San Bernardino County Fire Department
Hazardous Materials Division
Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) Program
620 South "E" Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0153
Peter Brierty, Fire Marshal
The Hazardous Materials Division of the San Bernardino County Fire Department is
designated by the State Secretary for Environmental Protection as the Certified
Unified Program Agency or "CUPA" for the County of San Bernardino in order
to focus the management of specific environmental programs at the local government
level. The CUPA is charged with the responsibility of conducting compliance inspections
for over 7000 regulated facilities in San Bernardino County. These facilities handle
hazardous material, generate or treat a hazardous waste and/or operate an underground
storage tank. The CUPA provides a comprehensive environmental management approach
to resolve environmental issues. This balanced approach utilizes education and effective
enforcement procedures to minimize the potential risk to human health and the environment
and establish an atmosphere to promote fair business practices.
As a CUPA, San Bernardino County Fire Department manages six hazardous material
and hazardous waste programs. The CUPA program is designed to consolidate,
coordinate, and uniformly and consistently administer permits, inspection activities,
and enforcement activities throughout San Bernardino County (with the exception
of the city of Victorville). This approach strives to reduce overlapping and
sometimes conflicting requirements of different governmental agencies independently
managing these programs. The six programs are:
Permit Requirements and Fees
Facilities that handle hazardous materials or generate hazardous wastes will require
a CUPA permit that includes each applicable CUPA program element. The
forms that are required for the permit application depend on which program
element(s) apply to the facility. The minimum information for the application
is contained in the Business Emergency/Contingency
Plan. The Activities Declaration in that package and the following
program descriptions can help you identify additional required forms. To discuss
your specific permit requirements contact a Specialist at (909) 386-8401.
When proposing a new or modified
facility it is advisable to contact the CUPA, the fire department having
jurisdiction for the fire code implementation, the local water and sewering agencies,
the air pollution control district, and the local planning and building authorities
as early as possible in the planning process. Each of these organizations
may have additional requirements for permits and plans.
The CUPAs policy is to educate facility operators regarding requirements for handling,
storage and proper disposal of hazardous substances. The inspection program
focuses on public awareness and provides information designed to assist facility
operators with compliance. To protect human health, safety and the environment
the CUPA also has a comprehensive Investigations and Enforcement
program that addresses facilities that engage in unlawful business practices.
Hazardous Materials Release Response Plans And Inventory (Business Plan)
The purpose of this CUPA program is to provide information regarding hazardous materials
at facilities to emergency responders and to the general public, and to coordinate
reporting of releases and spill response among businesses and local, state, and
federal government authorities. Facilities are required to disclose all hazardous
materials and wastes above certain designated quantities which are used, stored,
or handled at their facility. The plans must be updated by March 1st of each year,
or within 30 days of a substantial change. Facilities are also required to
train their employees to safely handle chemicals and to take appropriate emergency
response actions. Inspections are conducted periodically to verify the inventory
and other information on the business emergency/contingency plan.
In San Bernardino County, the Business Emergency/Contingency Plan ("Business
Plan") is also used to satisfy the contingency plan requirement for hazardous
waste generators. Any business subject to any of the CUPA permits is required in
San Bernardino County to file a Business Emergency/Contingency Plan. These
forms are used as the basis of the permit application. A new business going
through the process of obtaining County or City planning or building approval is
required to comply with the Business Emergency/Contingency Plan requirement prior
to obtaining final certificate of occupancy and prior to bringing hazardous materials
onto the property.
The quantities that trigger disclosure are based on the maximum quantity on site
at any time excluding materials under active shipping papers or for direct retail
sale to the public. The basic quantities are: hazardous materials at or exceeding
55 gallons, 500 pounds, or 200 cubic feet at any time in the course of a year; any
amount of hazardous waste, category I or II pesticides, or explosives; specified
amounts of radioactives, and extremely hazardous substances above the threshold
planning quantity. Submission of the Business Emergency/ Contingency Plan
satisfies the EPCRA 311-312 Tier II Reporting requirement of the USEPA if done in
accordance with EPCRA instructions. For more information, see the
Business Emergency/Contingency Plan Guidelines and Forms.
