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    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 .

  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 or you can talk to the state by contacting David Miller at (916) 322-2712 or email

Thank for your relationship and support.

Robert J Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company
Transportation Skills Programs Inc

I Got Your Number. Is It Still The Same?


I thought borrowing a line from the Jackson Browne song, “You Love the Thunder” would be appropriate for this blog because he’s the man and it is about chemicals in the same hazard class, but with different UN numbers. I had all of his cassettes when I was teenager. I will never forget the summer I “lived” in the back yard of a friend’s auto body repair shop in Kutztown. I had spent the first month of that summer up in Canada, on canoe trip as a steersman, with my high school, Saint John’s Cathedral Boys School in Selkirk. The trip started just south of the tar sands on the Athabasca River in Alberta and ended in Yellowknife, on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. I found out when I got back that Dad had rented my apartment while I was gone and I didn’t want to pay rent for the rest of the summer, so I camped in a small 2-man tent, using the shop’s bathroom to shower. I would back up my MG to the door of my tent each night, put the gear shift into reverse and use the back up lights to entertain or as a reading lamp, listening to Jackson Brown on the little white convertible’s cassette player. It was the best summer of my life.

Placarding bulk and non-bulk containers of materials in the same hazard class, on the same vehicle could require two separate placards, even though the materials are in the same hazard class. I learned this after I sent out my recent blog “Dangerous, Will Robinson, Dangerous” on the DOT Dangerous placard, which I wrote to answer a customer’s question on placarding mixed loads of different containers of EPA hazardous waste, which they were loading onto their trucks.

He had a bulk container, a tote of Class 8 Corrosive materials in the back of the vehicle with 6 drums of a different Corrosive material, both in the same Hazard Class, but different UN identification numbers. He knew that he had to placard because the bulk tote triggered the corrosive placard with the tote’s material’s UN number, under the placarding requirements in 172.504 and bulk marking requirements 172.302.

It was the drums that concerned him. He was over 1001 pounds aggregate gross weight of Table 2 nonbulk containers, so the non-bulk drums of the corrosive would trigger the corrosive placard without the UN Number, under 173.504(c). The question was, could he use the UN numbered corrosive placard with the bulk container’s UN number for both the bulk and non-bulk containers of corrosives.

The answer turned out to be no. The bulk and non-bulk containers of corrosives could only share the UN numbered placards if both the bulk and non-bulk containers of corrosives share the same UN number. So it seems that the shipment of bulk and non-bulk corrosives with different UN numbers requires two corrosive placards, one for the bulk container displaying the bulk container’s UN number and one without a UN Number for the Table 2 non-bulk containers of corrosives.

Some of my readers may think it is foolish of me to provide free advice to them on the hazardous material, waste, chemical and substance regulations. But I must admit it is purely selfish. In the 25 years that Hazmat Rob’s Blog I GOT YOUR NUMBER. IS IT STILL THE SAME? I have been running seminars, I have never, ever, truly understood any government regulations by just reading or discussing it. It is only when I am forced to answer a difficult question, on a specific topic, that it really allows me understand the requirements. However, the best part of this is that sometimes by answering your specific question, it will help me understand a problem that I had with that regulation that I didn’t fully understand. So don’t hesitate to call or email me your questions. It might just allow me to understand that regulation a little bit more clearly. In fact, I might use your question as an example in my seminar or to explain it to someone else when they call. You’ve got my number. Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J. Keegan
Publisher and President
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company, Inc.
Transportation Skills Programs, Inc.


©2017 Hazardous Materials Publishing Company, Inc



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I cannot think of any company that does not generate some type of solidwaste. But, EPA is not sure that every company who generates solid waste is making an accurate determination as to whether that solid waste is ahazardous waste. All hazardous waste is solid waste. What I mean is, the hazardous waste regulations are found in 40 CFR Subchapter I of the SolidWaste Regulations under EPA, that’s why generators must keep track of their solid waste, in order to ensure their hazardous wastes are properly managed under the RCRA regulations. Currently, I believe 17 States require generators to document and track their solid wastes.


EPA requires that “hazardous waste determination for each solid waste must be made at the point of waste generation, before any dilution, mixing, or other alteration of the waste occurs, and at any time in the course of its management that it has, or may have, changed its properties as a result of exposure to the environment or other factors that may change the properties of the waste such that the RCRA classification of the waste may change.”


There are basically two ways for a person to become a hazardous waste generator, first would be by generating a listed waste, like a listed spend solvent, in 262.31, by carrying out a listed waste process in 262.32, or by discarding a listed pure chemical in 262.33 in 40 CFR Subpart D The Lists of Hazardous Waste. Then, regardless of whether the waste is listed or not, the generator would be required to see if the material meets the definition of ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic prescribed by the tests in 262.20, Subpart C The Characteristics of a Hazardous Waste.


EPA acknowledges that most generators use generator knowledge to make their hazardous waste determinations, which is appropriate, if accurate. In the new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements rule; EPA states, “ In fact, generators can only use knowledge of their process and knowledge of the materials used in the production process to determine whether their waste meets any of the F-, K-, Pand U- waste listings.”



However, generators of characteristic waste have the option of either carrying out the testing in Subpart C, as prescribed, or simply using their generator knowledge of the manufacturing process, information about the product, its components, any by-products and generator testing on the material that could cause the material to be a hazardous waste.

If the available knowledge or alternative testing done by the generator, is inaccurate to making the correct determination, the person must have a representative sample of the waste tested according the Hazardous Waste Characteristics in Subpart C or an equivalent method approved by the Admistrator. But, be aware if testing is required then the material must be managed as hazardous waste, until test results are received, confirming or ruling out it’s further management as a hazardous waste.

This is not new, this is considered to be a clarification under the new rule. Regardless whether the waste is tested under Subpart C or is listed in Subpart D generators must document and maintain their hazardous waste determination records.


The hazardous waste testing documentation record keeping requirements have recently been clarified in 40 CFR 262.11 Hazardous Waste Determination And Record Keeping, for the types of information that inspectors will be asking for when testing is carried out by the generator, and which would include:

1. The chemical or physical characteristics of the wastes.

2. Information on the chemical and physical properties of the chemicals used or produced by the process or otherwise contained in the waste.

3. Results from the testing, that illustrates the properties and characteristics of the solid waste used to determine if the material is a hazardous waste.


However, when testing is not performed on a solid waste, to determine if it is a hazardous waste, generators must qualify the wastes determination by maintaining the following documentation for inspectors:

1. The chemical constituents, including feedstocks and other inputs to the production process.

2. Products, by-products, and intermediates produced by the manufacturing process.

3. Chemical or physical characteristics of the wastes.

4. The chemical and physical properties of the chemicals used or produced by the process.

5. Methods and results of any testing, other than those in Subpart C, that were used as part of a person’s knowledge to determine whether the solid waste is hazardous waste.


It should also be noted that all hazardous waste determination records must be kept for three years from the date that the waste was sent for disposal, unless the record retention requirements are automatically extended in the event of an unresolved enforcement action or requested by the EPA. This is only one of the recent clarifications in the new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, that are contained in our new 2017/2018 Hazardous Materials Substance and Waste Compliance Guide. All of which will be covered in our in-house and regularly scheduled Hazardous Material Substance and Waste Compliance Seminars, which should be in your town soon. If you have any questions, comments or input please let us know. Thank you for your leadership and support.

Thank you for your readership and support.

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