The Unified Program
The Unified Program protects Californians from hazardous waste and hazardous materials by ensuring consistency throughout the state regarding the implementation of administrative requirements, permits, inspections, and enforcement at the local regulatory level. CalEPA oversees the statewide implementation of the Unified Program and its 81 certified local agencies, known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs), which apply regulatory standards established by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), and the California Environmental Protection Agency. Read more about the Unified Program.
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.
The State Surcharges affecting each entity regulated under the Unified Program are used to fund the costs of 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. Beginning fiscal year 2014-2015, a new Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) surcharge was approved in the amount of $26.00 per regulated tank facility. The new APSA surcharge covers the necessary and reasonable costs incurred by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to perform duties and responsibilities to implement, maintain and oversee the APSA program. 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
Unified Program News
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.
- 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