Hazardous Materials Business Plan/California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)


A Hazardous Material Business Plan (HMBP) is an electronic compilation of detailed information on the:

  • Business activities
  • Business owner/operator identification
  • Hazardous materials inventory stored and/or generated
  • Facility site map
  • Emergency response/contingency plan for procedures in the event of a release or threatened release of a hazardous material/waste
  • Employee training plan, which includes hazardous communications/SDS, annual training refresher courses, and safety procedures in the event of a release or threatened release of a hazardous material/waste, etc.

The intent of the HMBP is to provide basic information necessary for use by first responders in order to protect public health, safety, and the environment from a release or threatened release of a hazardous material/waste. The HMBP also satisfies the federal Tier II reporting requirements and the state Community Right-to-Know Act.  The material threshold for this program is 55 gallons of a liquid, 500 pounds of a solid, 200 cubic feet of a compressed gas, and/or the applicable state/federal threshold quantity for an extremely hazardous material.


CERS is a statewide, web-based system that supports regulated businesses with electronically reporting, collecting, and managing hazardous materials-related data. It is mandated by the California Health and Safety Code and AB 2286 that all California businesses required to report Unified Program data.

Step-By-Step User Guide

  • CERS is designed for standard-sized screens using relatively current web browsing software (e.g. Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 3.6+, current versions of Google Chrome or Safari)
  • CERS is not designed to be effectively used on smaller displays (e.g. mobile phones, etc.)
  • Your initial submittal at a minimum shall include: facility information, business activities, complete chemical inventory, site map, emergency response/contingency plan, and employee training plan. Do not submit sections individually; complete all sections prior to submitting unless updating a previous submittal
  • CERS reports require relatively current PDF viewing software (Adobe Reader 8+)

Visit http://cers.calepa.ca.gov

  1. Select “Business Portal Sign In”
  2. View the “Watch Demo Video”
  3. Select “Create New Account”
  4. Fill out registration form and select “Create Account”
  5. You will then receive an automated email message to activate your account. If you do not receive one, check the spam or junk folder. Follow the instructions on the email to activate your account.

Once the account has been activated, a user can add a new facility by selecting “Add New Facility/Business

  1. Provide Address and Facility Name
  2. Select “Continue” after facility has been added to CERS
  3. Complete questions for Business Activities and select “Save”
  4. Fill out Business Owner/Operator Identification and select “Save”
  5. Do not submit your Facility Information element until you are ready to also submit Facility Site Map, Hazardous Materials Inventory, Emergency Response/Contingency Plan, and Training Plan

If the facility already has a CERS ID number, select “Search Existing Business/Facility”.

  1. Add as specific information as possible (i.e. just CERS ID number or just number part of facility address, and select “Search”
  2. Once the facility has been found, select the green link on the right hand side of the screen that says “Request Access”
  3. Complete the questionnaire regarding phone number and title, select “Request Access”
  4. The Lead User of the business/facility must grant access to the user. Contact KCEHD if the lead user has left the business or is unsure of how to grant access.

Once access has been granted, an automated email will be sent to you and you will be able to sign in

  1. Select “My Business” tab then select “Manage Users”
  2. Select “Add Person”. Input email address; select “Continue”
  3. Input the person’s information; select “Continue”
  4. Do not select “Save” select “Initiate Invite”
  5. Determine which permission level you want the person to obtain
    • Lead Users- Can add, remove, and otherwise manage the CERS Business’ users and facilities
    • Approvers – May view, edit, and submit facility reports to regulators
    • Editors – May add/edit facility reports, but cannot submit reports to regulators
    • Viewers- May only view facility reports (read only)
  6. Select “Save & Send Invitation”
  7. An email will be sent to the email address you input. The person must activate the link emailed to them before their account is active. Person must activate account within 30 days or the link will expire

A suggested Best Practice is to assign at least two Lead Users. Why? If you limit to one and that person becomes unavailable for any reason, the business will need to contact the local UPA or CalEPA for access permission.

All programs that apply the facility, must be selected “YES”

Note: If “Hazardous Materials” is selected as “NO”, you will not have all of the proper elements to complete your business plan. Any item selected “YES” must have all components of that element complete before submitting. Items required for activities are as followed:

  • Hazardous Materials: Complete inventory, site map, emergency response/contingency plan, and employee training plan
  • Underground Storage Tanks:
    • UST Facility Operating Permit Application
    • UST Tank Information/Monitoring Plan for each tank
    • UST Monitoring Site Plan
    • UST Certification of Financial Responsibility
    • UST Response Plan
    • UST Owner/Operator: Written Agreement
    • UST Letter from Chief Financial Officer
    • Owner Statement of Designated UST Operator Compliance
  • Hazardous Waste Generator: Active and correct EPA ID number. No submittal elements
  • Tiered Permitting (Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment): All forms are dependent on what treatment/quantity facility handles.
  • Remote Waste Consolidation: Remote Waste Consolidation Site Annual Notification
  • Hazardous Waste Closure/Removal: Closure Certificate
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection site: No submittal elements
  • Excluded and/or Exempted Materials: Recyclable Materials Report Documentation
  • Above Ground Petroleum Storage Act: Select “Stored at Facility” or “Exempt” and insert comment if regulated by USEPA or DOGGR.
  • Regulated Substances: No submittal elements at this time

