It is the duty of the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs (CCHSHMP) to safeguard the Contra Costa County ecosystem from the release of hazardous materials and other pollutants. As inspectors, engineers, and responders, CCHSHMP ensures that regulated businesses are in compliance with state hazardous materials laws and regulations and local storm water ordinances.
When issues of non-compliance are observed during inspections, CCHSHMP will initially provide education and regulatory assistance so that compliance may be achieved. However, when these efforts are not sufficient, CCHSHMP may find it necessary to take an enforcement action, whether by the CUPA's Administrative Enforcement Order (AEO) process or through civil or criminal prosecution by the District Attorney's Office.
CCHSHMP is granted enforcement authority under the California Health and Safety Code (HSC) and Contra Costa County Ordinance (Ord.) for the following programs:
- Administrative Enforcement Order, HSC, Chapter 6.11, section 25404.1.1
- Hazardous Waste and Tiered Permitting, HSC, Chapter 6.5, section 25180
- Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA), HSC, Chapter 6.67, section 25270.4
- Underground Storage Tanks (UST), HSC, Chapter 6.7, section 25299
- Hazardous Materials Release and Response Plans (HMRRP/HMBP), HSC, Chapter 6.95, section 25514
- Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP), HSC, Chapter 6.95, section 25540
- Storm Water Management and Discharge Control, Ord. No. 96-21, Title 1014
The goals of any enforcement action are to:
- Deprive violators of any significant benefit gained from the violation;
- Punish violators and deter future non-compliance;
- Return violators to compliance within the mandated timeframe; and
- Level the playing field for all regulated facilities.
Ultimately, the goal of enforcement is not to only achieve compliance, but to maintain it, such as changing a culture of non-compliance for a business.