There will be intermittent outages to the City's Website on Sunday, September 19th between 5:00 am and 4:00 pm for a planned system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

Translation Disclaimer

Toxics Management Division
Toxics Management Division

Environmental Programs Topic Listing

 What is a CUPA? -

Senate Bill 1082, passed in 1993, created the Unified Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Management Regulatory Program (Unified Program), which requires the administrative consolidation of six hazardous materials and waste programs under one agency, a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). The intent has been to simplify the hazardous materials regulatory environment and provide a single point of contact for businesses to address inspection, permitting, billing, and enforcement issues.

As the CUPA, the City of Berkeley Toxics Management Division administers the following six hazardous materials program areas:

  1. Hazardous Materials Release Response Plans and Inventories (HMRRP) Program (also known as the Hazardous Materials Business Plan), Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.95, Article 1, with supplemental regulations in California Code of Regulations Title 19, Sections 2620-2732.
  2. California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program, Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.95, Article 2, with supplemental regulations in California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Sections 2735-2785.
  3. Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program, Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.7, with accompanying regulations in the California Code of Regulations, Title 23.
  4. Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act,  Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.67, Section 25270-25270.13.
  5. Hazardous Waste Generator and Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment (tiered permitting) Programs, Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.5, with accompanying regulations in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22.
  6. Hazardous Materials Management Plans (HMMP) and Hazardous Materials Inventory Statements per California Fire Code, California Code of Regulations, Title 27, Division 2, Chapter 4.5.

For more detailed information regarding these programs in the City of Berkeley, please click here.

All of these laws and regulations can be accessed from the following web site: http://calepa.ca.gov/CUPA/LawsRegs/


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 Cleanup Program -

The City of Berkeley Toxics Management Division (TMD) has discontinued oversight of soil and groundwater cleanup cases effective July 1, 2013; however, TMD continues to permit underground storage tank removals and environmental drilling.

Regulatory oversight of existing and future leaking petroleum fuel underground tank cases will be by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), in Oakland, California. Existing and future non-fuel contaminated properties will be referred to the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to determine an appropriate agency to conduct regulatory oversight of these cases.

Reports for cleanup cases will no longer be maintained by TMD and will instead be required to be submitted electronically to the CalEPA GeoTracker or EnviroStor databases maintained by State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), respectively. Work is currently in progress to convert all related paper files at the TMD into electronic files. These files will be uploaded to the appropriate database and will be available to the public for review. The City of Berkeley will no longer receive or maintain paper or electronic files for contaminated soil or groundwater cleanup projects. Future discovery of contaminated properties will be forwarded to the attention of the appropriate State agency for regulation and guidance.

Case history and status information, reports, and regulatory directives are maintained for public review at the following websites:

You may contact Cheryl Prowell of the Regional Water Board at cheryl.prowell@waterboards.ca.gov or by calling (510) 622-2408. If you have an underground storage tank cleanup, contact Laurent Meillier of the RWQCB instead by email at laurent.meillier@waterboards.ca.gov or by phone at (510) 622-3277. You may also contact Karen Toth, Unit Chief of DTSC, by calling (510) 540-3834 or via email to ktoth@dtsc.ca.gov.


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 Environmental Management Area -

Many areas in the City of Berkeley are known or suspected to have groundwater contamination. These areas are known as Environmental Management Areas (EMA). You can obtain a copy of the EMA map at the Permit Service Center or you can view or download the pdf.

This page serves to remind you of your responsibilities to properly handle and dispose of contaminated groundwater or soils.  Improper disposal of contaminated water or soils can be a violation of the Federal Clean Water and State Porter Cologne Acts as well as California Hazardous Waste Laws.

General Conditions

Berkeley is an older industrial city. Berkeley's soils and groundwater have been adversely impacted by past industrial and commercial activities, as well as by leaded gasoline, lead paint, and leaking sewers. If your development project is in or very close to the EMA, you may encounter soil or groundwater contamination due to historical activities. Toxics Management Division (TMD) staff will review your project description or plans and determine if special requirements should apply. Requirements are applicable for significant soils movements or removal, and where excavation may encounter groundwater. Typical conditions are presented below for your consideration before being issued permit approval.

A soils and groundwater management plan may be required for certain developments.

