The Hazardous Materials and Site Mitigation Programs strive to protect public health, safety, and the environment by preventing the release of hazardous materials to the environment, and minimizing the impacts of hazardous materials releases when they occur.
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 and Non-Point Source (Urban Runoff) Ordinance.
Passage of Senate Bill 1082 in 1993 required consolidation of state-mandated hazardous waste and hazardous materials management programs within a singled Unified Program, to be administered by a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). These programs are:
1) Hazardous Waste Generator Program
2) Tiered Permitting Program
3) Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP)
4) Aboveground Storage Tank Program (APSA)
5) Underground Storage Tank Program (UST)
6) California Accidental Release Program (CalARP)
HMCD has been certified by the state to be the CUPA 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 their responsibility to consolidate administration of the six programs by consolidating permits and billing of permit fees, and developing a single inspection and enforcement program. HMCD works closely with the city jurisdictions that serve as Participating Agencies within the County Unified Program to develop and implement all required Unified Program elements.