Hazardous Materials

Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. But chemicals can also be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes and other property.


What exactly is a hazardous material?

A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical), which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors.  They are defined and regulated in the United States primarily by laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).   Each has its own definition of a “hazardous material.”

Beaufort County has a Hazardous Materials Ordinance that was established in 1990 and revised in August 2014.  It lists nine (9) Classes of Hazardous Materials:  explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidizers and organic peroxides, poisonous and etiologic materials, radioactive materials, corrosives and miscellaneous hazardous materials/other regulated materials (ORM).  The Ordinance states that any business in Beaufort County that has a hazardous material(s) on site in one of those nine (9) classes and meets the guidelines of the Ordinance must register said material(s) on a yearly basis with the Hazardous Materials Unit of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. (Beaufort County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 46-Health and Sanitation, Article V - Hazardous Materials)

If you have any questions concerning the Ordinance or whether you should register your hazardous materials, please contact the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, Louise Murray, at 255-4000 or email her at louisem@bcgov.net for assistance.  For your convenience, all registration forms and instructions are provided below. 

Beaufort County also has two Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Teams. One is a combined Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Team and the other is the Northern Team.  Both are made up of firefighters who have gone through specialized training to qualify as a member.  They may respond with limited team activation for a minor gasoline spill on the highway or with full team activation for a chlorine leak involving evacuation of a neighborhood.

INITIAL REGISTRATION: 

Form Instructions

RENEWAL REGISTRATION:

Form Instructions