Four Ways California Assembly Bill 2059 Could Affect Your Retail Business
Recent changes to the scope of hazardous materials business plans have significant impacts on the retail industry.
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTOR:
Amy Martinez, Client Program Manager
APTIM | Environment & Energy Solutions
Amy Martinez has 19 years of experience providing regulatory compliance and permitting solutions to local governments and private sector clients, especially those in California. She is a Certified Hazardous Materials Management Professional, a certified Project Management Professional, and a TRUE Advisor with expertise in providing zero waste solutions for customers.
Understanding California Assembly Bill 2059
California Assembly Bill (AB) 2059 approved on September 13, 2022, effective January 1, 2023, amends the California Health and Safety Code (HSC) Chapter 6.95 requirements that pertain to Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) reporting. AB 2059 expands the scope of hazardous materials subject to HMBP reporting by narrowing the definitions of consumer product, supplier, and handler. This change may greatly affect retail businesses on how and what they report to their Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA).
During the 2023 California Unified Program Annual Training Conference, APTIM attended a session entitled “AB 2059 – New Requirements” presented by John Elkins of CalEPA and Frederick Chun of the Santa Clara City Fire Department. The session discussed the purpose of AB 2059, the new requirements, and the changes to HMBP reporting. Below are some of the most important updates laid out in the regulation.
1. Definition of “Consumer Products”
The definition of “consumer products” was amended to mean a commodity used for personal, family, or household purposes, and those present in the same form, concentration, and quantity as a product prepackaged for distribution to a consumer for personal, family, or household purposes. The bill expands the scope of hazardous materials subject to reporting by narrowing the definition of consumer products. As a result, certain consumer products that were previously exempt from reporting (e.g., propane exchange programs) will need to be evaluated against the lower regulatory threshold for reporting.
2. Hazardous Material Exemptions
AB 2059 amends HSC Section 25507(b) to revise the exemption and non-exemption requirements for consumer products and manufacturers, warehouses, and distribution centers.
- EXEMPT: Hazardous materials that meet the definition of a consumer product are exempt from reporting if they are handled at or found in a retail establishment and are intended for direct sale to the end user.
- NON-EXEMPT: Hazardous materials that meet the definition of a consumer product are not exempt from reporting if they are handled at a manufacturer, separate warehouse, or distribution center where there are no direct sales to consumers.
3. Reporting Consumer Products with Most Hazardous NFPA Ratings
AB 2059 amends HSC Section 25507(b) to require consumer products sold at a retail establishment that have a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS) rating of 3 or 4 to be reported on the HMBP. Consumer products with a NFPA or HMIS rating of 3 or 4 must be included in the HMBP Hazardous Materials Inventory (HMI) if quantities are equal to or greater than the following:
- 165 gallons for liquids
- 600 cubic feet for gases
- 1,500 pounds for solids
Businesses will need to review their consumer product inventories and safety data sheets (SDS) to identify hazardous materials with NFPA or HMIS ratings of 3 or 4. This can be used to determine if they store these consumer products in quantities that exceed the regulatory reporting threshold. Some examples of AB 2059 consumer product reporting include:
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray carries an NFPA flammability rating of 4. If a retail business sells Lysol in 19-ounce aerosol cans, they will need to report Lysol on their HMBP if they store greater than or equal to 1,100 bottles. If they store less than 1,100 bottles, the Lysol remains exempt from reporting.
- Propane carries an NFPA flammability rating of 4. If a retail business has a propane exchange program at the front of their store and store greater than or equal to four propane cylinders, they will need to report these cylinders on their HMBP. If they store less than four propane cylinders, the propane exchange program would remain exempt from reporting.
4. Supplier Recordkeeping Requirements
AB 2059 also adds new supplier recordkeeping requirements under Section 25507.5(a). Suppliers, defined as a manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer in the state that sells or provides hazardous materials to a business in the state are required to maintain records for the sale or provision of hazardous materials in quantities equal to or greater than 165 gallons for a liquid, 600 cubic feet of a gas, and 1,500 pounds of a solid. Records must be maintained for a minimum of one year and made available to a CUPA inspector upon request.
Take Your Next Steps Toward Compliance
Retail businesses that previously took advantage of the consumer product exemption for HMBP reporting will need to review and revise their HMBPs to ensure compliance with the revised HSC requirements under California assembly bill 2059. Retail businesses should:
- Obtain a copy of the store product inventory
- Review product information and SDSs to identify consumer products with NFPA or HMIS ratings of 3 or 4
- Identify on-site storage quantities and compare to consumer product reporting thresholds
- Review and revise the HMBP accordingly
If you are a newly regulated retailer that needs assistance understanding whether the new requirements set out by AB 2059 apply to your facility, or how to get started implementing compliance measures, our Compliance & Permitting team at APTIM is here to help. Reach out to me at Amy.Martinez@APTIM.com for more information.
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