14 October, 2016

What’s Happening?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a technical amendment revising the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) found at 40 CFR Part 370.  This amendment is in response to OSHA’s revision of the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) adopting the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  The effective date of the EPCRA amendment was June 13, 2016 and the compliance deadline is January 1, 2018.

The Hazard Communication Standard adopted the specific physical and health hazards as outlined in GHS.  OSHA also included four hazards that were not addressed in GHS:  simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas and hazard not otherwise classified.

Previously, EPCRA required a consolidated list of 5 hazard categories for Community Right-to-Know reporting:  

  • Acute health hazard
  • Delayed health hazard
  • Fire
  • Sudden Release of Pressure
  • Reactive

The amended rule replaces the 5 hazard categories above with the physical and health hazards from the current Hazard Communication Standard.

Physical Hazards

Health Hazards

  • Flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids or solids)
  • Gas under pressure
  • Explosive
  • Self-heating
  • Pyrophoric (liquid or solid)
  • Oxidizer (liquid, solid or gas)
  • Organic peroxide
  • Self-reactive
  • Pyrophoric gas
  • Corrosive to metal
  • In contact with water emits flammable gas
  • Combustible dust
  • Hazard not otherwise classified
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Acute toxicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Skin corrosion or irritation
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization
  • Serious eye damage or eye irritation
  • Specific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure)
  • Aspiration hazard
  • Germ cell mutagenicity
  • Simple asphyxiant
  • Hazard not otherwise classified

How Could it Impact Me?

EPCRA reporting is required if OSHA requires your facility to prepare or maintain safety data sheets (SDS) and meets either of the following conditions:
1.    A hazardous chemical that is an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) is present at your facility at any one time in an amount greater than 500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower, or
2.    A hazardous chemical that is not an EHS is present at your facility at any one time in an amount equal to or greater than 10,000 pounds.  Please refer to 40 CFR 370.10(a)(2)(ii) and (iii) for additional criteria which may apply.

As part of the reporting requirement, a list of all hazardous chemicals present at your facility that meet or exceed the applicable threshold levels must be reported.  In addition, the appropriate physical and health hazards described above must also be reported as appropriate.

EPA will be modifying Tier2 Submit, the software developed for reporting, to include the new physical and health hazards as well as the 4 specifically listed hazards that EPA adopted from OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard.  For states that have their own reporting software, EPA is providing flexibility to allow states to modify their software by January 1, 2018.

Contact Us:

Critical Path Services can help you determine what your company’s reporting obligations are under EPCRA.  We can provide you with an interpretation of 40 CFR Part 370 requirements and help you with the identification of your reportable chemicals.  We can also provide assistance in completion of your Tier 2 report.