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San Jose Hazardous Materials Facilities

Last modified: 3/5/2012 11:52 AM

On July 1, 2011, the City of San José terminated its agreement with Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) for the city to provide inspection and support services for six State environmental programs, collectively known as the Unified Program. Responsibility for implementing the Underground Storage Tank (UST) program, the Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) program, and Unified program billing and permitting were all transferred to DEH. The remaining four programs have been, and will continue to be, implemented by DEH in San José. The following is a complete list of the environmental programs that make up the Unified Program:

  • Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) Program
  • Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program
  • Hazardous Waste Generator Program
  • Hazardous Waste On-Site Treatment Tiered Permit Program
  • California Accidental Release Prevention (Cal ARP) Program
  • Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) Program

In the past, the city invoiced and collected permit fees for the programs implemented by DEH as part of the required single fee/permit requirement. This activity is now handled by DEH. Due to the rapid transition of the programs, DEH is just now invoicing businesses in San José for permits that expired between June 30, 2011 and November 1, 2011. During the months since the transition, we have coordinated with the city and taken additional steps necessary to ensure that your permit and invoice are as accurate as possible.


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 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What has changed? Effective July 1, 2011, San José Fire Department ceased being a Unified Program Agency (UPA) and gave up the Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) and Underground Storage Tank (UST) programs. Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) now has have sole responsibility for permitting, inspection, and enforcement of those programs in addition to the hazardous waste generator, hazardous waste tiered permit (on-site treatment), Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA), and Cal-ARP programs, plus all Unified Program permitting and billing activities. These changes only impact regulated facilities in the City of San José.

How does this change benefit businesses? DEH will implement all Unified Program elements in the City of San José, so in most cases only one inspector will visit each business to verify compliance with those State regulations. In addition, questions regarding any of the above programs or your Unified Program consolidated permit can now be directed to a single agency.

Will additional permits be required? No. The format of the Unified Program consolidated permit will be different, but the permitted activities will be the same as those covered by the permits previously issued by the City of San José . The timing of billing and issuance of permits match the City of San José's existing cycles, so businesses will not be charged twice for the same period.

Will San José Fire Department still regulate businesses that store or handle hazardous materials? Yes. The City has authority pursuant to the California Fire Code and the City's Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance and Toxic Gas Ordinance. The City will issue its own permits for those programs (e.g., hazardous materials storage permits, toxic gas permits, special occupancies, etc.) and may conduct inspections pursuant to that authority.

Will there be any changes to the plan check process? Yes, but for UST systems only. Plans for hazardous materials plan check review will continue to be submitted to the City of San José. However, an additional submittal to HMCD will now be required for the installation or modification of UST systems regulated by State law. Plan check guidance documents and forms are available on-line at www.EHinfo.org/hazmat.

How does this impact notifications and document submittals? As of July 1, 2011, all unauthorized release reports, HMBPs, annual HMBP inventory certifications, UST equipment testing notifications, and required submittals associated with UST systems must be made to DEH's Hazardous Materials Compliance Division (HMCD). DEH requests that businesses not submit data electronically via the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) until further notice. Submittals may be mailed to Santa Clara County HMCD at the address on the letterhead. PDF documents may be sent via eMail to hmcd.cers@deh.sccgov.org.

If my businesses generates hazardous waste or treat hazardous waste on-site but is not required to submit a HMBP, how do these changes affect me? The only impacts will be the billing and permitting changes noted above.

Where can I get more information? Please contact the Hazardous Materials Program Phone Duty Officer at (408) 918-3400, or send us an eMail at hmcd.cers@deh.sccgov.org. For questions related to invoices and permits issued by the City of San José, call Michael Murtiff of San José Fire Department at (408) 535-7694.

Page updated on 10/18/2011