Waste Generator Seeking Closure

The word ‘closure’ can be used for both physical and mental states. 


The “physical act” of closing something, to terminate a position, to close a door, stop operations. For example; The bar is now closed. 

The “mental state” of closure as in; attempt to get over or move on, attaining a sense of post experience contentment or finality. For example; Mother and I had finally reached closure.

I believe, that both may be attainable under the new container accumulation unit closure requirements in the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. For many years EPA has felt that the large quantity generator (LQG), Central accumulation area closure requirements, which were previously found in the newly reserved Section 262.34, and it’s references into Part 265, were confusing and difficult to follow. Which has prompted them to clarify and consolidate the closure regulations for LQG’s closure requirements into 262.17(a)(8). The major impact being the requirement that LQG Central Accumulation Area (CAA,) accumulation units once closed, must meet the same requirements as tanks, drip pads and containment buildings.

It should not be a surprise to you, that EPA still requires notification, when a LQG closes their facility that generate hazardous waste using form 8700–12, no later than 30 days prior to closing the facility. Then, have the additional burden of re-notifying EPA on the same form within 90 days after closing that the facility has met the closure performance standards that now appear in the newly consolidated 262.17(a)(8). However, one of the two new options that now apply for the closure of your hazardous waste container accumulation units, at any time before closing the facility might.


These new requirements could require large quantity generators, who stop the storage of hazardous waste in container accumulation units, located within a LQG facility, before the facility is finally closed, meet all the requirements newly re-incorporated into 262.17(a)(8) for the clean closure of the waste accumulation unit.

However, as previously mentioned, the new rule does provide a second option. Which, allows the generator to simply enter a notice into the facility’s operating record within 30 days after closure, identifying the waste accumulation unit’s location. Personally, I prefer this second option. Which, gives the generator an exemption from the clean close requirements until, the facility is shut down. Providing the generator the opportunity to reopen the unit at a later date, and allow for the removal of the closure notice from the operating record.

It’s always been straightforward that EPA requires notification when a LQG shuts down, using form 8700–12. no later than 30 days prior to “closing the facility”. With, the additional burden of re-notifying EPA on the same form within 90 days after closing that, the facility has met the closure performance standards that now appear in the newly consolidated 262.17(a)(8). Here’s what’s new, the two new options that now apply for the “closure of your hazardous waste container accumulation units”, at any time before the facility has closed.


The clean closure standards for waste accumulation units would mandate the control, minimization, or elimination of contaminants to protect human health and the environment. To meet this goal LQG’s must insure that there will be no future escape of the hazardous waste constituents, leachate, contaminated runoff, or its decomposition by-products, into the groundwater or atmosphere. This would include any required decontamination of equipment or structures, and the removal of any remaining hazardous waste residues from waste accumulation units, containment system components, soils or subsoils.


Any hazardous waste generated during the accumulation unit closure process or closure of the generator's facility, be managed as a hazardous waste, including the proper management, 90 days storage times and the final disposal at a permitted treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF). Be aware, that these closure requirements for the accumulation units are considered to be one of the “conditions for your exemption” from getting a TSDF permit. So, failure to meet these requirements would not lead to a citation under the closure regulations, but, could make you liable for operation of a un-permitted TSDF, including all it’s fines and penalties.

If clean closure is not an option and contaminated soils and wastes cannot be practically removed or decontaminated, at the time of the facilities closure, the waste accumulation unit would be considered a landfill. Which, might require installing groundwater monitoring wells around the area and a post-closure groundwater monitoring program lasting up to 30 years.

As for the “Mental Closure” available in this new rule, I believe that can be attained in one of two ways as it regards to the accumulation unit closures. The first path to mental closure could be realized by performing clean closure for your waste accumulation units immediately upon their shutdown, experiencing a post clean closure contentment. Or, don’t ever start accumulating hazardous waste in a central accumulation area. Ship all your hazardous waste off site directly from a satellite accumulation area, for which the accumulation unit closure requirements do not apply. Avoiding the painful closure requirements all together. Then, by using either of these options, I believe one might attain a true sense of mental closure. Eliminating any uncomfortable future waste accumulation unit closure requirement engagements with the EPA.

If your goal is for closure in life, I cannot be much help. But, sincerely hope it is found! However, if you’re looking for it at work I might be able to help, as all of these accumulation unit closure requirements can be found in the new 2017/2018 Hazardous Materials Substances and Wastes Compliance Guide. And, of course I will be covering them extensively in the Hazardous Materials, Substances and Waste Compliance Seminar, when I come to your town, or during your in-house seminar.

Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J Keegan
Publisher and President
The Hazardous Material Publishing Company
Transportation Skills Programs