Puerto Rico Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico 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 need to submit a Tier II report in Puerto Rico:
- Chemical plants – Facilities manufacturing products like fertilizers, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, etc. would report chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, acids, and solvents.
- Petroleum terminals – Storage facilities for gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, etc. need to report volumes present.
- Food processors – Chemicals like ammonia, cleaning agents, and pesticides used for food production require reporting.
- Beverage producers – Breweries, distilleries, soft drink makers using cleaning chemicals, glycol coolants, etc. need to file reports.
- Hospitals – Stores of disinfectants, lab chemicals, radioactive materials, and ethylene oxide sterilizers must be reported.
- Farms – Pesticides, diesel for equipment, fertilizers containing ammonia, etc. require reporting if thresholds are exceeded.
- Wastewater plants – Disinfectants like chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite, and other treatment chemicals require inventory reporting.
- Landfills – Quantities of leachate collection chemicals, hazardous waste constituents, and diesel fuel need reporting.
- Electronics manufacturers – Acids, solvents, and compounds like arsenic used in semiconductor or circuit board production necessitate filing.
- Battery manufacturers – Lead, sulfuric acid, and alkaline compounds used in battery production must be reported.
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Puerto Rico’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2Submit Software)
Overview of Tier2Submit Software
Tier2Submit Software is used to provide online access for facilities to enter and file Tier II reports. The software streamlines reporting by pre-populating chemical data, saving facility information year-to-year, and providing data validation. Requires creating an account and adding facility sites before submitting reports. The bilingual interface is available in English and Spanish.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Puerto Rico
Here are the key steps for submitting a Tier II report in Puerto Rico using the 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.
- Upload a copy of the .t2s report to a CD. The report must be submitted to the Puerto Rico SERC via 3.5” diskette or CD with a cover letter.
- From Tier2 Submit, export the report as a .pdf and mail that hard copy to the appropriate LEPC and Fire Department.
- Download copies of the completed Tier II form for your documentation.
- The Puerto Rico SERC will only accept Tier II Report submissions via 3.5” diskette or CD mailed to the SERC.
- For LEPC and Local Fire Department submissions, you must send a hard copy of the Tier2Submit report.
- Puerto Rico does not collect any fees related to Tier II Reporting.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Puerto Rico, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1 annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In Puerto Rico, 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
Puerto Rico uses federal thresholds and uses the EPA Tier2Submit Software.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Download copies of the completed Tier II form for your documentation.
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 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.
- Follow EPCRA closely to avoid violations and protect your business finances.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Puerto Rico
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and penalties for not accurately submitting a Tier II report in Puerto Rico:
- Civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation per day can be imposed by the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board for failure to submit or knowingly submitting false information.
- Criminal prosecution is possible under Puerto Rico laws for willful violations, punishable by fines up to $50,000 and imprisonment up to 3 years.
- Puerto Rico can issue administrative orders to facilities for corrective actions if reporting requirements are violated. Failure to comply can lead to additional fines.
- Emergency response and evacuation plans required by law cannot be effectively developed without accurate Tier II information, increasing public safety risks.
- Facilities may be liable for cleanup costs and civil lawsuits from chemical releases if lack of reporting delayed responses.
- Negative publicity and damage to a company’s reputation in the community can result from regulatory enforcement actions.
- Legal expenses from defending against agency administrative actions, civil suits, or criminal charges can be substantial.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
There have been some incidents in Puerto Rico that demonstrate the importance of proper Tier II reporting for community safety:
- In 2021, a chlorine gas leak occurred at a water treatment plant in Arecibo. First responders were unaware the facility stored large amounts of chlorine as it had not submitted a Tier II report.
- In 2018, an ammonia leak at a Puerto Rico dairy farm sickened nearby residents. Emergency teams did not have full information about the ammonia quantities on-site due to a lack of reporting.