Certified Unified Program Agency Performance Evaluations

CUPA Performance Evaluations

California Health and Safety Code Section 25404.4 requires the Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency to periodically review and assess the ability of each Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) to continually meet the intent of the law: coordination, consolidation, and consistency in implementation and enforcement of all Unified Program elements.  There are approximately 30 performance evaluations completed each fiscal year.

The CUPA performance evaluation process is defined in Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, Article 8, Section 15330.  Each CUPA performance evaluation is conducted by an evaluation team comprised of representative staff from each state agency with Unified Program responsibilities (CalEPA, OSFM, DTSC, and the State Water Board). The evaluation team uses a spectrum of performance measures and criteria and data entered in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) to conduct the assessment.  The evaluation may include a site visit to the CUPA office to examine local program procedures, program documentation and observations of field inspections.  Final performance evaluation results include identified deficiencies, associated corrective actions and time frames for correction, observations and notes of outstanding efforts. The CUPA and state agency representatives agree upon the aspects of the final performance evaluation.

Once the assessment is completed, the CUPA Performance Evaluation closes with the issuance of a Final Summary of Findings Report, which includes the following:

  • Accomplishments, Examples of Outstanding Implementation and Challenges,
  • Deficiencies and associated corrective actions,
  • Incidental findings and associated resolutions, and
  • Observations and recommendations.

The CUPA and state agency representatives agree upon the aspects of the final performance evaluation. CUPA performance and implementation of the Unified Program is rated as: Meets or Exceeds Standards, Satisfactory with Improvement Needed, or Unsatisfactory with Improvement Needed.

Once the Final Summary of Findings Report has been issued, the Evaluation Progress Report Process begins. During the Progress Report Process, a CUPA provides an update on the correction of identified deficiencies and the resolution of identified incidental findings. If a CUPA does not successfully meet the Unified Program requirements prescribed in the statute and regulations, the CalEPA Secretary may enter into a Program Improvement Agreement with the CUPA to ensure improvement in CUPA performance and sufficient implementation of the Unified Program by way of guidance and assistance.

  • 2021 Issued Deficiencies and Incidental Findings (pdf)
  • 2020 Issued Deficiencies and Incidental Findings (pdf)

Performance Evaluation Documents

The Final Summary of Findings Report for CUPA Performance Evaluations conducted prior to 2020 can be requested at CUPA@calepa.ca.gov

Once issued to the CUPA, the Final Summary of Findings Report for CUPA Performance Evaluations conducted during 2020 and subsequent years is available within the Evaluation Schedule for the respective CUPA for the evaluation year.

Additional evaluation documents such as correspondence and Progress Report updates that have been issued to the CUPA can be requested at CUPA@calepa.ca.gov.

Performance Evaluation Survey

CalEPA is committed to continuous improvement of the CUPA performance evaluation process and has developed a survey PDF Format for CUPAs to complete and provide feedback on the recent performance evaluation experiences.

Performance Evaluation Checklists

The following performance evaluation checklists may be used as guidance for a CUPA to prepare for a performance evaluation or to conduct a self-audit for implementation of the Unified Program. These checklists are used by the evaluation team to aid in conducting a consistent assessment by ensuring the same documentation is examined during each CUPA evaluation.

In order to view these documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

California Environmental Protection Agency

Department of Toxic Substances Control

State Water Resources Control Board

Office of the State Fire Marshal

Compendium of CUPA Performance Standards

In an effort to consolidate and make all CUPA requirements more accessible, a compendium of CUPA Performance Standards has been created. The compendium has been used as a tool to aid in finding a specific standard or citation, as a checklist in ensuring that an agency meets all applicable standards and as a reference for deficiencies noted during performance evaluations of CUPAs. There are currently two variations of the Compendium, one organized by program element, and one organized by performance standard.  Each version of the compendium is numbered identically, and includes italicized language that seeks to provide guidance for the user in finding like or similar standards or requirements.

The Compendium:

  • The first version of the Compendium is organized by program element (e.g. HMMP or UST), with subcategories for each performance standard (e.g. inspections, permitting).
  • The second version of the Compendium is organized by performance standard (e.g. inspections, permitting) regardless of program element.