Electronic Reporting Page Updated on 8/8/2018
State law and regulations require that businesses electronically submit Hazardous Materials Business Plans, underground storage tank information, and other information associated with the Unified Program. Electronic reporting may be done using either the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)
— a state-wide electronic reporting system operated by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA)
— or a local UPA web portal configured to share information with CERS.
The information required to be electronically reported is the same data included in the previously-required Unified Program Consolidated Form (UPCF) documents. The law only changed the reporting method for information that was already required to be submitted: paper forms such as the HMBP, Underground Storage Tank Operating Permit Application, Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment Notification pages, etc. Since the UPCF forms have been withdrawn from use, the Unidocs Website's Word and PDF UPCF-compliant versions of those forms, and those Uniform Documents that had UPCF forms embedded in them (e.g., Unidocs Hazardous Materials Business Plan),were retired and are no longer available for download.
QUICK LINKS (by Subject Area)
Electronic Reporting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Am I required to submit information electronically?
A. You are required to submit electronically if your facility engages in any of the following activities:
- Handles one or more hazardous materials in a quantity at or above State Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) reporting thresholds, or in a quantity subject to Minimal Storage Site reporting pursuant to a local code or ordinance enforced by Santa Clara County CUPA; Santa Clara County Fire Department in the cities of Campbell or Cupertino, or in the Town of Los Gatos; Mountain View Fire Department; Palo Alto Fire Department; or any other Unified Program Agency.
- Owns or operates one or more underground storage tanks for which you will be the holder of the permit-to-operate.
- Is subject to the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) because it stores petroleum in aboveground tanks or containers 55 gallons or larger with aggregate storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more; or has a "tank in an underground area" (TIUGA) as defined by California Health and Safety Code §25270.2(o)(1).
- Generates hazardous waste.
- Recycles on-site more than 100 kilograms per month of excluded or exempted recyclable materials per California Health and Safety Code §25143.2).
- Treats hazardous waste on-site.
- Consolidates hazardous waste generated at an off-site location.
Q. Do all agencies approach electronic reporting the same way?
A. No. Some agencies may choose to develop a local portal, while others will have their businesses reporting directly to CERS. The FrontCounter portal described in this FAQ is intended for businesses within Santa Clara County, excluding those in the cities of Gilroy, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.
Q. How do I submit information electronically?
A. In most areas within Santa Clara County, businesses have two options::
- Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health and the local Fire Departments that serve as Participating Agencies working with the County CUPA to implement the Unified Program have developed FrontCounter, a local electronic reporting portal where facilities located in any area of Santa Clara County other than within the cities of Gilroy, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale may submit required information and access additional compliance tools and resources with an emphasis on satisfying both State and local reporting requirements. State-required information collected through the portal is transmitted electronically to the state's California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). Businesses currently using CERS are encouraged to switch to FrontCounter.
- Businesses may use CERS.
Q. Can I submit data both to CERS and the local portal?
A. No. You must submit data using only one of the reporting systems. Businesses that use CERS as their primary reporting system may need to submit additional forms and information directly to the local agency in order to meet local requirements, so you are highly encouraged to use the portal. FrontCounter allows you to meet both State and local reporting requirements from one website and provides tools and information beyond what is available in CERS.
Q. What is my deadline for annually submitting/certifying my HMBP?
A. HMBP submittals and recertifications are accepted throughout the year, provided that they are submitted within 12 months of the last submittal or recertification date. To be complete, HMBP annual certification submittals must include the Facility Information, Hazardous Materials Inventory (and Site Map), and Emergency Response and Training Plans submittal elements.
Q. How do I report closure of an underground storage tank (UST)?
A. If a UST that has been reported in CERS is removed or permanently closed-in-place, an electronic submittal of updated UST information is required to close out the tank records in CERS. Please follow the instructions in the Unidocs guidance document here.
Q. How does electronic reporting benefit businesses and agencies?
A. Electronic reporting saves time and resources by allowing all of the following:
- Businesses and their contractors can quickly access, update and submit Unified Program information.
- Multi-jurisdictional businesses can submit required information through a single reporting system;
- Agencies can review submittals from one central system and respond using automated e-mail notifications;
- Emergency Responders can quickly see a facility's current hazardous materials inventory and site maps.
FrontCounter Electronic Reporting Portal
FrontCounter is a local electronic reporting portal where facilities located in most areas within Santa Clara County can submit Unified Program information and satisfy other local reporting requirements. Businesses currently using CERS are encouraged to switch to FrontCounter. State-required information collected through the portal is transmitted electronically to CERS. To request a FrontCounter user account or access your facility record(s), click here: FrontCounter. Please note that facilities located within the cities of Gilroy, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale must use CERS since those cities are outside Santa Clara County CUPA's jurisdiction.
California Environmental Reporting System (CERS)
Those required to report electronically may go directly to the CERS website to obtain a user account and request access to their facility record(s). Training materials developed by Cal/EPA are also available.
Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) Emergency Response and Training Plans
CERS does not have individual data entry elements for the Emergency Response and Training Plans information that is required to be in contained in HMBPs. If you are currently using CERS, you must upload PDF file attachments to satisfy the California Health and Safety Code Chapter 6.95 and California Code of Regulations Title 19 requirements that the HMBP contain Site Plan and Storage Map information showing the facility layout and chemical storage/handling locations; and emergency response plans and procedures and employee training information.
|CERS Consolidated Emergency Response / Contingency Plan
||Consolidated Emergency Response Plan for use by owners/operators of facilities subject to Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) reporting requirements. Complete and upload this document to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). [Note: You may also use the CERS Consolidated Emergency Response / Contingency Plan or other format with equivalent content. This document is not required for Minimal Storage Site (Hazardous Materials Registration Form) facilities unless they are required to prepare a Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan.]