With the exception of confidential contact and location information and substantiated
trade secrets, the business plan is available for review by the public. Requests
to review business plans or any other Hazardous Materials Division records are handled
through our Hazardous Materials Records Research and Review Service.
Businesses that handle hazardous materials are required by law to provide an immediate
verbal report of any release or threatened release of hazardous materials, if there
is a reasonable belief that the release or threatened release poses a significant
present or potential hazard to human health and safety, property, or the environment.
Agency reporting numbers are located on Page 4 of your Business Emergency/Contingency
Plan. Fines of up to $25,000 per day and one year in prison may result if you fail
to report a release or a threatened release. Any releases or threatened releases
of hazardous materials must be reported to the Hazardous Materials Division at 1.800.33.TOXIC
or 909.386.8425 and to the State Office of Emergency Services (OES) Warning Center.
Reports to OES can be made by calling 800.852.7550 or 916.845.8911. If a release
involves a hazardous substance listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title
40, and the release equals or exceeds the reportable quantity, an additional immediate
verbal report must be made to the National Response Center and a follow-up notice
must be filed within 15 days of the incident. Reporting forms may be obtained from
this Department or from the California Code of Regulations Title 19.
What is a Hazardous Material?
The California Health and Safety Code defines a Hazardous Material as "any
material that because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics
poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or the
environment if released into the work-place or environment." Thus, hazardous
material is a broad term for all substances that may be hazardous, specifically
including hazardous substances and hazardous waste. Substances that are flammable,
corrosive, reactive, oxidizers, radioactive, combustible, or toxic are considered
hazardous. Because of the broad definition of this law, if a substance is
considered hazardous under any other environmental, safety, or transportation law
or regulation, it is likely to meet the definition of hazardous material for
this law. These include substances that require a Material Safety Data Sheet
under worker protection laws, substances that are regulated as hazardous under transportation
laws, and substances that are listed as radioactive under federal environmental
regulations. Some common hazardous materials include: oil, fuels, paints, thinners,
cleaning solvents, compressed gases, radioactive materials and pesticides.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
Any business that violates any provision of the Business Emergency Plan shall be
civilly liable in an amount of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each
day of the violation. Any business that knowingly and willfully violates any provision
of the Business Emergency Plan shall be civilly liable in an amount not to exceed
five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day of the violation (CA Health and Safety
Code, Section 25514(b)).
Any person who willfully prevents, interferes with, or attempts to impede the enforcement
of this chapter by any authorized representative of an Administering Agency is,
upon conviction, guilty of a misdemeanor (Health and Safety Code, Section 25515.1).
If the violation results in, or significantly contributes to an emergency, including
a fire to which the county and/or city is required to respond, the person(s) shall
also be assessed the full cost of the county and/or city emergency response as well
as the cost of cleaning up and disposing of the hazardous material.
Where can I get forms or help?
If you have any question or concerns, please contact
this Division. The Business
Emergency/Contingency Plan forms are available from this site or they
can be mailed to you.
Accidental Release Prevention Program (CalARP)
The goal of the San Bernardino County California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP)
program is to reduce risks of regulated substances involving regulated substances
through the evaluation of hazards and consequences and the development of Risk Management
Plans (RMPs) and Prevention Programs.
Authority: The CalARP program is codified in Chapter 6.95,
Article 2 of the California Health and Safety Code and the regulations for
this program are in the California Code of Regulations
(CCR) Title 19, Section 2735.1 et seq. The San Bernardino County
Fire Department has the authority for this program throughout the 20,000 square
mile County with the exception of the incorporated City of Victorville which operates
its own CUPA programs through the Victorville City Fire Department.
CalARP requires certain facilities (referred to as "stationary sources")
which handle specified chemicals (termed "regulated substances") to take
specified actions to proactively prevent and prepare for chemical accidents.
The CalARP program replaced the previous existing California Risk Management and
Prevention Program after federal EPA instituted the Accidental Release Prevention
Program within the Clean Air Act 112(r). All facilities handling regulated
substances above threshold quantities are required to file a
CalARP registration form.
