Business Emergency Plans

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State law requires every business in the City of Downey that handles or stores hazardous materials and/or hazardous waste above a specified amount, to report their inventories of hazardous materials to the fire department. This information assists the fire department in responding to emergencies involving your business, in addition to meeting Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

Reporting Requirements

The owner and/or operator of any business shall submit a Hazardous Materials Business Emergency Plan (HMBP) if their business handles or stores hazardous materials equal to or above the following quantities:

  • 55 gallons of liquid
  • 500 pounds of a solid
  • 200 cubic feet of gas
  • Radioactive materials (for which an emergency plan is required by Federal Law)

Extremely Hazardous Substances (if quantities are equal to/greater than Threshold Planning Quantity)

Assembly Bill (AB) 408 was signed into law on October 8, 2011 and amended the reporting quantities set forth in Chapter 6.95 of California Health & Safety Code. This law increased the inventory reporting quantities for certain classes of hazardous materials. Those changes are as follows:

  • Solid or liquid hazardous materials classified as solely an irritant or sensitizer - reporting quantity is 5,000 pounds
  • Gases (at STP) which the only health and physical hazards are simple asphyxiation and the pressure release - reporting quantity is 1,000 cubic feet. (Excludes reporting of gases in a cryogenic state)
  • Oil-filled electrical equipment that is not contiguous to an electrical facility - reporting quantity for the oil is 1,320 gallons

A material is considered a hazardous substances if it is flammable, ignitable, corrosive, and/or toxic, or if the substance has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Common materials considered to be hazardous include fuels (including propane), oils, paints, inks, solvents, any compressed gas over 15 psi.

  • Businesses are required to immediately notify the Fire Department of any substantial change to their HMBP. Changes would include:
  • 100% change in the quantity of any hazardous material being handled and/or stored Any new hazardous material handled equal to or over the reportable quantities
  • Change of business address, ownership or name

Program Exemptions

  • Materials stored temporarily for less than 30 days, including materials in transit
  • Oxygen, nitrogen, or nitrous oxide stored at a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian or pharmacist’s place of business in quantities less than 1,000 cubic feet of each material
  • Retail (Consumer) products packaged for direct distribution to, and use by the general public and in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons (liquids) or 100 pounds (solids)
  • Lubricating oil, if the total volume of each type of oil does not exceed 55 gallons, and the total volume of all types of oil handled at the facility does not exceed 275 gallons at any one time. Used (waste) oil is not included in the definition of lubricating oil.

Complete details of reporting requirements and exemptions can be found in the CA Health & Safety Code, Chapter 6.95, Section 25500-25520

Hazmat Release Reporting

Handlers of hazardous materials shall, upon discovery, immediately report any release or threatened release of a hazardous material to 911, the Fire Department and to the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA).