New Changes to Requirements for Hazardous Waste Generators – Part 5

Welcome to Part 5 in our series of blogs to explain the upcoming changes to RCRA regulations that will impact generators of hazardous wastes.  The changes will go into effect on May 30, 2017.  The eight areas of change discussed in Part 1 of this blog were:

  1. Reorganization of the Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations and modifies the organization of the Preamble.
  2. Changes to 40 CFR Part 260, which covers definitions
  3. Changes to 40 CFR Part 261, requiring biennial reporting by facilities that recycle hazardous waste without storing it.
  4. Changes to 40 CFR Part 262, which covers the standards applicable to generators of hazardous waste
  5. Additional changes to 40 CFR Part 262 for generators that would ordinarily have changed status due to an episodic event
  6. Additional changes to 40 CFR Part 262 clarifying expectations related to Preparedness, Prevention, and Emergency Procedures for SQG’s and LQG’s
  7. Technical corrections and changes to 40 CFR Part 257
  8. New discussion of “Electronic Tools to Streamline Hazardous Waste Reporting and Record keeping Requirements”

In review, Part 1 of this blog mentioned the eight main changes pending, Part 2 covered the reorganization, Part 3 covered changes to 40 CFR Part 261 – definitions, and Part 4 covered changes to 40 CFR Part 261 relating to additional reporting requirements for certain recyclers.  Today, we will BEGIN to tackle the fourth item from the list above – changes to 40 CFR Part 262, covering the standards applicable to generators of hazardous waste.  Before we get started, let me beg forgiveness for the length of this blog.  Item #4 in the list is necessarily the meatiest part of the 8 main changes listed above.  In fact, is it so big, we need to break it down into 16 pieces as follows:

A. Addition of Terms Used in this Part and Changes to Purpose, Scope, and Applicability

B. Waste Determinations

C. Determining Generator Category

D. Very Small Quantity Generator Conditions for Exemption

E. Marking and Labeling and Hazardous Waste Numbers

F. Revisions to Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) Regulations for SQGs and LQGs

G. Accumulation of Hazardous Waste by SQGs and LQGs on Drip Pads and in Containment Buildings

H. Special Requirements for Ignitable and Reactive Wastes for LQGs

I. LQG Closure Regulations

J. Documentation of Inspections of Waste Accumulation Units

K. Allowing VSQGs To Send Hazardous Waste to LQGs Under the Control of the Same Person

L. EPA Identification Numbers and Re-notification for SQGs and LQGs

M. Provision Prohibiting Generators From Disposing of Liquids in Landfills

N. Clarification of Biennial Reporting Requirements

O. Extending Time Limit for Accumulation Under Alternative Requirements for Laboratories Owned by Eligible Academic Entities

P. Deletion of Performance Track and Project XL Regulations

 Today, we only have time to address “A. Addition of Terms Used in this Part and Changes to Purpose, Scope, and Applicability.”  In reality, A. covers the subparts added and subtracted to Part 262.  There are 5 changes, each listed in bold below and then described.

A. Addition of Terms Used in this Part and Changes to Purpose, Scope, and Applicability.

4 New Sections to Part 262

In its reorganization, EPA is finalizing the following modifications to 40 CFR Part 262 subpart A:  three new sections are being added in order to define the conditions for exemption for each category of generators that accumulate waste on site, and one new section is being added to define the conditions for exemption for Satellite Accumulation Areas (“SAA’s”). These new sections are § 262.14 for Very Small Quantity Generators (“VSQGs”), 262.15 for SAAs, 262.16 for Small Quantity Generators (“SQGs”), and 262.17 for exemption for Large Quantity Generators (“LQG’s”).

A New Section 262.1 and Changes to 262.10

EPA hope to clarify the distinction between the two types of generator requirements:

(1) The requirements that any generator generating hazardous waste must meet (now termed the “independent requirements”), and

(2) The conditional requirements that a generator who also accumulates waste must meet only if it wants the benefits of an exemption from RCRA storage facility permitting (or interim status) requirements (now termed the “conditions for exemption”)

Remember, EPA’s goal is to clarify and simplify the regulations to help improve understanding and compliance.  EPA will now in include definitions for both of these in a new section of the regulations.  EPA will also list which regulations for generators are “independent requirements” and which are “conditions for exemptions”.  Finally, EPA also hope to clarify the regulatory difference between those types of requirements as they relate to enforcement. These changes were proposed in a new 262.1 and in revisions to the existing 262.10(a) and (g).

A New Explicit Section Stating Generators Cannot Ship to Non-Designated Facilities

While EPA states that the responsibility is placed on the generator of hazardous waste to ensure its hazardous waste is properly managed from cradle to grave, many generators, perhaps distracted with the cumbersome nature of the regulations, have failed to demonstrate this responsibility.  There are already many existing regulatory provisions stating that generators must send their hazardous waste only to authorized TSDFs or other authorized facilities (for example 262.18(c), 262.20(b), and 262.40(a)).   In order to be even more explicit, EPA is adding section 262.10(a)(3), which is a statement expressly prohibiting a generator from sending hazardous waste to a facility not authorized to accept.

Deletion of 262.10(c) – Regulations for Generators who

EPA states that 262.10(c) is outdated, confusing and unnecessary. The provision describes the requirements for a generator who treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste on site and includes a list of provisions these generators must comply with.  The Agency no longer makes the distinction between generators that send waste for treatment off site and those that manage waste on site, so the section will be deleted.

Deletion of Reference to Laboratory XL Project -in 262.10(j)

The Laboratory XL Project was created for 3 universities, but expired in April 2009, so EPA is deleting the reference in the current update.

The next post will continue covering changes to 40 CFR Part 262 and we will focus on item B listed above as “B. Waste Determinations”.

For more information on this topic or other issues associated with the beneficial use or recycling of chemicals or fuels, please email us or call us at 713-568-3651.