How does your state expect you to submit EPCRA Tier II Reporting?

September 14, 2020

The Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted by Congress to assist local communities in protecting public health by requiring facilities to file an annual EPCRA Tier II Report, identifying hazardous chemical inventories maintained at the facility. Submitting Tier II Reports allows the local emergency personnel to be aware of the chemicals that are present within facilities in their jurisdiction, and prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies.


It is extremely important to verify the submittal method in your state.

The annual federal deadline for submitting Tier II Reports is March 1st (more to come on
this deadline). Facilities are required to report any chemicals, which are included within the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). A list of EHSs and their TPQs can be found at 40 CFR 355, Appendix A. The EPA has compiled a “List of Lists” which provides a consolidated list of chemicals that are subject to EPCRA Tier II reporting along with their Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ). The TPQ is the amount of chemical kept on-site above which you must file a Tier II. It is important to note that ammonia has a Tier II reporting threshold of 500 pounds.

  • Each facility maintaining chemical inventories, as described in the article are required to submit an annual Tier II Report to the following agencies:
  • State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and
  • The fire department having jurisdiction over the facility.

Some states require that Tier II forms be submitted electronically, while other states may require hard copy submittals. Still, others require both digital and printed submissions.

Keep reading to find out more from Travis Weber at SCS Engineers, Tracer Environmental Practice…




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Answer: In the refrigerator

September 19, 2017

Jeopardy question: What is the best way to thaw frozen chocolate?

Chocolate enthusiasts know this and will learn much more at the RETA 2017 National Conference in, where else, Hershey, PA.

The 2017 conference is offering attendees a truly robust program full of a variety of topics, including Technical Sessions in the areas of Compliance, Engineering, Manufacturing & Operations. Hands-On sessions will also be available, as well as Manufacturer Specific Sessions.

SCS Tracer will be welcoming attendees at booth 610, sponsoring Refrigeration Jeopardy, while providing advice and help as they always have. Play Crack the Code and win prizes during the conference. Visit the booth and SCS  sessions for hints.

  • Monday & Tuesday – Gene Dumas is teaching the CARO Review Course 
  • Tuesday – Juan Parra is teaching two Spanish Sessions: Que es un Balance de Energia y por que Me Debe Importar? + Reto de Operador!
  • Wednesday – Mark Carlyle is presenting Do I have Enough of the Right Training
    • Hot Point Session: SCS Tracer Environmental
    • Andrew Fiala is presenting What is an Energy Balance and Why Should I Care?
  • Fun and Games on Friday, September 29 at 10:30 am SCS is hosting Operator & Management Jeopardy + Engineering & Compliance Jeopardy hosted by Amber Dittrick and Daniel Cuevas with Final Jeopardy happening at 11:30.


Details here

SCS Tracer Services here



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

Meet Senior Project Manager Gene Dumas

June 2, 2017

SCS Engineers presents a behind-the-scenes look at the special people who make us thrive and the roles they play within the organization.

Gene Dumas of the SCS Risk Management Group

Gene Dumas joined SCS Engineers in 2015 as a Project Manager for the Risk Management

group with a thirty-year background in the ammonia refrigeration business.  When asked what attracted Gene to SCS, he said “What SCS Tracer did is what I’ve always wanted to do.  SCS Tracer has the passion for making the ammonia industry safer.  SCS goes out of the way for customer service.  Ammonia refrigeration is a very dangerous industry and what separates SCS from other companies is the commitment to safety.”  For years, Gene has known Lee Pyle, Vice President and Project Director for SCS Engineers, within the ammonia refrigeration field and when he met her team at SCS, “I was blown away with their intelligence and passion.  They are super smart and a good group.  Lee put together a hell of a team.”  Considering all those factors, it was an easy decision to join SCS Engineers.

Outside of SCS, Gene has been a member of the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) since 2004.  RETA is a refrigeration organization with a mission statement to enhance the professional development of refrigerating engineers and technicians.  Gene states “it’s basically the education sector of industrial ammonia refrigeration.  We train, develop and certify the people who are actually working in the facilities operating systems.”

