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The USEPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule is Here

The Georgia EPD has adopted the USEPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, which becomes effective in Georgia on September 28, 2017. The changes in the regulations affect all hazardous waste generators. The hazardous waste generator requirements have been reorganized and consolidated into 40 CFR 262 to make them more user-friendly.

The highlights of the rule that affect generators are as follows:

Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG)

  • Replaces the term “conditionally-exempt small quantity generator.” A VSQG generates ≤ 220 pounds of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
  • VSQGs are allowed to send hazardous waste to a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) under control of the same person. Note that additional recordkeeping and reporting rules apply to the LQG receiving the waste.

Episodic Generation for VSQGs and SQGs

  • Allows VSQGs and SQGs to maintain their existing generator category if, as a result of a planned or unplanned episodic event, the generator would generate a quantity of hazardous waste in a calendar month sufficient to cause the facility to move into a more stringent generator category, provided that:
    • VSQGs must obtain RCRA ID number
    • One episodic event per calendar year with ability to petition for second event
    • If the first event is planned, the second event must be for an unplanned event or vice versa
    • Notify State at least 30 days prior to initiating planned episodic event
    • Notify State within 72 hours after an unplanned event
    • Conclude event within 60 days, including shipping episodic waste off-site

Waste Determinations

  • Must be accurate to ensure proper management of the waste
  • Waste must be classified at its point of generation
    • before dilution, mixing or other alteration occurs
    • at any time in the course of its management that it has, or may have changed its properties such that its waste classification may have changed.
  • SQGs and LQGs are required to identify applicable waste codes based on the determination.

Central Accumulation Area (CAA)

  • Replaces the term Hazardous Waste Storage Area (i.e., 90/180/270 day storage area)
  • CAA is subject to either 40 CFR 262.16 for SQGs or 40 CFR 262.17 for LQGs

Satellite Accumulation Areas (SAA)

  • Added the option for generators to convert an SAA to a CAA when maximum volumes are exceeded
  • SAAs at LQGs must comply with 40 CFR 262 Subpart M
  • SAAs at SQGs must comply with 40 CFR 262.16(b)(8) & (9)
  • Defined “under control of the operator”
    • Can be locked or unlocked
    • Should be within view, so it can be monitored
    • Operator refers to those responsible for the equipment or processes
  • Containers in SAAs, CAAs, or hazardous waste tanks must be marked or labeled with the following:
    • The words “Hazardous Waste” and an indication of the hazards of the contents, including but not limited to:
      • Applicable hazardous characteristics (i.e., ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic), or
      • The DOT requirements (40 CFR Part 172 Subpart E or F), or
      • A hazard statement or pictogram consistent with OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, or
      • A chemical hazard label consistent with the NFPA code 704
      • Do not have to label lab packs with waste codes if lab packs are to be incinerated, except those that contain D004 (arsenic), D005 (barium), D006 (cadmium), D007 (chromium), D008 (lead), D010 (selenium), or D011 (silver)

Preparedness, Prevention & Emergency Procedures

  • For SQGs, posting of names and telephone numbers of emergency coordinators next to a telephone can be next to telephone or in an area directly involved in the generation and accumulation of hazardous waste.
  • If an EC is continuously on duty 24-hours per day, every day of the year, the plan may list a staff position and a phone number manned by the staffed position.
  • Required emergency equipment:
    • Provides flexibility in storing equipment in other areas of the facility when it is infeasible and inappropriate for safety reasons to store the equipment immediately next to generation and accumulation areas
    • Immediate access means “direct and unimpeded access”

Contingency Plan

  • Emergency Coordinators (ECs) now only need to provide an emergency telephone number, not addresses and home phone numbers.
  • Requires a Quick Reference Guide to assist emergency responders:
    • Types and hazards of hazardous waste
    • Maximum amount of hazardous waste present at any one time
    • Identification of any hazardous waste where exposures would require unique or special treatment by medical or hospital staff
    • Map showing locations where hazardous waste is generated, accumulated or treated and routes for accessing these areas
    • Street map of facility in relation to surrounding businesses, schools, and residences for evacuation purposes
    • Location of water supply
    • Identification of on-site notification systems
    • Name and contact information for ECs
  • Arrangements with Local Authorities has not changed except that the generator must attempt to make arrangements with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), if determined to be the appropriate organization with which to make arrangements.

Renotification for SQGs and LQGs

  • SQGs must re-notify every four years beginning September 1, 2021. Renotifications will be due every four years on September 1st of that year.
  • LQGs re-notify when they submit their biennial report (every March 1st of even numbered years).

Requirements for LQGs Closing a CAA

  • Place notice in the facility’s operating record that identifies the CAA that is being closed
  • Close CAA in accordance with closure standards of 40 CFR 262.17(a)(8)(iii)
  • Notify EPD within 90 days of closure.

Requirements for Closing a Facility

  • Notification on EPA Form 8700-12
  • Close CAA in accordance with closure standards of 40 CFR 262.17(a)(8)(iii)

50-foot Buffer Waiver

  • Regulations require that ignitable and reactive wastes must be stored at least 50 feet from the property line. If a LQG is unable to meet this requirement, they can apply for a site-specific waiver from the authority having jurisdiction over the fire code. Generator must keep written approval in their records.

EPS Assistance: If you are a current client of EPS, we will be contacting you shortly to discuss how the new rules affect your operations. If you are not a current client of EPS and would like our assistance, please call Ted Peyser, Alan Anderson, or Debbie Bethea at (404) 315-9113.

The Georgia rules can be reviewed at the following web address:

The USEPA rule summary and link to the rule (November 28, 2016 Federal Register) can be reviewed at the following web address:

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