Encamp-Fire Stories: Section 1: Fines

Imagine it’s nightfall, and you’re sitting around a campfire telling stories about… EHS compliance and Tier II & EPCRA nightmares. Or worse, missed deadlines and non-compliance. When these stories are true, they can scare the #*^+ out of you.
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The story behind this story

EHS compliance isn’t voluntary. In fact, it’s the law. Tier II reports for environmental compliance are required under the EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). If you don’t comply, you can be fined up to $37,500 per day — per chemical, per facility. (Do all that math.) Or for just one non-compliance enforcement action, punitive fines can be as much as $100,000. If violations are multiple or considered serious, or if a company is operating a non-compliant commercial site, its leaders can go to jail. From large industrial manufacturers to small businesses in the retail sector, companies must be in compliance with EHS regulations at all times.

Are there other consequences of non-compliance?

There are, and they can be as damaging as the fines your business has pay. A company can damage its public image and reputation. Employees can lose trust and not feel safe at work. Serious or repeated EHS violations can prompt state or federal enforcement agencies to close a facility and effectively force a business to suspend operations and take a financial hit to profitability and investor relations.

About this Encamp-Fire Stories eBook

Section 1: Fines
isn’t meant to instill the fear of paying exorbitant fines when you don’t meet regulatory reporting requirements. Instead, it spells out some measures for Tier II reporting to avoid fines.

  • When is a chemical considered “hazardous”?
  • Is the chemical in a quantity that equals or exceeds an established threshold?
  • Was the chemical present at your facility at any time during the year?

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Take note: 3 things

1.     More than 350 chemicals are considered Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) according to the EPA.

2.     If a hazardous chemical or EHS above an applicable threshold is present at your facility for even one day, it must be included on a Tier II report.

3.     Hazardous chemical thresholds can vary when a local fire department or emergency planning agency requests information. The EPA’s standard threshold for non-EHS chemicals is 10,000 pounds. If the chemical is an EHS, the threshold is 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less.

Like we said, Section 1 of the Encamp-Fire Stories eBook isn’t meant to instill a fear of non-compliance and paying fines. It’s to alert your business of the regulatory requirements for EHS compliance and Tier II reporting so fines don’t become a horror story. View the eBook here.

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