SARA §311 & §312: Community Right-to-Know

EPCRA Sections 311 & 312

2018 Tier II Reporting Webinar:


Virginia follows the federal requirements for EPCRA reporting. There are no fees associated with filing Tier II reports for Virginia. EPCRA Section 311 requires a facility to submit a  Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or a list of chemicals for any hazardous chemical stored or used above certain quantities. EPCRA Section 312 requires the facility to further submit a Tier I or Tier II report to the Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC), the Local Emergency Response Council (LEPC), and the local fire department by March 1 each year for the activities occurring in the preceding year.

For a list of Virginia’s Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) for Releases
For a list of Virginia’s Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) for Public/EPCRA

Federal EPCRA Program, Compliance, Guidance, and Chemical Information:

Federal Regulations: [40 CFR, Part 370]

Amendments to the Tier II Forms

As of reporting year 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the hazard categories for reporting under Sections 311 and 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). On March 26th, 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) by adopting the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The changes to OSHA’s HCS affect the reporting requirements under Sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA.

The DEQ strongly encourages the use of Tier2Submit to stay in compliance with the new reporting regulations. This program has built in verification steps that will ensure the report is filled in correctly. Please use the links below to guide you through this process.

EPA EPCRA Website: EPA Requirements

EPA Amendments: EPCRA (Non-Section 313) Amendments and Guidance


Who Should Report?

Under EPCRA Section 311, a facility that stores, uses, or produces chemicals requiring SDSs, under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), must have copies of the SDSs of all chemicals or a single list of all reportable chemicals grouped by hazard category. The Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC) prefers the submittal of one list of all reportable chemicals, grouped by hazard category.

Facilities that need to submit SDSs or a list of chemicals under EPRCA Section 311 are also subject to EPCRA Section 312 reporting. Under EPCRA Section 312, a facility needs to submit an annual inventory report (Tier II report) for the same chemicals for which SDSs were submitted.

Which Hazardous Chemicals Should Be Reported?

Hazardous Chemicals Subject to Reporting under Sections 311 and 312:

Hazardous Chemicals Exempt from Reporting under Sections 311 and 312:

1.     EPCRA-Specific Exemptions:

a.     The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exemption

b.     Solids in manufactured items

c.     Consumer products

d.     Laboratory chemicals

e.     Agricultural chemicals

f.      Retail gas stations storing gasoline and diesel fuel entirely underground that are in compliance with underground storage tank (UST)regulations

2.     The OSHA Exemptions:

a.     Hazardous wastes regulated by Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

b.     Tobacco or tobacco products

c.     Wood or wood products

d.     Manufactured items

e.     Foods, drugs, cosmetics, or alcoholic beverages in a retail establishment that are packaged for sale to the public

f.      Foods, drugs, cosmetics intended for personal consumption by employees while in the workplace

g.     Consumer products when used in the workplace

h.     Any drug in a final, solid form for direct administration to a patient

3.     No exposure hazardous chemicals

4.     Transportation exemption

Please note: EPA provides regulatory relief for retail gas stations that fall under the EPCRA Sections 311 and 312 reporting requirements. The regulatory relief exempts retails gas stations from reporting if the tanks hold less than 75,000 gallons of gasoline or less than 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel, considering that the facility is in full compliance with the underground storage tank requirements.

Reportable Thresholds

If at any time during the year, the amount of chemical present at your facility meets or exceeds the following threshold amounts, the chemical may be reportable under both Sections 311 and 312:

  • For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) - Greater than or equal to 500 lbs or the individual chemical's threshold planning quantity (TPQ) - whichever is less, at any one time.    
  • For Hazardous Chemicals - Greater than or equal to 10,000 lbs at any one time.
  • De minimis concentration - 1% by weight for hazardous chemicals and 0.1% for EHS carcinogens.

For facilities submitting SDSs under Section 311, the facility must report within three (3) months after first handling a hazardous chemical that is required to have a SDS by OSHA.


How Should Facilities Report?

Section 311 Reporting - MSDS Submittal

Under the federal requirements, facilities may satisfy this reporting requirement by submitting a copy of the SDS for each hazardous chemical or by submitting a list of hazardous chemicals for which an SDS is present and grouping them by the hazards associated with each of the chemicals.


This reporting includes an initial submission and periodic updates. Once an initial submission has been made, updates should be prepared and submitted within three (3) months of the receipt of a new chemical, a chemical first exceeding the threshold, or a significant change in the hazard information for a chemical.


Section 312 Reporting - Virginia Tier II Reporting Requirements

Facilities that fall under Section 312 are required to comply with the federal Tier II regulations and must submit Tier II reports by March 1 of each year for the activities occurring in the preceding year.


The EPA and VERC strongly encourage the use of the Tier2 Submit software in order to stay in compliance with the new reporting regulations. The Tier2 Submit software has built-in verification steps that will ensure that the report is filed correctly. Reports created using the Tier2 Submit software can be exported to a file with the .t2s or .zip extension.


Submission requirements:

  1. Submit the electronic .t2s (or .zip) file along with a signed VA certification letter to
  2. A hard copy is not required to be submitted to the VERC if the reports have been sent via email (step 1 above).
  3. PDFs or other picture files of the report will be treated as a hard copy submission.

A facility’s Tier II report submittal will be deemed complete only when the VERC receives both the electronic Tier II report and the signed certification letter.


Tier2 Submit Software and Tier II Form:

What is Considered Tier II Reporting Non-Compliance?

Tier II report submittals with the following information incomplete or omitted will be deemed non-compliant:

  • Facility name and full physical address;
  • Reporting year;
  • Latitude and longitude values;
  • Maximum number of occupants and whether the facility is manned or not;
  • Whether or not the facility is subject to Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) or Section 302 of EPCRA;
  • Two (2) emergency contacts (day time and 24-hour emergency contact information)
  • Physical state, hazards, and health effects for each chemical reported
  • Storage information for each chemical reported. E.g.: "Building #333" or "The Old Warehouse" (without a site map or additional reference to guide the emergency respondent to the exact whereabouts of the storage of the chemical).

Warning: On March 1 of each year, a Tier II report is due for activities occurring in the preceding year. A Tier II report submitted with a present or future year designation will not be processed by this office. A Tier II report that references a past reporting year will be treated as a revision regardless of the signature date. A facility submitting an erroneous reporting year will be considered in non-compliance. This office will not and does not make assumptions as to the correct reporting year submittal a facility is submitting, even if that submittal occurs during the March 1 reporting period.


Where Should Facilities Submit Forms?

The MSDSs or list of chemicals and the Tier II reports must be submitted to the Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC), to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and to the local fire department with jurisdiction over the facility.

VERC Email Address:

VERC Mailing Address:

Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC)
c/o Virginia DEQ
SARA Title III Program
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218

VERC Physical Address:

Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC)
c/o Virginia DEQ
SARA Title III Program
1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400
Richmond, VA 23219

For a list of Virginia's Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), click here.

Helpful Links:

EPA EPCRA Website: EPA Requirements

Electronic Regs:


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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