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How are these laws enforced?

Federal law requires business and industry operators to perform annual chemical inventories (Tier II Chemical Report) and submit their report to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), local Fire Chief and the LEPC no later than March 1 of each year.

The report (Tier II Chemical Report) is a standardized form, created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to rate and identify chemicals and hazardous materials. Whether or not a company must file this annual list is determined by the type of chemical and how much is on hand.

Having this information readily available to Fire Departments serves two important purposes:

  1. Enhances response time to an incident with the right equipment and personnel.
  2. Immediately alerts first responders whether the public is at risk and advisories are needed.

In the event of a chemical release (spill, leak, emission, gas cloud), a business or industry must report the incident immediately. Texas Health & Safety Codes state a specific timeline for reporting and failure to do so is a violation of both Federal and State law, whether first-responders were dispatched to the scene, or not.

If first-responders are dispatched to a release incident and a Tier II Report is not on file within the jurisdiction, the operator is in violation of the law.

Responding agencies are entitled to recover the costs of securing, containing, and managing the incident.