New California HMBP Rules (2023)


A new California law has significantly narrowed the exemption for “consumer products” in hazardous materials business plan (HMBP) reporting. Assembly Bill (AB) 2059 redefined consumer products in a way that expands HMBP reporting requirements for many common household and business items.

What Qualifies as a Consumer Product?

The HMBP program requires facilities storing hazardous materials above certain quantities to prepare detailed business emergency plans and chemical inventories.

However, an exemption existed for hazardous materials that qualify as “consumer products” since they are packaged for direct sale to and use by consumers.

Previous Definition of Consumer Product

A consumer product was any hazardous material that is used for personal, family, or household purposes. This broad definition exempted these materials from HMBP requirements regardless of where they were stored.

New Definition of Consumer Product (2023)

A consumer product must now meet all of the following criteria:

  • A commodity used for personal, family, or household purposes

  • Present in the same form, concentration, and quantity as products prepackaged for consumers

  • Intended for direct distribution to and use by the end user

With this narrowed definition, hazardous materials stored at manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, and other sites are no longer exempt—even if the final product is intended for consumers.

Examples of Newly Covered Materials

Many common products containing hazardous substances are impacted by the updated consumer product definition. Examples include:

Household Cleaners

  • Bleach, dishwasher detergents, drain cleaners, and ammonia stored in bulk containers at manufacturing facilities

  • Disinfectants, degreasers, and floor and bathroom cleaners stored at chemical distribution centers

Automotive Chemicals

  • Motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze stored in bulk quantities at distribution warehouses

  • Car batteries stacked on pallets at warehouses before shipment to retailers

  • Cans of spray paint, lacquer, and paint thinner stored at automotive parts distribution centers


  • Weed killers, insecticides, and other agricultural chemicals stored in bulk containers at distribution warehouses or held in inventory at regional distributors

  • Large supplies of ant and roach sprays stockpiled at pest control businesses


  • Industrial adhesives and epoxies stored at shipping warehouses

  • Bulk quantities of acetone, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and other chemicals at cosmetics or pharmaceutical factories

As these examples demonstrate, many hazardous materials that were previously exempt from HMBP reporting will now be covered if stored at facilities prior to final packaging and distribution to consumers.

Reporting Thresholds

It’s important to note the updated consumer product definition does not make all hazardous materials reportable. HMBPs are still only required when substances exceed threshold quantities established under the Health and Safety Code:

  • 55 gallons for a liquid

  • 500 pounds for a solid

  • 200 cubic feet for compressed gas

Other Key Changes

AB 2059 also created new reporting obligations for suppliers and handlers of hazardous materials in California.

New Supplier Reporting Requirements

In addition to the modified consumer product definition, AB 2059 also creates new reporting obligations for suppliers and handlers of hazardous materials.

The law defines suppliers as companies that sell hazardous materials to businesses in California. Suppliers must now maintain detailed sales records for reportable hazardous materials for at least one year.

Required records include:

  • Names and addresses of businesses receiving the hazardous materials

  • Material quantities and dates of transactions

  • Other information about the specific materials sold

Suppliers must provide these records to the applicable Unified Program Agency within 5 days upon request.

Expanded Reporting for Handlers

Finally, AB 2059 requires more reporting about hazardous materials transfers from “handlers” - companies subject to HMBP regulations.

During inspections, handlers may now be required to notify the inspecting agency before transferring hazardous materials exceeding certain quantities to a new location.

Notifications must include:

  • Details about the materials being moved

  • Quantities involved

  • Expected transfer date

  • The destination receiving the materials