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    Complyrpedia is the knowledge base for businesses that are required to comply with California environmental regulations

Hazardous Materials


California hazardous materials regulations have their roots in the Hazardous Materials Business Plan program.

From the CalCUPA website:

“The Hazardous Materials Business Plan program was established in 1986 and is similar in scope to the Federal Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). These laws were passed in response to the chemical disaster in Bhopal India in 1984 and to other incidents that had occurred in the United States. The goal is to prevent or minimize the damage to public health and safety and the environment from a release or threatened release of hazardous materials. This is achieved by businesses providing their chemical inventories to local agencies that in turn provide that information to their emergency responders.”

Regulatory Agencies:

Conditions for inclusion of the program:

If a facility has on site (for any purpose) at any one time:

  •  hazardous materials at or above 55 gallons for liquids;
  •  500 pounds for solids;
  •  200 cubic feet for compressed gases
  •  A hazardous compressed gas in any amount (highly toxic with a Threshold Limit Value of ≤ 10 parts per million). Complyrs does not currently offer compliance support for highly toxic compressed gas.
  •  Extremely hazardous substances above the threshold planning quantities (TPQs). Complyrs does not currently offer compliance support for extremely hazardous substances.
  •  Any quantity of hazardous waste
  • There are some exemptions and special threshold conditions.

Required tasks:

Inspection Frequency and Authority:

Your CUPA is required to inspect your site every three years, unless you have an underground storage tank. In which case, inspections will be yearly and will usually co-occur with the UST monitoring system certification test. If you have a UST, you should be ready to have a complete facility inspection every year. Also, be aware that these are minimum inspection frequencies. Agencies can choose to inspect more frequently for whatever reason, if they so choose.
You are required to provide access for CUPA inspectors. Inspection authority is granted by various sections of the California Health and Safety Code and the California Code of Regulations.

Hazardous Material Storage Facility Requirements:

Here is a list of documents you should have available and posted to your California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) account:
In addition, the inspector will physically inspect your site and compare your written chemical inventory and site map to observations. If there are discrepancies, you will be asked to correct them and may be issued a citation. In addition, chemicals must be stored in labeled containers that are compatible with their contents. Chemicals with the potential to react with one another should be stored separately.
Hazardous materials are also regulated by other agencies, like the fire marshal. You should be familiar and compliant with those requirements as well.

Related Programs

Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

Aboveground Petroleum Storage  Act (APSA)

Hazardous Waste


California CUPA Forum: Business Plans County of Santa Clara: HMBP Exemptions

California Department of Toxic Substances Control: Certified Unified Program Agencies


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