Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

EPA Revises Hazardous Waste Generator Requirements – Part 2 (Separate Summaries For Generator Categories)

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Haz waste 3.jpgIn November, EPA published substantial regulatory revisions (which EPA entitles collectively as the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule). The revisions are scheduled to become effective on May 30, 2017. In Part 1 of this pair of blogs (click here), I summarized the principal revisions. In this Part 2 I re-compile the changes applicable to different categories of generators:

  • “Conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs)” – which are being renamed as “very small quantity generator (VSQGs)”

  •  Small quantity generators (SQGs)

  •  Large quantity generators (LQGs). .

What Requirements Will Apply To VSQGs?

EPA is renaming Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) as Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs), in order to focus on the quantifies of waste generation as the critical criterion. EPA is also offering these generators additional flexibility compared to that formerly enjoyed by CESQGs. Eligibility for this category continues to be determine based on the following monthly waste generation volumes:

  • Generates no more than 100 kilograms per month (kg/mo) of most hazardous wastes

  • Generates no more than 1 kg/mo of AHW through ongoing activities

  • Generates no more than 100 kg of waste from spilled or released acute hazardous waste (AHW)

  • Accumulates no more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste; if accumulated waste exceeds this limit, it must be managed in compliance with LQG standards until transported offsite for management. 

EPA is expanding flexibility for VSQGs. As described elsewhere in these blogs:

  • Transfer of wastes to a LQG controlled by the same entity for “consolidation” and management; mark and label waste containers with “VSQG Hazardous Waste” (LQG notifies EPA at least 30 days in advance identifying VSQG, and meets LQG management requirements)

  • Once-annual use of the “episodic waste” provision (can petition for second use).

What Requirements Will Apply To SQGs?

Eligibility for this category continues to be determine based on the following monthly waste generation volumes:

  • Generates more than 100 kg/mo but no more than 1,000 kg/mo of most hazardous wastes

  • Generates no more than 1 kg/mo of AHW through ongoing activities

  • Generates no more than 100 kg of waste from spilled or released AHW.

EPA is expanding flexibility for SQGs. As described elsewhere in these blogs:

  • SQGs are subject to revised requirements for satellite accumulation (more flexible in some respects but more stringent in others)

  • Can seek local waiver of set-back requirements between eligible containers and site boundaries

  • Once-annual use of the “episodic waste” provision (can petition for second use).

EPA is also clarifying and expanding some requirements:

  • Contingency planning requirements are being clarified

  • SQGs must re-notify EPA of their status at least every 4 years (EPA had proposed every 2 years)

  • Adding requirements for drip pads and containment buildings, which limit SQG accumulation time to 90 days.

What Requirements Will Apply To LQGs?

Eligibility for this category continues to be determine based on the following monthly waste generation volumes:

  • Generates more than 1,000 kg/mo of most hazardous wastes

  • Generates more than 1 kg/mo of AHW through ongoing activities

  • Generates more than 100 kg of waste from spilled or released AHW.

EPA is expanding hazardous waste management opportunities for LQGs. As described elsewhere in these blogs:

  • Once-annual use of the “episodic waste” provision (can petition for second use)

  • Provisions for LQG to consolidate and manage hazardous waste from VSQG(s) controlled by the same entity

  • Requirement for satellite accumulation have changed (more flexible in some respects but more stringent in others)

  • Requirements for biennial reports are clarified, including specification of categories of hazardous wastes that must be included

  • Eligibility to seek local waiver of set-back requirements between specified containers and site boundaries.

EPA is also clarifying and expanding some requirements:

  • LQG contingency plan requirements are being expanded/clarified

  • Training will be allowed via electronic delivery

  • Formal closure requirements - which already apply to tanks, drip pads and containment buildings – will also apply to containers used to accumulate hazardous waste in central accumulation areas. LQGs must notify EPA at least 30 days before closing a unit that is accumulating hazardous waste (which includes closure of an entire site).

Self-Audit Checklist

Does the organization have any facility subject to regulation under EPA (or state) hazardous waste requirements, categorized as:

  • CESQG (to be renamed VSQG)

    • Has the organization reviewed whether CESQG/VSQG wastes might be expeditiously managed at one of its LQG facilities?

  • SQG

  • LQG

Has the organization reviewed each facility’s compliance with applicable RCRA requirements?

Has the organization reviewed how hazardous waste management activities at each facility might require changes to comply with EPA’s HWGIR revisions?

Where Can I Go For More Information?

Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) provides a variety of single-law and multi-law services, intended to facilitate clients’ understanding of and compliance with requirements. These include:

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About the Author

Jon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 25 years. He was involved in developing 13 existing products, including Environmental Compliance: A Simplified National Guide and The Complete Guide to Environmental Law.

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at: tei@ix.netcom.com

photo credit: Kevin Doncaster Waste via photopin (license)

Tags: EPA, Environmental, Environmental risks, Hazcom