Federal and state laws require businesses to disclose their hazardous materials/waste inventories to the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). In Kern County there are approximately 3,600 businesses that handle hazardous materials and, of those, 12% handle moderately hazardous or extremely hazardous materials. Facilities handling moderately and extremely hazardous materials have an associated greater chance of significant onsite and offsite consequences if the hazardous materials are released.
The Kern County Environmental Health Division (KCEH) has implemented a risk-based approach to the allocation of resources within the Hazardous Materials Program. Businesses that handle small quantities of chemicals that present limited risk if released are inspected once every three years as required by state law. Businesses that store and utilize moderate or extremely hazardous materials are inspected biennially or annually, depending on the volume and type of material. Inspections are conducted to ensure local businesses operate in a safe manner to prevent impacts to the community. Inspections typically involve a thorough review of all chemical inventories, safety procedures, release prevention and control protocols, accidental histories, complaints, and compliance under state and federal regulations.
Businesses that have allocated resources and have a documented record of compliance with state and federal laws and have not experienced site releases present a reduced risk to the community. High performing facilities practice and adheres to safety cultures that resonate throughout their workplace that reflects their attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and values of employees and management in sharing the vision of safety. The Performance Incentive Program (PIP) is a voluntary program available to eligible facilities to reduce inspection frequencies and reduce annual permit fees. This program allows KCEH to shift resources away from businesses that demonstrate superior regulatory compliance and instead provide direct oversight and involvement to businesses that are struggling to achieve compliance.
This PIP policy provides information on the eligibility for businesses to qualify for the program, the hazardous materials inspection process, the scoring system used, and common terminology utilized by KCEH. This policy serves not only as a training guide for KCEH and its employees, but as a reference manual and an educational tool to assist business owners. If you have questions regarding the PIP or this policy, please contact our office:
Kern County Environmental Health Division
2700 M Street, Suite 300
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Telephone: (661) 862-8740