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HMBP Questions and Answers

Last modified: 1/10/2013 7:59 AM
A HMBP is a document containing detailed information on the storage of hazardous materials at a facility. Chapter 6.95 of California Health and Safety Code (HSC) and Title 19, Division 2, of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) require that facilities which use or store such materials at or above specified reporting thresholds submit this information.
The intent of the HMBP is to satisfy federal and state Community Right-To-Know laws and provide detailed information for use by emergency responders. All persons at the facility qualified to serve as emergency coordinators must be thoroughly familiar with the contents and use of the HMBP, with the operations and activities of the facility, and with the locations of hazardous materials records maintained by the facility.
A HMBP must be submitted for each facility where any individual hazardous material or waste, or mixture containing a hazardous material, is present at or above its reporting threshold at any time during the reporting year.
1.Solids: 500 pounds or more of any hazardous material.
   [HSC §25503.5(a)] 

2.Liquids: 55 gallons or more of any hazardous material.
   [HSC §25503.5(a)]
: For lubricating oils as defined by HSC §25503.5(b)(2)(B), 55 gallons of each type may be stored without being HMBP-reportable as long as the aggregate quantity on site of all such oils does not exceed 275 gallons. Note: 1) Used oil is not considered to be a lubricating oil for these purposes. 2) The total quantity must be reported for each each oil handled above 55 gallons (i.e., you do not get to "back out" the first 55 gallons); 3) If the aggregate quantity of all lubricating oils exceeds 275 gallons, the lubricating oil exemption does not apply, and the reporting threshold for each oil becomes 55 gallons.  [HSC §25503.5(b)(2)(A)]

3.Gases: 200 cubic feet or more of any hazardous material that is gaseous at standard temperature and pressure
   (STP). [HSC §25503.5(a)]
Exceptions: 1) Per HSC §25503.5(d), up to 300 gallons of Propane used for the sole purpose of heating the employee working areas within the facility may be stored without being HMBP-reportable.; 2) Per HSC §25503.5(b)(1), up to 1,000 cubic feet at STP of Oxygen, Nitrogen, or Nitrous Oxide at a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian,or pharmacist’s place of business may be stored without being HMBP-reportable.
4.Radioactive materials handled in an amount requiring an emergency plan under Parts 30, 40, or 70 of Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, or applicable quantity specified in items 1, 2, or 3, above, whichever amount is smaller.[HSC §25503.5(a)]
5.Extremely hazardous substances (EHS) listed in 40 CFR Part 355, Appendix A, when handled in an amount above their applicable federal threshold planning quantity (TPQ), or applicable quantity specified in items 1, 2, or 3, above, whichever amount is smaller.
Retail (Consumer) Products packaged for direct distribution to, and use by, the general public are exempt from HMBP requirements except where the local agency determines otherwise pursuant to HSC §25503.5(c)(1). Unidocs Member Agency interpretation is that materials qualify for this exemption only if the following requirements are met:

1.The product is not dispensed from containers at the storage facility;

2.The product is stored in a “retail display area” as defined in Section 2802.1 of the California Fire Code (i.e., Quarts of oil sitting in a display area for sale at a service station are exempt, but oil used by a mechanic in the service bay is not exempt.);

3.Containers are no larger than 5 gallons (liquids) or 100 pounds (solids); and

4.Handling of the product does not present unacceptable risk to public health, safety, or the environment.
HMCD reserves the right to require a HMBP for any facility upon determination that the manner of use or storage of hazardous materials is such that additional information is necessary for emergency response purposes.
Facilities that store or handle hazardous materials in quantities below those requiring submittal of a HMBP are still required by the local Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance (HMSO) to disclose their storage/handling of hazardous materials to HMCD by submitting a completed Hazardous Materials Registration Form if they are located within the cities of Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, or Saratoga, or in any unincorporated area of Santa Clara County.
Per State law and regulations, the HMBP must contain the following elements:
  • Unified Program Consolidated Form (UPCF) Business Owner/Operator Identification page
  • UPCF Business Activities page
  • Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement page(s) 
  • Emergency Response/Contingency Plan information 
  • Employee Training information 
  • Facility Plot Plan/Storage Map(s) 

The easiest way to comply is to use the Unidocs format Hazardous
Materials Business Plan packet
since it contains all of the required elements.

Facilities located within the cities of Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, or Saratoga, or in any unincorporated area of Santa Clara County must include with their HMBP or Hazardous Materials Registration Form a completed Aboveground Separation, Containment, and Monitoring Plan* addressing management of hazardous materials that are liquids or solids at standard temperature and pressure, and a copy of the form(s) used to document required periodic inspections of hazardous materials storage areas.

