Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) are local agencies that are tasked with the administration, permitting, inspection, and enforcement of the Unified Program. These agencies are typically local fire departments or public health agencies. For example, in Los Angeles City, the Los Angeles City Fire Department is the designated CUPA, while in Orange County, the Orange County Health Care Agency is the designated CUPA. So do not be confused if a CUPA inspector from the fire department shows up at your door even though you recently had another inspector from the fire department there to do a fire inspection.
We help our clients develop and implement program requirements to comply with CUPA regulations. Here are some general guidelines for what each program regulates to help you determine whether your company falls into each program. Keep in mind that there are exemptions to some of the criteria and further research should be done to determine if they apply to your facility.
Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) Program: APSA regulates facilities that store petroleum products in aggregate quantities greater than 1,320 gallons and facilities that store 55 gallons or more of petroleum products in a below-grade area (i.e. basement or oil change pit). This Act does not apply to non-petroleum products.
California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program: This program regulates facilities that handle or store more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance. Regulated substances and their threshold quantities are listed in the regulation. Requirements differ depending on the facility’s program level which is based on process complexity, accident history, and potential offsite impact.
Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) Program: This program regulates facilities that handle or store hazardous materials in quantities greater than or equal to 55 gallons of a liquid, 500 pounds of a solid, or 200 cubic feet of compressed gas. It also regulates businesses that handle extremely hazardous substances (EHS) above the threshold planning quantity. The current list of EHS and their threshold planning quantities can be found in the appendices of 40 CFR 355.
Hazardous Waste Generator and Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment (Tiered Permitting) Programs: Hazardous Waste Generator regulations apply to facilities that generate hazardous waste. Requirements differ depending on Hazardous Waste Generator Class. Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG) generate 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous waste or less per month. Small Quantity Generators (SQG) generate less than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) per month, and Large Quantity Generators (LQG) generate more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) per month. In addition, facilities that plan on disposing of or treating hazardous waste must apply and receive approval for the Tiered Permitting Program for Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment.
Underground Storage Tanks (UST) Program: This program regulates underground storage tanks which are defined as “any one or combination of tanks, including pipes connected thereto, that is used for the storage of hazardous substances and that is substantially or totally beneath the surface of the ground.”
If you have determined that your business falls into at least one of these programs, you must take the necessary steps to obtain a CUPA permit and meet the specific requirements of each program. Our team of Environmental, Health & Safety experts can provide you with the support you need to identify, develop, and implement the necessary CUPA programs to keep your business in compliance. For more information contact us at (562) 495-5777.
Blog post by Diana Nguyen, MPH