North Dakota Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in North Dakota 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 North Dakota’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in North Dakota 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 North Dakota apply to the total 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some common examples of facilities and chemicals that would require Tier II reporting in North Dakota:
- Oil and gas production sites – Crude oil, natural gas condensate, produced water, diesel fuels, glycol dehydrators, drilling chemicals, etc.
- Petroleum refineries – Crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel additives, hydrogen sulfide, propane, butane, and other chemicals used in refining processes.
- Fertilizer retailers – Ammonia, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, liquid mixed fertilizers.
- Chemical distributors – Chlorine, anhydrous ammonia, acids, caustic soda, solvents.
- Coal processing plants – Coal, ash, heavy metals, diesel fuels, lubricating oils.
- Ethanol plants – Ethanol, gasoline, denaturants, solvents, sulfuric acid, ammonia.
- Wastewater treatment – Chlorine, sulfur dioxide, sodium hydroxide, ferric chloride, polymers.
North Dakota’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier II Manager™)
Overview of Tier II Manager™
The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services utilizes Tier II Manager software for facilities to submit their annual Tier II chemical inventory reports. Facilities that meet Tier II reporting thresholds must file their reports using Tier II Manager by March 1st each year. The reports cover the chemical inventories from the previous calendar year. Submitted Tier II reports are made available to local fire departments, LEPCs, and other emergency planning groups that request them.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in North Dakota
Here are the key steps for submitting a Tier II report in North Dakota using the Tier II Manager 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 Tier II Manager 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 fees – North Dakota will send the facility an invoice for Tier II reporting fees. The fees will automatically be calculated and are due 60 days after the invoice date.
Make sure to contact your LEPC and local fire department to see their requirements for receiving Tier II reports. In North Dakota, the SERC typically submits reports to LEPCs and fire departments.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In North Dakota, 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 North Dakota, 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
North Dakota requires the use of Tier II Manager to submit online Tier II reports.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Print or save a copy of the certification page. Keep this and SDSs on site 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 North Dakota
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and legal consequences for failing to comply with Tier II reporting requirements in North Dakota:
- Civil penalties – The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services can issue penalties of up to $12,500 per violation per day for failure to submit or falsification of reports.
- Injunctions – The state can obtain court injunctions to compel facilities to submit Tier II reports if they fail to do so.
- Increased emergency response costs – If a chemical accident occurs and emergency responders lack proper Tier II information, the facility may be liable for extra response and containment costs.
- Litigation – Inaccurate reporting could lead to lawsuits and liability if chemical releases cause harm and it is determined proper inventory reporting could have mitigated damages.
- Reputation damage and scrutiny – Non-compliance will harm a facility’s standing with regulatory agencies, local community members, and environmental groups.
- Criminal liability – Knowingly providing false information or willful failure to provide Tier II reports can result in criminal prosecution at the state and federal levels.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some real examples that illustrate the importance of Tier II chemical reporting for community safety in North Dakota:
- In 2013, a fertilizer warehouse explosion in Sawyer injured several people. The owner had failed to report over 50,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate stored on site through Tier II reporting.
- During a 2021 ammonia leak at a food processing plant, firefighters were unaware of the refrigeration system ammonia as it was not included in the facility’s latest Tier II filing.