Small Projects - Greater than 300 feet from Contaminated Site or Groundwater:

Groundwater in Berkeley is found from 5 feet to over 25 feet below surface, with the shallower aquifer in the west part of the City. In many areas there may also be shallower perched water, because the City lies on clayey soils. Most small projects, like small residential buildings (4 or under), sewer lines, utilities, and foundation work will likely not encounter groundwater.  Should you find groundwater during these types of jobs and notice any unusual odor, discoloration, or oily sheen, contact TMD for additional instructions.  City codes prohibit the discharge of any contaminated water into the storm drain. Silty water, concrete rinse water, or discolored water may not be discharged into the storm drain. Small volumes of uncontaminated ground water can be discharged into the storm sewer. The Regional Water Board, East Bay MUD and the City Public Works have different authorities on discharges of water to sanitary and storm sewers and must be consulted prior to discharge. 

Soils may be contaminated from industrial or commercial activities, or from lead paint and lead from past vehicle emissions. Moving soils on building sites can lead to a nuisance condition and, if contaminants are present in the soil, the impact may have significant health impacts. Prepare a soils management plan by evaluating the soil conditions and plan for proper containment and disposal that fits the soil pollution profile.

Large Projects where Dewatering is Anticipated: When large projects require dewatering during the construction phase or after construction, TMD will require certain mitigations. Since dewatering activities can draw in contamination from outside areas, monitoring of the groundwater discharges may be required after the construction. TMD may require dewatering and monitoring plans to ensure the discharge of clean water and the protection of the community from vapors or other health hazards. Additionally, where there is sufficient information indicating soils contamination is present, TMD could require testing of excavation spoils and documentation of proper disposal.

Soils management requirements are similar to the above.

REMEMBER: All contaminated groundwater or soils must be managed and disposed of properly. Improper disposal of contaminated water or soils can be a violation of the Federal Clean Water and State Porter Cologne Acts as well as California Hazardous Waste Laws.

Fees: TMD's fees are billed at the standard rate of $210.00 per hour, with a half-hour minimum per project.

Additional Information

You can find additional information on contaminated sites near you from the Water Board and the Department of Toxic Substances Control: 

http://geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov/

http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/

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 Berkeley, Alameda County, and Bay Area Environmental Programs -

The following list contains contact information for the various environmental programs within Berkeley, Alameda County, and the Bay Area.

Berkeley
Abandoned Vehicles(510) 981-6300
Asbestos spill on a roadway(510) 981-7460
• After hours, call 9-1-1
Berkeley Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (BCLPPP)(510) 981-5399
BCLPPP website
Drug Lab9-1-1
Endangerment to Public Health or Emergency Response9-1-1
Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP)
Download HMBP Information & Instructions (PDF)
(510) 981-7460
Hazardous Waste Generator Application(510) 981-7460
Illegal Lead Paint Removal (public)(510) 981-5289
Manufactured Nanoscale Materials
Click here to download the Disclosure Guidelines
(510) 981-7460
Monitoring Well and Soil Boring Permit
Download Subsurface Drilling Permit Application from this link
(510) 981-7460
Pollution of Storm Drains or Stream Systems(510) 981-7460
• After hours, call 9-1-1
Recycling of Oil Products
Click here for list of Used Oil Recycling locations
(510) 981-7460
Sewer Leaks(510) 981-6300
Toxic Release Complaint Line – non-emergency (8 am – 5 pm)(510 ) 981-7460
Underground Storage Tank (UST) Hazardous Substances Questions(510) 981-7460
UST Removal, Installation, Modification – Permit Service Center(510) 981-7500
Alameda County 
Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (ACLPPP)(510) 567-8280
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites:
Visit HHW web site from this link
(510) 670-6460
Proper Use of Pesticides(510) 670-5232
Safe Disposal of Medication:
Click here for the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s website
(510) 558-7285
Small Quantity Business Generator Waste Disposal Sites(510) 670-6460
Bay Area
Asbestos Concerns (Airborne)(415) 749-5000
Exhaust Fume From Vehicles800-EXHAUST
or 800-394-2878
Illegal Lead Paint Removal (worker safety) - OSHA(510) 622-2916
Odor/Air Pollution Complaints:
Click here to go to the BAAQMD home page
(800) 334-6367
24-Hour Complaint Hotline
for BAAQMD
Radioactive Materials Release(415) 744-2000
(EPA 24-hr hotline)

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Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Toxics Management Division, 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: toxics@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7460
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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