In collaboration with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California CUPA Forum Board, CalEPA deployed a new feature in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) on September 18, 2020. This feature will allow a business owner/operator who is not required to annually submit Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) information into CERS to easily certify that HMBP information in CERS is complete, accurate and, if applicable, meets EPCRA reporting requirements. For further information and guidance, please reference the CERS Business and Regulator Portal Help Document.
Certain events, such as high winds during periods of high fire danger, may require electric utilities to de-energize their high tension lines to avoid the chance of these power lines setting catastrophic fires. These events are called Public Safety Power Shutoffs, and one result of these shutoffs is a blackout in the service area of the affected lines. In order to alleviate these blackouts, the electric utility may temporarily use generators downstream of the shutoff to supply power to their customers. Ordinarily, a hazardous materials business plan would be required for the operation of such a generator. The CUPA Forum Board, in collaboration with Cal OES, the State Fire Marshal’s office, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the California Environmental Protection Agency, has developed an application for utilities to request a temporary exemption from the business plan requirements. This application is for a “handler exemption” from business plan requirements, pursuant to California Health & Safety Code, section 25507(d). The application is sent the appropriate CUPA (Unified Program Agency), who, with appropriate public input, may grant temporary exemption from business plan requirements.
All sections within California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 19, Division 2, Chapter 4, Hazardous Material Release Reporting, Inventory, and Response Plans have been renumbered. This change was necessary because Senate Bill 84 (2015) added Article 3.9 (commencing with Section 8574.30) to Government Code Title 2, Division 1, Chapter 7, Regional Railroad Accident Preparedness and Immediate Response. Cal OES is required to implement regulations under Article 3.9. Those new regulations will be added to CCR, Title 19, Division 2 as Chapter 4.1, immediately following the renumbered Chapter 4. The Chapter 4 section renumbering does not materially alter any requirement, right, responsibility, condition, prescription, or other regulatory element of any California Code of Regulations provision. For more information regarding the renumbering, please refer to the following document:
Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) program was established in 1986. Its purpose is to prevent or minimize the damage to public health and safety and the environment, from a release or threatened release of hazardous materials. It also satisfies community right-to-know laws. This is accomplished by requiring businesses that handle hazardous materials in quantities equal to or greater than 55 gallons of a liquid, 500 pounds of a solid, or 200 cubic feet of compressed gas, or extremely hazardous substances above the threshold planning quantity (40 CFR, Part 355, Appendix A) to:
Businesses must submit this information electronically to the statewide information management system (California Environmental Reporting System, or
CERS). For help in doing this, businesses should contact their local implementing agency (Certified Unified Program Agency or CUPA). Once the submittal has been made, the CUPA will verify the information and provide it to agencies responsible for the protection of public health and safety and the environment. These agencies include:
The Public also has a right to review most of this information. However, the release of confidential and trade secret information to the public is regulated by state and federal law. This satisfies community right-to-know laws and facilities local land use decisions. For public requests of information contact the CUPAs directly.
The federal equivalent to the Business Plan program is the
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) 311/312 reporting requirements. Owners and operators are required to prepare and have available
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard and must submit an inventory of their hazardous chemicals to the
State Emergency Response Commission (SERC),
Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC), and the local fire department annually on March 1st. This requirement is achieved through compliance with the Business Plan program. Contact your local CUPA for complaince and questions.
Fred Mehr, Environmental Scientist
Phone: (916) 845-8754
Listed below are State and Federal Laws and Regulations that affect the HazMat Business Plan program:
State Statute: Health and Safety Code Sections 25500-25519
Regulation: Title 19, California, Code of Regulations, Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 4
Federal Statute: United States Code, Title 42, Section 11021-11022
Federal Regulation: Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 370
Listed below are useful links related to the HMBP program. Some of these links may point to an external website. Cal OES is not responsible for content found on these sites.
CalEPA California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)
CalEPA Unified Program Agencies (UPA) Directory
U.S. EPA Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
CalEPA Unified Program