SARA Title III, Section 312 Facts

Relevant Legislation 

Federal SARA Title III, Section 312 and Pennsylvania Act 165, Section 207(c).

Who must submit Tier II Reports? 

If your facility is covered by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard you may be required to report.

If your facility is not covered by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, there is no reporting required BUT, in the interest of emergency preparedness, your facility should consider reporting any chemicals meeting the reporting threshold requirements. Your facility would be exempt from paying the fee.

What are the reporting thresholds? 

Minimum thresholds have been established for Tier II reporting under Title III, Section 312. These thresholds are:

  • For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) designated under section 302 of Title III, the reporting threshold is 500 pounds (or 227 kg.) or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.
  • For all other hazardous chemicals for which facilities are required to have or prepare an MSDS, the minimum reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds (or 4,540 kg.).
  • Reporting facilities must report hazardous chemicals that were present at their facility at any time during the previous calendar year at levels that equal or exceed these thresholds.

What is the Pennsylvania Five Day Initial Chemical Reporting Rule?

 Facilities are required to report the presence of a new hazardous material within 5 business days after the hazardous material is first present at the facility. Accordingly, facilities must submit a Tier II reporting form, MSDS and an updated site plan to the Bureau of PENNSAFE, as well as to their LEPC and local fire department, if they bring onsite any new hazardous material meeting the established threshold requirements that had not been reported during the previous calendar year. Hazardous materials reported under this requirement must be reported again at the time of the annual filing with the fee payment required on or before March 1.

What are the Reporting Exemptions?

 Section 311 (e) of Title III excludes the following substances:

  • FDA Regulated Products: Any food, food additive, color additive, drug, or cosmetic regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  •  Articles: Any substance present as a solid in any manufactured item to the extent exposure to the substance does not occur under normal conditions of use. 
  • Household Packaged Products: Any substance to the extent it is used for personal, family, or household purposes, or is present in the same form and concentration as a product packaged for distribution and use by the general public. 
  • Substances used in Research and Development Labs, Hospitals or other Medical Facilities: Any substance to the extent it is used in a research laboratory or a hospital or other medical facility under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual. 
  • Any substance to the extent it is used in routine agricultural operations or is a fertilizer held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate customer. 
  • Gasoline and diesel fuel Stored entirely underground at retail gas stations that comply with requirements for underground storage tanks (USTS). The thresholds for these products are as follows:
    •  Gasoline - 75,000 gallons.
    • Diesel fuel - 100,000 gallons.

OSHA regulations, Section 1910.1200(b), stipulate exemptions from the requirement to prepare or have available an MSDS.

What is the Pennsylvania Hazardous Chemical Fee Exemption? 

  • Is your facility required to file a Tier II Report?
  •  Is your facility a family farm, service station, state, federal or local government agency, publicly owned waste water treatment plant or a sewer treatment plant and thus exempted by state law?

If yes, there is no fee required BUT the Tier II Form must be submitted.

If not, a $10 fee is required to the Commonwealth for each chemical reported on the Tier II form. You must file the form and pay the fee by March 1st annually.

Federal agencies were directed by Executive Order No. 12856 signed by President Clinton on August 3, 1993, to comply with all provisions of EPCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA).