October 15, 2015
Proposed Changes to the RCRA Generator Regs Summarized
EPA proposed significant changes to the hazardous waste generator regulations on September 25, 2015. [80 FR 57918] The primary issues addressed in this rulemaking are:
- Most of the generator requirements would be consolidated in Part 262 to reduce cross-references to Parts 261, 265, and 268.
- The term “very small quantity generators” (VSQGs) would replace the term “conditionally exempt small quantity generators.” Also, VSQGs would be allowed to send hazardous waste to an offsite large quantity generator (LQG) if both facilities are under the control of the same “person.” To take advantage of this additional management option, the VSQG would have to mark its containers with certain information. The LQG would have to 1) notify EPA (using Form 8700-12) 30 days prior to receiving the first shipment from VSQGs; 2) maintain records of waste shipments from VSQGs for at least 3 years; 3) mark accumulation units with the date the hazardous waste was received from the VSQGs; and 4) manage the waste received from VSQGs under all regulations applicable to LQGs.
- New provisions would allow VSQGs and small quantity generators (SQGs) to maintain their existing generator category in the event of planned or unplanned episodic generation. This relief from an episodic event would be allowed only once per calendar year (although a facility could petition EPA for the same relief a second time in that year) and would be contingent on meeting the following conditions:
- The generator would have to notify EPA (using Form 8700-12) at least 30 days before a planned episodic event or within 24 hours of an unplanned event. Notification of an unplanned event may be made via phone or email with follow-up submittal of Form 8700-12. A VSQG would also have to obtain an EPA ID number.
- Hazardous waste generated from episodic events would have to be accumulated in containers or tanks meeting certain labeling and substantive requirements.
- Hazardous waste generated during an episodic event would have to be manifested to an offsite RCRA-designated facility within 45 days from the start of the event (although a 30-day extension would be available).
- Records of the episodic event would have to be maintained for three years from the end date of the event. Information that must be maintained is included in newly proposed §262.232.
- Records would be required to support a generator’s solid and hazardous waste determinations, including records that identify a material as a solid waste and records identifying whether that solid waste is or is not also a hazardous waste.
- Satellite accumulation and 90/180-day accumulation containers would be subject to additional labeling requirements.
- SQGs and LQGs would have to renotify EPA by February 1 and March 1, respectively, of each even-numbered year using Form 8700-12. An LQG may submit the renotification as part of its biennial report.
- LQGs would have to notify EPA at least 30 days prior to closing an accumulation unit or the site and within 90 days after closing the unit or the site.
EPA has provided a summary of the proposal and answers to frequent questions. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by November 24, 2015.
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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.