals present at the facility in the previous calendar year.
Additional Reporting Requirements
There are some additional reporting requirements and situations that require an updated Tier II report to be filed in Arizona, beyond just the annual report:
- Initial Notification: Facilities must submit a notification within 90 days after they first exceed reporting thresholds for any hazardous chemicals on site. The thresholds for this notification are the same as the Tier II thresholds.
- Emergency Planning Notification: Facilities must submit a notification within 60 days after they bring an Extremely Hazardous Substance on-site in a quantity that exceeds its Threshold Planning Quantity.
Tips for Effective Tier II Reporting
Maintain Accurate Inventory Records
Starting early in collecting compliance data will help ensure all the data is accurate and ready to go when the March 1st deadline comes around. A good rule of thumb is to have data ready to review the first week of January.
Understand State-Specific Reporting Requirements
Arizona facilities that are subject to emergency planning requirements are required to submit a facility emergency response plan along with their Tier II report. In Arizona, there are specific reporting thresholds in the town of Gilbert that need to be considered if you are reporting a facility in this town. Check to see if your LEPCs and local fire department accept electronic reports.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Facilities should print and retain a copy of the Tier II report onsite.
Common Mistakes in Tier II Reporting and How to Avoid Them
Incorrectly Estimating Quantity of Reportable Substances
It’s important to look at all chemicals across your equipment, departments, and processes. You also need to aggregate extremely hazardous substances that may exist at your facility in different capacities. For example, sulfuric acid could be stored in a drum. Also, if you have lead-acid batteries, you will need to take into account the sulfuric acid housed in the lead-acid batteries (if they are not exempt).
Be sure to consult the EPA list of lists to double check if chemicals stored at your facility are an extremely hazardous substance (EHS).
Failing to Keep Up-To-Date with Changes in Regulations
Failure to report can result in Federal, state, and local penalties if an incident occurs and there is no Tier II report on file.
- Submit Tier II reports on time by the March 1 deadline.
- Ensure all hazardous chemicals above reporting thresholds are included.
- Completely omitting chemicals or the full report leads to the highest fines.
- Even small errors like one chemical can still incur sizable penalties.
- Follow EPCRA closely to avoid violations and protect your business finances.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Arizona
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential legal and financial consequences for not accurately submitting a Tier II hazardous chemical inventory report in Arizona:
- Civil Penalties: Failure to comply with Tier II reporting requirements can result in Arizona state civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation per day.
- Criminal Penalties: Knowingly submitting false information or willfully failing to submit a report can lead to federal criminal fines of up to $50,000 per violation per day and imprisonment for up to 2 years.
- Lawsuits: Facilities can be sued by the state or local agencies for failure to report. Citizens or environmental groups can also file lawsuits for failure to provide chemical information as required under community right-to-know laws.
- Emergency Planning Hindered: Inaccurate reporting prevents state and local agencies from effectively planning for and responding to chemical emergencies at the facility. This puts first responders and the community at greater risk.
- Permit Actions: Failure to comply could impact facility permits or lead to stricter regulatory permit conditions.
- Reputation Damage: The public, local community, and environmental groups may react very negatively if a facility is found to violate Tier II reporting requirements, undermining trust.
- Enforcement Actions: Failure to properly report may trigger EPA investigations, audits, or inspections to identify other potential violations and lead to formal enforcement actions.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some general examples of the potential community impacts of not accurately submitting a Tier II report:
- Emergency responders arrive at a facility fire or chemical release without knowing the types and quantities of hazardous materials onsite, putting themselves and the public in danger.
- Firefighters unknowingly use inappropriate extinguishing agents on a chemical fire, causing the release of toxic gasses.
- A chemical explosion and cloud release occur, but without Tier II data the responders cannot accurately model the plume direction and impacted areas.
- Evacuation zones are improperly determined, leaving some residents unnecessarily exposed or evacuating too large an area.
- First responders lack key information on chemical incompatibilities, exacerbating cascading failures.
- Responders are delayed accessing facility data while an uncontrolled chemical release is ongoing.
- Restoration and environmental clean-up are hampered without a full understanding of the chemicals released.
Fortunately, major incidents in Arizona that could have been prevented by more thorough Tier II reporting appear to be limited, though other states have not been as lucky. Robust Tier II reporting remains essential for effective emergency planning and response.