Eleven years after becoming a member, Gene was sworn in as a national president on October 1st, 2015 and was president for the 2016 year.  Presently, he is a chairman for RETA and on his last year on the RETA National Board of Directors.

At SCS, Gene considers one of his greatest achievements is mentoring the newer generation to understand their industry better.  “I think my mission in life is to mentor. Mentoring the younger people that are coming in, putting them under my wing, it’s very rewarding, intrinsically rewarding.”  Gene comments, “I want to pass my knowledge to the next generation because we’re losing our skilled craftsman.  It’s very critical that we train.  A trained operator is #1: safe and we need more of them.”

For current and future SCS employees, Gene offers this piece of advice:  “I came here because I wanted new challenges and wanted something new every day.  The minute you quit growing, you’re dying.  The minute you stand still, the world will pass by you.  You better be moving forward because the moment you stop, you become a hazard to yourself and people around you and complacency is your worst enemy. “

SCS Engineers is currently looking for a Senior Professional to add to our Risk Management Ammonia Refrigeration team.  For more details visit the SCS Engineers Careers Page or click here to apply directly.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

SCS Advice from the Field: Proper Ammonia Tag Placement Prevents Human Error

April 27, 2017

An ammonia system that has accurate valve tags, gives detail within facility documentation of SOPs, verifies the accuracy of facility P&IDs, and provides safety measures for operators and contractors for exercising the appropriate valves on the system. Standard operating procedures with proper valve tag placement also helps prevent human error.

Remember, you have the potential to improve safety and minimize risk. A strong training program and accurate operating procedures making a positive impact on worker safety and system operations.

Read the full article here.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Advice from the Field: EPCRA Tier II Hazardous Chemical Reporting – Avoiding Common Mistakes

February 20, 2017

Understanding and correcting typical Tier II deficiencies may help companies with hazardous chemical reporting obligations avoid the recently increased penalties.


On March 1, each year facilities that use hazardous chemicals in specific quantities must file an EPCRA Tier II report identifying the chemicals with the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the local fire department.

Easy to avoid mistakes and omissions in Tier II filings may lead to civil penalties of as much as $54.8K per day. Most cited violations involve just a few common chemicals such as ammonia, sulfuric acid inside equipment, and an EHS that is a component of mixtures. These are often overlooked or thought to be exempt from reporting because the threshold for reporting may be low.

Rather than risk non-compliance, ask the professionals at SCS Engineers about common chemical thresholds, voluntary self-disclosure, and EPA’s audit policies.

Read our most recent EPCRA Technical Bulletin, or contact us at .

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am

SCS Engineers Regulatory Alert: DHS Appendix A: Chemicals of Interest List

September 21, 2016

Any facility that manufactures, uses, stores, or distributes certain chemicals above a specified quantity listed on Appendix A must complete and submit a Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen within 60 days of coming into possession
of the Chemicals of Interest (COI) .

In developing the list, the Department looked to existing expert sources of information including other federal regulations related to chemicals. With the publication of a final Appendix A, all provisions of 6 CFR Part 27, including § 27.210(a)(1)(i), are operative and in effect. The other sources that the Department referenced in part are:

  • Chemicals covered under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program;
  • Chemicals included in the Chemical Weapons Convention;
  • Hazardous materials, such as gases that are poisonous by inhalation; and
  • Explosives regulated by the Department of Transportation.

Many manufacturers, food storage facilties, cold storage facilities, and industries have chemicals that fall into one or more of the listed categories. Please contact our professional staff to find out if your business is at risk of non-compliance of CFR Part 27.

What to do?  Who to contact? Jake Tilley or Lee Pyle of SCS Engineers.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am

SCS Engineers Regulatory Alert: DHS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen

September 15, 2016

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to send notice that all facilities applicable to the rule will need to resubmit their Top-Screen survey. Letters to start going out from DHS on October 1, 2016.

