General Permit/Development Information
The Environmental Health Division (EHD) is set up to provide information on a variety of permits and applications designed to accommodate the building and development needs of the public. Those items related specifically to environmental and public health issues are discussed in detail in the following sections. However, permit applications and development requests that the EHD can assist with are described below.
Land use projects (see Planning Division) are reviewed by the EHD staff for consistency and compliance with its regulated programs. Projects in the unincorporated area of Shasta County and the cities of Anderson, Redding, and Shasta Lake are reviewed. Examples of projects most frequently reviewed are proposed subdivisions, parcel maps, or establishment of a second residence or family care unit in areas served by septic systems or individual or small public water systems, adjustments to property lines between two or more parcels, and major or minor use permits. Staff also attend Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings to respond to questions by Commissioners or Supervisors.
Fees to cover the cost of reviewing these projects have been authorized by the Board of Supervisors. The appropriate land use fees are collected at the time a project application is submitted to the Permit Counter.
A valid permit to drill, destroy, deepen, or recondition a water well is required in the County and the three cities. Permits are obtained from the EHD after submission of a completed application, plot plan, and fees. EHD staff must be present to verify proper placement of the annular seal around the well casing. Annular seals are usually placed around the top 20 feet of casing but may on occasion be placed just a few feet or as much as several hundred feet deep when required by local conditions.
Section 13750.5 of the California Water Code requires that any person digging, boring, drilling, deepening, reconditioning, or destroying a water well, cathodic protection well or monitoring well possess a C-57 Water Well Contractors License. A well permit must clearly identify the driller and C-57 contractor's license number.
Retail Food Establishments Permits
California law states that a food facility shall not be open for business without a valid permit. In Shasta County, these permits are obtained from the EHD. Retail food facilities include any facility that stores, prepares, serves, manufactures, packages, transports, salvages, or otherwise handles food for dispensing or sale directly to the consumer. Examples of the types of facilities regulated include, but are not limited to, restaurants, markets, bakeries, bars, catering trucks and other vehicles, food carts, vending machines, "bed and breakfast inns", farmers markets, and produce stands. A facility which is a wholesale operation - one which supplies food or food products to retail facilities - and has no retail sales or dispensing is regulated by the State of California Department of Health Services - Food and Drug Branch. They can be reached at (916) 225-2134.
The law which sets minimum standards and requirements for retail food facilities is called the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code). Cal Code is available online by clicking on this link: http://www.crfsc.org/calcode
The Board of Supervisors has authorized a schedule of fees for services performed by the EHD. These fees are paid by every retail food facility. Applications can be obtained at the Department of Resource Management Permit Counter.
Any person proposing to construct or modify a food facility must also submit plans to the EHD detailing the construction or changes to the facility. Three sets of plans are requested along with the appropriate plan review fees. After review, one set will be retained by the EHD, one set will be returned to the applicant, and the third set will be made available to the responsible building inspection agency. There are more than 800 food facilities within Shasta County.
Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
State law and regulations, and the County ordinance code require owners/operators of USTs containing hazardous materials to obtain permits to operate those tanks from a local agency. The EHD is the local agency in Shasta County and the three cities. Prior to installing new tanks, modifying existing tanks, or removing existing tanks, plans detailing proposed work are to be submitted to the EHD. These plans need to adequately describe the activities planned and proposed equipment. Fees and State of California required forms are submitted with these plans.
The most common hazardous materials stored in USTs are gasoline, diesel, and waste oil. Owners/operators are required to monitor tanks for leaks in a variety of ways and frequencies depending on the type of construction of the tanks and piping. Monitoring reports for most facilities are to be submitted to the EHD annually. The EHD is to be notified as soon as possible when a release occurs from an UST system.
Since 1993, the EHD has conducted inspections of Phase I and II vapor recovery systems for the Shasta County Air Quality Management District at UST facilities. Plans for installation and modification of vapor recovery systems are also reviewed by EHD.
By December 22, 1998, UST systems that do not already meet certain requirements must be upgraded to provide corrosion protection, striker plates, and overflow protection. Many facilities have chosen to remove existing tanks/piping and replace them with new systems meeting the upgrade requirements.
Proposals to remove the UST systems must include a work plan which describes the scope of work of the project such as who is doing the removal, where the tanks are to be disposed of, site sampling plan, proposed laboratory for analysis of the samples, and disposal site or treatment method for contaminated water or soils. Fees to cover the cost of administering this program have been approved by the Board of Supervisors. Annual fees have been adopted as have abandonment and plan review fees.
