Minnesota Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Minnesota 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 Minnesota’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some examples of facilities in Minnesota that would need to submit a Tier II report based on chemicals stored on-site:
- Fuel distributors/terminals – For tanks containing over 10,000 lbs of fuels like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
- Chemical manufacturers – For chemicals like acids, solvents, alcohols, chlorine, and ammonia exceeding threshold quantities.
- Plastics manufacturers – For flammable chemicals like pentane, acetone, butane, and propane exceeding amounts.
- Metal finishers – For acids like nitric, sulfuric, and hydrochloric acids exceeding limits.
- Wastewater treatment plants – For chlorine tanks over threshold quantities.
- Farms – For ammonia nutrient tanks over threshold amounts.
- Swimming pools – For tanks of chlorine exceeding limits.
Any facility storing reportable amounts of hazardous chemicals like fuels, industrial chemicals, acids, bases, refrigerants, and chlorine compounds would likely need to submit a Tier II report in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier II Manager™)
Overview of the Tier II Manager™
Tier II Manager is an online system used in Minnesota to facilitate submitting Tier II chemical inventory reports. It allows facilities to easily file Tier II reports electronically through a secure online portal. Facilities can save and update inventory information from year to year instead of re-entering data annually. The system checks for report completeness, accuracy, and consistency before filing. It aggregates and standardizes data so emergency responders can access chemical inventories statewide. Tier II Manager generates a filing receipt and distributes the report to appropriate agencies.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Minnesota
Here is an overview of the key steps to submit a Tier II report using Minnesota’s Tier II Manager online 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
- Go to the Tier II Manager website and either log in to an existing account or create a new account if filing for the first time.
- Click “Submit Annual Tier II Report” and select the facility for which you will file.
- Verify or update the facility identification information as needed.
- Provide contact information for the facility and emergency contacts.
- Input inventory data on any hazardous chemicals stored on-site that meet or exceed threshold quantities. Specify chemical names, CAS numbers, amounts, locations, and other details.
- Review the inventory data and make any necessary corrections. The system will flag issues.
- Electronically certify that the information is accurate and complete.
- Submit the report and print or save a copy of the filing receipt.
- The information will be distributed to state agencies and local emergency planners electronically. However, the report must be mailed to the fire department with jurisdiction for a facility.
- Update the report within 30 days if any significant inventory changes occur.
- There is no charge to facilities to create an account, input data, file reports, or access help resources
- Tier II Manager™ distributes Tier II information to state agencies and LEPCs; however, don’t forget to submit reports manually to the appropriate fire departments.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Minnesota, the Tier II reporting deadline is due March 1, annually regarding the information on hazardous chemicals present at the facility in the previous calendar year.
Additional Reporting Requirements
There are some additional reporting requirements for Tier II reports in Minnesota beyond 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.s not require an update as long as the tank is replaced on-site.
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
Facilities in Minnesota must use Tier II Manager™ to submit Tier II reports. Facilities must submit reports to their local fire department manually outside of Tier II Manager™.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Print a copy of the Tier II report from Tier II Manager™ 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 (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 Minnesota
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are potential fines and legal consequences for not submitting accurate Tier II reports in Minnesota:
- Civil Penalties: Noncompliance with Tier II reporting requirements can lead to civil penalties. The specific penalties can vary depending on the severity of the violation, the number of violations, and the applicable state or federal regulations. Penalties may be assessed on a per-day or per-violation basis, and they can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- Enforcement Actions: Regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing Tier II reporting compliance may take enforcement actions against non-compliant facilities. These actions can include issuing compliance orders, requiring corrective actions, or pursuing legal action through administrative proceedings.
- Criminal Penalties: In cases of intentional or willful noncompliance with Tier II reporting requirements, criminal penalties may apply. Criminal charges could result in fines and potential imprisonment. However, it’s important to note that criminal penalties are typically reserved for severe violations or deliberate acts of noncompliance.
- Facility Closure or Operations Restrictions: In some cases, repeated or severe noncompliance with Tier II reporting and hazardous substance handling regulations may lead to facility closure or restrictions on operations until compliance is achieved. Regulatory agencies have the authority to take such measures to protect public health and the environment.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are examples of ways inaccurate Tier II reporting can impact community safety and emergency response:
- Inaccurate reporting of chemical inventories could lead to improper handling or response during a spill, fire, or other incident, potentially putting first responders and the community at greater risk of exposure.
- Emergency planners may not have full information to establish appropriate evacuation zones, acquire response equipment/resources, or train responders properly for a chemical emergency if Tier II data is inaccurate.