Hazardous  Material  Business  Plan 

Businesses must complete a Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) for the safe storage and use of chemicals. In general, a business must submit an HMBP if it stores/handles hazardous material equal to or greater than the minimum reportable quantities which are:

  • 55 gallons of a hazardous liquid
  • 200 standard cubic feet of compressed gas, including oxygen
  • 500 pounds of a hazardous solid

Common Hazardous Materials

Common hazardous materials include:

  • Acetylene
  • Antifreeze
  • Diesel fuel
  • Gasoline
  • New and used oil
  • Propane
  • Solvents, etc.

California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Requirements

The CalEPA requires HMBP's to be submitted online and updated annually, or within 30 days of any changes. These plans are then verified by our department during routine inspections of your facility. The online submittal is part of the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). Visit the CERS website for electronic submission of your HMBP. 


Nevada County Environmental Health offers technical support and assistance when submitting your plan online to CERS, free of charge. Please contact us at 530-265-1222 and ask for help with CERS, and you will be transferred to an inspector who can assist you.

About California Environmental Reporting Systems (CERS) 

Beginning in 2013, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) required electronic reporting of Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBP) for all businesses that store hazardous materials above reportable quantities. This created the California Environmental Reporting System.Image of a white leaf etched in green that reads California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)

Electronic filing of your facility’s hazardous materials information has several benefits to your business. Consider the following:

  • Regulated businesses can maintain and update their regulatory information, eliminating repetitive data entry or paper submittals each year.
  • Multi-jurisdictional businesses can file their data using one system location.
  • Federal, State, and local regulators have more efficient access to current data.
  • Emergency response agencies including fire and police have access to current data e.g. types of chemicals, quantities, maps of chemical locations, and evacuation assembly areas.
  • Saving of space, paper, and time involved in physical processing and re-entering of data already typed into a form by the business.

Instructions and Forms for Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBP)

An HMBP is to be submitted to CERS annually or when there is any change within 12 months of the last submittal.

The components of an HMBP consist of at least 3 sections (or elements):

  1. Facility Information
  2. Hazardous Materials Inventory
  3. Emergency Response Plan

          *** If you have above-ground or underground tanks, there are additional elements that need to be submitted.

Tips about the CERS Platform:

  • The Facility Information element has two pages that define the business activities and contact information at your facility. 
  • The Hazardous Material Inventory element has two pages that detail what chemicals you are storing and their location. 
  • The Emergency Response plan element is where you submit your procedures for handling a spill or leak, and for training your employees. The additional elements for tanks provide information about the tanks at your facility (if any), what they store, and how they are monitored.

Some of these requirements can be satisfied by uploading templates to make it easier. These templates and instructions are available on the links below and are optional. Keep in mind that for the Emergency Response element, if you use the "Emergency Contingency Plan" template below, it will satisfy both the Emergency Response and Employee Training Plan requirements with one document. The Site Map template and instructions can be used to satisfy the map requirement under the Hazardous Materials Inventory element.

Additional Forms and Instructions for HMBP to Upload into CERS