Hazardous Materials Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to prepare a Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP)?

If you are any business including federal state or local government and handle or store quantities of hazardous materials including hazardous wastes equal to or exceeding 55 gallons, 500 pounds, or 200 cubic feet of compressed gasses, a HMBP is submitted to CERS CENTRAL. For questions contact the Hazardous Materials Staff at 707-784-6765.

Are farmers required to prepare a HMBP?

Farmers are required to annually report their chemical inventory, placard buildings storing hazardous materials appropriately, develop an emergency response plan and train employees on spill prevention and cleanup procedures and allow site inspection at least once every three years. All regulated facilities including farmers are required to enter hazardous materials  program data into the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). Farmers are only required to report their chemical inventory and upload their site diagram into CERS at CERS CENTRAL. Farmers must create an emergency response and training plan for employees that is available for review at their farm.

Are there fees for this program?

There are fees established by the Board of Supervisors that allows for cost recovery for administering this mandated program.

Where can I get help?

You will find guidance documents and training presentations at this web site here and a HMBP brochure here. You may contact this office at 707-784-6765 for assistance and ask for a Hazardous Materials Specialist. You can also find guidance on Hazardous Materials Business Plan, Hazardous Waste Onsite Treatment, Hazardous Waste Generator, and Underground Storage Tank Systems submittals to the California Environmental Reporting System at CERS CENTRAL

How often do I need to have hazardous waste removed?

Hazardous waste may be stored on-site for specified periods depending on the amount of total waste accumulated in a month:

  • If you accumulate less than 100 Kg (27 gallons) of waste in a month you may store the waste until you accumulate 100 Kg then the waste shall be legally transported for legal disposal  within 90 days.
  • If you accumulate more than 100 Kg in a month but less than 1,000 Kg (270 gallons), you may store the waste for up to 180 days from the date the first drop is added to the container.
  • If you accumulate waste over 1,000 Kg in a month, then you must dispose of the waste every 90 days

How do I report a hazardous materials spill including any hazardous waste?

You shall call the Department of Resource Management at (707) 784-6765 during business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm) or the Solano County Sheriff’s Dispatcher (707) 421-7090 after hours and weekends. You must also report to California Office of Emergency Services at 1-800-852-7550  and if appropriate  to first responders (police. fire, EMS) via at 911.

How do I legally manage my waste oil?

Businesses are required to have their waste oil legally transported by a licensed hazardous waste transporter who will transport the waste oil for proper disposal/recycling at a permitted facility. Residents within incorporated cities may contact their solid waste service company to inquire about disposal options. Residents can also go to Used Oil Link. Oil must not be poured on the ground, in the gutters, or storm drains as it may go to environmentally sensitive areas and you may be subject to fines/penalties  if you dispose to the storm drain system. For further information on disposal see the fact sheet titled Used Oil.

What information do I need to include on a hazardous waste container?

Each hazardous waste container shall be labeled with the following information:
a. Contents or common name
b. Category of hazard, i.e. toxic, reactive, corrosive, ignitable
c. “Hazardous Waste”
d. Generator name and address
e. Physical state of waste (i.e. liquid, sludge, etc.)
f. Accumulation and/or start date

For example of proper the proper labeling of hazardous wastes see Hazardous Waste Labels (Examples)

What information is required on containers of “new” hazardous materials?

Containers holding “new” products are required to have the manufacturer’s label. If a manufacturer’s label is not present then a label must be put on the container that identifies the contents of the container and the known hazards of the chemical and the protective equipment needed to handle or use the materials.  A  Safety Data Sheet (SDS) shall also be available for emergency reference and employee safety training.

Do my hazardous materials containers and tanks need to be secondarily contained?

All tanks (non-portable) containing hazardous waste shall be secondarily contained to hold 110% of the capacity of the tank. Tanks containing new substances shall be secondarily contained as required by California Fire Code or if local ordinances require secondary containment. Containers such as 55 gallon drums are required to be secondarily contained as required by California Fire Code.

How can I find out if a property may have contamination?

Go to these  State of California websites Geotracker, Cortese List Data Resources, Regulated Site Portal, and Envirostor:

After reviewing these databases, you may also want to review files by contacting one of the staff of the Hazardous Materials Section at 707-784-6765, and you can hire an environmental consultant found in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under Environmental and Ecological Services or a list of contractors and consultants maintained by us as a service to the public see Hazardous Materials Documents.

What is the file review process for hazardous materials records?

You may contact this office at (707) 784-6765 for an appointment. You may fax in a file review request on letterhead listing addresses and locations for which you request to review with a prospective date and time for the review. These appointments are required to allow staff to pull any paper files, retrieve files from archives, obtain records from California Environmental Reporting System (CERS), and to review the paper files for confidential information that cannot be legally released to the public. Please be advised, if you request any public records to be copied and shipped,  the records clerk will respond to you in writing within 10 days to let you know if the records are available, the cost of copying, and the cost for mailing/shipping.


