Hazardous Materials

A hazardous material is a material that, in any quantity, poses a threat to life, health or property. More than four billion tons of materials classified as hazardous are shipped throughout the United States each year.
Hazardous materials commonly shipped in the United States include:

  • Explosives (materials that combust or detonate)
  • Compressed Gases (pressurized, poisonous, flammable or nonflammable gas)
  • Flammable Liquids (those with a flash point of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Combustible Liquids (those with a flash point greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Flammable Solids (solid material that burns vigorously and can be ignited readily)
  • Oxidizers (substances that give off oxygen or act like oxygen and stimulate combustion)
  • Corrosives (materials that destroy metal and skin)
  • Radioactive Materials

All incidents involving hazardous materials are true emergencies and you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

The general rule in working with hazardous materials is to act quickly and to isolate and deny entry (access). Time is critical, but do not act so quickly that you endanger yourself and others at the scene. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Secure the scene and limit exposure to anyone. Do not try any rescue efforts. Wait for the fire department to arrive on the scene.

If a motorist is the first on the scene of an incident involving a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, 9-1-1 should be called immediately. Remember – stay upwind and on a higher terrain than the incident site, and prevent others from entering the hazardous area when possible.

It is very important that motorists, their passengers and all bystanders avoid converging on the scene. Move to a safe area and ensure there is clear access for the Fire Department and other emergency responders. Evacuation of the area is critical because of the potential occurrences of fires, explosions and exposures. In many instances, crowds gathering around the scene of an incident interfere with emergency vehicle rescue operations.

The Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) program was established by the State in 1986, and is implemented within Pasadena by the Fire Department. Its purpose is to prevent or minimize the damage to public health and safety and the environment, from a release or threatened release of hazardous materials. It also satisfies community right-to-know laws. This is accomplished by requiring businesses that handle hazardous materials to:

  • Inventory their hazardous materials
  • Develop a site map
  • Develop an emergency plan
  • Implement a training program for employees

Businesses must submit this information electronically to the statewide information management system (California Environmental Reporting System, or CERS).

Businesses within the City of Pasadena are required to report all hazardous materials regardless of the quantity.

All reporting by businesses for inventory changes, ownership changes, contact updates or other information must take place through CERS at http://cers.calepa.ca.gov/.

The Hazardous Materials Section may be reached at (626) 744-4115.

CERS Business User Guide (link to PDF)

New Facility Instructions (link to PDF)

Requirements for construction plans

Any modifications, installations or repairs to your UST system (including all like-for-like changes) will require a permit.  Other projects that will also require a permit include the following:

What you need to apply for permits for UST installations or modifications

  1. Three sets of plans.
    1. Plans should include at a minimum, a site plan, scope of work, site specific detail of work to be done, and equipment list
    2. Plans should be no larger than 11” x 17” in size
    3. All drawings must be site specific. Generic drawings will not be approved.
  2. All necessary ICC and manufacturers certifications
  3. Current Pasadena Business License
  4. Current Contractors License (C61/D40 licenses issued after January 18, 2001 cannot perform any construction work on UST systems)
  5. Permit fee – due upon pick up of plans.

Submit plans to:
Pasadena Fire Department
Hazardous Materials Section
215 N. Marengo Ave., Suite 195
Pasadena, CA 91101

  • Plans can be submitted to Kim Yu, Hazardous Materials Inspector

Scheduling an inspection and/or testing notifications

Agency notifications must be made within 48 hours of test date and time.  In Pasadena, we witness all required UST testing. Hence, notifications must be confirmed and coordinated with the Hazardous Materials Inspector.  It is suggested to notify and schedule at least 2 weeks in advance of test date to ensure that you get the date and time you desire.

You can schedule an inspection by sending an email to Kim Yu, Hazardous Materials Inspector at:  kyu@cityofpasadena.net.

You can also schedule an inspection and test date via phone at 626-744-7193.