Risk Management Plans(RMP): A Risk Management Plan requires
offsite consequence analysis, evaluation of process hazards, and implementation
of an accidental release prevention program. Stationary sources are required
to coordinate the development and documentation of the prevention program with the
CUPA. The most common regulated substances found in San Bernardino County
that require a RMP are chlorine, nitric acid, ammonium hydroxide, and anhydrous
ammonia. There are hundreds of other chemicals that may require the RMP at specified
threshold quantities. These specific chemicals and their threshold quantities are
listed in the Appendix C of the Business Emergency/Contingency Plan Guidelines and
Forms or in the CalARP regulations found in CCR
Where can I find information on the RMP?
The California Accidental Release Prevention
Program regulations and other Statewide information regarding CalARP are
located at the web site of the California
Office of Emergency Services. Extensive guidance is available from US EPA's web site and these tools are useful for stationary
sources preparing RMPs whether they are subject to the federal rule or not.
When is my RMP due?
Facilities with new or modified covered processes are required to prepare Risk Management
Plans and implement accident prevention programs before operations commence. The
risks related to regulated substances may also trigger additional studies or mitigations
for new facilities seeking land use approval. Existing facilities handling quantities
of regulated substances listed under the federal Clean Air Act 112 (r) were required
to file a RMP with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the CUPA and
implement their prevention programs by the federal deadline of June 21, 1999. Those
facilities that have submitted a RMP previously are required to submit a revised
RMP no later than 5 years after the initial RMP submission. Facilities working
on the five-year anniversary Risk Management Plan (RMP) update should be aware that
EPA has proposed regulatory and technical changes to RMP submissions to be effective
early 2004. At the time the new requirements become effective, the new RMP*Submit
version will be on-line and the previous version will no longer be available or
accepted for submissions.
For all other existing handlers of regulated substances, the San Bernardino County
CUPA originally established a deadline of March 1, 2004 for the submission of all
remaining RMPs. In November of 2003, that deadline was extended to September 1,
2004. The regulations require that the methodologies for the technical studies and
the level of documentation of the prevention program be coordinated with the administering
agency. In addition to the Business Emergency
/Contingency Plan and the Regulated substance
registration form, a Basic RMP Workplan
is required of all facilities preparing a Risk Management Plan. The
San Bernardino County CUPA CalARP Submission Process describes specific
requirements to coordinate with this CUPA.
Underground Storage Tank Program
The Hazardous Materials Division oversees the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program
throughout San Bernardino County, with the exception of Victorville.
purpose of this program is to ensure that hazardous substances are not released
into the groundwater and/or the environment from UST systems. Specialists annually
inspect tank system components and the associated monitoring equipment, as well
as inventory records, to ensure that the UST systems comply with applicable laws
UST Owner/Operator Responsibilities
- Maintain appropriate permits and pay annual fees.
- Comply with applicable laws and regulations set forth
in Chapter 6.7 of the California Health & Safety Code and the associated regulations
in Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations.
- Submit required documents:
- Maintain all equipment and monitoring programs.
- Complete monitoring certifications and submit results.
- Report and remediate all unauthorized releases.
Construction and Removal of UST Systems
The Hazardous Materials Division oversees the construction (installation, modification,
repair) and the removal of UST systems. Prior to commencing site work, project activities
require a valid permit and approval of plans. More specifically, plan submittal
is required for the following activities:
- New installations
- Piping and/or UST upgrade
- Any project that requires breaking or removing concrete/asphalt/soil
from over the tank slab/piping trench/dispenser islands
- Cathodic protection system installation
- Replacement or installation of leak detection monitoring panels and/or probes
See the UST Construction Guidelines or UST Removal Guidelines for more details
regarding installation/modification/repair and removal requirements.
Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA)/Spill Prevention,
Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan)
Facilities that have cumulative aboveground storage
capacities of petroleum products at or exceeding 1,320 gallons are subject to the
Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA). Facilities that are subject
to APSA must prepare a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC
Plan) in accordance with the oil pollution prevention guidelines in the Federal
Code of Regulations (40
Facilities handling petroleum or any other hazardous material require a
business emergency/contingency plan. Both petroleum and non-petroleum aboveground
storage tanks are subject to
Uniform Fire Code requirements of the authority having fire code jurisdiction.
