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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

What is the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act?


Attention Maryland Tier II Facilities

The Maryland Online Tier Two Reporting System (MOTTRS) has been upgraded.  The upgraded application is available for use starting October 6, 2014.  Registered users should be able to login using existing account information.

 

*All Tier Two Reports must be submitted online.*

Owners and operators of Tier Two facilities in Maryland must use the Maryland Online Tier Two Reporting System (MOTTRS).  Use of any other reporting format will not fulfill the reporting obligation to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC).

Submission of a certified Tier Two Report to MDE using MOTTRS fulfills the reporting obligation to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC).  There is no need to mail a signed paper copy of the completed report to MDE.  The online submission also fulfills the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) reporting obligation if the facility is located in one of the following jurisdictions:

 Allegany County  Frederick County
 Anne Arundel County  Harford County
 Baltimore City  Howard County
 Baltimore County  Montgomery County
 Carroll County  Queen Anne’s County

Note:  A signed paper Tier Two Report must be submitted to the LEPC for any jurisdiction not listed above.  Please contact your LEPC for instructions regarding Tier Two submissions to the local fire department.

For more information click here.

If you have any questions, contact Patricia Williams by phone at 410-537-3800 or by email at Patricia.Williams1@maryland.gov.

Quick References

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) is Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) and is often referred to as SARA Title III. EPCRA was the United States congressional response to serious chemical incidents that occurred in Bhopal, India and Institute, West Virginia in the two years prior to its enactment. The incident in Bhopal resulted in 2,000 immediate fatalities. While the accident in West Virginia caused no fatalities, the circumstances were similar and aroused concern.

EPCRA was designed to provide all levels of government and the public with information required to plan for a chemical incident. The law was meant as a starting point for an on going dialogue between community representatives, emergency response personnel, and industry. EPCRA requires each state to establish a state emergency response commission (SERC), to designate local emergency planning districts, and to appoint a local emergency planning committee (LEPC) for each district. Industries are required to provide the government with information about their activities with hazardous and toxic chemicals. The SERC and the LEPCs use the information in their emergency planning activities and make it available to the public.  In Maryland, MDE serves as the repository for all notifications, reports, and inventories that must be submitted to the SERC.  The Maryland SERC designated the 23 counties, Baltimore City and Ocean City as planning districts.  An LEPC has been established for each district.  Click here for a list of LEPC and SERC Chairpersons, their addresses and phone numbers. 

 

What are the EPCRA Reporting Requirements?

Section 302 -- Emergency Planning Notification

The owner or operator of any facility with a quantity of a listed Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) that meets or exceeds the threshold planning quantity (TPQ) for that substance must notify the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the appropriate Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The purpose of this notification is to alert the local response organization that the facility has an EHS present and must be included in the emergency response plans for the jurisdiction covered by the LEPC.

The notification includes the designation of a Facility Emergency Coordinator. The individual so named is that person who will work with the LEPC to develop appropriate response plans for that facility. The initial emergency planning notification must be made within sixty (60) days of date on which an EHS was first present in a quantity at or above the TPQ for that EHS. If there is a change in reporting status (i.e. facility closing or name change, new facility coordinator, change in contact numbers, removal of EHS from facility, addition of new EHS to the facility) the facility has thirty (30) days to notify the LEPC and the SERC of this change.

Common EHS and their TPQs: 

 

EHS Name

Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ)

Ammonia

500 pounds

Chlorine

100 pounds

Sulfuric Acid

1,000 pounds

Sulfur Dioxide

500 pounds


A TPQ is met when the quantity of the EHS present at the facility meets or exceeds the quantity established for that substance in a 24-hour period. A complete EHS list along with the TPQs can be found in the Title III Consolidated List of Lists (leaving MDE).

In Maryland, all Emergency Planning Notifications for the SERC should be sent to Maryland Department of the Environment. The LEPC emergency planning notification should be sent to the appropriate LEPC.  The 23 counties, Baltimore City, and Ocean City are the planning districts in Maryland.  There is an LEPC for each district. Click here for the list of Maryland LEPCs.  For facilities subject to the Section 311 and 312 reporting requirements (see below), the Emergency Planning Notification can be made using the Maryland Online Tier Two Reporting System (MOTTRS).   

