Hazardous Materials/CUPA

What is CUPA?

A Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) is a local agency certified by CalEPA to implement and enforce six state hazardous waste and hazardous materials regulatory management programs.


In the early 1990s, the regulation of hazardous materials and waste, as well as local emergency response, was diffused across more than 1,100 local and state agencies in California. In 1993, the Governor signed California Senate Bill 1082, establishing the Unified Program. The law enabled the construction and coordination of the administration, permit inspection, and enforcement activities of the six environmental regulatory programs. City and County agencies could apply to become a CUPA and receive delegated authority from State agencies to enforce a variety of laws in their jurisdiction. Further, a local agency could apply to be a Participating Agency (PA) working with a CUPA to implement only a portion of the delegated programs CUPAs have statutory authority to require permits, inspect facilities, issue violations, and perform enforcement actions.

Currently, the CUPA Program is implemented at the local level by 81 government agencies known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) and 23 participating agencies (PAs) throughout California. 

Sierra County CUPA

In 2002 CalEPA designated Sierra County Environmental Health as the local CUPA in Sierra County.

The primary goal of the Sierra County CUPA is to protect public health and the environment by promoting compliance with applicable laws and regulations. 

Electronic Reporting (CERS)

Effective January 1, 2009, all regulated businesses and local Unified Program Agencies (UPAs) are required to submit and report Unified Program information electronically to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). For more information about CERS and Unified Program reporting requirements, please go to CERS Central at http://cers.calepa.ca.gov/.

CERS Information for Businesses

How to Obtain a Permit

Permits for all CUPA regulatory programs are obtained by submitting business information electronically in CERS. Sierra County CUPA staff will follow up by conducting facility walkthroughs to determine a facility's need for permits to ensure proper program categorization. After that, an invoice (annual single system fee) will be submitted to the billing contact listed in CERS. After payment, a consolidated permit will be issued to this facility. For more information or to schedule a facility walkthrough, please contact Sierra County CUPA via Email or by calling (530) 993-6716.

CUPA Programs