Hazardous Materials Business Plan Program Details

 More Information

Firefighters, health officials, planners, public safety officers, health care providers and others rely on the Business Plan in an emergency. They use it to prevent or lessen damage to the health and safety of people and the environment when a hazardous material is released.

What is a Hazardous Material?

A hazardous material can generally be defined as anything that has potential to cause significant harm to human health or the environment.

As defined in California Health and Safety Code, it is "…any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released into the workplace or environment… (including) hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, and any material which a handler or the administering agency has a reasonable basis for believing that it would be injurious… or harmful…”

Common hazardous materials include gasoline and other motor vehicle fuels, propane, solvents, lubricating oils, welding gases, and acids and bases, such as pool chemicals and drain cleaners.

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Exemptions from Filing

You are exempt from the regulations and do not have to file a Business Plan if you do not have other reportable hazardous materials and:

  • the hazardous materials are contained solely in consumer products for direct distribution to the general public;
  • you are a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, pharmacist, or emergency medical service provider who stores oxygen, nitrogen, and/or nitrous oxide in quantities of not more than 1,000 cubic feet for each material;
  • you store 55 gallons or less of any specific type of lubricating oil and your total quantity does not exceed 275 gallons for all types of lubricating oil. Lubricating oil does not include used oil;
  • you store no more than 500 gallons of propane that is used for the sole purpose of heating employee work areas, heating water within that business or cooking. 
  • Your business handles at any one time during the reporting year a total weight of less than 5,000 pounds for solids or a total volume of less than 550 gallons for liquids, if the hazardous material is classified as a hazard solely as an irritant or sensitizer.
  • Your business handles at any one time during the reporting year cryogenic, refrigerated, or compressed gas in a quantity of less than 1,000 cubic feet at standard temperature and pressure, if the gas is either of the following:
    • Classified as a hazard solely due to simple asphyxiation or the release of pressure or carbon dioxide.

Submitting a Business Plan

  • You must complete and submit a Business Plan if handling or storing a hazardous material equal to or greater than the minimum reportable quantities.
  • You must review and update the entire Business Plan annually or sooner if significant changes occur.
  • You must revise and submit a Business Plan within 30 days if your business makes significant changes. Some of these changes include but are not limited to: new ownership or emergency contacts, major increases or decreases in hazardous materials storage, changes in location of hazardous materials, and/or significant operational changes.
  • Sacramento County Environmental Management will inspect your business at least once every three years to determine if the Business Plan is complete and accurate. The inspection will also include a review of emergency response procedures and employee training records.
  • If staff finds a violation at the facility, they will issue a Notice to Comply with a specific time frame for correcting the problem, typically 30 days.

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Have Questions?

For more program information, please contact:

Sacramento County Environmental Management Department
Environmental Compliance Division
11080 White Rock Rd., Suite 200
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

916-875-8513 (fax)