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Spill Release Reporting


Spill Release Reporting

In California, accidental releases of hazardous materials, hazardous waste, or other regulated substances obligate facilities to comply with strict reporting requirements. State and local agencies must be notified within hours or days depending on the severity of the spill. Detailed follow-up reports are also required.

Navigating the reporting requirements during the stress of an actual spill event can be challenging. CDMS has extensive experience assisting clients with spill reporting and compliance. In the event your facility has an accidental release, CDMS can make the required phone notifications to California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the National Response Center, local agencies, and others on your behalf. We can also prepare the necessary written reports to regulators and support any follow-up actions.

Let CDMS handle spill reporting accurately and on time, while you focus on response and controlling any damage from the release. Our team knows these requirements inside and out.

Regulatory bodies
  • State/Local Emergency Response Agencies
  • California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
  • California EPA (CalEPA)
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards
  • Air Quality Management Districts
  • Local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs)
Who needs it

Any facility handling hazardous materials, generating hazardous waste, or with the potential for accidental releases would need to be prepared for spill reporting

Regulation reference
  • CA Hazardous Materials Release Response Plans & Inventory Law
  • CA Health and Safety Code Chapter 6.95
  • California Water Code Section 13271
  • California Hazardous Waste Control Law
  • CCR Title 19, Chapter 2.7 – CalARP Program accidental release prevention
  • CCR Title 13, Division 3, Chapter 9.2 – Oil spill contingency plans
  • CCR Title 27, Division 3, Subdivision 1 – Landfill gas releases
  • Regional Air District Rules – Reporting air pollutant releases
What our service provides:

CDMS will prepare all reports required by the regulatory agencies in the event of an accidental release of hazardous material or hazardous waste.

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When does a spill or release need to be reported in California?
If hazardous materials or wastes exceed reportable quantities, a release must be reported immediately.

What state agencies need to be notified about a spill?
Notify the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), and other relevant agencies such as the Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD) or Waterboard .

Does a release need to be reported if it is contained on-site?
Yes, even if fully contained on company property, reporting criteria still apply if MQs are exceeded.

What information must be included in the initial spill report?
Date/time, company info, location, material, estimated quantity, potential threats, response actions taken.

Is there a standard state form that must be used?
Yes, Form 190 – Hazardous Materials Spill/Release Report. Some local agencies have similar forms.

How soon after a release does it need to be reported?
Immediately after containment has begun. Generally within 2 hours up to 24 hours depending on quantity.

What are the penalties for failing to report a spill?
Fines up to $25,000 per day and potential civil liabilities for damages.

When is a detailed written follow-up report required?
A written report is typically required within 10 working days of the initial notification.

Does the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) need notification too?
Yes, the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) with jurisdiction must receive notification.

Is the National Response Center (NRC) notified for all spills?
No, Response Center (NRC) is only notified for spills of federally regulated substances like Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous wastes.

Can notifications and reporting be delegated to a third-party?
Yes, spill reporting can be delegated to an agency like a qualified environmental consulting firm. Please Contact Us to get support or request a Spill Release Report. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.

What materials are covered by the spill reporting requirements?
Broadly includes hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, oil, gasoline, sewage, chemicals, minerals, etc.

Who approves the cleanup after a spill?
Cleanup plan must be approved by the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) and carried out according to regulations.

Is an inspection required after the spill response?
Yes, regulators will typically perform a site inspection after cleanup.

How long must spill records be retained?
Records must be kept for minimum 3 years. Retaining for 5+ years is recommended.

Can civil or criminal liability result from a spill or release?
Yes, violations may create civil and criminal liability beyond administrative penalties.

Can a company get cited even if they self-report a spill?
Yes, self-reporting is mandatory but does not necessarily prevent liability for violations.

Do additional permits need to be filled after a reportable spill occurs?
Possibly yes, depending on nature of release and regulatory response.

If I release something other than chemicals, does it need reporting?
Yes, releases of potential hazards like sewage, fuel, minerals/metals also must be reported.