New Jersey Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in New Jersey 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. New Jersey has state-specific thresholds for certain chemicals.
Understanding New Jersey’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in New Jersey that has hazardous substances equal to or greater than the established threshold amounts (listed below) must report.
- Any facility that stores a chemical on the NJ Environmental Hazardous Substance (EHS) list above its Reporting Quantity (RQ). If the RQ is not listed, then it is 500 pounds. (Note: EPCRA Extremely Hazardous Substances and their Threshold Planning Quantities are included on the NJ EHS list)
- Any facility that stores a chemical not on the NJ EHS list in a quantity above 10,000 pounds.
- In New Jersey, EHS means Environmentally Hazardous Substance and is separate from the Extremely Hazardous Substance list
- Here are some common chemicals that have NJ-specific thresholds that are lower than federal EPCRA thresholds:
- Lead – 500 pounds
- Sulfuric acid – 500 pounds
- Benzene – 500 pounds
- Isopropyl Alcohol – 500 pounds
- Hydrogen – 500pounds
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some common examples of facilities and chemicals that would require Tier II reporting in New Jersey if threshold quantities are met:
- Chemical plants – Acids, bases, solvents, petroleum products, feedstock chemicals.
- Wastewater treatment plants – Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, ammonia, sodium bisulfite.
- Manufacturing facilities – Paints, inks, acids, bases, solvents, oils, lubricants.
- Landfills – Methane gas, leachate, waste oils.
- Auto service shops – Motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, solvents, oil filters.
- Hardware/home centers – Fertilizers, pesticides, propane, paints.
- Hospitals – Anesthetic gasses, sterilants like ethylene oxide, and lab chemicals.
- Food processors – Ammonia used in refrigeration, and sanitizing chemicals.
- Farms – Liquid fertilizers with ammonia, diesel fuel for equipment.
- Plastics companies – Resins, solvents, monomers, catalysts.
- Gas stations – Gasoline, diesel, ethanol blends, used oil.
- Electronics plants – Corrosive acids, solvents, cathode ray tubes.
Any facility storing chemicals over Tier II threshold limits present in New Jersey would need to report those inventories annually. The specific chemicals vary widely based on processes.
New Jersey’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (eCRTK Survey)
Overview of eCRTK Survey
eCRTK Survey is the online reporting system used for submitting Tier II chemical inventory reports in New Jersey. The system was developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to facilitate the electronic filing of the Community Right to Know Survey. Facilities required to submit Tier II reports must file electronically through eCRTK Survey rather than using paper forms. eCRTK Survey allows users to enter facility identification data, chemical inventories, storage locations, and other details required for Tier II reporting. The system contains pre-loaded databases of chemical information and reporting thresholds to simplify reporting. Users can search for chemicals by name or CAS number.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in New Jersey
Here is an overview of the key steps to submit a Tier II report in New Jersey’s eCRTK Survey system:
- Register facility and create a user account – You will need to register your facility in eCRTK Survey and set up a user account with login credentials.
- Enter facility identification information – The system will prompt you to enter details on your facility such as name, address, NAICS code, owner, etc.
- Select reporting year – You will need to select the current reporting year for which you are submitting the Tier II report.
- Input chemical inventory data – Search for and select chemicals stored on-site and enter the amounts, units, and locations for each exceeding thresholds.
- Review report – Carefully review the Tier II report for accuracy and completeness before submission. Edit if needed.
- Certify report – You must certify that the information is true, accurate, and complete prior to final submission.
- Submit report – Once certified, click submit to officially file the completed Tier II report to NJDEP.
- Print report – Once submitted, you can print the report to a PDF, so that you can distribute it to the local agencies.
- There are reporting fees in New Jersey – facilities will be sent a combined invoice (for Tier II fees as well as other assessments) in July. For Tier II, the assessment rate is $4 per employee per year, with a minimum of $75.
- Facilities must send the Tier II report submitted in the eCRTK Survey to the county lead agency, the LEPC, the local fire department, and the local police department.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In New Jersey, 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 main annual Tier II reporting deadline, New Jersey also has some supplemental reporting requirements for Tier II:
- 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
New Jersey is the only state in which facilities are required to report to additional parties beyond the SERC, the LEPC, and the FD. Facilities must also send copies of their report to the County Lead Agency and their local Police Department.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Once submitted in eCRTK Survey you can print a copy of your report to a PDF. Facilities should keep a copy of their submitted report for their 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. In New Jersey, certain chemicals have lower reporting thresholds and should be looked at carefully. 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 NJ EHS list for chemicals that may potentially have lower thresholds than in other states.
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 March 1 deadline.
- Ensure all hazardous chemicals above reporting thresholds are included.
- Check NJ’s specific chemical thresholds. The list and thresholds are updated every year.
- Completely omitting chemicals or the full report leads to the highest fines.
- Even small errors like one chemical can still incur sizable penalties.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in New Jersey
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential penalties and consequences for failure to comply with New Jersey’s Tier II reporting requirements:
- Under the New Jersey Administrative Code, civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation per day can be assessed under the state’s Right to Know Act for not filing or inaccurate reporting. Some specific penalties include:
- Failure to submit a report: Up to $1,000 per day (N.J.A.C. 7:1G-7.7(b)(1))
- Failure to report all required substances: $500 if 10 or fewer substances are omitted and $1,000 if more than 10 substances are omitted (N.J.A.C. 7:1G-7.7(b)(2))
- Failure to transmit a copy of the report to the local fire and police departments, LEPC, and County Lead Agency: $500 per violation (N.J.A.C. 7:1G-7.7(b)(3))
- Criminal liability is possible with fines up to $50,000 and up to 2 years imprisonment per violation for willful or knowing submission of false Tier II information.
- Private citizens or local agencies can file lawsuits against the facility to compel Tier II reporting and collect damages related to any resulting incidents.
- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection may issue warning letters, notices of violation, administrative orders, and other enforcement actions for Tier II noncompliance.
- Local Emergency Planning Committees may issue notices of deficiency for failure to submit the Tier II report as required in their jurisdiction.
- Ongoing non-compliance can lead to the revocation of state operating permits and the limitation or shutdown of facility operations permitted by the state.
- Facilities may be ineligible for state grants, incentives, or subsidies if convicted of Right to Know violations related to Tier II.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some real examples that illustrate the importance of Tier II reporting for community safety in New Jersey:
- In Linden in 2021, a large chlorine gas leak occurred at a facility that failed to report increased inventory. Response teams lacked knowledge of the full extent of chlorine stored onsite.
- In Jersey City in 2017, a hazmat team responded to a tank leak without knowing the tank contained anhydrous ammonia, since it was not included in the company’s latest Tier II filing.
- Failure to report changes in ammonia systems at an ice rink in Montclair led to leaked ammonia overwhelming first responders during an electrical fire in 2014.