SARA Title III was enacted by U.S. Congress in 1986 in response to an incident in India in which 2500 people were killed by a chemical release. The purpose behind SARA Title III/EPCRA has been to create a cooperative relationship among government, business, and the public involving all of them in the effort to prevent, to plan, to prepare for, and to manage chemical emergencies.
This law sets requirements for facilities that manufactured, processed, or stored certain hazardous or toxic chemicals, of certain threshold level, on-site to report annually to the state and local governments and to report any accidental releases on a timely basis. The information submitted by facilities provided the basis for community right-to-know and local emergency planning and preparedness.
SARA Title III Reporting Information
Section 302 - Emergency Planning Notification- It requires a facility to send a one-time, written notification to the SERC (the Virginia Emergency Response Council - VERC) and its jurisdictional Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) if the presence of an Extreme Hazardous Substance (EHS) at the facility, at any one time, exceeds or equals to the applicable threshold planning quantity (TPQ). There are 302 EHS with some having TPQ of 10,000 pounds per year to some with 10 pounds per year. EHSs are listed in Appendex A and B of 40 CFR Part 355. EPA Reference ◊ State DEQ Reference
Section 304 - Emergency Notification- It requires a facility to provide a notification of any release of an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) or a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substance in an amount equal to or greater than the reportable quantity (RQ) to the State Emergency Response Council (VERC), the LEPC, and if appropriate, the National Response Center. Currently, the reportable chemicals or substances include about 800 specifically-designated and listed CERCLA hazardous substances (listed under Section 102 and Section 101 Paragraph 14 of the CERCLA). A complete list of CERCLA-defined hazardous substances is published in Table 302.4 in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 302 [40CFR Part 302]. The reportable quantity (RQ) for the CERCLA substances range from one pound per occurrence to that of 10,000 pound per occurrence. EPA Reference ◊ State DEQ Reference
Section 311 - Material Safety Data Sheet- A facility that stores, uses, or produces chemicals (hazardous materials) requiring Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), as defined under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hazard communication standard, must provide a MSDS for each of the chemical or a compiled listing of hazardous chemicals to the Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC), and to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and to the local fire department with jurisdiction over the facility. The reporting applies when the amount of a hazardous chemical on-site exceeds the threshold limit of 10,000 pound for a non-EHS or exceeds the TPQ of an EHS chemical at any one day of a calendar year. The hazardous chemicals are defined by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard in 29 CFR part 1910.1200. These chemicals are also referred to as MSDS chemicals. There is not a list of chemicals defined by OSHA Communication Standard. EPA Reference 40 CFR Part 370 covers Sections 311 and 312.
Section 312 - Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory- As with Section 311, facilities with hazardous chemicals, as defined by OSHA standard, are required to report if the quantity of a hazardous chemical on-site, during any one day in a calendar year, equals to or exceeds the reporting threshold. The facility must submit an annual Tier II (activity) report by March 1 of the following year for chemicals that were maintained at the facility in amounts equal to or above the established reporting thresholds. The final reporting thresholds for Section 312 apply to: • Non-extremely hazardous substances, or hazardous chemicals present at a facility, in any one day, in quantities equal to or greater than 10,000 pounds, and/or • Extremely hazardous substances present at a facility in quantities equal to or greater than the "threshold planning quantity". USEPA and the Virginia Emergency Response Council encourage the use of the new electronic Tier II reporting system and form - the "Tier2 Submit" - it is available online form USEPA.
For more information on Tier II see 40 CFR Part 370.
Section 313 - Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)- The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is an annual reporting of toxic chemical released and managed from certain manufacturing or processing sectors. Facilities that manufactured, processed, or otherwise used TRI chemicals equaled to or exceeded the threshold level during a calendar year are required to submit a TRI report indicating the amounts of releases and management on- and off-site. The report is due July 1 of the following year. The TRI reporting requirements can be found in 40 CFR Part 372. The current TRI toxic chemical list contains 582 individually listed chemicals and 30 chemical categories (including 3 delimited categories containing 58 chemicals). EPA Reference ◊ State DEQ Reference
Links for More Information
Virginia Emergency Response Council - c/o VA DEQ SARA Title III Program
Virginia Local Emergency Planning Committee Contact Listing
SARA Title III Consolidated List of Chemicals (lists from EHS, CERCLA, RCRA, TRI, and CAAA 112r) Updated 2011 (PDF)
For more information, you may call the Division of Fire offices at 501-4900.