The State of Delaware provides a variety of data search and information services related to emergency planning and response. There are limitations, however, and data users should review the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Disclaimers.
Finding Emergency Release Notifications
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), any facility or transporter that experiences an emergency release of a covered chemical above its reportable quantity must provide initial and follow-up notifications. Under EPCRA, written follow-up emergency notices are available to the public.
Initial notification (by such means as telephone or in person) must be made immediately to the SERC and LEPC. In Delaware, this is accomplished through notification to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and to 911. In most cases, the National Response Center must also be notified. Initial notifications must include each of the following (to the extent known at the time of the notice and so long as no delay in responding to the emergency results):
As soon as practicable after such a release, a written follow-up emergency notice (or notices, as more information becomes available) must be submitted setting forth and updating the information required to be included in the initial notification, and including additional information with respect to:
Lists of covered chemicals and the quantities which trigger reporting are contained within the regulations. In general, there are three lists of chemicals covered under this reporting requirement in Delaware:
Extremely Hazardous Substances – the list of substances, and their reportable quantities, identified in the federal EPCRA Emergency Planning requirements.
Hazardous Substances – a list of substances and reportable quantities identified under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Delaware Reportable Quantities – a list of substances and reportable quantities included in Delaware’s “Regulation for the Reporting of the Discharge of an Air Contaminant or Pollutant” (Regulation 6028).
If you have any questions or would like additional information concerning Emergency Release Notifications under EPCRA, contact the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) extends this “Worker Right-to-Know” approach to “Community Right-to-Know”. EPCRA provides the general public an avenue for obtaining Safety Data Sheets from facilities.
Under EPCRA, facilities are required to submit Safety Data Sheets or a list of Safety Data Sheet chemicals for those substances used or stored at the site above specified threshold amounts. If the facility chooses to submit a list of Safety Data Sheet chemicals, the list must include the chemical or common name of each substance and must identify the applicable hazard categories. After the initial submission of Safety Data Sheets or a Safety Data Sheet chemical list, updates are required within 3 months of a new substance being brought on site above the threshold amount, or when the quantity of an existing substance first exceeds the threshold. If Safety Data Sheets have been submitted, a revised Safety Data Sheet must be provided to update the original Safety Data Sheet within 3 months if significant new information is discovered about the hazardous chemical.
Threshold amounts that trigger reporting are based on the maximum amount of the substance present at the site at any time. For substances identified as Hazardous Chemicals (defined basically as any chemical that could pose a physical or health hazard), the threshold amount is 55 gallons or 500 pounds (Note: the federal threshold for Hazardous Chemicals is 10,000 pounds, but Delaware has established a lower threshold). For substances identified on the Federal EPCRA list of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs), the threshold amount is 55 gallons, 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity, whichever is lower.
Safety Data Sheet and chemical lists submitted under EPCRA are available to the general public. More than 2,300 facilities throughout Delaware have reported chemicals on-site under this requirement. However, most reporting has been accomplished through submission of Safety Data Sheet chemical lists. As such, Safety Data Sheets are not immediately available for most chemicals at facilities. To facilitate public access to Safety Data Sheet information, this search option provides a link to Internet web sites that provide access to a variety of chemical information, including Safety Data Sheets.
If you can not locate a Safety Data Sheet for a specific chemical, you may request a Safety Data Sheet with respect to a particular facility through the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program. If the Safety Data Sheet is not on file, submission of the Safety Data Sheet from the facility can be requested. To submit an Safety Data Sheet request, contact the DNREC FOIA coordinator.
The Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Tier II) reporting requirements are similar to the Safety Data Sheet reporting requirements, except the Tier II reports are an annual requirement and include more detailed information.
It is important to note that there are several exemptions to both the OSHA Safety Data Sheet requirements and the EPCRA reporting requirements. Therefore, when you examine a list of substances provided by a facility, not every hazardous chemical present at the site will be identified on the list. Examples of the exemptions include consumer products (products packaged as for distribution and use by the general public) and substances regulated under other federal laws, such as hazardous waste.
If you have any questions or would like additional information concerning Safety Data Sheet reporting under EPCRA, contact the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program.
Finding Tier II Data
Requests for information reported by facilities under the EPCRA program, such as inventory or release reports, should be made in writing through the DNREC FOIA Coordinator.
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities are required to submit annual Hazardous Chemical Inventory reports. To be subject to this requirement, a facility must have chemical substances on site for which they are required to maintain Safety Data Sheets, and the substances must be used or stored at the site above specified threshold amounts.
