Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Nearly time for hazardous waste biennial reports

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Feb 01, 2024

Hazardous_Waste-1Federal laws (commonly referred to as RCRA, after the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976) provide comprehensive management requirements for parties involved in hazardous waste management, from “cradle to grave” covering generators, transporters, and offsite management facilities. Among these many provisions are requirements that “large quantity generators (LQGs)” submit biennial reports to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or delegated states in March of every even-numbered year. March 2024 is the next such deadline, so now is a good time to review biennial report requirements to ensure compliance at qualifying facilities.

Who must file biennial reports? 

A facility that was an LQG during calendar year 2023 must file a biennial report. LQGs are defined as a facility that generates either of the following during a calendar month:

  • 1,000 kilogram (kg) or more of hazardous waste, or
  • more than 1 kg per calendar month of acute hazardous waste (AHW), or
  • more than 100 kg of soil or other material contaminated with AHW by a spill

EPA’s RCRA regulations apply these thresholds month by month, so a generator may meet LQG thresholds in one or more months but be a small quantity generator (SQG) or even a very small quantity generator (VSQG) in others. If a facility toggled between these levels during 2023 it must file a biennial report covering the entire year (EPA allows a SQG or VSQG that exceeded qualifying limits because of waste cleanup in a single month to continue to qualify at their lower regulatory level).

In addition, a facility that treated, stored or disposed of hazardous waste onsite during 2023 (a “TSD Facility”) must also file a biennial report.

What’s required in a biennial report?

Biennial reports are due March 1 of each even-numbered year on EPA Form 8700-13 (RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification Form) plus additional associated forms as appropriate:

  • Site ID Form (RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification Form) – general information
    • Item 1 – reason for submittal
    • Item 2 – site EPA Identification Number
    • Item 3 – site name
    • Item 4 – site location address
    • Item 5 – site land type
    • Item 6 – site North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code(s)
    • Item 7 – site mailing address for your site
    • Item 8 – site contact information
    • Item 9 – legal owner and operator of the site
    • Item 10 – type of regulated waste activities [enter all that apply]
    • Item 11 – additional regulated activities [e.g., import or export, universal waste, used oil, or pharmaceuticals]
    • Item 12 – eligible academic entities with laboratories;
    • Item 13 – episodic generation;
    • Item 14 – SQG or VSQG consolidation;
    • Item 15 – notification of LQG site closure for a central accumulation area;
    • Item 16 – notification of hazardous secondary material activity;
    • Item17 – electronic manifest broker;
    • Item 18 – comments
    • Item 19 – certification [that the information provided throughout the form is truthful, accurate, and complete]
  • Addendum to the Site Identification Form
    • notification of hazardous secondary material activity
    • episodic generator
    • LQG consolidation of VSQG hazardous waste
  • GM Form (Waste Generation and Management Form(s)) – for hazardous waste that was used to determine the facility’s generator status
    • waste characteristics: waste description; RCRA waste code(s); state hazardous waste code(s); Source code and management method code for waste(s); form code; quantities generated in 2023; waste minimization code;
    • on-site generation and management of hazardous waste (by codes);
    • off-site shipment of hazardous waste (by codes);
    • comments
  • WR Form (Waste Received From Off-site Form(s)) – if applicable for each waste:
    • Item A – waste description
    • Item B – EPA hazardous waste code(s)
    • Item C – state hazardous waste code(s)
    • Item D – off-site handler EPA identification number
    • Item E – quantity received in 2015
    • Item F – unit of measure and density
    • Item G – form code
    • Item H – management method code
  • OI Form (Off-site Identification Form(s)) – if applicable [other sites to which hazardous waste was sent or from which it was received]

The facility submits its report to the applicable hazardous waste agency (EPA or the state). Note that EPA’s report requirements apply its federal definitions of hazardous waste; some states apply different definitions.

What happens next?

Each facility that qualifies as a LQG based on activities during 2023 must submit a biennial report by March 1, 2024. EPA and states use this information in regulating the reporting facility, and also compile and post data from biennial reports (EPA has posted 2021 information on its Internet website).

Implementation Checklist:

Does the organization have one or more facilities that generate sufficient hazardous waste to qualify as LQGs?

Does the organization have one or more facilities with a permit to treat, store and/or disposes of hazardous waste?

Has the organization compiled information for each such facility about waste generation and management activities during 2023?

Is each LQG facility preparing to submit a hazardous waste biennial report for 2023?

Where can I go for more information?

  • EPA –

  - Biennial Hazardous Waste Report webpage 

  - “RCRA Subtitle C Reporting Instructions and Forms EPA Forms 8700-12, 8700-13 A/B, 8700-23”

  - Biennial Report summary [data for 2001 – 2021] 

About the Author

jon_f_elliottJon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 30 years. 

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:

Tags: EPA, RCRA, Hazardous Waste, AHW, LQG