Unified Program

CalEPA oversees California’s Unified Program. The program protects Californians from hazardous waste and hazardous materials by ensuring local regulatory agencies consistently apply statewide standards when they issue permits, conduct inspections and engage in enforcement activities. The Unified Program is a consolidation of multiple environmental and emergency management programs Read more about the Unified Program

Unified Program and COVID-19 Update

State agencies under the Unified Program are working together to provide regulated facilities and other stakeholders with current information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performance evaluations of Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) have now resumed. CalEPA is obtaining regular status updates from CUPAs on impacts to their local Unified Programs. For additional information, visit the Unified Program and COVID-19 webpage.

Electronic Reporting

Effective January 1, 2009, all regulated businesses and local Unified Program Agencies (UPAs) are required to submit Unified Program information electronically, either to the local regulatory agency or to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). CERS supports electronic data exchange among businesses, UPAs, state agencies, and U.S. EPA. Read more about Electronic Reporting.

CUPA Performance Evaluations

A periodic performance evaluation of each CUPA is conducted to ensure adequate and effective implementation of the Unified Program by the local agency. Read more about the CUPA performance evaluation process, evaluation schedule, and evaluation results.

State Surcharges

The State Surcharges, paid by all businesses regulated under applicable program elements of the Unified Program, are used to fund the reasonable costs for all State Agencies with Unified Program Responsibilities. CUPAs are responsible for billing and collecting the state surcharges from each regulated business or facility as part of the Single Fee System. State Surcharges for Unified Program elements are as follows:

  • Oversight: $49.00 per business/facility
  • Underground Storage Tank Program: $20.00 per tank
  • California Accidental Release Prevention Program: $270.00 per regulated business
  • Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act Program: $26.00 per tank facility
  • Refinery Safety:  Assessed to Refinery Facilities according to the daily barrel capacity (DBC)
    • $45,000 – Tier 1 (equal to or greater than 200,000 DBC)
    • $27,500 – Tier 2 (100,000 to 199,999 DBC)
    • $13,750 – Tier 3 (50,000 to 99,999 DBC)
    • $3,500 – Tier 4 (Less than 50,000 DBC)

 

Unified Program News

AB 1429:  CERS HMBP Annual Certification

Background:
Assembly Bill 1429 of 2019 (Health and Safety Code Chapter 6.95 Article 1, Section 25508) modifies the Hazardous Material Business Plan (HMBP) program by changing the business plan submittal period from annually to once every three years for businesses not subject to EPCRA Tier II reporting requirements or the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act.  AB 1429 also requires these businesses to annually review and certify that the information in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) is complete, accurate, and in compliance with EPCRA.  An electronic HMBP submittal to CERS satisfies this certification requirement.  The businesses who are not subject to the EPCRA or APSA requirements will still be required to submit a complete HMBP every three years.

CERS currently does not have this HMBP certification functionality.  CalEPA is currently working to develop the HMBP certification functionality in CERS, which will allow businesses to annually certify that the HMBP information in CERS is complete, accurate, and in compliance with EPCRA.

CERS Solution:
The CERS solution will create the functionality in CERS that will allow a business to certify annually that the information in CERS is complete, accurate, and in compliance with EPCRA in lieu of a complete HMBP submittal in CERS.  The primary components of the CERS solution are:

  • HMBP Certification Option to User Interface – insert a certification button to allow businesses to certify the HMBP information in CERS is accurate and complete instead of submitting a complete HMBP.
  • Determining/Validating HMBP Certification Eligibility – submittal in past 36 months, not subject to EPCRA or APSA, etc.
  • Add New Submittal Status “Certified” – The submittal will come in the system as certified and be automatically accepted with no further action required by CUPA.
  • Add New Event Types/Notifications for “Certified” Submittals – email notifications, etc.
  • Update Affected Reports – to add “certified” submissions.
  • Update Windows Services – used for large user print jobs, large submittal, and inventory downloads, etc., to ease the burden on the server.
  • Testing certification functionality (internal, external and portal CUPA’s) – This will be an ongoing process as the CalEPA IT Team completes sections of the overall update requirements.  Subject matter experts and key stakeholders are involved in user acceptance testing for each of the major requirements.  The deployment of new features will be created in the CERS test environment as they are completed.  When there are testable units of functionality, SMEs and key stakeholders will be asked to participate in testing.
  • Deployment in CERS – Once all requirements and functionality are completed, tested, and approved by the Unified Program and stakeholder community, the final solution will be deployed to the CERS production environment.  At this point, eligible businesses can certify that the HMBP information in CERS is complete, accurate, and in compliance with EPCRA.

