The following is an excerpt from the GAWDA Safety Organizer, a monthly bulletin sent to GAWDA members. For more information on the GAWDA Safety Organizer, or to read past issues, visit the GAWDA.org Members-Only Section.
Bulk Storage Tanks or Bulk Trailers at Customer Sites
Do you own any bulk tanks at a customer site? An owner of bulk installations at a customer site has a duty under EPA regulations (Section 312) to notify the customer of their obligation to file Tier Form reports for each hazardous chemical that meets or exceeds the threshold planning quantities. The reminder must be mailed to an appropriate customer representative by February 15 each year. The supplier must document its efforts to notify its customers of these requirements.
If the customer owns the bulk unit, then you are not required to remind or notify them on their reporting obligations.
Hospitals are exempted from the notification and reporting obligations. (Section 311(e)(4) of EPCRA and 40 CFR 370.2 and 355.20 of the regulations exclude from the definition of “hazardous chemical” 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.)
A letter from the EPA Office of Enforcement dated March 4, 1991 states that “industrial gas suppliers who retain ownership of gas storage tanks or bulk trailers located on the premises of their customers” must make a good faith effort to notify such customer of the annual inventory reporting requirement. This language does not include notifying customers who merely store gas in supplier-owned cylinders on the customer’s property, however.
Where the supplier does have a gas storage tank or bulk trailer on the customer’s property, a good faith effort to notify the customer includes the following:
Contract Language. All new, reopened, renewed, or modified gas supply contracts must explicitly state the following language: It is a responsibility of the Buyer to comply with all relevant reporting obligations under the Emergency Planning and Community right-to-Know Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C.§§11001-11049 (EPCRA, also commonly known as Title III of the Superfund Amendments Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III)) resulting from the presence of the chemicals supplied under the agreement. Further, it is a responsibility of the Buyer to warn and protect its employees and others exposed to the hazards posed by the Buyer’s storage and use of the product.
Customer Notification. Industrial gas suppliers must remind their customers by separate mail of the EPCRA reporting obligations the customer may incur from the presence of the chemicals supplied under the agreement, and provide in the reminder a source of EPCRA compliance information, such as the EPCRA hotline (1-800-535-0202). The reminder must be mailed to an appropriate customer representative by February 15 of each year. The supplier must also document its efforts to notify its customers of these requirements.
SARA Title III Reporting
March 1 is the filing deadline for your Hazardous Chemical Inventory Report. This report usually is submitted on a Tier I or Tier II Form. Keep in mind, your state may require that one of these forms be used over the other or even have its own special form. Your state may even have different reporting quantities. Check with your State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) if you have questions regarding what form to use or other possible state requirements.
Please use the following website to check on your state reporting requirements: www.epa.gov/epcra/state-tier-ii-reporting-requirements-and-procedures.
If you submitted this report last year, use it as a guide. The report(s) must be submitted to your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), your SERC, and the local fire department with jurisdiction over the facility. Use the above website to see how each state wants to receive their reports and get information on the SERC and LEPC reporting procedures.
Contact your SERC to find out the contact information for your LEPC: http://www.epa.gov/epcra/state-emergency-response-commissions-contacts
The EPCRA hotline for free help is 800-424-9346, or you can email here.
Click here to visit the EPCRA Frequent Questions website.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.