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Section 304 - Emergency Release Notification

The owner or operator of any facility that releases more than established reportable quantity (RQ) of an EPCRA Section 302 EHS or a CERCLA hazardous substance must immediately notify the LEPC, the SERC, and the National Response Center (NRC).   A written follow-up notification must be sent as soon after the release as practical.

In Maryland, to notify the:

    •       LEPC     call 911
    •       SERC    call 866-633-4684
    •       NRC      call 800-424-8802 

 

Some common EHSs and their RQs:

EHS Name

Reportable Quantity (RQ)

Ammonia

100 pounds

Chlorine

10 pounds

Sulfuric Acid

1,000 pounds

Sulfur Dioxide

500 pounds

 

There are slightly different requirements if the facility is a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).  Click here for more information the EPCRA reporting requirements for a CAFO.

 

 

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Section 311 and 312 -- Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting

The hazardous chemical storage reporting requirements of EPCRA apply to the owner or operator of any facility required by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard to maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for hazardous chemicals present in the workplace.  When the quantity onsite meets or exceeds established thresholds, the owner or operator must provide an MSDS or list of MSDSs (Section 311) and an annual inventory report (Section 312) for each such chemical.  For any hazardous substance, the reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds.  For an EPCRA Section 302 EHS the reporting threshold is 500 pounds or the EPA established TPQ for that chemical, whichever is lower. 

The Section 311 chemical list must be submitted within 60 days of the first date that the threshold for the hazardous chemical or EHS is exceeded.  It is a one-time submission unless there is a change at the facility.  The Section 312 inventory is due March 1st each year and covers the materials at the facility during the preceding calendar year.  It is an annual submission.  

The owner or operator of a facility covered by Sections 311 and 312 must submit the original documents to three separate agencies: the SERC, the LEPC, and the local fire department.

Maryland requires the electronic submission of all Tier Two Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports.  Submission must be made using the Maryland Online Tier Two Reporting System (MOTTRS).  Use of other electronic reporting systems, including Tier2 Submit, will not fulfill the reporting requirement.  Click here for more information about MOTTRS

If a facility is located in one of the counties listed above, online submission of a Tier Two via MOTTRS will fulfill the reporting obligation to the LEPC. However the LEPC should be contacted regarding submission to the local fire department. Facilities located in all other jurisdictions must submit an original signed Tier Two Report to both the appropriate LEPC and local fire department.

 

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Section 313 --  Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting  

The owners or operators of certain industrial facilities are required to report annually on releases, transfers, and onsite treatment of certain toxic chemicals.  These reports -- either Form R or Form A -- are submitted to  EPA and the State.  Reporting forms are due each July 1st and cover the activities at the facility during the preceding calendar year.

A facility must meet three criteria to be covered by the toxics release inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.  The criteria are:

    • Have 10 or more full-time employees
    • Be in a covered Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
    • Meet or exceed a use based threshold for a listed toxic substance

 

If the facility does not meet all three criteria, then no report is required.  Click here for information about TRI reporting requirements (leaving MDE).

 Covered Industries

Most TRI facilities are in the manufacturing sector, however there are several non-manufacturing sectors covered by this reporting program.  The covered industries are:

 

    • Manufacturing (SIC codes 20 through 39)
    • Metal mining (SIC code 10, except SIC codes 1011, 1081, and 1094)
    • Coal mining (SIC code 12, except for 1241 and extraction activities)
    • Electrical utilities that combust coal and/or oil (SIC codes 4911, 4931, and 4939)
    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilites (SIC code 4935)
    • Chemicals and allied products wholesale distributors (SIC code 5169)
    • Petroleum bulk plants and terminals (SIC code 5171)
    • Solvent recovery services (SIC code 7389)

 

  Covered Chemicals

The TRI chemical list consists of individually listed chemicals and chemical categories.  Currently there are 593 individually listed chemicals on the TRI chemical list.  There are 30 chemical categories (including the categories containing 62 specifically listed chemicals).  Click here for information about the TRI chemical list (leaving MDE).

