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Uniform Documents Questions & Answers Page Updated on 11/09/2006

This document provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Uniform Documents.

Technical | General
A. Technical Questions

If I download Uniform Documents, what format do they come in?

Guidance documents are typically available in hypertext (i.e. HTML) and/or Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf) format. Forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf) format; and in many cases, as Microsoft Word for Windows document files. If you use a different word processing program, it may include a file translator that will allow you to import the MS Word versions of Uniform Document files. Please click here for general information on how to use the MS Word and Acrobat Uniform Documents.

What if my word processing software won't import the MS Word documents?

If you have an older version of MS Word, you may need to upgrade your software. Your software may not have a translator for Word for Windows 2002 files. This is common among software releases that are not current. You can contact the company that manufactures your software (e.g., WordPerfect) and request that they send you the latest version of their file translator. In some cases, you can get translator updates from such companies through their World Wide Web sites. If you can't update your translation software, you can try to translate the files on a computer running word processing software that can read the files and use the "Save As..." command to save translated files to floppy disk for use on your machine. Be aware that this may cause document formatting errors.

What are the causes of formatting errors on MS Word documents and how do I fix them?

In some cases, formatting errors occur when files are transferred between computers or translated between programs. Most often, the bottom line or two on a page will spill over onto the following page. According to Microsoft technical support personnel, if you are using Word for Windows and experience this problem, the trouble is most likely due to your computer having a different default printer driver installed than the machine on which the documents were prepared. If you have access to such printers, try setting your default driver to "HP LaserJet 4 Plus/4M Plus" or "HP LaserJet 5 Si/5Si MX". If you had to translate the files, that may be the source of the problem, since paragraph/line formatting is not always translated with 100% efficiency. If you don't have access to the above printers, try experimenting with different printer drivers.

Another possible source of problems involves tab settings in your word processing program. If you have customized tab settings, try changing your tab settings to default values.

If you have no luck with these suggestions, you can go into the document itself and make minor formatting changes to get everything to fit on the proper page. This can most easily be done by decreasing the height of blank lines (i.e. lines which contain nothing other than a hard return) on a page by highlighting the line(s) and setting the paragraph format to a smaller font size (e.g., changing from "At least 10 pitch" to "Exactly 8 pitch", etc.).

If these solutions do not work, contact your software supplier's technical support center.

What is the password for protected documents?

MS Word documents are protected to prevent accidental formatting changes. You will have to unprotect these documents before you can modify formatting. No password is used to protect the Word documents. If you have old versions of Uniform Documents, the password for all protected Word 6.0 document templates is "password". Be sure to protect the document as a form again when you finish reformatting or data entry may cause more formatting problems.

Warning! Make formatting changes prior to entering data in form fields. If you type information into data fields and then remove document protection, protecting the document again will erase all data.

How Do I enter data on Forms?

Simply type information into the highlighted box. To advance to the next box, press the Tab key. To back up one box, hold down the Shift key and press the Tab key. To jump to a specific box, simply scroll to the correct page and click on the box you want. To skip a box, Tab forward. To complete a check box, click with your mouse on the box and an "X" will be placed in the box. Alternately, you can tab to the check box and press the "X" key. To remove the X, click on the box again or press the "X" key a second time.

How can I fill out the forms on my computer when some of the instructions and spaces are so small?

Adjust the zoom control on your word processor to a greater magnification (i.e., 150%). This is particularly useful when filling in check boxes.

I am completing the MS Word version of the Business Plan on my computer, but there is only one Non-Waste Inventory page and one Hazardous Waste Inventory page. How do I list more hazardous materials/wastes?

Download the Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement: Hazardous Waste Continuation Page and/or Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement: Non-Waste Continuation Page. You can save multiple copies of these forms by using the "Save As" command and giving each page its own file name.

If you prefer to use the Unified Program Consolidated Form (UPCF) one-chemical-per-page inventory, you can download the UPCF Hazardous Materials Inventory - Chemical Description form from the Unidocs website. You can make a separate copy of this form for each page of your inventory by using the "Save As" command and giving each page its own file name.

I am completing the Hazardous Materials Registration Form and have used up all of the lines on the inventory tables. How do I list additional materials?

Download the Hazardous Materials Registration Form: Hazardous Waste Inventory Continuation Page and/or Hazardous Materials Registration Form: Non-Waste Hazardous Materials Inventory Continuation Page. You can save multiple copies of these forms by using the "Save As..." command and giving each page its own file name.

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B. General Questions

What are Uniform Documents?

Uniform Documents are forms, guidelines, etc. associated with the management of hazardous materials and/or hazardous wastes. They have been approved for use in all Unidocs Member Agency jurisdictions. Unless prior arrangements have been made with the local agency regulating hazardous materials storage/handling at your facility, Uniform Documents are the preferred format for reporting purposes.

Who creates these documents?

These documents are prepared under the guidance of a committee made up of representatives of the Santa Clara County Environmental Health Department's Hazardous Materials Compliance Division (representing unincorporated areas and the cities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga); Santa Clara County Fire Department (representing the town of Los Gatos and cities of Campbell, Cupertino, and Morgan Hill); fire departments in the cities of Gilroy, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Santa Clara; Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety; and industry, represented by the Santa Clara Valley Manufacturing Group. Combined, the above agencies manage hazardous materials compliance programs throughout Santa Clara County.

How Does the document creation process work?

Draft documents are prepared by agency personnel and submitted to the committee, which currently meets every other week. The committee members distribute drafts to their management and staff personnel for review and comment. These comments are reviewed at committee meetings and revisions are agreed upon by consensus. The standard that information reporting issues are generally held to is that there be a code section in state law or local ordinance specifically requiring that the information be reported or that there be a compelling need for the information (e.g. protection of the health and safety of the public or emergency response personnel, etc.). Comments of industry/contractors on draft documents are solicited, and in some cases, a document will be used on a trial basis by one or more agencies. Once a finalized version of a document is prepared and approved by the agencies, it is distributed to all agencies for use. Revisions are made as necessary. The goal of the committee is to standardize as many documents as possible in order to ease the burden imposed on businesses and/or contractors who must interface with multiple jurisdictions.

How can I comment on these documents?

If you have comments regarding one of these documents, mark up your copy of the document or otherwise indicate in writing how you feel the document could be improved and submit your comments to your local agency along with a request that the committee consider revising the document. Your local agency will then forward your request to the committee.

Who is my local agency?

Check the Members Page.

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