* The monitoring plan is not required if the facility has no aboveground storage of hazardous materials or only handles materials that are gases at STP.
The HMBP must be revised and submitted to HMCD within 30 days of the occurrence of any of the following events:
1. A 100% or more increase in the quantity of a previously disclosed material; 

2.The facility begins handling a previously undisclosed material at or above HMBP reporting thresholds; 

3.The facility changes address; 

4.Ownership of the facility changes; or 

5.There is a change of business name. [HSC §25510] 

6.Additionally, if HMCD determines that the HMBP is deficient in any way, the plan must be revised and the revisions submitted to HMCD within 30 days of the notice to submit a corrected plan.
[HSC §25505(a)(2)]

Annual Inventory Certification/Submittal - Without regard to the above events, the owner, operator, or designated representative of the facility  must complete and submit to HMCD a Hazardous Materials Business Plan Certification Form [or a copy of the current hazardous materials inventory and an updated certification signature and date at the bottom of the UPCF Business Owner/Operator Identification page] annually.[HSC §25503.3(c) and 19 CCR §2729.4(b)]


EPCRA Facilities - Facilities subject to Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) reporting requirements must submit the following to satisfy annual inventory certification requirements: A UPCF Business Owner/Operator Identification Page with current signature and date; a UPCF Business Activities Page; and Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement page(s) with an original signature, photocopy of an original signature, or signature stamp on each page which lists an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) handled at or above its Federal Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), or 500 pounds, whichever is less. [19 CCR §2729.5(c)]

3 Year Review and Certification - The entire HMBP must be reviewed every three years to determine whether revision is needed. The facility owner,operator, or designated representative must certify that the review wasperformed and any needed changes were made. This certification is accomplished by completing and submitting to the local agency a Hazardous Materials Business Plan Certification Form if no changes have been made to the HMBP, or a copy of the complete HMBP with an updated certification signature and date at the bottom of the Business Owner/Operator Identification page. [HSC §25505(c)]
If all of the following conditions are met, facilities with an approved
HMBP on file with HMCD are exempt from the requirements for annual HMBP inventory certification/submittal and triennial HMBP review/certification . The site must: be an unstaffed remote facility located in an isolated sparsely populated area; be secured and inaccessible to the public; be marked with warning signs in accordance with California Fire Code requirements; and handle no more than: [HSC §25503.5(c)(6)]

  • 500 gallons of combustible liquid fuel (e.g., diesel);
  • 1,200 gallons of flammable gas fuel (e.g., propane);  
  • 200 gallons of corrosive battery electrolytes (liquid- or gel- type);
  • 500 standard cubic feet of compressed inert gases (e.g., nitrogen); and
  • 500 gallons of lubricating and/or hydraulic fluids.
Effective July 1, 2011, the City of San José transferred responsibility for implementing the Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) and underground storage tank (UST) programs to HMCD. Unified Program billing and permitting were also transferred to the County. San José Fire Department (SJFD) and HMCD have worked closely together to ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible, with minimal impact on businesses. Here are a few things you should know:


  • Effective July 1, 2011 all Unified Program permit fee billing will be done by the County on the existing billing cycle established by the City of San José. The County will issue new Unified Program Permits.
  • Effective July 1, 2011 all HMBP certifications and submittals must be made to HMCD, and all HMBP and UST compliance inspections will be handled by HMCD. Since first-responder copies of HMBPs are forwarded to the fire department, SJFD has requested that HMCD collect inventory information for hazardous materials handled in quantities below HMBP reporting thresholds so they do not need to request duplicate submittals to satisfy the disclosure requirements of the City of San José's Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance. To assist with compliance, HMCD has developed the following HMBP forms that include a supplemental page for Locally Reportable Hazardous Materials:

  • SJFD will continue to perform aboveground hazardous materials storage and Fire Code compliance inspections within San José city limits. Only the Unified Program HMBP and UST programs are impacted by this change. Hazardous waste compliance inspections continue to be handled by HMCD.
  • On September 13, 2011 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a Resolution establishing Hazardous Materials Business Plan fees. The new fees are effective October 15, 2011. The HMBP fees only apply to facilities in the cities of San Jose and Los Altos, where HMCD implements the HMBP Program without a local Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance authorizing County Hazardous Materials Storage Permits and fees. For details regarding HMBP fees, click here.