California Accidental Release Prevention 

Program Overview

The California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) program was implemented on January 1, 1997, and replaces the former California Risk Management and Prevention Program (RMPP). The purpose of the CalARP program is to prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment, and to minimize the damage if releases do occur.

CalARP requires certain facilities (referred to as “stationary sources”) which handle, manufacture, use, or store any regulated substances above threshold quantities to take actions to proactively prevent and prepare for accidental releases. Facilities subject to CalARP requirements must submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP).

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) oversees the implementation of the CalARP program at the state level, while Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) and/or Participating Agencies (PAs) implement the CalARP program at the local level.

What is a Risk Management Plan?

A Risk Management Plan is a document prepared by the owner or operator of a stationary source containing detailed information including, but not limited to:

  • Regulated substances held onsite at the stationary source;
  • Offsite consequences of an accidental release of a regulated substance;
  • The accident history at the stationary source;
  • The emergency response program for the stationary source;
  • Coordination with the local emergency responders;
  • Hazard review or process hazard analysis;
  • Operating procedures at the stationary source;
  • Training of the stationary source’s personnel;
  • Maintenance and mechanical integrity of the stationary source’s physical plant; and
  • Incident investigation.

Who is Required to Submit a Risk Management Plan?

An owner or operator of a stationary source that has more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance (as specified in Tables 1-3, CCR, Title 19 section 2770.5) in a process are required to complete and submit a RMP. There may be exemptions and exclusions for owners and operators.

Program Levels
The CalARP program has distinct program levels that relate to the accident potential at a facility. There are four program levels with increasing requirements depending upon the complexity, accident history, and potential offsite impact of a release.

  • Program Level 1 covers processes that pose comparatively low risks to the public.
  • Program Level 2 covers processes that do not meet the Program Level 1 requirements and typically have less complex processes than Program Level 3 requirements. Retail facilities, small to medium manufacturing facilities, and some publicly owned drinking water or wastewater treatment plants may be examples of Program Level 2 processes.
  • Program Level 3 typically covers the most complex chemical processes. These processes are in industrial sectors with substantial accident histories, have significant potential offsite consequences, or are subject to the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. Program Level 3 processes are mainly at medium to large manufacturing facilities; facilities with large refrigeration storage systems; utilities; and high volume, publicly-owned drinking water or wastewater treatment plants.
  • Program Level 4 covers all processes within petroleum refineries, except for plant laboratories or laboratories that are under the supervision of a technically qualified individual as defined in 40 CFR Section 720.3(ee). This exemption does not apply to specialty chemical production, manufacture, processing, or use of substances in pilot-plant-scale operations and activities conducted outside the laboratory.

Process Safety Performance Indicators for Program 4
Program 4 CalARP stationary sources are subject to further requirements under 19 CCR Article 6.5.

19 CCR Section 2762.16(h) discusses Process Safety Performance Indicators. Subsection (h)(1) requires owners or operators of Program 4 facilities to submit a report to CalEPA and the UPA every year on June 30 for the period from January 1 to December 31 of the prior year containing the Process Safety Performance Indicator information listed in 19 CCR Section 2762.16(h)(1) subsections (A) through (E).

This requirement can be met by submitting the below Annual CalARP Process Safety Performance Indicator Form, or equivalent information, to the inbox every year on June 30 for the period from January 1 to December 31 of the prior year.

Annual CalARP Process Safety Performance Indicator Form

Legal Authority:

California State Law: Health & Safety Code (H&SC), section 25531 to 25543.3

California State Regulations: California Code of Regulations, Title 19 (19 CCR or “Title 19”), section 2735.1 to 2785.1,

Federal Law: Clean Air Act 112 (r)

Federal Regulations: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40, Part 68.

If you have any questions regarding the CalARP program, please contact