Status:
The Cal EPA IT Team have began development of the Annual HMBP Certification functionality in CERS.  Development of each of the major requirements will use an iterative process where subject matter experts and key stakeholders are involved in each development iteration to provide input for the development of each requirement.

Anticipated Completion Date:
Mid-August – Early September 2020

Potential Future Additional Modifications:

  • Allow businesses with multiple facilities to certify all qualified facilities at one time, rather than a single facility at a time;
  • EDT Tier changes.

 

CalEPA Denies Imperial County Fire Department CUPA Application,Opens the Opportunity for CUPA Participation 
(Posted Aug. 6, 2019)

CalEPA Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld issued a final notice of denial to the Imperial County Fire Department (ICFD) in response to its application to assume authority as the county’s Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). The state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has served as the CUPA for Imperial County on the public’s behalf since 2005 and will continue to do so.

ICFD submitted the application to become the CUPA on Aug. 31, 2018. A public hearing on the matter was held in December 2018. On March 19, Secretary Blumenfeld issued a Notice of Intent to Deny the ICFD application, citing a number of inconsistencies and gaps in the ICFD’s plans and capabilities. On May 6, ICFD submitted a revised application and requested a second public hearing. CalEPA and the state agencies that participate in CUPA oversight reviewed then revised the application and CalEPA held a second public hearing July 17.

The Secretary’s letter cites several unresolved deficiencies in ICFD’s application and notes that DTSC has not withdrawn from its obligations to implement the Unified Program. Applicable laws and regulations do not provide authority to decertify DTSC while it is in good standing. Nonetheless, the Secretary has directed DTSC to work with ICFD to develop a Participating Agency agreement, allowing ICFD to implement the Hazardous Material Business Plan program element of the Unified Program by Dec. 31.  A Participating Agency agreement presents an opportunity for ICDF to demonstrate its commitment and capacity to effectively implement the Unified Program, with close oversight by DTSC and CalEPA. There are 24 other local participating agencies now operating within the Unified Program in other counties throughout the state. The CalEPA staff report accompanying the Secreatary’s letter contains further recommendations for terms of the agreement.

To learn more, read the Documents on the Imperial County Fire Department CUPA Application.

Resources:

  • CalEPA Regulated Site Portal
    The CalEPA Regulated Site Portal is a website that combines data about environmentally regulated sites and facilities in California into a single, searchable database and interactive map. The portal was created to provide a more holistic view of regulated activities statewide. By combining data from a variety of state and federal databases, the portal provides an overview of regulated activities across the spectrum of environmental programs for any given location in California. These activities include hazardous materials and waste, state and federal cleanups, impacted ground and surface waters, and toxic materials. The portal combines information from the following databases:
  • Cal/OSHA – Inspection and enforcement information reported to federal OSHA
  • CERS – The California Environmental Reporting System
  • CIWQS – The California Integrated Water Quality System
  • EIS – U.S. EPA’s Air Emission Inventory System
  • EnviroStor – Permitting, enforcement and cleanup activities at hazardous waste facilities and sites with known or suspected contamination
  • GeoTracker – Impacted groundwater sites within the state, such as leaking underground storage tanks, cleanup sites, and permitted facilities such as landfills and operating underground storage tank facilities
  • SMARTS – The Stormwater Multiple Application and Report Tracking System
  • SWIS – The Solid Waste Information System
  • TRI – The Toxics Release Inventory

Unified Program Listservs