This section of the tour provides detailed requirements for manifesting hazardous waste shipments and notifying treatment facilities of any restrictions for land disposal associated with hazardous waste. These requirements vary depending on whether the generator is a large or small quantity generator of hazardous waste. These requirements are described below.
In addition, it is important to note that some states may have more stringent requirements than the federal requirements for hazardous waste manifesting; consult your state's environmental regulations for these requirements.
RCRA hazardous waste regulations classify generators of hazardous waste into three categories based on the quantity generated, as follows:
- Conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs) generate no more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
- Small quantity generators (SQGs) generate between 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
- Large quantity generators (LQGs) generate more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
The regulations refer to small quantity generators as "generators of greater than 100 kg but less than 1,000 kg in a calendar month." Requirements for "generators" always apply to large quantity generators, but may not apply to SQGs or CESQGs. Generator status is based on the monthly total of all hazardous waste generated rather than on the quantity of each type of hazardous waste. Generator status is not determined by average monthly hazardous waste generation. Rather, hazardous waste generator status is determined separately for each calendar month, based on actual hazardous waste generation in the month.
CESQG facilities are not required to use manifests, but are nonetheless required to ensure delivery of the hazardous waste to a permitted hazardous waste treatment or disposal facility or to a facility that reuses, recycles, or reclaims the hazardous waste (40 CFR 261.5(g)(3)). CESQG facilities should obtain receipts from hazardous waste contractors that list the EPA or state identification numbers of the transporter and the facility to which the waste is to be taken. SQG and LQG facilities must consign hazardous waste only to transporters and hazardous waste management facilities that have EPA identification numbers (40 CFR 262.12(c)). SQGs are excused from the manifest requirement under the following circumstances (40 CFR 262.20(e)):
- The hazardous waste is reclaimed under a contractual agreement.
- The agreement specifies the type of waste involved and the frequency of pickup by the reclaimer.
- The agreement specifies that vehicles to be used to transport the waste to the recycling facility and to deliver regenerated material to the generator are owned and operated by the reclaimer.
- The generator maintains a copy of the reclamation agreement in its files for at least three years after termination of the agreement.
The standard type of agreement under which a disposal contractor picks up spent solvent and replaces it with fresh solvent do not meet the requirements listed above and do not exempt the generator from manifesting requirements. Generators of hazardous waste are responsible for proper preparation of the hazardous waste for shipment. Generators must package, label, mark, and placard the waste in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which are contained in 49 CFR 172.
Hazardous waste must be transported with a waste manifest, typically on a form established and provided by the state authority in the state where the waste was generated. The manifest system allows generators, transporters, TSD facility personnel and regulators the ability to track the waste shipment. Therefore, there should be at least the number of copies which will provide the generator, each transporter, and the owner or operator of the designated facility with one copy each for their records and another copy to be returned to the generator. (40 CFR 262.22)
If a SQG has not received a signed copy of the manifest from the hazardous waste facility within 60 calendar days of the original shipment, the generator must submit a legible copy of the manifest to the appropriate state regulatory officials with a note indicating that confirmation of delivery has not been received (40 CFR 262.42(b)). If an LQG facility has not received a signed copy of the manifest from the hazardous waste facility within 35 days from the date of shipment, the generator must contact the transporter or hazardous waste facility to determine the status of the shipment (40 CFR 262.42(a)(1)).
If a LQG facility has not received a signed copy of the manifest from the hazardous waste facility within 45 days of the original shipment, the generator must file an "exception report" with the EPA's Regional Office (and in some instances to the appropriate state regulatory authority)(40 CFR 262.42(a)(2)). This report includes a legible copy of the manifest and a cover letter describing efforts made to locate the shipment and the results of those efforts.
SQGs and LQGs must retain copies of hazardous waste manifests for at least three years from the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter, or until the generator receives a signed copy from the designated facility that received the waste. This signed copy must be retained for at least three years from the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter (40 CFR 262.40(a).
Each time an employee signs a hazardous waste manifest, however, he or she makes the following certification:
If I am a large-quantity generator, I certify that I have a program in place to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste generated to the degree I have determined to be economically practicable . . .; or, if I am a small-quantity generator, I have made a good-faith effort to minimize my waste generation . . .