Submitting test results

The Owner/Operator of a UST site must submit all test results within 30 days of test date.  Failure to submit results within this required time will result in the test being void, and the system will have to be re-tested.

You can submit test results using the following methods:

  1. Email
  2. Mail
    • You can mail all test results to the following address:

Pasadena Fire Department
Hazardous Materials Section
215 N. Marengo Ave., Suite   195
Pasadena, CA 91101

  1. CERS
    • You can upload your test results under “Miscellaneous Regulatory Documents” in the Underground Storage Tank section on the CERS website.

CalARP Public Notice

In accordance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6.95, the certain businesses have submitted a California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program plan. The CalARP regulations cover several hundred listed flammable and/or toxic materials (e.g., ammonia, chlorine, flammable gases, etc.) which pose the greatest risk for causing death, injury, or seriously affecting human health or the environment if accidentally released.

Facility Name Site Address City Zip Start of Review End of Review
Caltech – Central Plant 650 S. Wilson Ave, Pasadena 91125 7/14/2020 8/28/2020
CITY/WATER & PW GENERAL PLANT 85 E. State St., Gate 7 Pasadena 91105 7/14/2020 8/28/2020

And this should go here:

The CUPA has reviewed the plans and made the determination that the plans are complete. In accordance with HSC 25535.2 and CCR 2745.2(c), notice is hereby given that the Risk Management Plans (RMP) are available for public review and comment for 45 days after the “Start of Review” date.

If you are interested in reviewing an RMP for one of the above facilities, please contact the City of Pasadena, Fire Department – Hazardous Materials Section at the address or phone number below, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. RMP review is by appointment only.

Be prepared to provide official photo identification (e.g., valid driver license/ID or passport) and complete and sign a login-sheet to review the RMP(s).

Any questions about this notice can be directed to:
Kim Yu, Hazardous Materials Specialist
City of Pasadena Fire Department – Hazardous Materials Section
215 N. Marengo Avenue, Suite 195
Pasadena, CA 91101

Requests generally require up to two weeks to complete, but will be sent as soon as they are completed. Requests requiring significant research and/or multiple sites may take longer than two weeks. Requests are processed strictly in the order received. The fee for a records search is $.15 per page provided, plus postage. Maps indicating the specific location of hazardous materials, materials covered by trade secret protections, and other materials protected by law will not be provided. All reports will be mailed by US Mail unless otherwise directed. Invoice will be sent with file and is due upon receipt. Requests may be also faxed to (626) 585-9466.


Hazardous materials are not only found in businesses and factories, we all use them every day at home. Many cleaners, pesticides, home maintenance, pool care, and other products are the same materials, and just as hazardous, as the highly regulated hazardous materials used by businesses.

Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are what we call those hazardous materials that we all use at home when we no longer need them. HHWs may not be thrown in the trash! Throwing your household hazardous wastes in the trash is just as illegal as if a business was doing it. To properly deal with HHW, follow these guidelines:

Reduce – Reduce the amount of hazardous materials you buy, or choose less hazardous or non-hazardous alternatives.
Reuse – Use up what you buy. Buying in bulk may cost less per ounce, but it still costs you more in the long run if you don’t use it up! Disposal of HHWs can cost many times more than the purchase price. We all pay for HHW disposal through our trash fees and taxes. If you use it up, there’s little or no waste.
Recycle – If you can’t use it, maybe someone else can. If you can’t use a material any more, maybe a neighbor or a local charity can
If you’re still stuck with HHW, then you can take it to a Household Hazardous Waste Roundup where professionals will collect, consolidate, recycle and properly dispose of your waste for you. These events are for Household wastes only, not businesses. You can find the current schedule for the free LA County HHW Roundups at http://www.lacsd.org/HHW/HHWFLIER.htm. Also listed on that page is information about the free Permanent Collection Sites which are operated by LA City and available for all County residents, as well.

If you are a Pasadena or LA County Resident and you need to dispose of household hazardous waste, please contact the Pasadena Department of Public Works.

For more information, you can also visit: