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Electronic Reporting

Last modified: 3/5/2013 3:46 PM
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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why am I required to report electronically?

Assembly Bill (AB) 2286 (Feuer) was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, chaptered on September 29, 2008 and went into effect January 1, 2009.  As of January 1, 2013, the law requires regulated businesses to use the Internet to file required Unified Program information previously filed by paper forms. This includes data associated with:

 
• Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBP);
• Underground Storage Tanks (UST);
• Hazardous Waste On-Site Treatment Per State “Tiered Permit” Requirements;
• Hazardous Waste Recycling;
• Remote Accumulation of Hazardous Wastes Generated Off-Site.
 
Does this law create new reporting requirements?
No.  This law only changes the reporting method for information that was already required to be submitted.   Data from the following Unified Program Consolidated Form (UPCF) pages that have historically been submitted as hard copies will now need to be submitted electronically:
 
• UPCF Business Activities page;
• UPCF Business Owner/Operator Identification page;
• UPCF Hazardous Materials Inventory Chemical Description pages (i.e., HMBP inventory);
• UPCF Hazardous Waste On-Site Treatment (Tiered Permit) forms;
• UPCF Hazardous Waste Remote Consolidation Site Notification Form;
• UPCF Recyclable Materials Reporting Form;
• UPCF Underground Storage Tank Operating Permit Application and UST Monitoring Plan forms.
 
Do I have to make my first electronic submission by January 1, 2013?
No.  January 1, 2013 is not a reporting deadline.  Existing reporting deadlines are unchanged by this law and vary depending upon the regulatory program and agency enforcing that program.  For example, if you normally submit a HMBP certification form by March 1 of each year, then you will have to submit it electronically by March 1, 2013.  Please note, HMBP submissions and recertifications are accepted throughout the year, provided they are submitted within 12 months of the last submission or recertification date.
 
How do I submit information electronically?
The County and local Fire Agencies are developing a local web portal (i.e., website) where businesses may submit required information and access additional compliance tools and resources. Information collected through the portal will be transmitted electronically to Cal/EPA’s state-wide database, the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). We anticipate that our portal will be operational in the first quarter of 2013.  Businesses will be notified when the portal is ready for use.  If you are required to make a submission before the portal is available, you may go directly to CERS. 
 
Can I submit data both to CERS and the local portal?
No. As soon as the portal is available, you will need to submit using only one of the reporting systems.  We highly encourage you to use the portal.  It will allow you to meet both State and local requirements from one website.  It will also provide tools and information beyond what is available in CERS.  Businesses that use CERS as their primary reporting system may need to submit additional forms and information directly to the local agency in order to meet local requirements.
 
What if I don’t have internet access?
The County of Santa Clara is dedicated to making the transition to this new process as smooth as possible.  For a limited time, we will continue to accept paper copies on a case-by-case basis from businesses that have difficulty using computers or accessing the Internet. If you have such difficulties, please call the County at (408) 918-3400 to discuss your specific situation.
 
Will all agencies be approaching electronic reporting the same way?
No.  Some agencies will choose to develop a local portal, while others will have their businesses reporting directly to CERS.  The portal described in this FAQ is intended for businesses within Santa Clara County, excluding those in the cities of Gilroy, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.
 
How will electronic reporting benefit businesses and agencies?

Electronic reporting will save time and resources by allowing all of the following:

  • Businesses and their contractors can quickly access, update and submit Unified Program information.
  • Multi-jurisdictional businesses can submit required information through a single reporting system;
  • Agencies can review submittals from one central system and respond using automated e-mail notifications;
  • Emergency Responders can quickly see a facility’s current hazardous materials inventory and site maps;

What can I do now?

  • Basic facility and underground storage tank data has already been uploaded to CERS by HMCD. Those eager to report electronically through CERS may go directly to the CERS website to obtain a user account and request access to their facility record(s). Consultants and contractors requesting Business Lead User access to CERS facility records that do not currently have a Business Lead User must submit a completed CERS Business Lead User Authorization Form. Training materials developed by Cal/EPA are also available.
  • Those wanting access to the local portal should periodically check this website for additional information on portal availability, training opportunities, and eReporting updates.
 
For other eReporting questions, e-mail or call (408) 918-3400 and ask to speak with a representative from the Hazardous Materials Program.
 
DOCUMENTS
 
BUSINESS LEAD USER AUTHORIZATION FORM
 
Document Number
      Title
Format
  Description
HMCD-098
CERS Business Lead User Authorization Form
 
Form used by business owners to authorize Business Lead Users in the California Environmental reporting System (CERS). 
 
 
 
 
GETTING STARTED ON CERS
 
Document Number
      Title
Format
  Description
HMCD-131
Getting Started On the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)
 
Guidance document for new users of the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). 
 
 
 
 
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS BUSINESS PLAN MODULES FOR ELECTRONIC REPORTING (Alphabetical by Title)
 
CERS does not have individual data entry elements for some of the information that is required to be in contained in Hazardous Materials Business Plans. If you are currently using CERS, you must upload a Word or PDF file attachment to satisfy the California Health and Safety Code Chapter 6.95 and California Code of Regulations Title 19 requirements that the HMBP contain Site Plan and Storage Map information showing the facility layout and chemical storage/handling locations, emergency response plans and procedures, and employee training information.
You may use the documents on this page to satisfy HMBP requirements. Complete the forms, then print or scan them as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files for upload to CERS using CERS' "Upload Document" feature. Note that many computer printers and photocopiers these days also have a scan function, and some can automatically generate PDF documents. CERS requests that maps be uploaded as PDF files since they are scalable without loss of resolution, and have relatively small file sizes, both of which benefit the emergency response agencies that will use the maps.
The documents listed below are available to satisfy those requirements.
 
 
Document Number
      Title
Format
  Description
​​N/A ​CERS Consolidated Contingency Plan Template You may use this form, or the Unidocs Uniform Document below, to satisfy the requirement that your HMBP address emergency response plans and procedures and the training of facility personnel in responding to emergencies. This document is not required for Hazardous Materials Registration Form facilities unless they are required to prepare a Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan.
​​N/A ​CERS Consolidated Contingency Plan Instructions
UN-020 CERS ​Hazardous Materials Business Plan Modules for Use With Electronic Reporting (HMBP) You may use this Unidocs Uniform Document, or the CERS form above, to satisfy the requirement that your HMBP address emergency response plans and procedures and the training of facility personnel in responding to emergencies. This document is not required for Hazardous Materials Registration Form facilities unless they are required to prepare a Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan.
​UN-020 CERSMAP ​Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) Site Plan and Storage Map for Use With Electronic Reporting You may use this document to satisfy the requirement that your HMBP contain information regarding the facility layout and chemical storage locations. CERS requests that maps be uploaded as PDF files since they are scalable without loss of resolution, and have relatively small file sizes, both of which benefit the emergency response agencies that will use the maps.