Project Overview

The technology supporting CERS is near-end-of-life, and a technology refresh is required. As many of the assumptions and processes that CERS was originally based on are no longer valid or have significantly changed, CalEPA is embarking on the CERS NextGen project to move CERS to a supported platform, streamline processes, and re-align with the overall goals of the Unified Program. CalEPA is going to replace CERS with a cloud-based solution.

The proposed solution will replace the CERS legacy system in its entirety, remediate the pain points, achieve the project goals, and generally improve operations. 

Project Timeline

At this time, we cannot provide additional details about the project timeline.  However once the contractors are on board, Phase 1 will be completed in 12 months. CalEPA will continue to provide updated project information as it becomes available.

Project Updates

CalEPA is continuing work on the CERS NextGen project to move CERS to a supported platform, streamline processes, and re-align with the overall goals of the Unified Program.

CalEPA is pleased to announce that we have been awarded 4.5 million dollars from the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) to implement Phase 1. Funding will be utilized to configure a modern user-interface for public-facing digital services that can scale to support additional programs using a Salesforce solution. This includes key NextGen system functionality including:

  • Creation of business, facility, and UST records in the system
  • Development of the business and regulator user interface
  • The reporting (“Submittals”) process of the UST program
  • The local regulator’s submittal review and acceptance process
  • Compliance activity documentation, monitoring, and return-to-compliance processes

To ensure our proposed requirements will continue to meet regulatory requirements, CalEPA will be splitting the project into two phases. Phase 1 will provide comprehensive functionality for the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program. The UST program is the most complex program within CERS for data management and has the largest financial impacts through Insurance and/or grant funding. California has historically received significant grant money from US EPA for the monitoring and cleanup of abandoned and leaking USTs. Current statutes require single-walled tanks to be removed by 2025. CalEPA anticipates a spike in the number of abandoned USTs, but lacks the technical infrastructure to collect and report the data because the current system is not capable of tracking abandoned tanks. Information pertaining to abandoned tanks is legally required to be tracked as part of the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, and annually reported to US EPA. Unless CalEPA updates CERS with the functionality necessary to track abandoned USTs, California may be unable to maintain compliance with Federal requirements and lose grant funding.

Phase 1 will establish the technical foundation and functionality for the full replacement system. It will ensure the ability to track abandoned USTs and maintain funding availability. This phase will build out the new data structure and include critical functionality such as, business profiles and submittals, the two-way exchange of UPA data, and regulatory reports. Phase 2 of the Project will add the other 5 programs to the new system.

Procurement for three key contractors the system integrator, organization change management, and independent verification and validation is anticipated to begin by the end of the year. 

After the successful completion the UST portion of CERS, CalEPA plans to immediately continue the CERS replacement project for the remaining five environmental regulatory programs as a “Phase II” effort. This includes the few remaining components of the data model specific to those regulatory programs, the portion of the business UI specific to the remaining five environmental regulatory programs, workflows/automations, reporting, and other features defined in the detailed requirements.


CERS NextGen Listserv