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HMCD Mission and History

Last modified: 3/10/2012 9:37 PM

Mission: The protection of health, life, resources, and property through prevention and control of unauthorized discharges of hazardous materials.

History: The Hazardous Materials Compliance Division (HMCD) was established in 1983 with the adoption of the local Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance (HMSO), which regulates the storage of hazardous materials both above and below ground.  This ordinance, the first of its kind in the state, has several key provisions that when implemented by businesses provides protection of public health and the environment.

In addition to the HMSO, HMCD enforces the County's Toxic Gas Ordinance (TGO) and Non-Point Source (Urban Runoff) Ordinance.

Passage of Senate Bill 1082 in 1993 required consolidation of the following state-mandated hazardous waste and hazardous materials management programs within a single Unified Program, administered by a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA):

  1. Hazardous Waste Generator and Tiered Permitting
  2. Aboveground Storage Tanks
  3. Underground Storage Tanks
  4. Hazardous Materials Release Response Plans and Inventories
  5. California Accidental Release Program
  6. Hazardous Materials Management Plans and Inventories

HMCD has been certified by the state to administer these six programs throughout Santa Clara County; except in the cities of Santa Clara, Gilroy and Sunnyvale, which are themselves CUPAs. It is the responsibility of each CUPA to consolidate administration of the six programs by consolidating permits and billing of permit fees, and developing a single inspection and enforcement program. HMCD has been working closely with the city jurisdictions that serve as Participating Agencies (PAs) within the County Unified Program to develop and implement all required Unified Program elements.