Hazardous Chemical Inventory reports, referred to as Tier II reports, are due by March 1 each year covering chemicals used or stored during the previous calendar year. For each reportable chemical, a Tier II report includes such information as the name of the substance, the associated physical and/or health hazards, the maximum and average daily amounts, the type of storage container(s), and the specific storage location(s) at the site. Along with the Tier II reports, facilities must also submit fees based upon the number of substances reported. These fees are used primarily to support the activities of Delaware’s four Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs).
Threshold amounts that trigger Tier II reporting are based on the maximum amount of the substance present at the site at any time during the previous calendar year. For substances identified as Hazardous Chemicals (defined basically as any chemical that could pose a physical or health hazard), the threshold amount is 55 gallons or 500 pounds (Note: The federal threshold for Hazardous Chemicals is 10,000 pounds, but Delaware law established a lower threshold). For substances identified on the Federal EPCRA list of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs), the threshold amount is 55 gallons, 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity, whichever is lower.
Information reported under this requirement is primarily used to support emergency planning and response activities. Tier II data is entered into a computer system and made available to emergency planning and response organizations, including Delaware’s Local Emergency Planning Committees and 911 Fire Dispatch Centers. However, this information is also made available to the public to promote involvement in preparing for and managing chemical risks in the community. If you would like to obtain EPCRA information, you can make a request by contacting the DNREC FOIA Coordinator.
If you have any questions or would like additional information concerning Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Tier II) reporting under EPCRA, contact the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program.
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), certain facilities are required to submit annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports. These reports are due by July 1, covering activities at the facility during the previous calendar year. TRI is an annual reporting requirement. A facility is required to submit a report for a listed toxic chemical if the facility meets all three of the following criteria:
Facilities within the following industries are currently within covered SIC codes: manufacturing, metal and coal mining, electric generation (coal and oil-fired), wholesale chemical distributors, wholesale bulk petroleum terminals, solvent recovery services, and waste management facilities regulated under RCRA Subtitle C. Only a small fraction of Delaware businesses (70 to 80 facilities annually) report under TRI based on meeting all three criteria listed above. The Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program reviews other information sources within DNREC to identify non-reporting or under-reporting facilities.
Facilities are required to base TRI data on measurements and monitoring data when these are available; however, if such data are not available, reasonable estimates may be based on published emission factors, mass balance calculations, or good engineering judgment. The methods of estimating or calculating data used by different facilities, or even the same facility over time, may vary, and thus the accuracy of the reported quantities may vary as well. The Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program performs cross-checks of the data with other information sources within DNREC to verify its accuracy and contacts facilities concerning apparent discrepancies.
Chemicals are periodically added to or deleted from the list of reportable toxic chemicals as new information about these chemicals becomes available. The list currently includes 576 individual chemicals and 28 chemical categories. A chemical category may include a discreet list of chemicals or may represent any chemical that possesses the category’s characteristics.
Facilities must complete a Form “R” for each reportable chemical, utilizing EPA’s Automated TRI-ME web reporting software. Although a few facilities that meet certain criteria may submit an abbreviated report called Form “A” for a reportable chemical, DNREC recommends all reports be submitted on Form R. After a facility determines that it must report on a given chemical, the facility is eligible to use Form A for that chemical only if,
For PBT’s, NO PBT’s may be reported on Form A
DIOXINS must be reported using Schedule 1, available only in TRI-ME web.
Form A is a two-page report that only provides facility information (essentially the same as Part 1 on the Form R) and the identification of the chemical, but no release, transfer, and waste management data. Because of the lack of data, DNREC does not recommend use of Form A.
An important consideration to keep in mind about this data is that TRI does not provide an indication of potential exposure to the reported releases and cannot be used by itself to determine the impact on public health. The chemical’s release rate, toxicity, and environmental fate, as well as local meteorology and the proximity of nearby communities to the release must be considered when assessing exposures.
TRI data provided through this site include on-site releases to the air, water, and land, off-site transfers of reported chemicals in waste for recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal, and on-site waste management, including recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. All amounts are in pounds per calendar year. Data is periodically updated as a result of receiving late reports and revisions to previously submitted reports.
Analysis of the TRI data from Delaware facilities is performed and published annually in the Delaware Toxics Release Inventory Report. This report contains tables, charts, and maps that present more than a dozen different analyses, including statewide rankings and trends. This report also provides a more detailed description of the TRI program than is presented here. Copies of this report are available free-of-charge contacting the Delaware EPCRA Reporting Program. Any questions about the TRI program or requests for additional TRI data should be directed to the TRI Coordinator at the same number.