With nearly 30 years of experience in Hazardous Materials consulting, we are the original experts on HMBP writing and reporting. At Sidera, we understand that the manufacturing and service industries drive our economy forward. We can fortify that drive with a HazMat reporting program that will not slow you down.


HMBPs are essential to the safety of your employees and the environment. They protect your business from inspectors and fines by decreasing the chance of a hazardous material spill and provide procedures to respond to various emergency situations.


What is a Hazardous Material?

A “hazardous material” is any material that, because of its physical/chemical characteristics, poses a potential hazard to humans and/or environmental health if released into the workplace or the environment. These requirements vary by local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) jurisdiction.

Hazardous materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Propane for heating, cooking, or cooling in quantities up to and including 1000 gallons.
  • New lubricating oils: up to 55 gallons of any specific grade of oil, not to exceed 275 gallons total combined
  • Carbon dioxide for beverage carbonation: cryogenic ≤ 3500cubic feet, non-cryogenic ≤6000 cubic feet
  • Portable breathing air and oxygen for emergency response by government agencies (including fire)
  • Medical gases (oxygen, nitrogen and nitrous oxide) in a medical office: ≤1000 cubic feet
  • Gases used in Closed Fire Suppression Systems
  • Nonflammable gases used in closed refrigeration systems
  • Materials classified solely as an irritant or sensitizer: solids <5000 pounds and liquids <550 gallons
  • Inert, compressed, refrigerated or cryogenic gases (nitrogen, helium, argon, xenon, krypton, neon and non-enriched air) classified hazardous solely for pressure release or simple asphyxiation: <1000 cubic feet
  • Compressed, refrigerated or cryogenic carbon dioxide: <1000 cubic feet
  • Refrigerant gases other than ammonia or flammable gas in a closed cooling system that are used for comfort or space cooling for computer rooms
  • Oil-filled electrical equipment that is not contiguous to an electrical facility if the aggregate capacity does not exceed 1,320 gallons
  • Fluid in a hydraulic system if the aggregate capacity does not exceed 1,320 gallons.
  • Hazardous materials contained solely in consumer products for direct distribution and use by the general public. These materials are typically packaged and available to the public in a retail outlet in small packages (e.g., supermarket, nursery or hardware store).

What is a Hazardous Materials Business Plan?

An HMBP is a document containing detailed information on the:

  • Inventory of hazardous materials at a facility.
  • Emergency response plans and procedures in the event of a reportable release or threatened release of a hazardous material.
  • Training for all new employees and annual refresher training about safety procedures in the event of a release or threatened release of a hazardous material.
  • A site map that contains the following:
    • North orientation
    • Hazardous material loading and use areas
    • Hazardous material handling and storage areas
    • Internal roads
    • Adjacent streets
    • Storm and sewer drains
    • Access and exit points
    • Emergency shutoffs
    • Evacuation staging areas
    • Emergency response equipment

The purpose of the HMBP is to:

  • Provide basic information necessary for use by first responders in order to prevent or mitigate damage to public health and the environment from a release or threatened release of a hazardous material
  • Satisfy federal and state Community Right-To-Know laws

Does my facility need a HMBP?

HMBPs are required for any business that uses or stores Hazardous Materials that meet or exceed these quantities at any one time:

  • 55 Gallons of liquid (one drum)
  • 200 Cubic Feet of compressed gas
  • 500 Pounds of solids

NOTE: Minimum quantity reporting depends on the local regulating CUPA

What is the California Electronic Reporting System (CERS)?

The state of California requires all HMBPs to be submitted electronically to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). CERS is a database developed by the state for businesses to fulfill and disclose the information required in the HMBP.

What is a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA)?

Certified Unified Program Agencies are local bureaus from fire departments or environmental health departments certified by the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to implement the CalEPA Unified Program elements in the CUPA’s jurisdiction. Regions or counties divide jurisdictions. The CalEPA Unified Program consolidates, coordinates, and makes consistent the administrative requirements, permits, inspections, and enforcement activities of the HMBP.

When do I submit and update my HMBP on CERS?

Annual updates are required throughout the state. Submission due dates vary by local CUPA jurisdiction, but most are due by March 1, and others are due in January.

Additionally, facilities must update their HMBP information and resubmit on CERS within 30 days for any of the following changes:

  • Add/remove/switch hazardous materials
  • A 100% or greater increase in quantity of a hazardous material already reported
  • Move a hazardous material to a different storage location (can affect emergency response)
  • Modify/build new structures on site (storage map update)
  • Undergo personnel, ownership, address, or business name changes listed on the owner/operator document

What happens after I submit my HMBP to CERS?

Your local CUPA inspector will review your HMBP submission for approval.

  • First-time submissions will be verified on-site by a local hazardous material inspector, which allows the facility to obtain a Unified Program Facility Permit.
  • Annual updates are reviewed in a similar fashion. Not always do local CUPAs perform a verification inspection.
  • The facility should always be ready for an unannounced inspection.
  • Upon review, you will receive a CERS notification of approval or a Notice of Non-Compliance or Violation depending on the inconsistencies between the site and online reporting.


We work diligently to keep our clients clear of CUPA compliance inspections and penalties. We have helped facilities with major violations resolve their issues with no fines. Here are a few examples of our recent projects:

Business Facility – HMBP Problems / OUTCOME with Sidera:

  • International Cosmetics Manufacturer – No Hazardous Material Business Plan filed, missing MSDSs, managers were completely unaware of state regulations.

OUTCOME: Facility inspected by Sidera staff, HMBP written, Hazardous Materials inventory of over 500 materials cataloged and registered to CERS, new maps drafted, new emergency procedures written, CERS account updated to compliance.

  • Produce Processing Plant – Switched to new chemical vendor, facility maps overcomplicated by previous consultant, inventory misreported, new structures were built on site that went unreported.

OUTCOME: Hazardous Materials inventory cataloged on site, reporting mistakes corrected, simplified maps drawn with new buildings, new HMBP approved by county.

  • Public School Bus Service Center with new director and no HMBP updates for 3 years.

OUTCOME: HMBP completely re-written, Hazardous Materials inventory audited and corrected, new maps drafted, new emergency procedures written, CERS account updated.

  • Corrugated Cardboard Manufacturer – EH&S Officer passed away, with company believing facility was in compliance. No updates to HMBP/CERS since July 2013. No Employee Training or Evacuation Records.

OUTCOME: Corrected petroleum inventory, re-classified hazardous materials, re-drafted facility maps, collaborated with Butte County inspector to resolve compliance issues with no penalties.


We have experience working with a variety of different CUPA regulators ranging from San Diego to Sacramento. Each different jurisdiction operates in a similar, yet different fashion. The variety of inspectors we have had the opportunity to work with has molded our HMBPs to be all-inclusive and satisfy the needs of regulators.

Our HMBP services include:

  • Create and service your HMBP
  • Emergency Response/Contingency Plan
  • Facility Site Plan/Storage Map
  • Audit and perodic reporting of your Hazardous Materials inventory and Safety DataSheets (SDS)
  • California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) account management
  • Employee and/or evacuation training
  • We work directly with CUPA/Fire Departments to correct compliance issues.

These HMBP components are disclosed online at California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) and reviewed by your local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). We can also handle this step for you.