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Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (SARA III)

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) was signed into federal law in 1986. Title III of SARA is known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) enforces SARA Title III. The regulations implementing SARA Title III are codified in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 350 through 372. The Governor of each State was charged with creating a State Emergency Response Commission.

In 1987 Executive Order Number 4 created the Alabama Emergency Response Commission (AERC) by appointing the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) acting in concert to carry out the provisions of the Act. As co-chair to the Commission, ADEM is responsible for reviewing, maintaining, and serving as the data repository for documents required to be filed by various industry throughout the state. These documents include Hazardous Chemical Inventory forms (Tier II),Toxic Release Inventory reports (Form R), Extremely Hazardous Substance notifications (EHS), and accidental release notifications. Data from these documents are compiled and made available by request to the public, industry, and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) for use in emergency situations, to analyze release trends, and to facilitate awareness of hazardous materials in communities.

AERC ADEM Contact Information:
Beth Woodfin: beth.woodfin@adem.alabama.gov / 334-394-4306
Training and Events Registration Page: http://alabama-emergency-response-commission.eventbrite.com/

Industry Highlights
December 2017 Newsletter

AERC AEMA Information:
Emergency Management Webpage: http://ema.alabama.gov
Reginald Marshall: reginald.marshall@ema.alabama.gov / 205-280-2284

Federal EPCRA/CERCLA Updates:
Tier II Reporting for Hazardous Chemicals Storage (Section 312) - submit annually by March 1st

In an effort to improve accessibility and tracking of federally required SARA Title III documents, reduce paper waste, and improve the efficiency, ADEM has clarified the filing process, effective for Filing Year 2017.

On 11/1/2017 the AERC (formerly known as SERC) met for their bi-annual meeting and voted in favor of requiring all facilities to submit EPCRA documents to the AERC in a digital format. A .t2s file from Tier2Submit or E-plan will be the only two options for electronic filing for Tier II in Alabama starting in 2019. When filing your 2018 Tier II Report, if your facility cannot file digitally, please contact us for additional instructions.

What are the Tier II Filing Requirements for Alabama?
The State of Alabama encourages all facilities operating in Alabama to electronically file their Tier II reports using E-Plan or Tier2Submit.

Facilities are required to provide Tier II information to the following three (3) entities:
  1. The AERC - Electronic submission to ADEM of the Tier II report with E-Plan or Tier2Submit will fulfill this requirement.
  2. The Local Emergency Planning Committee where facility is located.
    • Contact the appropriate county EMA to confirm whether they require a paper or electronic copy of the Tier II report.
    • A paper copy of the electronic submission can be printed from E-Plan or Tier2Submit and supplied to the LEPC to meet this requirement.
  3. The local fire department where the facility is located.
    • Contact the appropriate fire department to confirm whether they require a paper or electronic copy of the Tier II report.
    • A paper copy of the electronic submission can be printed from E-Plan and Tier2Submit and supplied to the fire department to meet this requirement.
When are Tier II reports due?
Tier II reports are due by March 1st of each year.

Filing Option 1: E-Plan
Alabama now accepts submittals via E-Plan at https://ERplan.net. There is a fee associated with this service. Submitted information is retained from year to year in one database and changes are easily made by logging in. If you have previously submitted Tier II data to ADEM by e-mail, your facility information should already be in E-Plan. However, you still must register and establish an account with E-Plan.

Contact https://erplan.net/eplan/support/contactus.htm with questions.

After successful submission, print and sign a copy of the confirmation/receipt page generated by E-Plan and attach it to a hard copy of the facility Tier II report. These documents must be retained on-site as verification of facility compliance. Please do not submit additional electronic and or paper copies of the forms to ADEM. If you need confirmation of your submission please contact either Beth Woodfin.

Filing Option 2: Tier2Submit
Tier2Submit can be used to submit data electronically with no cost. A new version of Tier2 Submit is available around November of each year. The Tier II File must pass verification and the file exported must be in a .t2s format. Send the exported .t2s file to al312@adem.alabama.gov with following information in the subject line: facility name, the filing year, and facility Master ID Number.

Verification of a successful submission will be sent by e-mail. Print and sign a copy of the receipt e-mail and attach it to a hard copy of the facility Tier II report. These documents must be retained on-site as verification of facility compliance. Please do not submit additional paper copies of the forms to ADEM. If you have questions about your submission please contact either Beth Woodfin.

State Required Fields:

Facility Master ID
ADEM uses an internal identification number known as the Master ID to track facilities, issue various permits to the facility location and to track data related to those facilities. By requiring a Master ID to be associated with your form submission it will allow ADEM and First Responders to optimize data tracking and retrieving.

Whether you plan to submit via E-Plan or Tier2Submit for 2017, you will be asked to input a Master ID Number in the State Required Field. If your facility has or ever had a permit issued by ADEM, use eFile on the ADEM’s website to determine your Master ID. ADEM is diligently working to issue a master ID to all facilities who have previously filed their Tier II information. This Master ID Number is location specific. If you are unsure if you have an existing Master ID Number or have not filed previously, please contact Beth Woodfin at 334-260-2700 or beth.woodfin@adem.alabama.gov to verify your number Master ID number. This number will remain the same year-to-year.

