EHS & Waste Management

Determination of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Waste Records

By November 25, 2020 No Comments

Hazardous Waste Records and Determination of Hazardous Waste

If a company generates waste then they must make an accurate determination of hazardous waste as to whether that waste is a hazardous waste in order to ensure wastes are properly managed according to applicable RCRA regulations. To determine if a waste is hazardous waste or not, the following is a guide:

Determination of hazardous waste must be done at the point of generation, before any mixing, alteration or dilution of the waste takes place. Make sure that the waste determination is performed before any environmental factors have had an influence on the waste or its properties.

Determine whether the solid waste is excluded from regulation under 40 CFR 261.4.

If the waste is not excluded under 40 CFR 261.4, then determine whether the waste meets any of the listing descriptions under subpart D of 40 CFR part 261. Acceptable knowledge that may be used in making an accurate determination as to whether the waste is listed may include waste origin, composition, the process producing the waste, feedstock, and other reliable and relevant information. If the waste is listed, the person may file a delisting petition under 40 CFR 260.20 and 260.22 to demonstrate to the Administrator that the waste from this particular site or operation is not a hazardous waste.

In Determination of Hazardous Waste assess whether the waste exhibits one or more hazardous characteristics.

You must apply knowledge of the hazard characteristic of the waste in light of the materials or the processes used to generate the waste. Acceptable knowledge may include process knowledge (e.g., information about chemical feedstocks and other inputs to the production process); knowledge of products, by-products, and intermediates produced by the manufacturing process; chemical or physical characterization of wastes; information on the chemical and physical properties of the chemicals used or produced by the process or otherwise contained in the waste; testing that illustrates the properties of the waste; or other reliable and relevant information about the properties of the waste or its constituents.

When available knowledge is inadequate to make an accurate determination, the person must test the waste.

Persons testing their waste must obtain a representative sample of the waste for the testing.

Where a test method is specified in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261, the results of the regulatory test, when properly performed, are definitive for determining the regulatory status of the waste.

If the waste is determined to be hazardous, the generator must check the regulations for other possible exclusions or restrictions pertaining to management of the specific waste.

Record Keeping for Hazardous Waste Generators both Small and Large

A small or large quantity generator must maintain records supporting its hazardous waste determinations, including records that identify whether a solid waste is a hazardous waste.

Records must be maintained for at least three years from the date that the waste was last sent to on-site or off-site treatment, storage, or disposal. These records must comprise the generator’s knowledge of the waste and support the generator’s determination.

The records must include, but are not limited to, the following types of information:

  • The results of any tests, sampling, waste analyses, or other determinations made in accordance with this section; records documenting the tests, sampling, and analytical methods used to demonstrate the validity and relevance of such tests.
  • Records consulted in order to determine the process by which the waste was generated, the composition of the waste, and the properties of the waste
  • Records which explain the knowledge basis for the generator’s determination.

Hazardous Waste Numbers for Small and Large Quantity Generators

If the waste is determined to be hazardous, small quantity generators and large quantity generators must identify all applicable EPA hazardous waste numbers (EPA hazardous waste codes) in subparts C and D of part 261 of this chapter.

Prior to shipping the waste off site, the generator also must mark its containers with all applicable EPA hazardous waste numbers (EPA hazardous waste codes).



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