The following post is provided by our guest author, Karen
Lutz from TRC Environmental Corporation. Karen can be reached at email@example.com.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published proposed
revisions to Hazardous Waste Generator regulations in September
2015. The public comment for the proposed revisions closed at the
end of December 2015 and the revisions are currently planned to be
published as final in October 2016. Revisions to definitions,
hazardous waste identification requirements, and hazardous waste
generator standards could impact any facility that generates
The intent of the proposed rule revisions are to address gaps in
the regulations, provide greater flexibility managing hazardous
waste in a cost-effective manner, and making general language
updates (e.g. technical corrections, removal of obsolete
references, improved readability, and clarification of
ambiguities). While some items like hazardous waste determinations,
labeling, closure requirements, and contingency planning have
become more stringent, items like waste consolidation at CESQGs,
episodic waste generation, and the waiver from the 50-foot rule
have become less stringent.
What are the main revisions to the rules?
The updated regulations have several items that will affect
hazardous waste generating facilities. Highlights include:
Changing conditionally exempt small
quantity generators (CESQGs) to very small quantity generators
Adding definitions for large quantity
generator (LQG) and VSQG; and revising the small quantity generator
Defining "central accumulation
area" as any on-site hazardous waste accumulation area that is
subject to additional generator standards.
Addition of a provision to explain
what generator category applies to an entity that generates both
acute and non-acute HW in the same calendar month.
Revisions to the regulations that
address the mixing of a non-hazardous waste with a hazardous
Amendment to allow CESQGs to send
their hazardous waste to LQGs that are operated under control of
the same person.
Revisions to the regulations for
making hazardous waste determinations.
Revising labeling requirements,
including notations that indicate that hazardous waste is present,
identifying chemical names, and listing potential hazards.
Revisions to the closure provisions
and biennial reporting requirements for LQGs.
Updates to the preparedness,
prevention, planning, and emergency procedures and satellite
accumulation area provisions for SQGs and LQGs.
Revisions to the SQG regulations for
accumulating hazardous waste on drip pads.
Addition of a provision that
hazardous waste generators are prohibited from disposing liquid
hazardous waste in landfills; and
Revisions applicable to hazardous
waste transporters and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities
Rule Adoption and Implementation
The rule is not automatically
effective in RCRA authorized states, although many states
incorporate the federal regulations by reference.
RCRA authorized states that do not
adopt the new federal requirement, need to adopt rules that are at
least if not more stringent.
Although a compliance date has yet to
be established, U.S. EPA typically provides a 6 month effective
date window from final rule publication date.
How to Prepare for the Final Revisions
Review/update waste characterization
documentation for HWs and solid wastes.
Review waste generation status.
Evaluate labeling and marking
procedures at your facility.
Check Hazardous Waste training
program(s) and records.
Review/update contingency plans and
agreements with local emergency responders.
Assess compliance with the RCRA air
emission standards for process vents, equipment leaks, and tanks,
containers, or surface impoundments.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the U.S. EPA signed a final rule that completely overhauls the long-standing requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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