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 dates 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 your State’s environmental protection agency might not issue you a fine, for those three transgressions, but, 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.
And though it might seem inconceivable to you, your company, could be cited by EPA for operating a “non permitted” treatment storage disposal facility. Any day now, if not already, hazardous waste generators will find themselves under new State and federal EPA, hazardous waste management requirements and interpretations as these amendments become part of approved state programs.
The most important thing to remember about these new regulations is that the “conditions for exemption” 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 the older state and federal requirements for hazardous waste determination and recordkeeping, satellite and central accumulation areas and facility and waste storage unit closures. But, here are some of the changes you must now meet or at the very least be prepared for under the EPA’s Federal Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule:
Small quantity generators are or will be required to re-notify EPA of their hazardous waste activities. Currently, under federal regulations, only large quantity generators are required to notify every two years. Under the new rule, all small quantity generators will start re-notifying every four years, starting September 2021.
Both large and small quantity generators must, or will be required to mark their containers in the central and satellite accumulation areas with the words “hazardous waste”, in addition to the date accumulation begins on central storage area containers and any containers containing excess waste, over 55 gallons, in the satellite accumulation area.
But now, generators shall or will be required 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. Then as you, who are under the new changes already know, generators must include their waste codes on waste containers before they are allowed to be shipped off site.
You will also find, 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, you have, or will be required to, beef up your Preparedness, Prevention and Emergency Procedure Plans, by adding new requirements for documenting what arrangements were made to authorities (local hospitals, rescue units, police and fire departments) or at the very least, documentation of the attempts, that were made by the generator.
Also, the next time a 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 that could be 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 site’s 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.
I hope to see you at one of my upcoming seminars. In the meantime, check out the generator improvements rule web page at: https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/final-rule-hazardous-waste-generator-improvements , and also visit our website www.hazmat-tsp.com to order “The Hazardous Materials, Substances & Wastes Compliance Guide”.
Then if you still have any questions, corrections or concerns call me at (610)683-6721 or email me at email@example.com..
Thank you for your readership and support.
Robert J Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company