Oklahoma Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 and chemicals that would likely need to submit a Tier II report in Oklahoma if storage meets reporting thresholds:
- Chemical manufacturers, distributors, or processors – Examples of chemicals: acids, solvents, alcohols, chlorine, ammonia
- Oil & gas industry sites – Examples of chemicals: crude oil, diesel fuel, lubricants, drilling fluids
- Auto repair shops – Examples of chemicals: motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, paints, solvents
- Hardware/home improvement stores – Examples of chemicals: paints, varnishes, pesticides, fertilizers, pool chemicals
- Agriculture facilities – Examples of chemicals: liquid fertilizer, diesel fuel, pesticides
- Water and wastewater treatment plants – Examples of chemicals: chlorine, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid
- Hospitals – Examples of chemicals: waste anesthetic gases, sterilants, lab chemicals
- Universities – Examples of chemicals: lab reagents, solvents, cleaning chemicals
- Plastics/rubber manufacturers – Examples of chemicals: polymers, solvents, vinyl chloride
- Food processors – Examples of chemicals: ammonia, cleaning chemicals
- Metal foundries/fabricators – Examples of chemicals: metalworking fluids, acids, paints
- Printing companies – Examples of chemicals: inks, solvents, photographic chemicals
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Oklahoma’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2Submit Software)
Overview of Tier2 Submit Software
Tier2Submit is software developed by the federal government, and used by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Facilities required to submit Tier II reports must use the Tier2Submit software to file reports electronically and then submit it via the Oklahoma DEQ Tier II Online Filing System. The software streamlines reporting by pre-populating chemical data, saving facility information year-to-year, and providing data validation.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Oklahoma
Here are the key steps to submit a Tier II report using Tier2Submit software via the DEQ Tier II Online Filing System:
- Create a report. Each year the software is updated and the new version must be downloaded and used by the reporter each year
- 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
- Create an account in the DEQ Tier II Online Filing System. All reporting companies are required to create an account – if you do not have one, you must call DEQ at 405-702-5137 to request one. If you already have an account, you can proceed to step 3.
- Submittal and payment. Once the report has been created in Tier2Submit and registration in the DEQ Tier II Online Filing System has been completed, companies MUST log in and submit the final Tier II report. Fee invoices are generated and paid through the online filing system.
- Tier II reports must be submitted electronically to the Oklahoma Department DEQ via their online filing system
- Fees associated with Filing Tier II reports in Oklahoma:
- Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities: $12.00/ reported facility
- Agriculture Chemical Dealerships: $12.00/ reported facility
- Facilities under any other NAICS code:
- Hazardous Substance (as defined in 40 CFR Part 370): $15.00/ substance
- Extremely Hazardous Substance (as defined in 40 CFR Part 355): $30.00/ substances
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Oklahoma, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1 annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In addition to the main annual Tier II chemical inventory report, facilities in Oklahoma may have some supplemental reporting requirements:
- 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. Submitting an updated .t2s file through CEOS satisfies this notification requirement.
- 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. Submitting an updated .t2s file through CEOS satisfies this notification requirement.
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 Oklahoma, Tier II reports must be generated with Tier2Submit Software and submitted through the DEQ Online Filing System. The state will then send the Tier II reports to LEPCs and fire departments, so no additional submissions are necessary.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Print and keep a copy of of the Tier II report 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 consult the EPA list of lists to double check if chemicals stored at your facility are an extremely hazardous substances (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 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.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Oklahoma
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential legal and financial consequences for failure to accurately submit a Tier II report in Oklahoma:
- Civil Penalties – Oklahoma can assess civil penalties up to $5,000 per violation per day for failure to comply with Tier II reporting requirements. Penalties consider factors like severity and good faith efforts to comply.
- Criminal Penalties – Knowingly violating Tier II regulations or making false statements can result in fines up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years. Criminal charges are more likely for egregious, willful violations.
- Citizen Lawsuits – Citizens can file civil suits against facilities for failure to submit Tier II reports. Successful citizen suit plaintiffs can recover legal costs.
- Increased Insurance Rates – Insurers may raise rates on facilities without proper Tier II reporting due to increased assessed environmental liability risk.
- Permit/License Restrictions – Violations may impact the ability to obtain or renew certain business permits and operating licenses.
- Future Scrutiny – Lack of reporting can trigger additional inspections or oversight from agencies like OSHA or state environmental regulators.
- Legal Expenses – Facilities may have to pay court costs and attorney fees if the state pursues legal action over Tier II non-compliance.
- Reputational Damage – Failure to comply with right-to-know laws can harm public image and trust.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some examples of inaccurate Tier II reporting in Oklahoma
- In 2019, over 1,900 facilities in Oklahoma failed to submit required Tier II reports altogether. This suggests potential widespread issues with non-compliance in the state that may include inaccurate reporting when reports are submitted.
- The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued press releases announcing fines and settlements with companies for violations of state and federal environmental regulations, including failure to properly report hazardous materials. However, details on the nature of the reporting violations are not always provided