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Hazardous Materials Business Emergency Plan (HMBEP)

All Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs), Participating Agencies (PAs), and regulated businesses in the state of California must submit forms electronically. Businesses have direct access to their Business Emergency Plans and Chemical Inventories through the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). It also grants local fire agencies immediate access to chemical inventories in the region in case of a spill, fire, or other incidents. These locally implemented programs also satisfy federal community right-to-know laws.


Who is required to prepare a HMBEP?

The Hazardous Materials Business Emergency Plan program requires businesses that handle hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes) or extremely hazardous substances at reportable quantities to submit a HMBEP in CERS.  The reportable quantities equal to or greater than:

  • 55 gallons of a liquid,
  • 500 pounds of a solid, or
  • 200 cubic feet of compressed gas, or
  • Extremely hazardous substances above the threshold planning quantity  photo: chemical drums

The Orange County CUPA verifies information disclosed by businesses and provides it to agencies responsible for the protection of public health and safety and the environment, such as fire departments, hazardous materials response teams, and other local environmental regulatory groups. The public also has a right to review this information, with the exception of documents containing trade secrets or other confidential information. 
For more information regarding the Hazardous Material Disclosure & Business Emergency Plan programs, please call (714) 433-6000 and ask for the Duty Officer. 


Due Dates

*March 1st- Annual chemical inventory certification due.
*March 1st- Annual EPCRA chemical reporting form due.
*March 1st- Annual Emergency Response/ Contingency Plan due. Paper hard copies will NOT be accepted.

Resources and Formsphoto: compressed gas cyclinders

Chemical FireLinks


Laws & Regulations

Business Plan 
State Statute: Health and Safety Code Sections 25500 - 25520 
State Regulation: Title 19 California Code of Regulations, Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 4 
Federal Statute: 42 United States Code 11002 
Federal Regulation: Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 370 
Spill Release Reporting 
State Statute: Health and Safety Code Section 25507 
State Regulation: Title 19 California Code of Regulations, Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 2 
Federal Statute: United States Code, Title 42, Section 9602, 9603 and 11004 
Federal Regulation: Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 302 and 355 

Frequently Asked Questions

Any material, because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or the environment if released into the workplace or the environment; or any material that is required to have a Material Safety Data Sheet according to Title 8, Section 339 of the California Code of Regulations.

If you use, handle or store hazardous materials in quantities equal to or greater than the following threshold quantities: 

  • 55 gallons of a liquid 
  • 500 pounds of a solid 
  • 200 cubic feet of a gas 

AND / OR: 

Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) – Federal and State laws now mandate special reporting of chemicals found on the EHS list maintained by the US EPA. You must report any of these chemicals if the amounts on hand at any given time exceed the “Threshold Planning Quantity” (TPQ) on the list, or if they exceed the general quantities listed above (55 gallons/500 pounds/200 cubic feet), whichever is less. 

EXAMPLE: Chlorine gas is on the EHS list, with a TPQ of 100 pounds. You have up to 150 pounds stored on-site at any given time (a standard chlorine cylinder is 150 pounds). Even though you handle less than the 500-pound general quantity, you must still disclose because chlorine gas is a listed chemical. 

The EHS list can be found on the web at the EPA.

Yes, if they meet or exceed the threshold quantities of 55 gallons, 500 pounds or 200 cubic feet.

Yes.  Disclosure is NOT required for the following: 

  1. Oxygen, nitrogen and nitrous oxide maintained by a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or pharmacist in quantities equal to or less than 1000 cubic feet at any one time, at his or her office or place of business. 

  1. Lubricating oil is exempt for a single business facility if the total volume of each type of lubricating oil handled at that facility does not exceed 55 gallons, and the total volume of all types of lubricating oil handled at that facility does not exceed 275 gallons at any one time. 

For purposes of this paragraph, “lubricating oil” means any oil intended for use in the crankcase of an internal combustion engine, or the transmission, gearbox, differential, or hydraulic system of an automobile, bus, truck, vessel, plane, heavy equipment, or other machinery powered by an internal combustion or electric powered engine.  “Lubricating oil” does not include used or waste oil.

Hazardous material contained solely in a consumer product for direct distribution to, and use by, the general public (this exemption does NOT include the materials used to manufacture these products).

  1. Any material that is in transit under active shipping papers. This applies to chemical distributors who receive, then redistribute materials in their original containers, without bulk storage and handling or repackaging; AND the materials are on site for 30 days or less.

  1. The on-premise use, storage, or both of propane in the amount not to exceed 300 gals used for the sole purpose of heating the employee work areas within the business (AB 403).

Make sure you have your plan available on-site for review. Make sure your annual training has been conducted and the documentation is available for review also.

You are required by law to notify this Agency in writing of any changes in the business and/or chemical inventory information within 15 days. Such changes may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Handling of previously undisclosed hazardous material subject to disclosure 
  • Change in quantity of previously disclosed hazardous material 
  • Change of business ownership 
  • Change of business name 
  • Change of business address 

Changes to your Business Emergency Plan must be submitted to this Agency within 30 days. If you are unsure whether you must report, please call this office at (714) 433-6000 for further assistance.

Yes.  Fees support the operational costs of the Hazardous Materials Management Section and are based upon the number of chemicals (including products and wastes) used, handled, or stored by your business.