Since the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires a certification of this type on every manifest (42 USC 6922(b)), each SQG facility must make a good-faith effort to minimize generation of hazardous waste. Also, EPA has determined that having a hazardous waste transporter sign the manifest is not allowed since this individual probably does not have knowledge of the waste minimization efforts of the generator.
A hazardous waste biennial report must be submitted to the appropriate state regulatory officials by March 1 of each even-numbered year for each facility that was a large-quantity generator in any month of the preceding (odd-numbered) year (40 CFR 262.41). The previous even-numbered year plays no part in determining if a biennial report must be submitted, and information from the previous even-numbered year is not included in the report. Each biennial report must contain the following information (40 CFR 262.41):
- The identification number, name and address of the facility.
- The calendar year covered by the report.
- The identification number, name and address of each facility to which hazardous waste was shipped during the year.
- The name and identification number of each hazardous waste transporter used during the year.
- For each waste shipped to each hazardous waste facility, a description of the waste, the hazardous waste number, the DOT hazard class, and the quantity shipped.
- A description of efforts the generating facility made during the year to reduce the volume or toxicity of its hazardous waste.
- A description of changes in volume or toxicity actually achieved during the year.
- A certification signed by the generator or an authorized representative of the generator.
Hazardous waste biennial reports must be retained for at least three years from the due date (40 CFR 262.40(b)).
Small containers of hazardous waste intended for disposal in an approved landfill must be placed in overpacked drums ("lab packs") meeting the following requirements (40 CFR 264.316, 265.316):
- Hazardous waste must be packaged in non-leaking inside containers that are compatible with the waste
- Inside containers must be tightly and securely sealed
- Inside containers must meet applicable DOT hazardous materials regulations
- Inside containers must be overpacked in an open-head, DOT-specification metal shipping container of no more than 110-gallon capacity and surrounded by, at a minimum, a sufficient quantity of sorbent material determined to be nonbiodegradable in accordance with 40 CFR 264.314(e), to completely sorb all of the liquid contents of the insider containers
- Sorbent material used must not be incompatible with or capable of being decomposed by or being ignited by the contents of the inside containers
- Incompatible wastes must not be placed in the same outside container
- Reactive wastes (with some exceptions) must be treated or rendered non-reactive prior to lab packing
Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs)
Land disposal of certain hazardous wastes generated by laboratory facilities may be prohibited, even in permitted hazardous waste landfills (although CESQGs are exempt from LDR requirements). For each type of hazardous waste it generates, the facility must first determine whether or not the waste has to be treated before it can be land disposed. A facility would do this by determining (either by testing the waste or by generator knowledge) whether the waste in question meets the treatment standards in 40 CFR 268.40, 268.45, or 268.49. If it is found that the waste does not meet the treatment standard, then with the initial shipment, the generator must send a one-time written notice to each treatment or storage facility and the generator itself must maintain a copy of the notice. The notice must state that the waste is subject to land disposal restrictions and must include the following information (40 CFR 268.7(a)):
- The hazardous waste number (EPA Waste Numbers) of the waste (40 CFR 261.20 through 261.24) and the manifest number
- The applicable "wastewater" or "nonwastewater" category associated with the waste, and subdivisions made within a waste code based on waste-specific criteria (e.g., D003 reactive cyanide). For purposes of this regulation a waste is a wastewater if its total organic carbon content and its total suspended solids content are both below 1 percent (10,000 milligrams per liter).
- Waste analysis data, if available
In addition, information pertaining to hazardous debris and contaminated soil to be treated using an alternative treatment technology specified in 40 CFR 268.45 is required.
Generally, the notice need only be sent once to each facility that receives a waste subject to LDRs (although many waste transporter/disposal facilities require the LDR form with each shipment). However, if the waste or the disposal facility changes, then a revised notice must be sent (40 CFR 268.7(a)(2)). Although hazardous waste disposal contractors generally prepare and submit the required notices of land disposal restriction, the hazardous waste regulations make the generator responsible for complying with this requirement.
For the complete text of the regulations (40 CFR 261, 262, 264, 265, 268; and 49 CFR 172), click here:
40 CFR 261
40 CFR 262
40 CFR 264
40 CFR 265
40 CFR 268
49 CFR 172