If you are a hazardous waste generator, it is your responsibility to make sure your waste transporter is licensed by EPA and/or state agency to transport hazardous wastes. In other words, you need to make sure it has an EPA ID number. Federal regulation 40 CFR 262.12(c) states that a “generator must not offer his hazardous waste to transporters or to treatment, storage or disposal facilities that have not received an EPA identification number.”
California’s Title 22 hazardous wastes regulation 22 CCR 66262.12(c) has similar language.
It is that simple.
Here is what happened to Home Depot in California. On May 13, 2004, a waste transporter hired by Home Depot collected hazardous waste at the Player del Rey Home Depot and started mixing different types of wastes in a 55-gallon container. The container exploded and caused a fire that resulted in the store being evacuated. The following day, California Highway Patrol found a truck operated by the same transporter hauling hazardous wastes from Home Depot.
It turned out that this waste hauler was not licensed by DTSC as a hazardous waste transporter and did not have an EPA ID number. The unlicensed waste hauler was a subcontractor to Home Depot’s contractor.
This finding initiated a series of subsequent inspections at Home Depot’s 200+ facilities in California which resulted in the State of California filing a law suit against Home Depot. The company was held liable for numerous violations and fined a total of $9.9 million by the Superior Court .
It all started with an unlicensed waste transporter.