Virginia Tier II Reporting
Tier Ⅱ reporting in Virginia 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 Virginia’s Tier II Reporting Requirements
Who Needs to Report?
Any facility in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 on Tier II reporting in Virginia can be found here.
Types of Facilities Subject to Tier II Reporting
Below are some examples of facilities in Virginia and the chemicals used that would most likely need to submit a Tier Ⅱ form:
- Oil and gas facilities: crude oil, diesel fuel, lubricating oils, solvents like benzene
- Wood Preservation – Treating lumber and plywood with preservatives and pesticides.
- Food Processing – Use of ammonia, cleaning chemicals, and pesticides
- Wastewater Treatment – Chlorine, sulfur dioxide, and ammonia compounds used for disinfection and processing
- Electronics Manufacturing – Solvents, acids, metal etchants used to produce computer chips and other electronics
- Defense Contracting – Chemicals used for rocket propellants, explosives, protective coatings
- Auto repair shops: paints, thinners, solvents, oil
- Hospitals: ethanol, formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, diesel fuel
Facilities in these industries would likely need to report common chemicals stored over Tier II thresholds like acids, flammable liquids, fuels, chlorine, and ammonia.
Virginia’s Electronic Tier II Reporting System (Tier2Submit Software)
Overview of Tier2Submit Software
Virginia encourages electronic Tier II submissions to VDEQ using Tier2Submit Software. Tier2Submit allows users to build chemical inventories, map locations, and generate reports.
How to Submit a Tier II Report in Virginia
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
- Submit the Tier II report
- Export your Tier II report(s) in Tier2Submit as a .t2s file and send this file to [email protected] along with a signed copy of your certification letter. The template for the certification letter can be found on Virginia’s Community-Right-to-Know website. Virginia does not require payment for Tier II submissions.
- Facilities can also submit a .pdf copy by sending the .pdf file of their Tier II report, along with a signed certification letter to [email protected]
- Facilities can also submit their Tier II report as a hard copy with a signed certification letter to the following address:
ATTN: SARA Title III Program
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
ATTN: SARA Title III Program
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
1111 E. Main St, Suite 1400
Richmond, VA 23219
Deadlines and Timelines for Tier II Reporting
Annual Reporting Deadline
In Virginia, facilities must submit their Tier II reports on hazardous chemicals present during the previous calendar year by March 1 annually.
Additional Reporting Requirements
In Virginia, 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 be able to access a .t2s file. 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. A list of LEPCs and their contact information can be found at LEPCs and contact information. Several LEPCs in Virginia such as Henrico County LEPC, require submission through their own reporting portal.
Keep Copies of All Submitted Reports
As previously mentioned, Tier2Submit allows users to export their reports using various methods (.t2s file and pdf file). 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 (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.
- Keep up to date with your LEPCs and their requirements to ensure first responders have the information they need and you’re fully compliant
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tier II Reporting in Virginia
Potential Fines and Legal Consequences
Failure to comply with Tier II reporting requirements in Virginia can result in significant fines and legal consequences imposed by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ):
- Civil Penalties: Virginia civil penalties are up to $25,000 per violation per day, mirroring the federal limit.
- Criminal Penalties: Criminal penalties for EPCRA violations in Virginia can result in fines of up to $50,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment.
- Injunctions – DEQ may obtain court orders to compel facilities to submit delinquent Tier II reports and prohibit further chemical handling.
- Permit Actions – DEQ may revoke or put holds on environmental permits a facility needs to operate until Tier II reporting is completed.
- Company Officers – Corporate officers and managers can face personal liability for failure to report hazardous chemical inventories.
- Public Relations – DEQ may issue press releases identifying facilities with delinquent reporting, resulting in bad public relations.
- Lawsuits – Non-compliance can increase exposure to lawsuits if chemical releases occur and reporting is deficient.
Impact on Community Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Here are some examples of how proper Tier II reporting could have helped prevent environmental or chemical disasters in Virginia:
- Shenandoah Apple Plant Explosion (2007) – A chemical explosion killed 1 worker and injured dozens. Better reporting on ozone storage quantities may have improved safety.
- Recora Composites Fire (2022) – A lack of current Tier II filings prevented firefighters from knowing about combustible resin stores on-site, worsening this facility blaze in Henry County.