Where San Bernardino County Fire is the fire prevention authority (incorporated
cities of Adelanto, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Needles, and Yucca Valley
and the unincorporated areas of the County), aboveground storage tanks may require
plan check approval from the
Community Safety Division.
For more information refer to our APSA/SPCC page.
Hazardous Waste Generation
and Onsite Treatment
As part of the CUPA, the Hazardous Materials Division implements the Hazardous Waste
Inspection Program. The purpose of this program is to ensure that all hazardous
wastes generated by San Bernardino County facilities are properly managed. Specialists
in this program inspect facilities that generate hazardous waste, investigate complaints
of unlawful hazardous waste disposal, and participate in public education.
These programs are designed to provide information about laws and regulations relating
to safe management of hazardous waste.
What is Hazardous Waste?
Hazardous waste may be liquid, solid or sludge. The waste may be by-products of
manufacturing processes or simply unwanted commercial products. If the waste has
any of these four characteristics, then it is considered to be hazardous:
More information on specific hazardous wastes can be found in the California Health
and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.5 and the California Code of Regulations
Title 22 or by contacting a Specialist at (909) 386-8401.
of Hazardous Wastes & Tiered Permitting
Treatment is any method, technique or process which changes the physical, chemical,
or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste. Treatment
is also the removal or reduction of a waste's harmful properties for any purpose
including, but not limited to, energy recovery, material recovery or volume reduction.
Treatment does NOT include the removal of residues from the manufacturing
process equipment for the purposes of cleaning that equipment. Facilities
treating or planning to treat hazardous waste on-site must notify the CUPA by completing
a Tiered Permitting notification form
to obtain appropriate authorization. Questions relating to Tiered Permitting should
be directed to a Specialist at 909.386.8401.
Hazardous Waste Generator Responsibilities
- Clearly label each container of hazardous waste with:
Maintain proper emergency equipment
Maintain a current contingency plan
Provide training to employees
Keep accurate disposal and training records
Limit on-site storage to regulatory limits
Select appropriate treatment methods for hazardous wastes
Use only authorized hazardous waste disposal facilities
Whenever possible, eliminate, reduce and recycle wastes
Prepare a source reduction plan or checklist as required
- The words "Hazardous Waste"
- Contents of the container
- Name and address of the generator
- Hazardous properties of the waste
- Physical state (e.g., liquid, solid, gas)
- Starting date for waste accumulation
For additional information about these requirements contact a Specialist at 909.386.8401.
Hazardous Waste Minimization/ Pollution Prevention
Pollution Prevention is the general term for reducing the amount of hazardous waste
generated by your facility. Pollution Prevention can be incorporated into
your business in several ways:
Source Reduction: Buying and using non-hazardous raw materials in your process.
Recycling: Reusing the waste that is produced by your process.
Recycling must be done within specific restrictions and may require notification
Pollution Prevention is a good business model because managing hazardous waste is
expensive. These costs include: hazardous waste permit fees, transportation
fees, disposal fees and taxes, liability insurance, employee handling, loss of raw
materials, the potential expenses of employee injuries, degraded public relations
and cleanup fees for mishandling the wastes. The less hazardous waste you
generate -- the less cost and liability for your company.
Recyclable Materials Reporting Form
If your facility recycles any amount of waste (on site or off site) you must complete
and submit a Recyclable Materials Reporting
Form. This form shows how much, what type, and which recycling method
you are using for the material you are recycling. An approved copy of this
form must be in our office if you are using recycling to meet the exemption under
Contact your inspector or follow the link
above to get the form and instructions.
SB 14 (Hazardous
Waste Source Reduction Plan)
If your facility routinely generates 12,000 kilograms (26,400 pounds or 3,300 gallons)
of a hazardous waste in a reporting year (e.g., 2010) you must complete a Source
Reduction Evaluation Review and Plan, a Hazardous Waste Management Performance Report,
and complete and submit a Summary Progress Report before the following September
1 (e.g., September 1, 2011). These documents will guide you into looking at your
facility and finding ways to reduce waste. Exclusions apply to automotive fluids,
cleanup soil, and several other types of wastes. Small businesses may complete a
shorter form. Go to the web site of the
Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
to get more information and the forms and instructions.
