Maryland Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Maryland 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 Maryland’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Maryland 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)
- Montgomery County LEPC has different threshold requirements for hazardous substances:
- All facilities using, processing, transferring, storing, or manufacturing hazardous substances that exceed a minimum threshold of 5 gallons or 50 pounds must report to the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS).
- The reporting thresholds in Maryland 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 Maryland 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.
- Montgomery County has a different threshold for all hazardous substances.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some examples of facilities in Maryland that would likely need to submit a Tier II report based on chemicals stored on-site:
- Gas stations – Gasoline, diesel fuel, and ethanol in underground and aboveground storage tanks
- Convenience stores – Gasoline and diesel fuels for sale
- Auto repair shops – Gasoline, motor oil, brake fluids, antifreeze
- Farms – Diesel fuel, liquid fertilizers and pesticides
- Hardware/home improvement stores – Paints, solvents, pesticides, propane tanks
- Industrial facilities – Acids, solvents, compressed gases, diesel for backup generators
- Wastewater treatment plants – Chlorine, sulfur dioxide, ammonia
- Swimming pools – Chlorine, muriatic acid
- Dry cleaners – Perchloroethylene, hydrocarbon solvents
- Hospitals – Oxygen, nitrous oxide, formaldehyde, waste anesthetic gases
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Maryland’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (MOTTRS)
Overview of the MOTTRS
Maryland Operations, Tracking, and Reporting System (MOTTRS) is a Tier II Manager reporting system used by Maryland that provides chemical inventories, storage information, and locations. The report submitted electronically through the MOTTRS portal is managed by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the information goes to SERC and local emergency planning committees (LEPCs). Facilities must submit to the fire departments separately via mail.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Maryland
Here are the basic steps to submit a Tier II report in MOTTRS (Maryland’s Tier II reporting system):
- Gather the required information – This includes an inventory of all hazardous chemicals stored on-site above reporting threshold limits, along with basic facility identification information
- Create an account on MOTTRS and log in or click “Register” to create an account for your facility
- Start a new Tier II report – Once logged in, click “Start New Report” to begin filling out the Tier II form with your facility and chemical inventory information
- Enter facility identification information – This includes name, address, Dun & Bradstreet number, etc.
- Add your chemical inventory – For each hazardous chemical on your site that was above its reporting threshold, enter the amount, location, storage types, etc.
- Enter contact information – Provide contact details for your facility’s Tier II coordinator, owner, and operator
- Review and verify report – Double check all entered information is correct before submitting
- Certify and submit – Digitally sign and officially submit the completed Tier II report to state and local officials
- Print final copy – Download or print a final copy of the certified Tier II report for your records
- Pay required filing fees – Maryland requires a fee payment via check by June 1st.
- MOTTRS allows you to print a copy of the completed Tier II report to send to LEPC and local fire departments.
- Contact your LEPC for instructions regarding Tier II submissions to the local fire department. A list of LEPCs can be found here.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Maryland, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1, annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In Maryland, there may be additional Tier II chemical inventory reporting requirements 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 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
In Montgomery County, Maryland there are specific reporting requirements and differing thresholds.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
MOTTRS allows you to print a copy of the completed Tier II report for your records.
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.
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.
- Keep up to date with your LEPCs and their requirements to ensure first responders have the information they need and you’re fully compliant
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Maryland
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and legal consequences for not accurately submitting a Tier II report in Maryland:
- Penalties are assessed based on the nature, extent, gravity, and circumstances of the violation for example:
- Civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation per day can be issued under the state’s Right-To-Know law.
- Criminal fines of up to $25,000 and up to 1-year imprisonment can be charged for willful violations.
- Maryland follows EPCRA enforcement, including federal fines of up to $75,000 per day and up to 2 years imprisonment for criminal violations.
- Injunctions may be granted requiring compliance and prohibiting further violation.
- Non-compliant facilities can be legally liable for chemical release response costs.
- Facilities may be liable for chemical release notification, reporting, and response costs if inaccurate Tier II reporting is discovered after an incident.
- Nearby communities could potentially sue facilities for negligence if inaccurate Tier II reporting leads to damages from a chemical release.
- Failure to report properly may also lead to permit actions, compliance orders, or loss of state environmental permits.
- There may be additional local reporting ordinances and requirements beyond state and federal law.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are a few examples of impacts to the community for inaccurate Tier II reporting:
- In 2016, a mechanical contractor in Maryland was fined $18,000 for failing to submit Tier II reports for several years. This shows there can be financial penalties for non-compliance.
- Nationwide, there have been some incidents related to poor Tier II reporting. For example, a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas in 2013 had not properly reported the full amount of ammonium nitrate stored on site. This hindered emergency response.
- Inaccurate Tier II reports can put first responders at risk if they are unaware of the presence of hazardous chemicals on site. This could impact their response tactics.
- Community members also may not receive full information about chemical risks in their area due to inaccurate reporting. This could compromise their right-to-know and ability to make informed decisions about their safety.