Disputing Violations

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The Hazardous Materials Division (HMD) of the Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) is the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) in the County of San Diego. The HMD, as the CUPA, regulates all of the six Unified Programs including the construction, installation, operation, repair and removal of underground storage tank (UST) systems; operation of aboveground containers and tanks storing petroleum; the generation of medical or hazardous waste; and the handling or storage of hazardous materials in reportable quantities to determine compliance with applicable provisions of the California Health and Safety Code (H&SC), the California Code of Regulations (CCR), and the San Diego County Code of Regulatory Ordinances (SDCC). Section 25404.1.2 of the H&SC establishes the notice of disagreement process for minor violations of the laws and regulations governing the Unified Program. The HMD will consider all disputes or disagreements related to alleged violations of the Unified Program.

If a facility disagrees with one or more of the violations listed on the notice to comply, the person shall provide the HMD with the following within 30 calendar days of issuance:

  • Copy of the Notice to Comply (i.e. Compliance Inspection Report) provided during the inspection
  • Corrective Action Form, noting which violations have been corrected and which are being disputed
  • A Notice of Disagreement letter

The notice of disagreement should contain or describe evidence that either contradicts the violation (e.g. sampling results proving waste was non-hazardous).  

If a violation is challenged as legally incorrect, the notice of disagreement should contain or describe a different interpretation of law, regulation or the requirement. 

The violation(s) will be reconsidered based on the additional evidence or alternate legal or regulatory interpretation by the supervisor of the specialist who issued the notice to comply. If the supervisor is agreement with the notice of disagreement, the violation(s) will be rescinded. If the supervisor is not in agreement, the violation will remain and documentation of return to compliance is required within 30 calendar days.  A written explanation of the decision will be sent to the facility disputing the violation(s) and to the permit file.

Appeals to the supervisors decision can be made to the Chief of the Hazardous Materials Division.

Violation disputes and additional questions can be emailed to the specialist or mailed to: 

            County of San Diego
            DEHQ - Hazardous Materials Division
            P.O. Box 129261
            San Diego, CA 92112-9261