Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBPs) due March 1

By:  Arthur Mahoney, M.S., CHMM, REA

January 16, 2013

Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBPs) due March 1


Many of you will likely need to update or certify your HMBP soon (March 1 for most regulators). As a reminder, the HMBP must be updated within 30 days of a significant change in operation, which includes handling of a new unreported hazardous material, a significant change in the quantity of a previously reported hazardous material, or a change in business name or ownership. 


For many of you this will may also be your first experience to electronically submit your HMBP into the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) or to another electronic system operated by your CUPA.

HMBP Basics
Per California law (H&SC 25503.5), businesses are required to prepare a HMBP if they meet any of the following reporting thresholds at any one time during the year: 
  • Hazardous materials at or above 55 gallons (liquids), 500 pounds (solids), and/or 200 cubic feet (compressed gases)
  • Extremely hazardous substance at a threshold planning quantity
  • Radioactive material at a quantity requiring an emergency response plan
There are some exceptions, for example: consumer products, gases used by medical practitioners, small propane tanks. 
Depending on your CUPA, you may have lower reporting thresholds.  For example, San Mateo County Environmental Health Services Division, require a HMBP for any amount of extremely hazardous substance (including chloroform, sulfuric acid, nitric acid) or radioactive material.  Additionally, the City of Palo Alto has no thresholds for inventorying hazardous chemicals (meaning irregardless of the container size it must be accounted for). 
Annually HMBPs are required to be updated or certified accurate. 
As a reminder, if your business is located on leased or rented property, you are required to notify the property owner that your business is subject to the HMBP requirements and has prepared a HMBP.  You must also provide the property owner a copy within five working days if requested to do so.
Electronic Reporting/ CERS
Also you may have heard that starting in January 1, 2013, businesses will be required to submit their HMBP electronically to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) or to another local system. 
Even uploading an existing inventory into CERS can be a very time-consuming project.   Each chemical item requires 70 fields of data!
HMBP, CERS and Associated Services 

HMBP Preparation:
We can assist you by preparing all of the required HMBP materials: 
  • Site and Storage maps (which include a grid system on the maps, which most regulators now request)
  • Chemical and waste information
  • Emergency emergency response plan (tailored to your facility and operations)
  • Employee training plan
  • Inspection checklists
We can also upload your HMBP and chemical inventories into online databases (e.g., CERS) -making your facility information more accessible to your emergency responders.
Chemical Inventory Collection and Bar Coding Services:
As part of our services, we can collect your chemical inventory and even attach barcodes to containers if so desired. A physical collection of your inventory should be obtained at least every year or two (possibly more frequently if your inventory has changed significantly). As you may know from personal experience, inventory collection can be a time-consuming process and often requires the help of outside resources -this is where we can help.  Included in this service we can even identify expired chemicals that may become very dangerous (e.g., peroxide formers) and exceedingly expensive to discard. 

EH&S Manager Software / Seamless Integration into CERS:
We use and also license our proprietary chemical inventory database software - EH&S Manager. We can either import existing chemical inventories (e.g., from an Excel spreadsheet or other database programs) into EH&S Manager or enter your inventory into our product as it is collected.  
An added benefit of EH&S Manager is the seamless integration into CERS. Files are exported into CERS from our database without hassle. We have assigned hazard classes to over 12,000 substances-saving you countless hours of staff or consultant time doing this important, but time-consuming step.
Additionally, EH&S Manager allows you to identify regulated chemicals in your inventory. The following is a list of some of the regulated chemicals in our database. 
  • Proposition 65 chemicals
  • OSHA-regulated carcinogens  
  • Extremely hazardous substances (EHS)
  • Department of Homeland Security Chemicals of Concern
  • DEA controlled substances and precursors
  • California controlled substances and precursors
  • Select agents and toxins
Related Services:
We can assist with chemical safety audits, storage assist, spill cleanup material selection and other chemical safety related topics.
EH&S Manager evens provides access to electronic Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) which are directly linked to chemicals in your inventory.  Other products provide these services, but at a much higher cost. 
An Easy Way to Act 
Contact me and I would be happy to provide you a quotation for any of our services.  
Other commonly requested services include:
  • EHS training (in person, live webinar, or hosted learning management system)
  • Onsite support at a frequency to meet your needs
  • IATA and DOT hazardous materials shipping compliance assistance and training
  • Chemical safety audits
  • Hazardous waste auditing, minimization and reporting
  • Bloodborne Pathogens (annual requirement)
  • Hazard Communication 
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan 
  • General Safety
  • Laser Safety
  • Biological Safety 
  • Radiation Safety 
  • Many others, please contact me
artServed by an Expert
Arthur Mahoney, Principal Consultant
For over 20 years, he has been assisting public and private companies to comply with safety, hazardous material management, transportation and safety concerns. He has trained hundreds of employees on hazardous materials shipping and safety topics and also trains safety professionals preparing for the CHMM credential exam. He also provides chemical inventory database services.
Feel free to contact me at 650-347-0417 or by email

Arthur Mahoney
Hazard Solutions LLC
Disclaimer: The information presented in this email should not be construed in any way as legal advice or an interpretation of the regulations.  It is meant to provide basic information about topics that may affect clients and colleagues.
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