*New for 2017*
A valid e-mail address for the AERC to provide proof of receipt. If you file with Tier2Submit, you will be e-mailed a proof of receipt letter from the AERC. E-plan user’s payment confirmation page counts for their proof of receipt. Federal Regulations require the facilities to maintain proof of receipt on-site from all three required entities: AERC, LEPC, and local Fire Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tier II Reports
When is my Tier II report due?
  • March first of each year.
Can I get in trouble for over reporting?
  • No. This data enables First Responders to respond to an incident with more knowledge of what hazards they will face and allow them to plan accordingly. The more information First Responders have, the better than can serve your facility and your community in the event of a release incident.
How do I know if I have a Master ID Number?
  • Go to ADEM’s eFile website: http://app.adem.alabama.gov/eFile/.
  • If you have an ADEM permit associated with any activity on-site, your permit has an associated Master ID Number. Type your permit # into the search field in e-plan. Your Master ID Number will be displayed on documents listed after the search.
  • If you are unpermitted then you most likely do not have a Master ID Number. To verify, type your facility information in the search function.
  • If you are unsure contact: Beth Woodfin at beth.woodfin@adem.alabama.gov.
What is the link for filing a Tier II report with E-Plan? How do I submit a Tier2 Report with E-Plan (video tutorial)? Is there a fee to report via E-Plan?
  • Yes. $25 per year per facility to file Tier II report. Verify with E-Plan the cost each year. Your forms will not be accepted by E-Plan until associated fees are paid in full.
Is there a charge for First Responders to use E-Plan?
  • There is no charge for approved First Responders to have access.
  • Use the following link to create an account and request access: https://erplan.net/eplan/home.htm.
  • There will be a delay before the request is approved due to the verification process.
    • E-Plan will request approval from the AERC.
    • The AERC will then confirm the validity of the request with the appropriate county official
Who do I contact with technical questions concerning the electronic submission with E-Plan? How do I use E-Plan?
  • Go to the E-Plan website at https://erplan.net:
    • After clicking on filing Tier II information, you’ll be able to create your submission under the “Welcome to Tier 2 Submit Online” dialog box.
    • Once here, you can create and enter your own user identification profile.
    • In the upper right corner of the webpage, you can choose a list of options from the domain entitled “Select a Tour.” This is an on-line automated tutorial that will assist you in using the system to report your inventory information.
Is there available training?
  • Training workshops for all potential users, including industry and government, are being considered by the AERC. More information will be announced as it becomes available. If you have an interest in attending a future training event, contact Beth Woodfin to be added to an e-mail list.
How do I use Tier2Submit? Are there tutorials available for Tier2Submit? How do I export a .t2s file?

    photo courtesty of EPA

Where do I e-mail my Tier II files?
  • Email: al312@adem.alabama.gov
  • Attach the .t2s file to the e-mail.
  • Be sure to include: the facility name, reporting year, and Master ID Number in the subject line in the e-mail. If you have an ADEM Permit you already have a Master ID Number. If you do not have a Master ID Number, one can be assigned to you.
Is there a fee associated with Tier2Submit?
  • No.
Who can I contact to request Tier II information on a particular facility?
  • Requests for Tier II information must be submitted in writing to the ADEM Public Records Officer.
  • The Public Records Officer will contact you to schedule your appointment. Request should be submitted via e-mail at records@adem.alabama.gov, fax to 334-271-7950, or mailed to ADEM Public Records Officer, P.O. Box 301463, Montgomery, AL 36130-1463.
  • Each request must include the specific facility name and address. Only the most current year is available to the public. There is a 45-day response window for requests, per the federal statute

Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) Notification

Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) Notification (Section 302), is a one-time reporting requirement. The latest lists of Extremely Hazardous Substances and the Threshold Planning Quantities are available at the USEPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention website. For this reporting, submit either the EHS Notification Form or a letter describing the product, include an on-site emergency contact. ADEM requests that the maximum amount of the EHS substance on site at any one time be reported in pounds rather than ranges. Please submit all documents by e-mail to al312@adem.alabama.gov.
Include: facility name, year, and “EHS Notification” in the subject line.

Toxic Release Inventory (Section 313) - submit annually by July 1st

Facilities that use or produce toxic chemicals above specific thresholds are required to submit a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI are used to inform the public and government officials of on-site and off-site releases, off-site transfers, and other waste management activities at each facility. Toxic release inventories must be sent to the USEPA by using TRI-MEweb. The AERC encourages the use of the TRI-MEweb software available on the EPA’s Website to complete and submit this information by July 1 annually for the previous reporting year.

The AERC participates in the TRI Data Exchange, which means that your submittal of TRI Data through TRI-MEweb fulfills both the EPA and the State TRI reporting obligations. If you submitted successfully through the TRI-MEweb there is no need to mail or e-mail ADEM a copy.