A piece of contiguous property consists of three covered sites with various buildings, structures and equipment. The three sites are owned by two different companies - Company A and Company B. All three sites operate completely independently of each other and have separate personnel, finances, and environmental reporting systems. Site 1 and its buildings and structures are owned and operated by Company A and site 3 and its buildings and structures are owned and operated by Company B. The middle site, site 2 and its buildings and structures, are owned by Company A and operated by Company B. Are all three sites and their buildings and structures considered separate facilities under EPCRA Section 313? Who is responsible for reporting for each?
Under 40 CFR Section 372.3 a facility is defined as; "all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person." Because all buildings and structures located on sites 1 and 2 are located on contiguous property and are owned by the same person, they are considered one facility. Because all buildings and structures located on sites 2 and 3 are located on contiguous property and are operated by the same person, they are also considered one facility. Therefore, for purposes of determining thresholds, the toxic chemicals manufactured, processed, and otherwise used at site 2 must be counted toward both Facility A's and Facility B's threshold determinations. Because the operator is primarily responsible for reporting, estimating and reporting releases and other waste management calculations for sites 2 and 3 are the primary responsibility of Company B and the release and other waste management reporting for site 1 is the primary responsibility of Company A. EPA allows the release and other waste management reporting to be done in this manner to avoid "double counting" releases and waste management activities at site 2. However, provided thresholds have been exceeded, if no reports are received from a covered facility both the owner and the operator are liable for penalties. Additional information on facility determinations can be found in the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Forms and Instructions and the Revised 1998 EPCRA Section 313 Questions and Answers Document.