On February 4, the State of California Environmental Protection Agency presented its Secretary’s Award for Environmental Achievement to Health Hazardous Materials Division for its work as a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) at the annual California Unified Program Training Conference held in San Francisco. Chief Deputy Mike Metro, HHMD Chief Bill Jones and HHMD staff received their award in front over 800 of their peers in a special presentation. This honor is particularly unique, in that it historically has been bestowed to individuals, where this year was the first time it was presented to an entire department.
LACoFD was certified as a CUPA in 1997 and is one of the largest CUPAs in California. OurHHMD personnel have led and participated in several committees, working closely with the CUPA Forum Board, stage agencies and businesses to lead the examination, update, and restructure of the nearly 30-year-old hazardous materials disclosure laws in California. In addition, they have been instrumental in developing the electronic reporting regulations and policies via the California Environmental Reporting system (CERS). Not only has HHMD provided hands-on training to its own staff, it has also trained members of eleven participating agencies, fire agencies and businesses. As a result of their efforts, there are almost 20,000 facilities in CERS, with over 10,000 of them verified.
In a statement, the California Environmental Protection Agency called our Department, “an outstanding example of leadership, coordination, partnership and outreach. The Los Angeles County Fire Department CUPA is an excellent example for other CUPAs in the state, showcasing the partner relationship between local and state governments that exemplifies the Unified Program.”