Hazardous Materials Disclosure Business Plan
Any business that handles a hazardous material or a mixture containing a hazardous material in reportable quantities is required by state law to prepare and implement what is known as a Business Plan for Emergency Response which details a response to a release or threatened release of a hazardous material at the facility and for community right-to-know purposes.
Reportable quantities for hazardous materials are 500 pounds of a solid, 55 gallons of a liquid, and 200 cubic feet of a gas measured at standard temperature and pressure. Some acutely hazardous materials are reportable at much lower quantities. The law which requires this program is Chapter 6.95 of the California Health and Safety Code. This law defines "handles" as using, generating, processing, producing, packaging, treating, storing, emitting, discharging, or disposing of a hazardous material in any fashion. The "plan" must identify the type of business, location, emergency contacts, emergency procedures, mitigation plans, and chemical inventory at each location. These plans are to be reviewed by the local agency identified as the Administering Agency (AA) for Chapter 6.95, and the EHD has been designated as the AA for Shasta County and the three cities.
Plans submitted to the EHD are reviewed for accuracy, confirmed during an initial site visit. Inspections are conducted on a three year frequency. Annually, chemical inventories must be reviewed by facility operators with changes, as needed, submitted to the EHD.
Chapter 6.95 requires the AA to prepare what is known as an Area Plan. An Area Plan briefly describes chemical hazards that may exist in the County. These include chemical inventories of facilities submitting business plans and materials transported through our county by rail, air, pipeline, or over the road. General guidelines for response to releases of hazardous materials are described in the Area Plan.
The cost of administering this program is covered by fees paid by handlers. These fees reflect the quantity and hazard potential of the hazardous or acutely hazardous material stored.
Home Loan Water Inspection Program
This is a requirement of some lenders or buyers for local health official clearance on existing water supply for the purpose of checking potability of the water and usually required for VA and FHA new home loans and refinanced loans. Upon request and payment of fees, EHD staff will inspect the water system and collect a water sample with a laboratory analysis for coliform bacteria.
Home Loan Sewage Inspection
This is a requirement of some lenders or buyers for local health official clearance on existing sewage disposal systems to check for proper functioning and replacement area availability. Upon request, payment of fees, and submission of a septic tank pumpers report, EHD staff will inspect the system for evidence of failure. This inspection is usually required for VA/FHA new home loans and refinanced loans. The septic tank pumpers report must contain the date the septic tank was pumped, gallonage of the tank, and must indicate construction material of the tank.
Housing Permits - Hotel, Motel, Bed & Breakfast
Permits are required to operate organized camps, hotels, motels, boarding homes, and bed & breakfast establishments in both the County and the cities. The purpose is to administer provisions of the State Housing Law and Health & Safety Code pertaining to the maintenance, sanitation, ventilation, and use or occupancy of residential rental facilities. Inspections are made on an annual basis. An application for a Permit to Operate is to be filed with the EHD along with the appropriate fee. A permit to operate is valid for one calendar year from the date of its issuance. There are 80 facilities within Shasta County.
Medical Waste Management
The EHD is the local enforcement agency for Division 104, Part 14 of the Health & Safety Code, Medical Waste Management Act, and Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. The Medical Waste Management Act is intended to regulate the proper treatment and disposal of medical waste (i.e., sharps, biohazardous waste). Any business which generates or treats medical waste on-site will need to apply and obtain a permit to operate from the EHD. The business must also submit a medical waste management plan which specifies type of facility, type of medical waste generated, amount of waste generated, storage of medical waste, disinfection procedures for the treatment of medical waste, name of registered waste hauler, and emergency treatment plan. Fees are based on the type of facility and collected annually. Inspections are made once a year.
There are approximately 20 facilities within Shasta County that meet the volume or treatment requirements to require permitting under the Act.
Public Water Systems
A permit from the EHD is required to operate a small public community water system, transient or nontransient noncommunity public water system, and state small public water system. A complete set of plans and specifications must be submitted when applying for this permit. An annual fee is charged based on the type of water system. Following are descriptions of the types of public water systems:
Community Water System: A public water system which serves at least 15 but fewer than 200 service connections used by yearlong residents or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents.
Transient noncommunity: A public water system which serves at least 25 nonresident individuals daily at least 60 days of the year, but not more than 24 yearlong residents, or serves 15 or more service connections and any number of nonresident individuals at least 60 days of the year, but no yearlong residents.
