Vermont Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Vermont 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. Vermont has state-specific reporting thresholds for certain chemicals and substances.
Understanding Vermont’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Vermont that has hazardous substances equal to or greater than the established threshold amounts (listed below) must report.
- For EHSs, the threshold is 100 pounds or the TPQ (whichever is lower).
- For all other hazardous substances, the threshold is 100 pounds.
- For all petroleum products and fuels, the threshold is ≥10,000 lbs
- Carcinogens must be reported at any amount
- Explosives must be reported at any amount
- Research laboratories have slightly different thresholds.
- “Petroleum Products and Fuels” must be reported as a total mixture. Petroleum is defined as Gasoline, Kerosene, #2 Fuel Oil; Diesel Fuel; Kerosene Based Jet Fuel; #4, #5, and #6 Residual Oil for utility or non-utility use; Propane; Compressed Natural Gas.
- More information on Tier II reporting in Vermont can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Here are some examples of facilities and chemicals that would require submitting a Tier II report in Vermont:
- Manufacturing facilities: Common chemicals include acids, solvents, adhesives, paints, cleaners, fuels, oils, etc. Examples may include semiconductor plants, metal plating companies, and chemical producers.
- Energy facilities: May have crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuels, propane, etc. This includes power plants, pipelines, and storage facilities.
- Farms: May store fertilizers like ammonia, pesticides, and diesel fuels for equipment. Larger dairy farms have extensive ammonia refrigeration systems.
- Wastewater treatment plants: Use chlorine, sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, ammonia.
- Commercial buildings: Maintenance, cleaning, and pool chemicals like acids, pesticides, chlorine, and ammonia products.
- Retail stores: May have solvents, oils, cleaners, and pesticides in stock. Gas stations also have underground fuel storage tanks.
- Transportation: Chemicals may include fuel oils, coolants, deicers, lubricants, paints, and more. Applies to freight yards, airports, ports, and highway agencies.
- Hospitals: Various disinfectants, sterilization chemicals, lab chemicals, pharmaceuticals, waste anesthetic gases.
- Here is a detailed list of typical chemicals that need to be reported and the reporting threshold.
Vermont’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2Submit Software)
Overview of Tier2Submit Software
Tier2Submit is software developed by the federal government. Facilities required to submit Tier II reports must use the Tier2Submit software to file reports electronically and then submit it via the Vermont 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 Vermont
Here are the key steps for facilities in Vermont to submit their annual Tier II reports using the Tier2Submit online 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
- Go here and login (or create a new account). Once logged in, enter the requested facility information, and upload the .t2s file you exported.
- Once the report has been submitted to the Vermont SERC via the Online Filing System, send the report to the LEPC and FD.
- In Vermont, an invoice will be sent to you a few days after the report is submitted. Once the invoice is received, follow the instructions to pay your outstanding fees.
- The Tier II report must be in a .t2s file format in order for it to be submitted
- A copy of the Tier II report must be sent to the Emergency Response Commission (SERC) – TIER II Submit Portal here
- Vermont is the only state to consolidate all of their LEPCs into a single entity. Facilities from across the state can fulfill their LEPC reporting requirement by sending their .t2s file to the ‘Statewide LEPC’ at [email protected]. A copy of the report must still be submitted to the Fire Department.
- The fees are dependent on the number of EHS chemicals and total pounds of chemicals you are reporting. The fee schedule is as follows:
- QTY Reported (Pounds) – Fee
- 100-999 lbs – $40
- 1,000-9,999 lbs – $60
- 10,000-99,999 lbs – $100
- 100,000-999,999 lbs – $290
- 1,000,000 lbs or greater $880
- Any Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) is $250 additional for any reportable quantity.
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Vermont, 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 Vermont, 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 Vermont, there are very specific reporting thresholds for chemicals and substances that must be followed in order to remain compliant with the EPCRA in Vermont.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
Maintain a .t2s file or a pdf file of the Tier II report for your records. Additionally, keep copies showing proof of submittal to the Vermont state portal, as well as proofs of mailings to the LEPC and Fire Department.
Common Mistakes in Tier II Reporting and How to Avoid Them
Incorrectly Estimating Quantity of Reportable Substances
Because of the specific reporting thresholds in Vermont, it is important to look over your chemicals and extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) carefully to ensure you are meeting reporting requirements. 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 Vermont’s specific state thresholds for all chemicals.
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 and the Vermont Emergency Management Department closely to avoid violations and protect your business finances.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Vermont
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Failure to properly submit a Tier II report in Vermont can result in significant fines and legal consequences. Here are some potential penalties:
- Failure to submit a Tier II report or knowingly providing false information can result in significant civil or criminal penalties, including fines and/or jail time.
- Injunctions – The state can obtain court orders to force facilities to submit compliant reports.
- Increased site inspections – Facilities may see more frequent inspections if found non-compliant. Regulators may also obtain administrative inspection warrants.
- Permit actions – Violations can impact hazardous waste permits, result in operating restrictions, or even suspension of permits.
- Enforcement orders – Failure to comply can result in unilateral orders to adhere to within a certain timeframe or take specified actions.
- Reporting publication – Vermont publishes a list of non-compliant facilities which creates public pressure.
- Lawsuits – Citizens or governments can file lawsuits over failure to disclose hazardous chemical risks as required.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The failure to file Tier II reports in Vermont can significantly impact community safety and emergency preparedness. Here are some examples of potential consequences:
- In 2018, a propane facility in Burlington failed to file a Tier II report on large propane storage tanks onsite. Local firefighters responding to a fire at the site were unaware of the propane hazard which hindered emergency response.
- Volunteer firefighters in small Vermont towns have expressed concerns about responding to facilities that have failed to disclose chemicals onsite through Tier II reports. This severely hampers emergency planning and training.