Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) / Hazardous Materials


Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA)

Required Annual CUPA Facility Updates - Preparing for CERS

CERS Central

The Unified Program is the consolidation of six state hazardous materials management programs into one program under the authority of a Certified Unified Program Agency. The Butte County Public Health Department, Environmental Health Division, was certified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the CUPA for Butte County in 2005. The CUPA inspects businesses or facilities that handle or store hazardous materials; generate and/or treat hazardous waste; own or operate underground storage tanks; store petroleum in aboveground tanks over State thresholds; and store Federal regulated hazardous materials over State thresholds. The CUPA Program is instrumental in accomplishing this goal through education, community and industry outreach, inspections and enforcement.

The primary goal of the CUPA is to protect public health and the environment by promoting compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

All inspectors in the CUPA are trained Environmental Health Specialists or Hazardous Materials Management Specialists who continually participate in education and training to ensure consistency and uniformity during inspections.

The CUPA program conducts multi-media inspections that consolidate the six elements of the Unified Program into one inspection. The Businesses inspected are in one or more of the following categories:

These inspections determine compliance with the California Health and Safety Code (HSC), California Code of Regulations (CCR), and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Inspections of sites with Hazardous Materials, Hazardous Waste, Underground Storage Tanks, and Aboveground Petroleum Tanks:

This section is intended to provide information regarding inspections conducted by CUPA staff at sites that have hazardous materials, hazardous waste, USTs, or included in the APSA program. It is for information purposes only, and is designed to briefly explain the main issues a typical inspection will address when we visit your facility.

Compliance inspections are conducted on a routine basis and focus on six general areas:

1. Site Inspection: CUPA inspectors will do a walk-through of the facility and will observe buildings, equipment, storage areas and work areas. The purpose of the walk-through is to:

2. Hazardous Material Business Plan: Review information provided on the plan and ensure that hazardous materials inventory, facility site maps, emergency contacts, emergency response procedures, emergency equipment and employee training plan are adequate and up to date.

3. Employee Training Program Documentation: Review of the written records for the hazardous materials training program, as described on your Hazardous Materials Business Plan or Contingency Plan.

4. Disposal Documentation for hazardous waste generated onsite: Review of uniform hazardous waste manifests, bills of lading and receipts documenting proper disposal of hazardous wastes generated at your facility.

5. UST monitoring records to include at a minimum:

6. APSA: Review SPCC to verify that it meets Federal requirements and verify accuracy of the plan, implementation of the plan, employee training is performed, and required inspections are performed.

Additional Programs

In addition to the oversight of the State certified programs, Butte County CUPA additionally performs oversight and/or permitting of the following:

For questions regarding any of these programs or specific questions about your facility, please contact one of our inspectors at (530) 538-7281. Inspectors are typically available from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, Monday through Friday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a "Hazardous Material?"

A. A "Hazardous Material" is any material that, when it escapes its container, could cause harm to life or health, the environment, or property. Examples of hazardous materials include flammable and combustible materials, corrosives, explosives, oxidizers, poisons, materials that react violently with water, radioactive materials, biological materials, etc. Note: A "Hazardous Material" is not the same as a "Toxic Waste."

Q. What is a "Hazardous Waste?"

A. "Hazardous Waste" is simply a hazardous material you don't want anymore. If a hazardous material is disposed of, that makes it a hazardous waste. If a hazardous material is spilled, and cannot be effectively picked up and used as a product, it is considered to be a hazardous waste. If a hazardous material sits unused, and it is obvious there is no realistic intent to use the material, it is considered to be a hazardous waste. Hazardous wastes are only allowed to stay on your site for a ceartain amount of time (normally 90 days) before being disposed of through a registered hazardous waste contractor.

Program Information and Forms

Hazardous Materials Release Response Plan (HMRRP)

Hazardous Waste Generators

Hazardous Waste Tiered Permitting

Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tanks (APSA)

California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program

Environmental Groundwater Monitoring Wells and Soil Borings

Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup


California Health and Safety Code

California Code of Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations – Title 40

California Environmental Protection Agency

Medical Waste Service Providers document type Adobe Acrobat PDF format

Medical Waste Information Bulletin and Disposal Guide document type Adobe Acrobat PDF format

Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Guide document type Adobe Acrobat PDF format

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

U.S. EPA Hazardous Waste Data