Ohio Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Ohio 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 Ohio’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some common examples of facilities and chemicals in Ohio that would likely need to submit a Tier II report:
- Chemical plants
- Oil refineries
- Water treatment plants
- Manufacturing sites (autos, metals, plastics, etc.)
- Wastewater treatment plants
- Transportation departments
- Gas stations
- Building maintenance facilities
- Combustible liquids (gasoline, diesel, kerosene)
- Solvents (alcohols, ketones, toluene)
- Acids (sulfuric, hydrochloric, nitric)
- Bases (sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide)
- Refrigerants (anhydrous ammonia, Freon)
- Cylinder gasses (propane, oxygen)
- Cryogenic gasses (hydrogen, nitrogen)
- Paints and adhesives
- Lubricants and oils
Ohio’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2Submit Software)
Overview of Tier2Submit Software
Ohio encourages electronic Tier II submissions via email using Tier2Submit Software. Tier2Submit allows users to build chemical inventories, map locations, and generate reports.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Ohio
Here is a summary of the key steps to submit a Tier II report using Tier2Submit Software:
- Build your facility and chemical inventory
- Add your facility details like name, address, contacts, etc.
- Input your chemical inventories including CAS numbers, storage locations, and amounts.
- Validate and finalize the report
- Perform quality checks and validate that the report is accurate
- The software will also check for any potential errors
- Certify that the information is true, accurate, and complete
- Export your Tier II report(s) in Tier2Submit as a .t2s file or a .zip file and send the file to [email protected] along with a signed copy of your certification letter.
- While not preferred, you may also submit your Tier II report by paper and/or mail.
- To submit by paper, the Facility Identification Form, the Facility Map, and the Inventory forms must be mailed to:
State Emergency Response Commission
c/o Ohio EPA
Lazarus Government Center
50 West Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
- To submit the .t2s file by mail, upload it and the certification to a flash drive and send it to the address above.
- You must also submit a copy of your Tier II report to SERC, LEPCs, and fire departments.
- To pay your filing fees, you must use the invoice stub that was mailed to you. If you have not received it, reach out to [email protected]. You must send the fee along with the completed invoice stub to:
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
P.O. Box 77005
Cleveland, OH 44194-7005
- There is a base $150 filing fee in Ohio for every reporting facility, then an additional surcharge for every reported chemical ($150 for each EHS, and $20 for each hazardous substance).
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Ohio, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1 annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In Ohio, 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
Although you can submit your Tier II report electronically, the LEPC and Fire Department may not have access to your Tier2Submit. Therefore you must file those reports separately. Submission instructions (such as whether the report should be submitted electronically or by hard copy) for your LEPC and fire department will vary depending on your site’s location. The LEPC and FD should be contacted directly for questions regarding their submission requirements.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Tier2Submit allows users to export their reports using various methods .t2s file, pdf file, and printed format. Facilities should keep copies of these exports 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. 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.
Be sure to consult 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 typically leads to the highest fines.
- Even small errors associated with one chemical can incur sizable penalties.
- Keep up to date with your LEPCs and their requirements to ensure first responders have the information they need and you’re fully compliant.
- Facilities in Warren County must submit their report via the E-Plan reporting system.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Ohio
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential penalties and fines for failing to comply with EPCRA Tier II reporting requirements in Ohio:
- The state can assess civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day.
- Willful violations can also lead to felony charges and fines up to $50,000 and/or 4-8 years imprisonment per violation per day.
- Facilities may face punitive damages in citizen lawsuits brought for failure to report.
- Ohio can obtain court orders requiring facilities to immediately submit delinquent Tier II reports.
- Non-compliant facilities may be prohibited from entering into state contracts.
- Failure to report significant increases in hazardous chemicals can invalidate standard insurance policies.
- Facilities may be responsible for reimbursing agencies for responding to an emergency without proper Tier II information.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here is a real example of how deficient Tier II reporting negatively impacted community safety and emergency response in Ohio:
- In Cincinnati, a chemical plant explosion caused a toxic chlorine gas release. The company had failed to disclose its chlorine inventory, harming response. Over 200 were hospitalized.