Tennessee Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Tennessee 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 Tennessee’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Tennessee 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 above-ground and underground storage tanks need to report based on:
- 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 Tennessee 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 Tenessee 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 in Tennessee that may need to submit a Tier II report based on the inventory of hazardous chemicals:
- Chemical plants – acetone, methanol, toluene, chlorine, anhydrous ammonia
- Plastics manufacturers – vinyl chloride, polystyrene, polyethylene, acrylics
- Metal foundries and fabricators – acids, molten metals, metalworking fluids
- Automotive plants – paints, degreasing solvents, oils, antifreeze
- Gas stations – gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid propane (LPG)
- Hardware stores – paints, pesticides, pool chemicals
- Hospitals – waste anesthetic gases, sterilants, lab chemicals
- Water treatment facilities – chlorine, fluoride, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide
- Farms – liquid fertilizers, diesel fuel, pesticides
- Food processors – ammonia, cleaning chemicals
- Electronics manufacturers – acids, solvents, dopants
- Printing companies – inks, photographic chemicals, solvents
- Wastewater plants – chlorine, caustic soda, ferric chloride
- Universities – lab chemicals, refrigerants, cleaning agents
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Tennessee’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (E-Plan)
Overview of E-Plan
E-Plan is an online system for submitting Tier II reports electronically. Facilities can register on the E-Plan website and upload their Tier II reports each year. E-Plan provides a central database for Tier II information from over 200,000 facilities across the US. It contains data on chemical storage and hazards at each facility. First responders and government agencies can also register on E-Plan to access the Tier II data for facilities in their jurisdiction. This helps with emergency planning and preparedness.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Tennessee
Here are the key steps for using E-Plan’s Online Tier II Reporting System:
- Create a new account or sign in with your existing credentials.
- Add facilities under the Facilities module by entering the facility name, address, coordinates, submitter info, etc.
- Add contacts under the Contacts module by entering names, addresses, emails, phone numbers for owners, emergency contacts, etc.
- Add chemical inventory under the Chemicals module by entering chemical properties, storage info, mixtures, etc.
- E-Plan will generate an invoice based on the facility location – most facilities will pay $10 per statewide employee. Tennessee has a $25 minimum fee for any facility.
- Review and submit your Tier II reports.
- In Tennessee, the facility is required to distribute the report to the LEPC and fire department.
- More information on Tier II reporting requirements in Tennessee can be found here
- The decision to allow the use of this web-based application for compliance purposes applies only to satisfying notification of the SERC. County LEPCs and fire departments will need to decide if electronic submission is a process that they are willing to accept for compliance with Section 312. A list of LEPCs and fire departments for Tennessee can be found here.
- E-Plan requires facilities to pay a $25 filing fee for the submission of Tier II reports.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Tennessee, 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 Tennessee, 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
In Tennessee, you must check to see if your LEPCs and local fire department accept electronic Tier II submissions via E-Plan or if you need to mail the report to your LEPC and local fire department.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
A PDF file provides an easy way to save an electronic copy of your Tier II report from E-Plan and should be used to keep accurate 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 March 1 deadline.
- Ensure all hazardous chemicals above reporting thresholds are included.
- Completely omitting chemicals or the full report leads to the highest fines.
- Follow EPCRA closely to avoid violations and protect your business finances.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Tennessee
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Here are some potential fines and legal consequences for failing to accurately submit a Tier II report in Tennessee:
- Civil penalties – Tennessee can assess fines up to $25,000 per violation per day for failure to comply with Tier II reporting requirements. Willful and repeat violations incur higher fines.
- Criminal penalties – Knowingly violating Tier II regulations can result in fines up to $50,000 and up to 2 years imprisonment per violation per day.
- Citizen lawsuits – Citizens can sue facilities for failure to submit or inaccurate submission of Tier II reports. Plaintiffs can recover attorney’s fees.
- Permit sanctions – The state can revoke or refuse to issue environmental permits to facilities with Tier II violations.
- Company debarment – Egregious Tier II violations may result in the state barring a company from state contracting for up to 3 years.
- Federal penalties – EPA can take direct enforcement action against violators, assessing substantial civil fines.
- Adverse publicity – Noncompliance with right-to-know laws can negatively impact a company’s public reputation.
- Legal expenses – Facilities may need to pay legal costs associated with settlements or court cases related to Tier II noncompliance.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some examples of inaccurate Tier II reporting in Tennessee:
- In 2019, over 500 facilities in Tennessee failed to submit required Tier II reports altogether. This suggests potential widespread issues with non-compliance that may include inaccurate reporting.
- The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has periodically issued warnings and reminded facilities of their obligations to comply with EPCRA Tier II reporting requirements. However, details of enforcement actions are not readily disclosed publicly.