nyc-right-to-know-filingFiling a NYC Community Right-to-Know annual report is the same under both Federal and City law. For multiple facilities, you must file a separate report for each location.

The Facility Inventory Form (FIF) requires you to provide the following Community Right-to-Know information:

  • Owner/ operator name and contact information.
  • Emergency contacts, including a 24/7 phone number. This is critical.
  • Chemical description – list different states (solid, liquid, gas) separately.
  • Chemical abstract services (CAS) number.
  • You may claim a “trade secret” if you need to withhold the identify of a substance, but for “proprietary” information, you must get the formulation from the manufacturer.
  • Physical and health hazards – you’ll find this information on the container label or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that chemical. Hazards include fire, sudden release of pressure or reactivity and may cause acute (immediate) or chronic (delayed) response.
  • Inventory – you have to report all amounts in pounds. Multiply the volume by the density to get weight for liquids or gases. For each substance, you must also indicate estimated maximum and average amounts present at your facility during the year, number of days on site (for the entire year use 365), storage location(s), storage code(s), container type(s), pressure and temperature.
  • Certification – the owner, operator or another officially designated person must personally sign the submission. Filings with stamped or photocopied signatures will not be accepted. If you use a consultant to prepare your filing, you still must sign it yourself.

You must pay a fee along with filing your report. Fees are determined by a matrix that takes into account the total number of hazardous substances you report, the highest maximum amount you report for any one substance, and whether any substances you report fall into the extremely hazardous category and were present at or above Threshold Reporting Quantity levels.

For many owners and facility managers, using a consultant to prepare Community Right-to-Know filings isn’t such a bad idea. You can get help from someone knowledgeable about chemicals, their coding and specific attributes. An environmental consultant is also very familiar with all the nuances of Community Right-to-Know and can help ensure your compliance procedures and filings are thorough.

Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, if you haven’t started to prepare your  2012 RTK filing, now would be a good time to start. The deadline is March 1st.