I have determined that my facility is subject to the requirements of Section 302. What do I do now?
The federal EPCRA program establishes the minimum requirements for facilities and community planners to comply. It is important to understand that states (SERCs) and local organizations (LEPCs) are able to enforce stricter guidelines for the facilities in their jurisdictions.
For facilities that have determined they need to make a Section 302 notification, the federal regulations state that they must notify their SERC and LEPC within 60 days of the EHS exceeding the TPQ. This applies to new facilities and existing facilities.
The federal regulations do not specify a format for the notification.
State- and Local-Level Requirements
As stated, the EPA allows SERCs and LEPCs to implement stricter rules for Section 302 notifications – such as a shorter notification timeline or lower chemical thresholds.
Additionally, while there are no notification format requirements at the federal level, most SERCs and LEPCs have their own required notification format, such as via a portal or a specific form, and requested information, such as the identity of the facility’s emergency coordinator (see Section 303 below).
Examples of these additional requirements are:
Shorter Notification Timeline: Pennsylvania requires Section 302 notifications to be submitted within five business days of the chemical coming onsite.
Lower Chemical Threshold: In Vermont, a notification must be made for any EHS in a quantity greater than 100 lbs. (or the TPQ, whichever is lower). Additionally, a notification must be made for any quantity of carcinogens or explosives.
Notification Method: Massachusetts requires a state-specific PDF form to be signed by the facility’s authorized representative and submitted to both the SERC and LEPC.
Requested Information: Delaware requires every Section 302 notification to also identify the current facility emergency coordinator.
EPCRA Section 303 requires every LEPC to prepare an emergency response plan for their community. As part of their emergency planning efforts, LEPCs often need to know the identities of facility-level emergency coordinators. Note that facilities that are subject to EPCRA Section 302 are required to designate an emergency coordinator.
Typically, facilities convey that information to their LEPC when they submit their annual Tier II report, in accordance with EPCRA Section 312. However, some states require that every Section 302 notification also identify the current facility emergency coordinator. Certain SERCs and/or LEPCs may also require the submission of a site map with every Section 302 notification that shows the location of each regulated chemical.
The following shows an example Section 302 notification in Georgia:
State and federal laws and regulations noted in this article are current as of July 2021 and are subject to change. Please check back for updates or consult additional resources to ensure you’re in compliance.
Last Modified: 7/21/21