Your inspector can answer many general pollution prevention questions, but if you
need more information on specific types of pollution prevention for different industries
contact the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network.
Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that are more common, pose a lower risk to
people and the environment, and are generated by a wide variety of people rather
than by the industrial businesses that primarily generate other hazardous wastes.
Federal and State regulations identify universal wastes and provide simple rules
for handling, recycling, and disposing of them. The regulations, called the “Universal
Waste Rule,” are in the California Code of Regulations , Title 22, Division
4.5,Chapter 23. The most common universal wastes are non-automotive batteries, fluorescent
tubes, cathode ray tube (CRT) materials, consumer electronic devices, non-empty
aerosol cans, and mercury switches. All universal wastes are hazardous wastes and,
without the new rules, they would have to be managed under the same stringent standards
as other hazardous wastes. Unlawful disposal of a Universal Waste carries all of
the consequences that the unlawful disposal of a hazardous waste in the State of
California. More information on managing Universal Wastes is available on our Universal Waste Program page and on the Department
of Toxic Substances Control Universal Waste Page
Materials Management Plans and Inventory Statements under Uniform Fire Code Article
The Uniform Fire Code has a provision for the local fire agency to collect information
regarding hazardous materials at facilities for purposes of fire code implementation.
Due to the demands of local needs, and the significant differences in the purposes
and thresholds of UFC information, San Bernardino County Fire unequivocally supports
its local fire agencies in their requests for Hazardous Materials Management Plans
and Hazardous Material Information Statements. Many fire agencies accept the
Business Emergency/Contingency Plan towards meeting a portion of this requirement.
Some fire agencies require information which is not in the business emergency/contingency
plan in order to implement their local fire prevention programs.
Local fire agencies also have separate permitting and plan check requirements from
the CUPA for the storage and use of hazardous materials. Facilities within
the fire code jurisdiction of San Bernardino County Fire should review the
NFPA 704 labeling standards. For questions regarding fire code permitting
requirements in the County jurisdiction, call our
Community Safety Division at 909.386.8400.
How To Prepare For A Facility
California Health and Safety Code Sections 25185, 25508 and 25280 require CUPAs
to inspect facilities that handle hazardous materials and/or generate hazardous
wastes and/or operate an underground storage tank. The following should assist you
in preparing for your inspection:
An unannounced inspection.
Because of the regulatory nature of our inspections and the uncertain timeframes
involved with each facility, you should expect unannounced inspections.
A general walkthrough of the facility will be conducted to look at processes
and storage areas. The Specialist will ask questions regarding facility operations
during the walkthrough.
Keep areas clean where hazardous materials and wastes are used and stored.
Good housekeeping procedures can also prevent workplace injuries, such as slips,
trips and falls. Keep all containers labeled and the labels facing out for easy
identification and make sure hazardous waste labels are complete.
Handling and accumulating hazardous material and waste is serious business. Although
you may use these substances everyday, don't become complacent with the proper and
safe handling of these hazardous substances. They are called hazardous for a reason.
Potential fire, explosions, inhalation hazards and long-term health problems can
result from the mishandling of these substances.
All hazardous material and hazardous waste records (receipts, invoices, hazardous
waste manifests, etc.) must be available for review. Photocopies of records are
acceptable as long as they are legible and the originals can be produced if needed.
All hazardous waste records must be kept for a minimum of three years. Other records
that must be available include:
Business Emergency Contingency Plan, employee training records, storage
area checklists, underground storage tank records, SPCC plans (for aboveground storage
tanks), SB 14, recycling records, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and process
After the inspection, the Specialist will go over any areas that need correction
and a preliminary report will be provided. A formal report and certificate
of compliance will be submitted to you within sixty days. Pay close attention to
the amount of time given to correct any violations and to submit paperwork that
may be required. Failure to correct violations noted may result in legal action.
If you can't meet the timeline, contact your Specialist well in advance of the compliance
Inspections need not be time consuming or overly intrusive. With your help, our
inspectors can complete their inspections and help you and your facility with meeting
hazardous material and waste regulations, as well as protecting your employees and
making the County a safer place.