Title 19 of the California Code of Regulations, section 2631 requires immediate reporting of any significant release or threatened release of a hazardous material to the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and local unified agency. Below is information to help you determine when and how to report.
What is a reportable release?
A “threatened release” is not a release, but a condition that creates a substantial probability of harm and makes it reasonably necessary to take immediate action to prevent, reduce, or mitigate damages to persons, property, or the environment. For example:
- A hazardous material or waste storage tank becomes unstable and begins to lean to one side. The tank is in danger of falling over and releasing its contents.
- A valve on a tank or on piping has extensive corrosion, and failure appears imminent.
A “significant release” is not defined in code with the intention of allowing CUPAs discretion in interpretation. LAFD interprets a “significant release” as any release in any amount that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Enters the soil, atmosphere, or storm drain.
- Results in injury or hospitalization.
- Results in Fire Department response and standby for cleanup.
- Is not cleaned up within 1 hour.
- Requires a respirator or special PPE for cleanup.
- Creates an IDLH atmosphere (>10% LEL, oxygen deficient).
How do I report a release?
Call 911 if emergency response is needed.
Any significant release or threatened release within the City of Los Angeles must be reported to:
- CalOES State Warning Center at (800) 852-7550, and
- LAFD CUPA using this form.
The report shall include, at a minimum, the following information:
- The exact location of the release or threatened release;
- The name of the person reporting the release or threatened release;
- The hazardous materials involved in the release or threatened release;
- An estimate of the quantity of hazardous materials involved; and
- If known, the potential hazards presented by the hazardous material involved.
If the release exceeds EPCRA reportable quantities, the facility must notify the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802 and provide a detailed written follow-up as soon as practicable. Information about accidental chemical releases must be made available to the public.
If in doubt, report the release.
19 CCR § 2631. Immediate Reporting of a Release or a Threatened Release
(b) The immediate reporting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall include, as a minimum:
(d) Immediate reporting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be made to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, at telephone number (916) 845-8911 or (800) 852-7550, and to the local administering agency. The administering agency may designate a call to the 911 emergency number as meeting the requirement to call the administering agency.
(e) The notifications in subsection (d) shall constitute compliance with the requirements of subdivision (b) of section 11004 of title 42 of the United States Code (1989) regarding verbal notification of the State Emergency Planning Commission and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
* For additional guidance on notification procedures, consult the State of California Hazardous Material Incident Contingency Plan (HMICP).
LA City Fire Code § 5003.3.1.5. Reporting
Any person who has knowledge of an unauthorized release of a hazardous substance shall notify the Chief immediately. A written report shall be submitted by the owner, operator, or permitee within 10 days after the escape of a hazardous substance from a primary container when the unauthorized release:
1. Has occurred or has the potential to enter groundwater.
2. Could endanger life, property, or the environment.
3. Is contained by secondary containment.
The written report shall provide information to the Department relating to the ability of the permitee to contain and dispose of the hazardous substance, the estimated time it will take to achieve this, and the degree of hazard created. The Chief may verify that the hazardous substance is being contained and appropriately disposed of. If at any time it is determined that the permittee is not adequately containing and disposing of such hazardous substance, the Chief shall have the power and authority to initiate and direct an emergency response in order to protect the public safety, health and welfare, public and private property, wildlife, marine fisheries, wet lands or ocean resources, or natural environment. The permittee shall be liable for reimbursement to the Department for all emergency response costs incurred.
HSC § 25295(a)(1). Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances
(a)(1) An unauthorized release that escapes from the secondary containment, or from the primary containment, if no secondary containment exists, increases the hazard of fire or explosion, or causes deterioration of the secondary containment of the underground tank system shall be reported by the owner or operator to the local agency within 24 hours after the release has been detected or should have been detected. The owner or operator of the underground tank system shall transmit the information specified in this paragraph regarding the unauthorized release to the local agency no later than five working days after the date of the occurrence of the unauthorized release. The information shall be submitted to the local agency on a written form or using an electronic format developed by the board and approved by the Secretary for Environmental Protection as consistent with the standardized electronic format and protocol requirements of Sections 71060 to 71065, inclusive, of the Public Resources Code. Either reporting method shall include all of the following:
(A) A description of the nature and volume of the unauthorized release.
(B) The corrective or remedial actions undertaken.
(C) Any further corrective or remedial actions, including investigative actions, that will be needed to clean up the unauthorized release and abate the effects of the unauthorized release.
(D) A time schedule for implementing the actions specified in subparagraph (C).
(E) The source and cause of the unauthorized release.
(F) The underground storage tank system's record of compliance with this chapter, including data on equipment failures.
(G) Any other information the board deems necessary to implement or comply with this chapter, Chapter 6.75 (commencing with Section 25299.10), or the federal act.