Chemical Safety and Reporting
North Carolina Emergency Management works with local governments, industry, and residents to mitigate and manage hazardous materials incidents following guidelines outlined in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Air Act. These laws require companies to report certain threshold quantities of chemicals for use by first responders, residents, the state, and local government. The collaboration created through these reports opens channels for communities to be informed and better prepare for chemical hazards.
EPCRA empowers citizens with information about the hazardous substances being stored and produced in their communities. Citizens can make targeted requests for information about substances near where they live and work by emailing Julia Jarema, Public Information Officer with North Carolina Emergency Management, at Julia.Jarema@ncdps.gov. For security reasons, blanket requests for information cannot be fulfilled. Click here for additional guidance for public information requests.
State Emergency Response Commission
The North Carolina State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) was established by EPCRA to oversee elements of emergency planning, mitigation, response, and recovery within the state. The initial focus of the SERC was hazardous materials preparedness, and while the SERC maintains this function, it also now serves in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, who serves as the State Administrative Agent (SAA) to coordinate activities of the North Carolina State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the Domestic Preparedness Regions (DPR).
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and Section 112(r) of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) require facilities to report threshold quantities of chemicals stored and produced on site. Some facilities may also be required to take a more active role in chemical emergency planning and prevention. These requirements are intended to foster a collaborative chemical safety relationship between government, citizens, and industry.
EPCRA General Requirements
Section 302: Facilities with more than the threshold planning quantity (TPQ) of an extremely hazardous substance (EHS) must report this to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and their local emergency planning committee (LEPC) in E-Plan and actively participate in the preparation of emergency plans in coordination with their LEPC. For a list of TPQs, please consult the EPA's Consolidated List of Lists, and for information on participation in Section 302 emergency planning and prevention, please contact your LEPC. Click here to submit in E-Plan.
Section 304: Any facility that has a chemical release exceeding the reportable quantity as detailed in the EPA's Consolidated List of Lists must immediately notify the State Emergency Reponses Commission (SERC) at 800-858-0368 and their LEPC. In addition, any chemical identified as a “hazardous substance” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires immediate notification to the National Response Center (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802. Certain follow up notifications may also be required.
Section 311: Facilities with more than a threshold quantity of certain chemicals must submit a detailed chemical inventory list or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information to the SERC, their LEPC, and their local fire department within 90 days of the chemicals coming on site. For EHS chemicals, this threshold is the TPQ or 500 lbs., whichever is less. (For a list of EHS chemicals and TPQs, please reference the EPA's Consolidated List of Lists.) For hazardous substances (anything required by OSHA to have any MSDS or SDS), the threshold is 10,000 lbs. The EPA also grants some reporting exemptions in 40 CFR 370.10-13. The SERC only accepts Section 311 report submissions though E-Plan. Returning E-Plan users who need to file a Section 311 report should email email@example.com to have their E-Plan Tier II reporting account unlocked before adding the new chemical to their most recent Tier II submission in E-plan. If you have not previously filed a Tier II report in E-Plan, you will need to first create an account. There are no fees associated with Section 311 reports. Click here to submit in E-Plan.
Section 312 (Tier II): Facilities that housed certain quantities of chemicals on site for more than 24 hours in the previous calendar year must submit a Tier II report to the SERC, their LEPC, and their local fire department by March 1st of the following year. For EHS chemicals, this threshold is the TPQ or 500 lbs., whichever is less. (For a list of EHS chemicals and TPQs, please reference the EPA's Consolidated List of Lists.) For hazardous substances (anything required by OSHA to have any MSDS or SDS), the threshold is 10,000 lbs. The EPA also grants some reporting exemptions in 40 CFR 370.10-13. The SERC and most LEPCs and fire departments only accept submissions though E-Plan; however, this should be confirmed with your LEPC and local fire department before submitting. In addition, some LEPCs have additional reporting requirements for their jurisdictions. As of January 1, 2015, North Carolina will begin assessing an annual fee for companies with reportable quantities of hazardous and extremely hazardous substances. Details about this fee are below. Click here to submit in E-Plan.
Section 313: Facilities must submit a toxic release inventory (TRI) for ongoing chemical releases if it employs 10 or more workers and engages in a TRI covered industry. In addition, it must manufacture more than 25,000 lbs. or otherwise use more than 10,000 lbs. of a TRI-listed chemical as defined in the EPA's Consolidated List of Lists. (Note: Lower thresholds may exist for persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals.) TRI inventories are due every July 1st through the EPA's Central data exchange. Click here for more information on TRI.
Click here for more information on EPCRA.
CAA 112(r) General Requirements
Facilities with more than the threshold quantity of a CAA 112(r) regulated substance in a single process must submit a risk management plan (RMP) for that process. Each RMP must contain a hazard assessment, prevention program, and emergency response plan.
- EPA's Consolidated List of Lists - (Note: RMP facilities may be subject to Section 302 & Section 312 filing requirements.)
- RMP*eSubmit User Manual - how to file
- Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule - rule explanation
- North Carolina Division of Air Quality
E-Plan is the only method of chemical inventory submission accepted by the North Carolina SERC. Paper submissions do not meet North Carolina's reporting requirements. Visit www.erplan.net or click here to submit in E-Plan.
Click here for details on North Carolina E-Plan implementation or how to begin using it in your LEPC or agency.
Tier II Report Fee
As of January 1, 2015, North Carolina will institute a fee for companies who possess chemicals over the reporting thresholds for EPCRA Section 312 (Tier II reporting). The revenues from this fee will be used to facilitate chemical safety, planning, and emergency response.
These fees will be collected online when filing through E-Plan and consist of:
- $50 for every hazardous substance above the Tier II reporting threshold.
- $90 for every EHS above the Tier II reporting threshold.
The fee will be capped at $5,000 per reporting facility. (Note: This is a change from 2014 when fees were capped per entity.) In addition, the following are exempt from fees:
- Family farms
- Local, state, and federal government facilities
- Non-profit corporations
- Fuel used for retail sale at commercial gas stations
- Motor vehicle dealers as defined by G.S. 20-286 (11).
For further information, please contact the NC EPCRA/Tier 2 hotline 919-436-2746
David Powell, EPCRA Program Manager Thomas Steelman, RMP Planner
N.C. Emergency Management
4236 Mail Service Center Raleigh, N.C. 27699
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