There is a high profile adoption case going on right now in California. It could include all of the usual aspects, long drawn out court cases involving expensive lawyers with complex guardianship notifications and parental custody agreements. But, in the end if we can protect the small and the very small among us, in our community, it will be well worth the effort.
The biggest difference is that in this adoption there will be no children involved. That is because, in this case, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control is “adopting” the Federal EPA, requirements in the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule,(GIR).
That’s right we are talking about federal and state “lawyers”, battling for regulatory authority, and the possibility of lengthy “court cases”. Then, “legally changing the names” of “Conditionally Excepted Small Quantity Generators ” to “Very Small Quantity Generators”, not to mention the guardianship notifications and custody agreements for “very small” quantity generators, who might even be allowed to send their companies hazardous waste to a nearby Large Quantity Generator facility that their “parent” company also owns, to complete the waste’s disposal and management requirements.
On May 30, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's US EPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule (HWGIR) went into effect. Then, almost one year later on May 16, 2017, DTSC held a webinar (see below) to explain the states process of adopting it into California’s authorized state hazardous waste program.
Over a year and a half ago, in an email, the EPA contact listed in the final rule, wrote us. He felt that most of the new rule was clarifications and interpretations, not changes to current state hazardous waste requirements in effect now. He went on to say that only about 7 or 8, out of about 60 provisions, will need to be added to most of the current state programs for their authorizations. Meaning, the remaining 50+ provisions are equally and less stringent than most current state programs.
Some of the mandatory provisions which must a be adopted into the state’s program include, 1) a 4 year re-notification for small quantity generators, 2) New SQG and LQG container markings, with an “indication of the hazards” in both the Satellite and Central Accumulation Areas, 3) pre-transportation marking requirements for adding the waste codes on containers before they are sent off site and, 4) amendments to their regulations for clarifying acute and non-acute hazardous waste accumulation limits.
California has also acknowledged that they will need to beef up their Preparedness, Prevention, and Emergency Procedures with requirements for generators to document the arrangements they have made, if any, with local authorities.
That’s not all, DTSC’s large quantity generators will be required to prepare a quick emergency reference guide, that summarizes the large quantity generator's contingency plan. Then finally, there are new federal requirements for clean closure of on-site accumulation units, when no longer in use, which, must also be adopted in to California’s program before it can be approved.
And it may not stop there, DTSC may also adopt other provisions of the HWGIR, they consider to be optional, and are not required in their opinion, to be adopted to administer California's approved hazardous waste program.
For example: the DTSC may adopt the federal definition “very small quantity generator” in place of “conditionally exempt small quantity generator“, and add new terms to distinguish the penalties and fines for non compliance under the “independent requirements” and “conditions for exemption” regulations. Another of the non-mandatory provisions California will hopefully adopt, could allow “very small quantity generators” to voluntarily send their hazardous waste to one of their large quantity generator facilities for management and disposal.
However, I might have left the best optional provision being considered for last. Don’t hold your breath but, California might even adopt GIR requirements concerning episodic events. This provision would allow for both “planned” and “un-planned” episodic releases, allowing thousands of very small and small quantity generators to maintain their smaller generator status, regardless of the amounts of hazardous waste generated. This would of course only be authorized if they agreed to maintain documentation on the starting and ending episodic event dates, step up their marking and record keeping requirements and can make the proper notifications.
To be honest, I am really excited about the “planned” episodic release requirements, which at the federal level, allows more than one project to be considered one episodic event. (For example, expired inventory disposal, construction jobs, one time production runs or frankly, any other hazardous waste disposal projects), if all done within the proper time frame, would not only allow very small and small quantity generators to maintain there lesser generator classifications, but also could allow a few large quantity generators to coordinate, rearrange, or even re imagine how and when they dispose of their hazardous waste, possibly allowing them to drop down to very small or small quantity generator status.
CLICK HERE; For the DTSC’ California’s Generator Improvement Rule web page information
with the page numbers of where these new changes currently appear in our new 2017/2018 Hazardous Materials, Substances and Waste Compliance Guide, on sale now at www.hazmatpublishing.com .
Then, if you have additional questions about the current Federal Generator Improvements Rule and the DTSC's regulation adoption activities, sign up for one of our upcoming California hazardous waste seminars at www.transportationskills.com or you can talk to the state by contacting David Miller at (916) 322-2712 or email email@example.com.
Thank for your relationship and support.
Robert J Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company
Transportation Skills Programs Inc