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"Because universities and colleges typically generate small volumes of many different types of hazardous waste, eligible entities can opt to follow EPA’s Academic Laboratory Rule. The rule applies to academic entities that are LQGs, SQGs, or CESQGs, and these generators have the option of complying with either the Academic Laboratory Rule or with applicable provisions for hazardous waste determination and satellite accumulation. Entities that choose to follow these alternative regulations must develop a Laboratory Management Plan (LMP) in accordance with 40 CFR 262.214 that describes how the laboratories owned by the eligible academic entity will comply with the requirements of the Academic Laboratory Rule."
"Yesterday, we talked about what DOT means by the “hazmat employee” and the training involved. Today, we’ve provided a checklist and some questions you should be asking yourself to be sure your hazardous materials training is in compliance with 49 CFR 172, Subpart H."
"If you have listed wastes with low concentrations of hazardous constituents, you’ve got a form of relief in RCRA regulations. Through a site-specific process known as delisting, you, the waste handler, can submit to the applicable EPA Regional Office or authorized state a petition demonstrating that even though a particular wastestream generated at your facility is listed as a hazardous waste, it does not pose sufficient hazard to merit regulation."
So, for example, a waste generated at your facility may meet a listing description even though the process uses raw materials different from those EPA assumed were used when listing the waste—as such, the waste may not contain the contaminants for which it was listed. Similarly, after treatment of a listed waste, the residues may no longer pose a threat to human life and the environment.
"Federal regulations require that “containers holding hazardous waste must always be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or remove waste.” Although that sounds like a simple answer—EHS managers are often confused when trying to put it into practice."
Notwithstanding the complexity inherent in the phrase closed container, managers must be confident that they understand what must be done with the hazwaste containers at their facilities to ensure that a state or federal inspector will have no doubt that the regulations are being met. Keep in mind that containers in which hazwastes are held are one of the most visible regulated elements under RCRA, and it is highly unlikely that a hazwaste inspection by even the most junior inspector will fail to zero in on potential violations.
"In the late 1990's, EPA tried to expedite the remediation of contaminated properties."
One way, called the contained-in policy, attempted to smooth over the pre-existing position held by the Agency that contaminated soil that either contained a listed hazardous waste or exhibited a hazardous waste characteristic must be managed and disposed of according to all regulations governing hazardous waste (RCRA Subtitle C). Also, soil that contained listed hazardous waste or exhibited a characteristic of hazardous waste was prohibited from land disposal unless it had been treated to meet the standards applicable to pure industrial hazardous waste.
"So you know you’ve got regulated hazardous waste at your facility, now you need to determine your generator status. Use this as a guide to help you figure out which hazardous waste requirements you need to follow."
Are You a LQG?
If you generate 1,000 kg (about 2,200 pounds) or more of hazardous waste or more than 1 kg of acutely hazardous waste in any calendar month, you are a large quantity generator (LQG). LQGs must comply with all of EPA’s hazardous waste management rules although a partial exemption from some rules is available to generators that store (accumulate) hazardous waste on-site for less than 90 days. The principal advantage to removing accumulated hazardous waste off-site within 90 days is that it exempts you from needing a hazardous waste storage permit and having to comply with the rules applicable to permitted TSDFs.
"It’s easy to make the mistake of mismanaging your hazardous waste if you are not clear on containers and their requirements. This is why violations of the container management standards are very common. Here are a few often misunderstood definitions to help clear up the mystery."
Containers & Tanks
There’s a lot of confusion around whether a management unit is a container or a tank. Here’s the difference—you know you’re dealing with a hazardous waste container if it’s portable. A tank will always remain stationary. The RCRA hazardous waste regulations define a container as “any portable device in which a material is stored, transported, treated, disposed of, or otherwise handled.”
"Here are a few questions answered by BLR environmental experts on hazardous waste generators."
After the decision is made to vent propane from a cylinder, up until it is vented onsite, does a propane cylinder need to be managed as D001 hazardous waste?
Because the container of D001 hazardous waste does not yet meet the “RCRA empty standard” (as explained at 40 CFR 261.7) the container must be managed as a hazardous waste (40 CFR 261.7(1)(2)).
"Hazardous waste compliance generally doesn’t generate huge amounts of records compared to other EHS topics like air, water, and hazcom (ugh!). That, however, can sometimes make it easier for things to fall through the cracks and leave you unprepared when an inspector is at your facility."
Here’s a quick checklist of the paperwork you should have for your RCRA, hazardous waste exporting, and land ban requirements.
Have you kept the following hazardous waste records for specified periods of time (if applicable)?
- Copies of a small quantity generator’s “reclamation agreement” for at least 3 years after the agreement’s termination or expiration (40 CFR 262.20(e)(2))?
- Manifests for at least 3 years after the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter (40 CFR 262.40(a))?
- Biennial reports or exception reports for at least 3 years from the due date of the report (40 CFR 262.40(b))?
- Records of any test results, waste analyses, or other determinations made in accordance with 40 CFR 262.11 (hazardous waste determination) for at least 3 years since the hazardous waste was last sent for on-site or off-site treatment, storage, or disposal (40 CFR 262.40(c))?
"If you are a generator of hazardous waste, the first stop an inspector will likely make when conducting an inspection at your facility is the hazardous waste accumulation or storage area. This might be because there are a few common mistakes generators tend to make in connection with their hazardous waste containers."
Here are a few of the most common container violations you should be aware of:
- Not keeping containers closed. Inspectors often observe hazardous waste drums that have been left open during the entire work shift, or drums with open funnels.
- No accumulation start date is marked on the container. If you are a generator accumulating hazardous waste on-site without a permit you must be sure to clearly mark on each container the date upon which each period of accumulation begins.
- Failure to document inspections. Generators as well as TSDF owners and operators are required to inspect, at least weekly, areas where containers are stored. These facilities often cannot produce documentation that such inspections have occurred. Inspectors may ask to review up to 3 years of inspection records.
- Containers missing the words “HazardousWaste,” or other required information on the container. Keep in mind that some states also require additional information on the container, such as the hazardous waste number or chemical name that identifies the container’s contents.
- Using improper containers or containers are in poor condition. Your containers must be in good condition and lined with material that will not react with the hazardous waste being stored therein.
- Failing to comply with the special satellite accumulation area rules. Generators accumulating hazardous waste on-site without a permit in accordance with the accumulation rules may accumulate up to 55 gallons (gal) of hazardous waste or 1 quart of acutely hazardous waste in their satellite accumulation area, provided specific requirements are met. Violations include: an absence of operator control of the process generating the waste, failure to list the date the satellite container reaches its accumulation limit (55 gal for hazardous waste or 1 quart of acutely hazardous waste), and failure to remove the waste from the satellite area within 3 days of exceeding the quantity limitations.