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You keep using the word generator.

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Whenever someone tells me they are a hazardous waste generator, I think of the movie, The Princess Bride. The villain, Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) constantly bested, repeatedly retorts with the word “ inconceivable”. Finally, Inigo Montoya,(Mandy Patinkin), says to him, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”.

That is because, the word Hazardous waste “generator” really means a hazardous waste  “treatment storage disposal facility operator” who is under “conditions for exemption” from having a Treatment Storage Disposal Facility, (TSDF) permit under the Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR Part 262.1.

However, the worst part is most don’t realize when they do not mark their hazardous waste containers with the words “hazardous waste”, “an indication of the hazard”, (ie: “ignitable”) and the date of accumulation, in their storage areas, they have failed to meet three of the exceptions in 40 CFR Sections 262.16 and 262.17, which exempts them from maintaining a TSDF permit.

Then the real trouble begins, because while the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, might not issue you a fine for those three transgressions, they could claim that you have failed to meet one or more of the exceptions that all generators must meet if they do not want to maintain a TSDF permit.

Which would mean you, if you have not figured it out yet, or have not read the November 28, 2016 federal register final rule preamble, , could be cited for operating a “non permitted” treatment storage disposal facility.

In the future hazardous waste generators will find themselves under new Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requirements and interpretations.

But, the most important thing to remember about these new requirements is that the “conditions of an exception” are requirements only for hazardous waste generators who do not want to apply for a TSDF permit and, that the “independent requirements” are for all hazardous waste generators whether they apply for a TSDF permit or not.

I have no doubt, you are meeting current Oregon State requirements for hazardous waste determination and recordkeeping, satellite and central accumulation areas and facility and waste storage unit closures, at this time.

Both Oregon large and small quantity generators are required to mark their containers in the central and satellite accumulation areas with the words “hazardous waste”, in addition to the date accumulation begins, in the central storage areas on each container.

But then, under the new rule generators will have to add an “indication of the hazards” of the contents. For example, the name of the waste (ie: ignitable), a Department of Transportation hazard class label or placard, or a hazard warning or pictogram from the OSHA GHS Hazard Communication Requirements.

The new rules should also clarify the additional pre-transportation marking requirements for containers to include their waste codes before they are allowed to be shipped off site.

You should also be prepared to meet the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality large quantity generator facility and hazardous waste storage unit clean closure requirements. To certify that each facility, once closed  and each on-site storage unit when closed, is “clean-closed” properly. Failure to do so may trigger them to be managed as landfills, which, among other nightmares, might entail groundwater monitoring requirements.

Then, not least and not last, the state will be required to beef up the Preparedness, Prevention and Emergency Procedure Plans, by adding new requirements like documenting what arrangements were made to authorities (local hospitals, police departments and fire and rescue units) or at the very least, documentation of the attempts that were made by the generator.

Also, the next time a Oregon State large quantity generator writes a new or updates their required Contingency Plan, they must also prepare and make available, a quick reference guide that summarizes the contingency plan, including: the types and amounts of hazardous waste on their property at any one time, any special medical treatments or facilities that might be required, a map of the facility, the surrounding area and nearby fire hydrants.

This quick reference guide would also be required to include the name and contact information for your sites emergency coordinator.   

And don’t worry just remember, it is not a “faux pas” to use the word “generator”, only not to understand it’s true meaning.

Hope to see you in my upcoming seminars in Oregon. In the meantime, check out the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website:  and the individual state information sheet below.  If you still have any questions call (610) 683-6721 or e-mail me at .

Thank you for your readership and support.
Robert J. Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company     
Transportation Skills Programs


Oregon will be looking into the HWGIR in late 2019, hoping to adopt it sometime in 2020.

Link to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality:

Latest thing that they are working on is a Proposed Hazardous Waste Fees 2019 Rulemaking going for approval in May. (Summary below)


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is proposing to align its hazardous waste fees to better support program needs. The proposed fees will ensure DEQ continues to implement the state’s federally delegated hazardous waste management program while providing technical assistance to many more business. These fees will affect 500 sites generating hazardous waste and two businesses operating permitted treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.

If approved by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission in May 2019, the new fees will be phased in over six years. DEQ will invoice generators and permitted facilities at the new rate starting July 1, 2019, for waste generated during calendar year 2018 as reported to DEQ in 2019.

Contact your regional offices with any questions also note the regional offices do onsite assistance if needed.

Environmental Quality, Department Of
700 NE Multnomah St., Suite #600
Portland, OR  97232-4100
Toll-free: (800) 452-4011

Western Region
165 East 7th Avenue, Suite #100
Eugene, OR  97401
Toll-free: (800) 844-8467

Eastern Region
Environmental Quality, Department Of
800 SE Emigrant, Suite 330
Pendleton, OR  97801
Toll-free: (800) 304-3513

Northwest Region
700 NE Multnomah St, Suite 600
Portland, OR  97232-4100
Toll-free: (800) 452-4011