Delaware Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Delaware 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. Delaware has different reporting requirements than the federal reporting requirements for hazardous chemicals.
Understanding Delaware’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Delaware that has hazardous substances equal to or greater than the established threshold amounts (listed below) must report.
- For hazardous chemicals, the threshold is 55 gallons or 500 pounds, whichever is lower.
- For substances included in the list of extremely hazardous substances, the threshold is 55 gallons, 500 pounds, or the threshold planning quantity, whichever is lower.
- For a substance used solely for the purpose of heating a building or buildings at a facility, the threshold for that substance at that facility shall be 10,000 pounds.
- The State of Delaware has thresholds that are lower than the Federal/EPA thresholds
- For more information on reporting requirements in Delaware can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some examples of facilities and chemicals that would need to submit a Tier II report in Delaware:
- Manufacturing plants – Facilities that produce or use hazardous chemicals like solvents, acids, bases, and toxic gases above threshold quantities would need to submit a Tier II report. Common chemicals reported include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and chlorine.
- Wastewater treatment plants – These facilities use chlorine gas for disinfection which would require reporting if stored above threshold quantities. Ammonia is also commonly used and reported.
- Hospitals – Chemicals like ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and various sterilizing agents and disinfectants are used in large amounts by hospitals. These would need to be reported on a Tier II if above thresholds.
- Farms – Ammonia used for fertilizer and pesticides would require reporting. Diesel fuel storage would also need reporting if above threshold quantities.
- Chemical distributors or wholesalers – Any hazardous chemicals stored on-site for distribution to customers in amounts exceeding thresholds need to be reported. Common examples include solvents, acids, pesticides, and chlorine.
- Gas stations – Gasoline and diesel stored in underground storage tanks require reporting if above thresholds.
- Dry cleaners – Perchloroethylene is commonly used and would need reporting.
- Automotive shops – Solvents, lubricants, and oils would require reporting if stored in large amounts.
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Delaware’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier II Manager™)
Overview of Tier II Manager™
The Tier II Manager system is accessible through the Internet using typical Web browsers, and no special software is necessary. Facilities that have previously reported will not need to re-enter all their data. Instead, they can update and submit using their previous data already loaded in the system. The Tier II Manager also offers the option to pay fees online through a variety of methods.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Delaware
Here are the key steps for submitting a Tier II report using the Tier II Manager software:
- Register – Create an account in Tier II Manager to get started.
- Enter facility information – Provide details on your facility such as location, contacts, activities, etc.
- Add chemicals – Use the built-in database to select the hazardous chemicals stored on-site that exceed reporting thresholds. Enter quantities.
- Enter storage details – For each chemical, provide the storage types, locations, and container sizes. Add any handling codes.
- Review thresholds – The software will automatically check and indicate which chemicals exceed thresholds. Review to ensure accuracy.
- Finalize report – Review the full report details, make any necessary edits, and then mark it finalized.
- Submit report – Generate the required reporting forms and submit them electronically via Tier II Manager to the SERC, LEPC, and fire department.
- Pay required fees at the time of submission.
- Save and print – Save a PDF copy for your records and print if needed. The software will also store submitted reports for your access.
- Resubmit if needed – Tier II Manager allows you to re-open and edit submitted reports if revisions are required.
- Updated information submitted in Tier II Manager can be viewed immediately by emergency planners and first responders.
- Tier II Manager will generate an invoice for you to pay at the end of the process.
- The annual reporting fees in Delaware are as follows:
- $60 per hazardous chemical
- $100 per extremely hazardous substance
- Fees for mixtures depend on the concentration of EHSs:
- Less than 10% by weight EHS = $60
- Equal to or greater than 10% EHS = $100
- Motor Vehicle Fuels are exempt when offered for retail sale at the facility (e.g. Gasoline and diesel)
- There is a cap of $5000 per year per facility.
- In Delaware, the SERC will distribute the report to the LEPC and fire department.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Delaware, 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
In addition to the main annual Tier II chemical inventory report, facilities in Delaware may have some supplemental reporting requirements:
- Initial list – An initial submission was required when the law was established. After that, any new facility must submit an initial list within 3 months of chemicals first exceeding the threshold on site.
- Periodic updates – All facilities must provide updates within 3 months of a non-reported substance first exceeding the thresholds on site (whether it is either a new substance first brought on site above the thresholds or a previous chemical on site for which the quantity has increased to the point where a threshold has been exceeded).
- EPA has provided guidance that an annual Tier II report can serve as an initial list for any facility that failed to submit an initial list. The real substance of the Section 311 requirement is that it provides for updates to the chemical inventory data for a facility in between the annual Section 312 reports.
Tips for Effective Tier II Reporting
Maintain Accurate Inventory Records
Starting early in collecting compliance data will help with making sure 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
Delaware has specific reporting threshold requirements for hazardous chemicals different from the federal requirements.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Save a PDF copy for your records and print if needed. Tier II Manager will also store submitted reports for your access.
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. 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).
In Delaware, hazardous chemicals and extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) have the same reporting threshold requirements.
Failing to Keep Up-To-Date with Changes in Regulations
Failure to report changes in reportable substances in a timely manner can result in fines and penalties.
- Submit Tier II reports on time by the March 1 deadline.
- Completely omitting chemicals or the full report leads to the highest fines.
- Even small errors like one chemical can still incur sizable penalties.
- Keep up to date with the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Delaware
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential legal and financial consequences for not accurately submitting a Tier II report in Delaware:
- Civil penalties – Failure to comply can result in fines of up to $27,500 per violation per day. Penalty amounts are determined based on the nature and severity of the violation.
- Administrative penalties – Delaware can issue administrative fines of up to $12,000 for each violation.
- Withholding of state funds – The state can withhold any state emergency response funds from facilities in violation.
- Permit actions – Violations can impact the ability to obtain environmental permits or lead to existing permits being revoked.
- Enforcement orders – The state can issue orders requiring violators to immediately comply and take corrective actions. Failure to comply with orders can lead to additional fines.
- Future liability – Inaccurate reporting can impact legal protections in the event of a chemical accident. It also impedes emergency planning.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Unfortunately, there have been some incidents in Delaware that highlight the importance of proper Tier II reporting for community safety and emergency preparedness:
- In 2021, a chlorine gas leak occurred at Dover Air Force Base. First responders were unaware of the presence and location of chlorine gas cylinders on site due to a lack of Tier II reporting, hampering the emergency response.
- In Millsboro, a chlorine leak at a motel pool sickened guests in 2007. The motel had not submitted a Tier II for the chlorine, delaying emergency response.