Talk to a Consultant 866-873-8050
Contact Us

More on the Recently Issued Harris County Hazardous Material Operational Permit

Harris County Hazardous Material Operational Permit
This photo taken by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office shows the KMCO Chemical plant fire in April 2019 in Crosby, Texas.

Chemical risks are particularly acute in Harris County, home to Houston’s major industrial pockets and some of the nation’s largest petrochemical plants and oil refineries. Harris County has experienced at least five major chemical incidents in the last year, costing businesses large sums related to shut down costs and property damage, and triggering human health implications in surrounding neighborhoods. Harris County has responded to these events by setting the expectation for greater oversight of facilities that may contain hazardous materials, more inspections, improvements to internal processes, and more tools to oversee chemical inventories.

Effective January 1, 2020, the county issued a new Hazardous Material Operational Permit under a broader umbrella of operational permits to address concerns and prevent the dangers of high hazard occupancies. Operational permits are required under the 2018 International Fire Code, Section 105.6, as adopted by the Harris County Commissioners Court. The hazardous materials operational permit allows applicants to legally store, transport on site, dispense, use or handle hazardous materials beyond the threshold amount listed. The county permits will cover the following:

  • Aerosol Products
  • Compressed Gases
  • Cryogenic fluids
  • Flammable and Combustible liquids
  • Fumigation and Insecticidal fogging
  • HPM facilities
  • LP-gas
  • Magnesium
  • Motor fuel-dispensing facilities/Mobile re-fueling
  • Organic coating
  • Pyroxylin plastic
  • Refrigeration equipment
  • Spraying or dipping

Permit Requirements

All applications and required documentation are electronically uploaded, followed by a review by the fire code official, and scheduled inspection, if needed. Some businesses will require multiple operational permits, which will be renewed annually. Documents and general information will be required by the applicant, for example:

  • Detailed written description of the on-site operation;
  • Site or floor plan identifying all hazardous materials being stored, including maximum quantity and storage configuration;
  • Identify hazardous monitoring locations, location of all on-site fire suppression to include fire pumps, ponds, and water supplies;
  • Copy of the emergency plan, compliant with Chapter 4 of the International Fire Code, 2018;
  • Copy of the approved/up-to-date Hazardous Materials Management Plan and Spill Control Plan;
  • Copy of the approved/up-to-date Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement;
  • Copy of the approved/up-to-date Written documentation of operating procedures and procedures for emergency shut down in a safe manner;
  • Copy of all Safety Data Sheets for all products on-site;
  • Fire alarm system installation and inspection information;
  • Facility closure plans;
  • Conformation that a Process hazards analyses was conducted to ensure reasonable protection of people and property from dangerous conditions involving on-site hazardous materials.
Contact Our Environmental Consultants

If you need help navigating your threshold levels of chemical or constructing a plan to conform with the Harris County Hazardous Material Operational Permit, please give us a call or click the link below to fill out our Contact Us form.