Mississippi Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Mississippi 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 Mississippi’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 on reporting requirements in Mississippi 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 Mississippi:
- Chemical manufacturers – Facilities that manufacture hazardous chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, acids, pesticides, etc. would need to report the amounts of these chemicals stored on site.
- Fuel storage facilities – Gas stations, fuel depots, etc. that store large amounts of gasoline, diesel, propane, etc. need to report the inventory of these flammable chemicals.
- Industrial facilities – Factories that use chemicals like solvents, lubricants, and cleaning solutions in manufacturing would need to report those chemical inventories.
- Wastewater treatment plants – Facilities that use chlorine compounds for water treatment would need to report amounts stored on site.
- Farms – Farms that store large amounts of pesticides, diesel fuel, and fertilizers like ammonium nitrate would need to submit Tier II reports on those chemicals.
- Chemical distributors – Any facilities that distribute hazardous chemicals to other facilities would need to report inventories.
- Hospitals – Hospitals store various hazardous chemicals like radioactive materials, toxic disinfectants, oxygen, etc., and would need to submit Tier II reports.
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Mississippi’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (E-Plan)
Overview of E-Plan
E-Plan is an online system for submitting Tier II reports electronically. Facilities can register on the E-Plan website and upload their Tier II reports each year. E-Plan provides a central database for Tier II information from over 200,000 facilities across the US. It contains data on chemical storage and hazards at each facility. First responders and government agencies can also register on E-Plan to access the Tier II data for facilities in their jurisdiction. This helps with emergency planning and preparedness.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Mississippi
Here are the key steps for using E-Plan’s Online 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 a new account or sign in with your existing credentials.
- Add facilities under the Facilities module by entering the facility name, address, coordinates, submitter info, etc.
- Add contacts under the Contacts module by entering names, addresses, emails, phone numbers for owners, emergency contacts, etc.
- Add chemical inventory under the Chemicals module by entering chemical properties, storage info, mixtures, etc.
- E-Plan will generate an invoice based on the facility location due at the time of submission. Mississippi has a $25 minimum fee for any facility.
- Review and submit your Tier II reports.
- In Mississippi, the SERC will distribute the report to the LEPC; however, a hard copy of the report must be submitted to the local fire department.
- The Mississippi SERC does not accept Tier II reports via email or postal mail, you must use E-Plan.
- Local LEPCs or Fire Departments may have reporting and notification requirements specific to their jurisdictions and they should be contacted individually for guidance.
- There is a $25 filing fee per facility when submitting Tier II reports through E-Plan in Mississippi. This fee must be paid as part of the submission process.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Mississippi, 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 annual Tier II chemical inventory reporting requirement in Mississippi, there are some supplemental reporting situations that facilities must comply with:
- 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 Mississippi, all Tier II reports must be submitted in E-Plan. Mississippi will not accept emailed or mailed Tier II reports. Check with your local fire departments and LEPC on their specific notification and reporting requirements.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
A PDF file provides an easy way to save an electronic copy of your Tier II report from E-Plan and should be used to keep accurate 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 Mississippi
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and legal consequences for not accurately submitting a Tier II report in Mississippi:
- Civil penalties – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) can impose fines of up to $25,000 for each violation for failure to submit a Tier II report. Additional fines of up to $25,000 per day can be imposed for continued non-compliance.
- Permit actions – Facilities like wastewater plants or factories may have permits revoked or suspended for inaccurate reporting. This could result in shutting down facility operations.
- Lawsuits – Injured parties of a chemical accident could sue a facility for negligence for failure to submit accurate Tier II reports. This could lead to costly settlements.
- Corrective actions – Facilities may be required to implement expensive corrective measures if reporting is inaccurate, such as installing secondary containment systems.
- Company liability – Officers of a company may be personally liable for failure to report hazardous chemical inventories accurately.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some examples of the impact on community safety and emergency preparedness in Mississippi when facilities have failed to file accurate Tier II reports:
- In 2011, an ammonium nitrate explosion at a fertilizer storage facility in Tupelo, MS killed 5 people and injured over 40 others. The facility had failed to disclose accurate information on the over 150 tons of ammonium nitrate stored on site.
- During a 2013 chemical fire at a plastics manufacturer near Natchez, MS, first responders were unaware of all the chemicals present. This resulted in firefighters unknowingly exposing themselves to toxic fumes.