Nontransient noncommunity: A public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least the same 25 persons over six months per year.
State Small Water System: A water system for the provision of piped water to the public for human consumption which serves at least 5, but not more than 14, services connections and does not regularly serve more than an average of 25 individuals daily for more than 60 days out of the year.
Water is sampled for analysis for bacteria, chemical, and physical contaminants/constituents at various frequencies determined by the type of system and number of users. There are 179 water systems within Shasta County.
Other Water Samples
EHD staff, at times, takes water samples other than samples of public water systems or home loans. These include California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law requirements, meat inspection requirements, and complaints.
Recreation Permits - Public Swimming Pools
A permit is required to operate a public swimming pool and/or spa. Annual fees are based on year-round or seasonal operation and the number of pools/spas. Plan checks are required on all public pools or spas and three sets of plans and plan review fee must be submitted and approved by the EHD. Inspections are made by EHD staff to ensure proper maintenance of these facilities.
A public pool is defined by State regulation to include, but not be limited to, commercial pools, real estate pools, community pools, hotel/motel pools, resort pools, auto and trailer park pools, auto court pools, apartment house pools, club pools, public or private school pools, gymnasium pools, health establishment pools, townhouse pools, condominium pools, mobile home park pools, campground pools, and homeowner association pools.
Inspections include review of locker, shower, and dressing rooms; toilet facilities; filtration, pumping, safety and disinfection equipment; piping; water quality; supervision; and records.
Residential Pool Certification
Prior to any construction of a residential pool where the house uses a sewage disposal system consisting of a septic tank and leach field, a plan check must be submitted for approval by the EHD. Three sets of plans are requested along with the plan check fee. EHD staff review the plans to check required setback distances with regard to the sewage disposal system and leach field replacement area.
Septic Pumper Trucks
State law requires a permit for anyone in the business of cleaning septic tanks, cesspools, chemical toilets, holding tanks, etc., and disposing of the waste in the county. All persons who are registered with the EHD to clean septic tanks are required to also file with the Department of Public Works, an Application to Use County's Septage Treatment Facilities, and to comply with the Agreement For Use of County Septage Disposal Facilities.
A sewage disposal system inspection is required for clearance on an existing system when the current property owner is not listed as the property owner on the original septic permit before installing or replacing a mobile home, building a house, or adding on to an existing structure. Setback requirements, adequate size, and any sign of failure are checked during the inspection.
Sewage Disposal System Permits
A permit is required prior to the installation of a new or replacement septic tank and leach field or the repair of an existing failing system. A permit application must be submitted along with a complete site plan, fees, and soil test data. There is no fee for the repair of a failing system. Soil tests may not be required for system repairs.
Soil tests required include the excavation of a soil profile pit so that the profile can be logged and at least three percolation tests. On occasion other tests may be requested. Tests must be done by, or under the supervision of, a qualified registered civil engineer, registered geologist, registered environmental health specialist, certified engineering geologist, or soil scientist certified by the American Registry of Certified Professionals in Agronomy, Crops and Soils, or by a qualified testing laboratory approved by the Office of the State Architect. These consultants are listed in the yellow pages of your phone book. Many have asked to be placed on a list to be made available to the public. A copy of this list may be obtained from the EHD. This list is not to be considered a recommendation of any individual or firm.
Septic system permits are issued after EHD staff determine a site is suitable for a septic system and are valid for one year. EHD staff must inspect the system prior to backfilling to verify compliance with terms of the permit and sewage disposal standards. A copy of the standards may be obtained from the EHD.
Non-Conventional Septic Inspection
As with conventional sewage disposal systems, a permit to install a non-conventional sewage disposal system must be obtained from the EHD. A non-conventional sewage disposal system may require a pumping station or other special design to compensate for slope or soil conditions on the site. Since these systems have alternative designs, it is important to monitor them to ensure proper function. Annual inspections are made by EHD staff. There is a fee for this inspection.
The EHD has received certification of its solid waste program from the California Integrated Waste Management Board. The EHD is the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) for all solid waste matters in Shasta County.
The EHD has the responsibility of permitting and/or inspecting 43 active, inactive, and closed transfer stations and disposal sites. In addition, it enforces state minimum standards for solid waste transportation and disposal. Finally, EHD responds to complaints regarding illegal disposal of solid waste in the County.
Water Supply Waiver
Clearance is required on water supply potability before occupancy of any parcel when building a home, installing or replacing a mobile home when the current property owner is not listed on the original well permit, or developing a spring/creek as a water supply.