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Environmental Health

Hazardous Materials & Waste Program: California Accidental Release Prevention Program

The California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program is intended to prevent the catostrophic release of hazardous substances that could cause immediate harm to the public and the environment. Chapter 6.95, Article 2 requires California to implement the federally mandated chemical Accidental Release Prevention Program. Effective January 1, 1997, the new California Accidental Release Prevention Program (CalARP) replaced the California Risk Management and Prevention Program (RMPP).

How do I determine if my business is regulated by the Hazardous Materials and Waste Program?

Any business that has more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance is regulated under this program. Regulated substances are those chemicals either on the Federal list (Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations §68.130) or a state list. For a list of regulated substances and their threshold quantities, click here.

Business Responsibilities

Since chemiclas regulated under the CalARP Program are a subset of hazardous materials, all businesses regulated under the CalARP Program must obtain and maintain a valid Hazardous Materials Certificate of Registration. Click here for more details about the application process.

In addition, regulated businesses must:

  1. Prepare a Risk Management Plan (RMP). An RMP is a highly technical engineering study that includes safety information, hazard review, operating procedures, training, maintenance, compliance audits, and incident investigation. The RMP must consider the proximity to sensitive populations such as schools, residential areas, general acute care hospitals, long-term health care facilities, and child day care facilities. The RMP must also consider external events such as natural disasters.
  2. For new businesses the requirement to submit an RMP must be met prior to issuance of a Certification of Occupancy. A city or county cannot issue a Certificate of Occupancy until it has determined that a business has met, or is meeting, the requirements for an RMP and other applicable emergency planning and air pollution control district program requirements.
  3. Any new or modified business, which is required to prepare an RMP, must certify whether a project will contain:

    • More than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance in a process; or 
    • A source or modified source of hazardous air emissions.
  4. Once approved, implement the RMP

Making a Complaint

To make a complaint to the Department of Public Health's Environmental Health Section, click here.