2008 Amendments to Sections 302 – 312

On October 17, 2008, EPA finalized several changes to the SARA Title III regulations (40 CFR Parts 355 and 370). These changes were proposed on June 8, 1998 (63 FR 31268), and took effect ten years later on December 3, 2008 (73 FR 65452).

All sections of 40 CFR Parts 355 and 370 are in plain language, using a question and answer format. There are only minor changes to the emergency planning and emergency release notification sections. For hazardous chemical reporting regulations, there are changes regarding the Tier I and Tier II forms, as well as changes in how to report hazardous chemicals in a mixture.

  • The Tier I and Tier II forms and their instructions have been removed from the code of federal regulations (CFR). They may now be found on EPA’s Emergency Management web site. The revised regulation includes a description of the requirements for Tier I and Tier II.
  • Facilities are now required to report their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code on the Tier I or Tier II form.
  • The chemical or common name of the chemical as provided on the Material Safety Data Sheet must be provided on the Tier II form.
  • When determining whether the threshold quantity of an extremely hazardous substance (EHS) has been met, facilities must include the total quantity of that EHS present in the pure form as well as in any mixture, even if any mixture including the EHS is also being reported as a hazardous chemical.
  • For hazardous chemicals that are mixtures and do not contain any extremely hazardous substance, facilities have an option when determining whether the threshold quantity is present:

(1) add together the quantity present in its pure form and as a component in all mixtures (even

if the mixture is also being reported as a hazardous chemical), or (2) consider the total quantity of each mixture separately.

(2) consider the total quantity of each mixture separately.

2010 Interpretations of Sections 304, 311, and 312

On July 13, 2010, EPA published in the Federal Register (75 FR 39852) guidance on reporting options for sections 311 and 312, and interpretations. The emergency release notification in 40 CFR 55.40 states that a written follow-up report must be provided by the facility “as soon as practicable” after a release. EPA has decided that 30 days should be sufficient to submit the written follow-up notice of the emergency release to the SERC and LEPC.

Under SARA Title III section 311(e)(2), “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” is exempt from the definition of hazardous chemical and therefore need not be reported under sections 311 and 312.

Under EPA’s new interpretation, facilities will only have to include and count the amount of fume or dust emitted or released from a manufactured solid that is being modified to determine if the SARA Title III sections 311 and 312 reporting thresholds have been reached. This interpretation applies to metal, bricks, and any other manufactured solid item that undergoes a modification process. It does not apply to lead in batteries.

This guidance also included an option for states to use the section 312 reporting to fulfill the reporting requirements under section 311.

2012 Revisions to the Tier II Report Form

On July 13, 2012, EPA published the final rule in the Federal Register (77 FR 41300) that revises the Tier II hazardous chemical inventory report form by adding mandatory and optional data elements to the facility identification and contact information section. It also revises some existing data elements in the chemical reporting section. This rule takes effect on January 1, 2014.

The new and revised report elements include the following:

  • Indication if facility is manned or unmanned
  • Estimate of the maximum number of occupants at one time
  • Indication if the facility is subject to the chemical accident prevention requirements under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), also known as the Risk Management Program
  • Facility identification numbers assigned under the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) and the Risk Management Program if subject
  • Indication if the facility is subject to the emergency planning notification requirement under section 302
  • Parent company details (different from owner/operator details) are new optional data elements
  • Emails for facility owner or operator, and emergency contact
  • Name, title, phone number, 24-hour phone number, and email of the facility emergency coordinator if subject to section 302
  • Name, title, phone number, email of person to contact regarding information in the Tier II report
  • Replace storage codes with actual language (i.e. above ground tank, above ambient pressure, cryogenic)
  • Change inventory range codes to cover a smaller range
    • Old highest range code is 11 ≥ 1 billion
    • New highest range code is 13 ≥ 10 million

2012 Revision to Section 302

On March 22, 2012, EPA published the final rule in the Federal Register (77 FR 16679) that revises the manner for applying the threshold planning quantities (TPQs) for those extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) that are non-reactive solid chemicals in solution. The revision allows facilities that have a non-reactive solid EHS in solution to first multiply the amount of the solid chemical in solution on site by 0.2 before determining if this quantity equals or exceeds the lower published TPQ. This rule became effective on April 23, 2012.