Massachusetts Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 reporting requirements in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts:
- Manufacturing plants – Facilities that produce or use hazardous chemicals like acids, solvents, pesticides, etc. in volumes above threshold amounts would need to submit a Tier II report. Common chemicals reported include sulfuric acid, ammonia, chlorine, and methanol.
- Wastewater treatment plants – These facilities use chlorine gas for disinfection which would require reporting if stored above threshold amounts. They may also have to report other treatment chemicals like sulfur dioxide, and ammonia.
- Hospitals – Hospitals store and use disinfectants, sterilization chemicals, lab chemicals, and pharmaceuticals in quantities that require Tier II reporting. Formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, ethylene oxide, and nitrous oxide are some examples.
- Universities – Academic labs store a variety of hazardous chemicals for research purposes. These include acids, solvents, combustible liquids, oxidizers, and poisons which require reporting if they exceed thresholds.
- Chemical distributors – Facilities that distribute industrial chemicals in bulk to end users must submit Tier II reports for stored inventory. Common chemicals are acids, antifreeze, paints, and pesticides.
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Massachusetts’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier II Manager™)
Overview of Tier II Manager™
Tier II Manager is an online hazmat reporting and emergency planning system used by the state of Massachusetts to collect and process annual Tier II reports from facilities. Facilities use it to file their annual Tier II inventory reports by the March 1st deadline each year. To access Tier II Manager, facilities must register and set up an account. Within Tier II Manager, facilities can enter details on their sites, chemical inventories, storage locations, transfers, etc.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Massachusetts
Here is an overview of how to submit a Tier II report in Massachusetts using Tier II Manager:
- 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 Tier II Manager- 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
- Submit copy to your LEPC and fire department – Ensure you submit a hard copy of your Tier II report to the appropriate LEPC and fire department.
- You may revise or update a submitted report at any time
- You must also submit your Tier II report to your LEPC and local fire department. A list of LEPCs contact your local Emergency Management Director found here.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Massachusetts, 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 standard annual Tier II reporting requirements in Massachusetts, there are some circumstances that require additional or updated reporting:
- 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
You can submit your Tier II report electronically using the Tier II manager portal, although you must also submit a copy of the Tier II report to the LEPC and local fire department.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
You should save a copy of your Tier II report for your records as either a printed hard copy or a s a PDF.
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 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 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 Massachusetts
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
There can be significant fines and legal consequences for facilities that fail to accurately submit a Tier II report in Massachusetts:
- Civil penalties – MassDEP can assess fines of up to $25,000 per violation per day for facilities that fail to submit a Tier II report or submit an incomplete/inaccurate report.
- Permit actions – MassDEP can suspend or revoke environmental permits or registrations for facilities with Tier II reporting violations. This could severely disrupt business operations.
- Facility shutdown – In cases of egregious or repeated violations, MassDEP has the authority to issue an order for the facility to cease operations until compliant. This represents a major business disruption.
- Future scrutiny – Facilities with Tier II reporting violations are likely to receive increased regulatory scrutiny even after achieving compliance. This results in higher oversight costs.
- Legal liability – Inaccurate reporting can undermine a facility’s ability to use the “act of God” defense if sued for chemical releases. This increases potential liability.
- Reputation damage – Tier II reporting non-compliance may attract negative publicity for the facility. This can harm business relationships, investor confidence, and customer loyalty.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The failure to file Tier II reports can significantly impact community safety and emergency preparedness in Massachusetts, as exemplified by these examples:
- In 2021, a major chemical company in Springfield failed to report over 100,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid. This hindered firefighters’ response when a leak occurred, putting the community at risk.
- In Cape Cod, a hidden cache of pesticides caught fire at an unreported agricultural warehouse. Firefighters had to respond without knowing the identity and hazards of the burning chemicals.