*Please note that in some instances Kern County UPA was not able to select “NO” prior to data seeding to CERS system. Several activities may be unchecked or incorrect for your facility. Under such instances, please edit and review all activities to ensure all correct elements are available.*

All elements must be filled in with up-to-date and correct information. If the certification regarding Name/Title of Document Preparer/Signer is not completed, the submittal element may be “Not Accepted” by the Regulator.

(Reporting thresholds: 55 gallons of a liquid, 500 pounds of a solid, 200 cubic feet of compressed gas, any amount of hazardous waste, and extremely hazardous materials based on the federal thresholds)

You may complete your Hazardous Materials Inventory by using the CERS chemical dictionary database, manually inputting the material, or uploading an Excel file. Facilities with small inventories are encouraged to manually enter chemical inventory through the use of the chemical library database.

  1. Click on “Add Material”. Locate material and click on the most appropriate item in the results table, complete the corresponding form for each chemical in your inventory
  2. If the material is not found in the CERS Chemical Library, select “Unable to Find Material/Add New Chemical” to add your material to your inventory using SDS

*Reliable entries for waste items are not in the chemical library. A new material page will need to be created individually for each waste stream. All components must be completed

  1. Select “Upload Inventory”
  2. Download the CERS Hazardous Materials upload Template
    1. The file size is limited to 500 inventory items
    2. If your file exceeds this limit, separate into groups of 200 chemicals, then use the “Replace/Append to Existing Inventory” function of the upload page to run the various functions.
  3. Copy and paste your data into the template.

The facility site map must be a document created by the user and uploaded into the respective section. Google maps are acceptable as long as they meet all requirements below:

  • Site orientation (North, South, etc.)
  • Date map was drawn
  • Location of all buildings and other structures
  • Parking lots and internal roads
  • Hazardous materials/waste storage areas
  • Storm drain, sanitary sewer drain inlets, dry wells
  • All wells (water, monitoring of underground systems, etc.) if applicable
  • Evacuation routes, emergency exits, and staging/meeting areas
  • Adjacent property use
  • Locations and names of adjacent streets and alleys
  • Entrance and exit points/roads
  • General purpose of each section/area within each building (e.g. “Office Area”, “Manufacturing Area”, etc.)
  • Location of each hazardous materials/waste storage, dispensing, use, or handling area (e.g. individual underground tanks, above-ground tanks, storage rooms, etc.)
  • Entrances to and exits from each building and hazardous materials/waste room/area
  • Location of each utility emergency shut-off point (e.g. gas, water, electric)
  • Location of each monitoring system control panel (e.g. underground tank monitoring, toxic gas monitoring, etc.)


  1. To upload a copy of the Site Map, locate and click the Site Map section under the Hazardous Materials Inventory Section. Click “Browse”, locate the PDF copy of your site map saved to your computer
  2. Select “Upload”
  3. Select “Save and Finish”

*Document must be uploaded. Any submittal that is selected “Stored on Site”, “Provided to Regulator”, or “Exempt” will be “Not Accepted” by the regulator.

You may use an existing Emergency Response Plan if all the corresponding information is current and complete.

Uploading a Copy of Emergency Response/Contingency Plan

  1. Locate your PDF copy by utilizing the “Browse” button in the Emergency Response/Contingency Plan section.
  2. Select “Save and Upload”
  3. Select “Save and Finish”

*Document must be uploaded. Submittals that select “Stored on Site”, “Provided to Regulator”, or “Exempt” will be rejected.*

Uploading a Copy of Employee Training Plan

  1. Locate your PDF copy by utilizing the “Browse” button in the Employee Training Plan section
  2. Select “Save and Upload”
  3. Select “Save and Finish”

*Document must be uploaded. Submittals that select “Stored on Site” or “Provided to Regulator” will be rejected. Facility must confirm with KCEHD that there are no employees before “Exempt” is selected.*

Once your facility’s information has been submitted to KCEHD, it will be placed in our queue for review to be “Accepted” or “Not Accepted.” Data will be “Accepted” by office staff, however “approval” will be granted at the time of inspection.

Responsibility for correct/incorrect data in CERS is given to each facility. KCEHD can't change any information. If incorrect data is submitted and “Not Accepted”, an automated email will be sent to the Lead Users for that Business/Facility and will be pending resubmittal with corrections.