  Thresholds 

If a facility meets or exceeds a use based threshold for one of the listed toxic chemicals during a calendar year a Toxic Release Inventory report must be submitted to the EPA and MDE.  There are three primary use based thresholds for most listed chemicals:

    • Manufacture - 25,000 pounds
    • Process   - 25,000 pounds
    • Otherwise Use - 10,000 pounds

There is a subset of listed chemicals known as persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances (PBT).  These chemicals have substantially lower reporting thresholds -- 10 - pounds, 100 pounds, and for Dioxin and Dioxin-like compounds 0.1 grams.  Click here to see a list of PBT chemicals and their associated thresholds (leaving MDE).

  Submitting your TRI Reports

Covered facilities must submit their completed reports to the EPA and MDE by July 1st each year.  To access the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions click here.  TRI submissions to the EPA must be made online using the TRI-MEweb software.  MDE participates in the EPA's TRI Data Exchange (TDX) which allows the simultaneous submission of TRI reports to EPA and MDE.  Once the TRI-MEweb submission is made there is no need to send paper or electronic reports to MDE.

 

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Public Access to EPRCA information 

The notifications, reports, and inventories submitted to various public agencies are public records but can be subject to some restrictions.

Section 302  - Emergency Planning Notifications - Notifications are sent to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).  Information requests can be made to the SERC or the LEPC. This notification does not require the identification of the extremely hazardous substance (EHS) present at the facility in excess of the threshold planning quantity (TPQ).

Section 304 -  Emergency Release Notifications - Notifications are made by the faciilty to the LEPC, the SERC and the National Response Center (NRC).  Requests for initial telephone notification and the written follow-up report can be made to the SERC or the LEPC.

Section 311 and 312 - Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) List and Chemical Inventory Reports - The MSDS lists and the chemical inventory reports are submitted to the SERC, the LEPC, and the local fire department.  The law requires that requests for EPCRA information be in writing and in reference to a specific facility.  

These reports cannot be searched by map coordinates, watersheds, or tax map notations at this time. In certain cases EPCRA files can be searched by zip code. However, this type of search requires generation of a computer report. This is a special service and is not covered under EPCRA or the Public Information Act (PIA).

MDE does not allow photocoping or electronic access to this information.  Individuals can review these documents by making an appointment in advance with the Community Right-to-Know Section at MDE headquarters in Baltimore. If you need help preparing your written request, please contact the Community Right-To-Know Section at 410-537-3800.

For the citizens outside the Baltimore Metropolitan area it might be more convenient to request Section 311 and 312 information from the LEPC.  Click here for a list of Maryland LEPCs.

Section 313 - Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting -  The TRI reports are submitted to EPA and MDE.  Individuals can request access to any TRI report submitted to MDE.  The reports can be reviewed by appointment or photocopies will be provided upon request.  Please note: any photocopies will be subject to a per page photocopy charge.  The EPA's TRI program has a number of tools that can be used to access and analyze TRI data online.  These tools make access and interpretation of the TRI data easy.  For information about the TRI data tools available from EPA click here (leaving MDE).

How do I make a request for EPCRA information

Requests for EPCRA information should be sent to:

Patricia S. Williams
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore MD 21230
Phone: (410) 537-3800
Fax: (410) 537-3873
E-mail address: Patricia.Williams1@maryland.gov

Information covered under EPCRA is only the information in existence at the time of the request. Requests to write, generate, or create reports and lists are not covered under EPCRA or PIA. Such requests are considered a special service request. Complying with requests for special services is at the discretion of the Department. Neither the PIA nor its fee structure cover these services. The Department will typically provide services only after agreement has been obtained in writing from the requester to pay for the special service.

EPCRA is covered by the same fee structure as the PIA.  For information on PIA click here.

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