Posted on the DHS site:
Any facility that manufactures, uses, stores, or distributes certain chemicals above a specified quantity listed on Appendix A has 60 days to complete and submit a Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen. The Department may also notify facilities—either directly or through a Federal Register notice—that they need to complete and submit a CSAT Top-Screen.

Lee Pyle, RETA CARO, of SCS Engineers prepared information published by the RETA Breeze.  Read this information in order to prepare for October 1.


PSM / RMP Compliance – CSAT 2.0
By Lee Pyle, SCS Engineers

As some of you may recall, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Final Rule (6 CFR Part 27), Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards was written on April 9, 2007. The rule was finalized prior to finalizing the chemical list. And for the regulatory geek squad, you may recall that ammonia was first listed at 7,500 pounds. IIAR and other industry advocates wrestled with DHS and other legislative bodies to gain consistency with EPA and OSHA – and they won. In the end, the screening threshold quantity for ammonia was listed at 10,000 pounds.

What’s required?

Step #1: Submittal of the Top-Screen Survey (6 CFR 27.200)
The Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) is the Department of Homeland Security’s system for collecting and analyzing key data from chemical facilities. The CSAT is comprised of three secure, web-based tools:

  • Consequence screening questionnaire (Top-Screen);
  • Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) tool
  • Site Security Plan (SSP) template.

Initial CSAT Top-Screens were due early 2008 for existing facilities or within 60 calendar days of coming into possession of any such Chemical of Interest at or above the STQ.

Failure to complete a CSAT Top-Screen within the timeframe provided may result in civil penalties, a Department of Homeland Security audit and inspection, or an order to cease operations.

Step #2: DHS Facility Ranking (6 CFR 27.205)
After collecting all of the TOP Screen Surveys, DHS utilized the submitted data to identify if a facility “presents a high level of security risk”. The DHS included, at their discretion, facilities that have a potential for a terrorist attack that could result in “significant adverse consequences for human life or health, national security or critical economic assets”. If a facility fell into this category, it was further categorized into one of four tiers. The tier system is the vehicle for determining the extent of further requirements.

The majority of ammonia refrigerated warehouses were not tiered further. Until July 20, 2016, there was nothing further to do if you were not considered worthy of being “Tiered”.

On July 20, 2016, DHS suspended the requirement for the submission of TOP Screens in their preparation for the rollout of CSAT 2.0 to prevent duplicate submissions (anyone watching Mr. Robot 2.0? Coincidence – I think not!).

Some of you may have received a notice from DHS with this information. More than likely, the person from your company that registered with DHS has long since moved on to greener pastures and never “transferred roles”.

This notice goes on to explain CSAT 2.0, when it will happen, how to prepare, etc. Basically, DHS expects that the transition to CSAT 2.0 will be complete in October 2016. At that time, DHS will begin to individually notify chemical facilities of interest (that includes those previously determine NOT to be HIGH-RISK) to resubmit the TOP Screen using the updated CSAT 2.0.  This notification will be in writing to each facility’s designated CFATS Authorizer and Submitter. This will be completed in a phased manner so as to not overload the system.

How to prepare?
Be sure you are able to log into your CSAT account and ensure the most up-to-date contact information is available for the submitter and authorizer. Log in to and select the “Update My Information” link to confirm that all information is correct and up-to-date. If you are unable to access your account, please contact the CFATS Help Desk, (866) 323-2957. If your Authorizer / Submitter has left the company, you will need to send a letter to:

Chemical Security Compliance Division
ATTN: CSAT User Registration
Department of Homeland Security
Building 5300,
MS 6282 P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6282

In the letter, state the company name and address. Then include the full name, address, phone number, and email of the new Authorizer / Submitter. Provide a brief explanation of why the transfer is necessary.

If you are the current Authorizer / Submitter, just sit back and wait.


Contact Lee Pyle if you have questions or concerns.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:54 pm