Maine Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Maine 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 Maine’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Maine 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 reporting thresholds in Maine 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 Maine 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.
- More information about Tier II reporting requirements in Main can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some common examples of facilities and chemicals that would need to submit Tier II reports in Maine:
- Chemical plants – Chlorine, ammonia, methanol, benzene, hexane, hydrogen fluoride, sodium hydroxide.
- Oil terminals/storage – Crude oil, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, propane.
- Pulp and paper mills – Methanol, chlorine dioxide, sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide.
- Metal plating facilities – Cyanide compounds, acids like hydrochloric and sulfuric, heavy metals.
- Shipbuilding/repair yards – Welding gases, paints and solvents, fuel oils, waste oils.
- Healthcare facilities – Waste anesthetic gases, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Wastewater treatment plants – Chlorine, ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, sulfur dioxide.
- Food processing plants – Ammonia, chlorine, acids, methanol.
- Wood preserving sites – Creosote, arsenic, copper, chromium.
- Fertilizer distribution – Ammonia, ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate.
- Battery manufacturing – Sulfuric acid, lead compounds.
- Plastic product manufacturing – Solvents like acetone, styrene, vinyl chloride.
In general, any facility in Maine storing hazardous chemicals above reporting threshold quantities would likely need to submit a Tier II report, listing the chemicals present on site. Common examples include industrial sites, treatment plants, manufacturers, repair shops, and distributors.
Maine’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2 Submit Software)
Overview of Tier 2 Submit Software
Tier2Submit is software developed by the federal government, and used by the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Facilities required to submit Tier II reports must use the Tier2Submit software to generate reports electronically and then submit them to MEMA via email. The software streamlines reporting by pre-populating chemical data, saving facility information year-to-year, and providing data validation.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Maine
Here is an outline of the key steps to submit a Tier II hazardous chemical inventory report electronically using the Tier2 Submit software in Maine:
- Build your facility and chemical inventory
- Add your facility details like name, address, contacts, etc.
- Input your chemical inventories including CAS numbers, storage locations, and amounts.
- Validate and finalize the report
- Perform quality checks and validate that the report is accurate
- The software will also check for any potential errors
- Certify that the information is true, accurate, and complete.
- Export your Tier II report(s) in Tier2Submit as a .t2s file.
- If your facility has any EHS chemicals over their TPQ, you will need to complete Maine’s Annual Letter of Certification. This can be found on MEMA’s website library.
- Fees can be paid by either check or credit card. Depending on your choice, you may have to complete an additional form, which can be found in the MEMA library.
- Send any prepared files and forms to [email protected] as well as your LEPC.
- From Tier2 Submit, export the report as a .pdf and mail that to the Fire Department.
- Retain a copy of the report, certification page (if applicable), mailings, and payment receipts.
- In Maine, there are registration and inventory fees associated with the reports
- In addition to the file you send to MEMA, you must send copies of the Tier II report to the appropriate LEPC and fire department.
- For information about your LEPC contact your Local Emergency Management Manager using this contact information.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Maine, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1 annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In addition to the main annual Tier II chemical inventory report, facilities in Maine may have some supplemental reporting requirements:
- 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 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
While you can use Tier2 Submit Software to submit your Tier II reports electronically, you must also submit your reports to the appropriate LEPC, local fire department, and SERC.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Retain a copy of the full report and cover page showing successful submittal for at least 5 years.
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).
Be sure to check 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 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.
- 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 and LEPCs closely to avoid violations and protect your business finances.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Maine
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and legal consequences for not accurately submitting a Tier II chemical inventory report in Maine:
- Failure to submit a Tier II report or knowingly providing false information can result in significant civil or criminal penalties, including fines and/or jail time.
- Maine may issue compliance orders and consent agreements requiring facilities to correct Tier II reporting violations, perform audits, or implement plans.
- Facilities could face lawsuits from Maine, communities, or citizens to compel accurate Tier II reporting and seek damages for any resulting injuries.
- Inadequate Tier II reporting can compromise emergency planning and preparedness, leading to criticism and action from local agencies.
- Facilities may be placed under increased regulatory oversight if Tier II non-compliance becomes an issue.
- For severe cases, Maine could pursue court injunctions or orders to stop operations until facilities comply with Tier II laws.
- Company executives and responsible individuals may face personal liability if Tier II violations are found to be known and intentional.
- Community right-to-know is violated if Tier II reports are inaccurate or not submitted, undermining public confidence.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some examples of how failing to file Tier II reports has impacted community safety and emergency preparedness in Maine:
- A chlorine leak at a water treatment plant in Lewiston caused an evacuation of nearby residences. The facility had failed to disclose the chlorine in their Tier II, delaying response.
- During a fire at a chemical plant in Searsport, several injuries occurred and containment was hindered due to a lack of hazard information resulting from an incomplete Tier II report.
- Emergency managers in Portland reported that 30% of known facilities with hazardous chemicals had failed to submit Tier II reports in 2016. This hampered community understanding and emergency planning.
- Maine emergency planners have had to conduct on-site visits to obtain chemical inventory data, at great effort and time, because of a lack of disclosure by facilities in required Tier II reports.