More FAQs for Businesses using CERS What is CERS?
The California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) is a statewide web-based system to support California Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) and Participating Agencies (PAs) in electronically collecting and reporting
various hazardous materials-related data
as mandated by the California Health and Safety Code
and new 2008 legislation (AB 2286
). Under oversight by Cal/EPA, CUPAs implement Unified Program mandates that streamline and provide consistent regulatory activities. Who has to report?
All businesses that have facilities regulated by a CUPA under the Unified Program. For more information on the Unified Program see http://www.calepa.ca.gov/cupa/
. Who has to report in CERS?
All businesses must now submit Unified Program-related information to CERS instead of on paper forms. Alternatively, some CUPAs have developed local web portals that businesses may choose use to meet this requirement. What must be reported?
All hazardous materials business plans, chemical inventories, site maps, underground and aboveground tank data, and hazardous waste related data must be reported electronically. Where does a business report?
Businesses may use the California Environmental Reporting System's (CERS) Business Portal
, or if your CUPA supports one, a local web portal that supports Unified Program electronic reporting. Reporting to both CERS and a local reporting portal is prohibited to prevent duplicate reporting. Business data reported is exchanged automatically between Cal/EPA and the CUPA so data is available to both agencies regardless of whether the business reports to CERS or to a local web portal.
Why are there local reporting portals?
Local CUPA web portals may have additional features or services for businesses that are not offered in CERS in additional to meeting the statewide Unified Program electronic reporting requirements. Businesses whose facilities are ALL within a single CUPA jurisdiction may prefer to use a CUPA local reporting portal. Businesses with facilities in multiple CUPAs may prefer to use CERS as their single reporting site for all their facilities. CUPAs with local reporting portals will notify facilities in their jurisdiction when the local portal is available for use. Note: A CUPA cannot require any business to report to a local web portal.
When is reporting required?
Reporting times and frequencies have not changed. Follow your previous reporting due dates or check with your local CUPA. How do I get help?
- Questions concerning what data should be reported for your facility(s) should be directed to your local regulators.
- General questions about how to use CERS (or the local reporting portal) for reporting on your facility(s) should also be directed to your local regulators.
- If you are have technical problems accessing CERS or receiving errors while using CERS, please contact CERS Technical Support at firstname.lastname@example.org
- For questions relating to setting up a business organization in CERS with facilities in more than one CUPA jurisdiction, please review this letter and/or email email@example.com.
Recent Business-Related Blog Postings
Coming Soon to You: New CERS Web Sites for Businesses and Regulators
| Nov 01, 2011
Several thousand businesses and several dozen regulators have been making use of the current version of CERS since it was introduced in September 2009. Since then Cal/EPA's Unified Program staff have been conducting a top-down review of CERS functionality to ensure it can meet all statewide electronic reporting requirements mandated by new legislation in 2008 ( §25404 California Health and Safety Code).
In December 2011, Cal/EPA will be implement a new version of CERS (aka "CERS2") that will replace the current version of CERS with two separate CERS web portals, one for business reporting, and one for Unified Program regulators. As part of this implementation, the old version of CERS will be unavailable from December 10th through December 20th.
Don't worry--all of the data you previously entered into CERS will be moved into the new system, and your username/password will work in the new system as well!
The CERS Business Portal will have a complete redesign of the screens that steps the facility owner/operator through the various forms they need to complete for their facility. The new screens will to allow easier data entry, and the system will provide feedback when required fields and/or forms are not completed. And the new system will allow businesses to submit ALL forms and supplemental documentation required under Unified Program regulations. And for businesses with multiple facilities, new features have been added so you can easily manage data for all of the facilities in your business.
The CERS Regulator Portal will also include a complete redesign of the user interface, providing a more focused interface on regulator tasks, and much more advisory information on the completeness of facility submittals.
Look for the new version of CERS on December 21. Stay tuned for more details at http://cers.calepa.ca.gov/ !!