How long does it take to get a permit to install, modify, repair, and/ or legally close underground storage tanks?

If the applicant submits sufficient information, we can approve most tank system removal permits within 5 days. The plan review for tank installation or major modification will typically take at least two weeks or may take longer. Minor modifications or upgrades typically take up to 72 hours. The length of time for UST removal or tank installation/modification/repair review depends upon the quality of the plans and information submitted by the applicant.   Please Note!  Missing information and incomplete plans will cause delays to the review and processing of a permit to close, install, modify, or repair an underground storage tank system.

Where can I find a contractor?

Environmental contractors and environmental consultants are found in the Yellow Pages of the Telephone book under Environmental and Ecological Services. Solano County maintains a list of contractors and consultants who have submitted their qualifications to us. Solano County does not endorse any contractor or consultants that have provided information on their services see  UST Contractors and Maintenance and Consultant List.

Where can I find information on the Risk Management Plans (RMP)?

You can contact the Hazardous Materials Staff at (707) 784-6765 for specific questions or see Risk Management Plan FAQs and Risk Management Plan Mixture FAQ. The regulations covering RMPs is available to view at Cal OES website and EPA website.  

When is my RMP due?

The RMP is required to be prepared and submitted to Solano County Environmental Health and United State Environmental Protection Agency on the date that an acutely hazardous material is present in the process above federal threshold quantities; Pursuant to California Law and Regulations RMP is also  required to be prepared and submitted to Solano County Environmental Health on the date that an acutely hazardous material is present in the process above State of California threshold quantities.

What are the regulatory requirements for Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act?

Assembly Bill 1130 transferred the responsibility for the implementation, enforcement, and administration of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act from the State Water Resources Control Board to the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) (local agencies, typically Fire Departments and Environmental Health Departments). This law mandates the CUPAs to conduct inspections for all above ground tanks storing crude oil/petroleum products including waste engine oil that meet or exceed the capacity of 10,000 gallons and register facilities with tanks 1320 gallons containing crude oil/petroleum products including waste oil. Aboveground Storage Tanks that meet or exceed the capacity of 1320 gallons are required to prepare a Spill Prevention Countermeasure Control (SPCC) plan that they keep at their facility.  A storage statement which can be the HMBP shall also filed with the Environmental Health Services Division, Hazardous Materials Section via the California Environmental Reporting System.  

What are Tanks in Underground Areas and the regulatory requirements?

To be defined as a tank in an underground area (TIUGA), all the following provisions must apply:

1. The storage tank has the capacity to store 55 gallons or more of petroleum
2. The storage tank is located on or above the service of the floor in a structure at least 10 percent below the ground surface
3. The structure can include but is not limited to a basement, cellar, shaft, pit, or vault and the structure must provide for    secondary containment of the contents of the tank, piping and ancillary equipment until cleanup occurs
4. The structure allows direct viewing of the exterior of the tank except the surface in contact with the floor

The storage tank meets one or more of the following categories:

1. Lubricant/coolant tank - Contains petroleum including petroleum products used as lubricants or coolants in motor engines, transmissions, or oil-filled operational or manufacturing equipment
2. Hazardous waste tank - Contains petroleum including spent petroleum products that are considered a hazardous waste and complies with the hazardous waste tank standards in  California Code of Regulations
3. Emergency system tank - Contains petroleum including petroleum products to be used for emergency systems solely in connection with a fire pump or an emergency system, legally required standby system, or optional standby systems  as defined in the California Electrical Code
4. Other tank - Does not fit into any of the above three categories and contains petroleum including petroleum products

What is the Spill Prevention Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan for?

This plan is for preparing a response to a release of petroleum products from above ground storage tanks and also to take steps to prevent such a release. The plan identifies the requirement for secondary containment and mitigation measures. Federal and State Law requires most SPCC plans to be prepared under the direction of and signed and stamped by a California registered professional engineer. Facilities with total capacity of aboveground petroleum storage equal to or less than 10,000 gallons, the owner or operator is eligible to self certify the SPCC Plan rather than have a Professional Engineer certify the plan. There are two types of qualified facilties Tier I and Tier II. Tier I facilities have individual storage containers no bigger than 5000 gallons and Tier II facilities have an aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less and the facility has not had two oil spills (equal to or greater than 42 gallons) in any 12 month period into navigable waters or adjoining shoreline.  For more information on Tier I and Tier II facilities see Qualified Facility Guidance. For example SPCC Plans  see US EPA Sample SPCC Plan for Bulk Storage (Word version), US EPA Sample SPCC Plan for Production Facilities (Word version)Example of Tier I SPCC Plan, Sample Tier I SPCC Plan for FarmsUS EPA Tier I Template,and Tier II SPCC template for SPCC Plan.