Facilities involved in producing, processing, handling or storing chemical substances must report any accidental release that results in a fatality, serious injury or substantial property damage to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) within eight hours. While many companies already have been complying with the rule which went into effect in March 2020, the CSB reports that some have expressed uncertainty about reporting requirements.

To help remove this uncertainty about the reporting process, The CSB issued a guidance document clarifying the reporting rules of its “Accidental Release Reporting Rule.”

The CSB’s guidance document clarifies key terms found in the reporting regulation such as what constitutes regulated substances for the reporting requirement and the threshold amounts related to property damage for which reporting is required. The guidance also addresses specific scenarios and emphasizes that if an owner or operator is unsure about whether to report a release to the CSB, they should do so rather than risk violating the rule by failing to report.

In July 2022, the CSB released its first set of data collected from the reporting rule, which includes all the reportable events received by the CSB since the rule went into effect. The CSB’s data is comprised of 162 incidents, of which 25 resulted in fatalities. In addition, 92 of the events resulted in serious injuries, and there were 68 instances of substantial property damage.