California Accidental Release Prevention Program

CalEPA oversees the state-wide implementation of the California Accidental Release
Prevention (CalARP) program, which aims to prevent accidental releases of extremely
hazardous substances that pose the greatest risk of immediate harm to the public and
the environment, minimize the damage if releases do occur, and to satisfy community
right-to-know laws.

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.


Legal Authority

California State Law: California Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.95, Article 2, Sections 25531 to 25543.3

California State Regulations: California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 5, Chapter 2, Sections 5050.1 to 5160.1

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