Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

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

October 17, 1986 – Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986, commonly referred to as the SARA Title III, in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals.

EPCRA establishes requirements for federal, state, and local governments, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals.   The program is designed to increase public awareness and improve emergency planning and response to hazardous materials incidents.

What facilities are required to report?

  • Any facility that is subject to OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard, 1910.1200
  • Any facility that had one or more Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) with a quantity greater than the specific threshold quantity or 500 lbs. for more than a 24 period.
  • Any facility with one or more Hazardous Substance (HS) with a quantity greater than the specific threshold quantity or 10,000 lbs. “Hazardous Substance” refers to any chemical, element, chemical compound, or mixture of elements and/or compounds with “hazardous” characteristics.   If a chemical has one or more of the following characteristics (acute health hazard, chronic health hazard, fire hazard, reactive hazard, or sudden release of pressure hazard), it is considered a hazardous substance under the program.

What facilities are exempt from reporting?

Note: Exemptions do not apply to “Extremely Hazardous Substance” notification under ORC 3750.05 and/or release reporting under ORC 3750.06

  • Any food, food additive, color additive, drug, or cosmetic regulated by the Food and Drug Administration
  • 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
  • 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 used by the general public
  • Any substance to the extent 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

What is required in the Chemical Inventory Report?

The Chemical Inventory Report is completed based on the inventory stored, used or manufactured for the previous calendar year.  Facilities can submit a hard copy report or use Tier2 Submit software.  A complete report includes:

  1. Facility Identification Form (EPA 0316)
  2. Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form(s) (EPA 0317)
  3. Facility Map
  4.  Filing Fees for a calendar year *If the facility did not receive a pre-printed filing fee worksheet, email: SERC@epa.ohio.gov with subject ” INVOICE NEEDED” or call 614-644-2260 so an invoice with the proper account information can be generated and sent to the facility.*
  5. Signed Certification Statement (Tier2 Submit users ONLY)

What is Tier2 Submit? 

Tier2 Submit is a free electronic chemical inventory report created by the U.S. EPA.  Ohio accepts Tier2 Submit.

When are the Chemical Inventory Reports due? 

Annual facility chemical inventory reports are due March 1st of each year.  All submissions must be postmarked on or before March 1st.   Facilities must submit the Chemical Inventory Report to:

State Emergency Response Commission
c/o Ohio EPA
Lazarus Government Center
50 West Town Street, Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
Attn: SERC
Electronic reporting: SERC@epa.ohio.gov

Clermont County Local Emergency Planning Committee
Attn: LEPC Information Coordinator
2279 Clermont Center Drive
Batavia, Ohio 45103
Electronic reporting: clermontema@clermontcountyohio.gov

Local Fire Department

Where are filing fees sent?

Filing fees are due to the SERC no later than March 31st of each year.

Electronic payment may be made through the Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center portal using each facility’s RY23 Receivable ID Number(s).  For additional clarification on how to make an electronic payment go to the Ohio EPA eBusiness Center payment instructions.

Payment can also be mailed to:  Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, P.O. Box 77005, Cleveland, Ohio 44194-7005.
Checks should be payable to: Treasurer, State of Ohio.

Outside of the annual reporting cycle, what is required when a facility brings a new EHS or hazardous chemical onsite? 

Any facility that brings an EHS or hazardous chemical onsite in a quantity at or above the threshold planning quantity, must notify the SERC, LEPC and local fire department after the receipt of the first shipment. The notification is required within 60 days of receipt of an EHS and 90 days of receipt of a hazardous chemical onsite. The facility must provide either the Safety Data Sheet for the substances or provide a list of substances, hazards associated, facility contact name and telephone on company letterhead.

What is required when there is a release/discharge of a hazardous substance?

An owner or operator is required to report a release or discharge under ORC 3750.06 anytime there is a release or spill of a regulated chemical that exceeds the assigned Reportable Quantity (RQ) and leaves the facility property line. Ohio Administrative Code 3750-25, outlines the emergency release notification requirements in more detail.

  1. Verbal notification is required within 30 minutes of becoming aware of the release/spill, unless it is impractical due to so.  Verbal notification must be made to the local fire department (9-1-1), LEPC Emergency Coordinator (9-1-1 or 513-732-2231), and the Ohio EPA Spill Line (1-800-282-9378 or 614-224-0946)
  2. Verbal notification to the National Response Center (1-800-424-8802) is required for spills/releases involving Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substance OR oil to a navigable waterway
  3. Written follow up is due 30 days following the release to the Ohio EPA Emergency Response Section (SERCspillreport@epa.ohio.gov) and the LEPC Emergency Coordinator (clermontema@clermontcountyohio.gov).   For detailed information on the written follow-up requirements, see the Facility Reporting Compliance Manual and OAC 3750-25-25(A)(2)