There is a hazardous waste regulation in Caifornia’s Code of California Regulations (CCR) that says that if you have a container that holds a hazardous material and the container is either mislabeled or damaged, the material in that container will be classified as a “waste” if the problem is not remedied within a certain time frame.
Here is what Title 22 CCR 66261.2 (f) says:
“A material is a waste if it poses a threat to human health or the environment and meets either, or both, of the following:
1) it is mislabeled or not adequately labeled, unless the material is correctly labeled or adequately labeled within 10 days after the material is discovered to be mislabeled or inadequately labeled;
(2) it is packaged in deteriorated or damaged containers, unless the material is contained in sound or undamaged containers within 96 hours after the containers are discovered to be deteriorated or damaged.”
The implication of this California regulation is far reaching.
For example, if you have a damaged container that has been stored in your warehouse for several years and the content (now classified as a “waste” according to 22 CCR 66261.2(f)) exhibits any one of the four hazardous waste characteristics (ignitable, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity), you have on your hand a hazardous waste that has exceeded the storage time limit. You are now in effect operating a treatment and storage facility without a RCRA permit.
The moral of this story is that you need to pay attention to the conditions and labels of your chemical containers.
By the way, you will not find a similar rule in EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations. This is unique to California. This is just one of the many unique California environmental regulations we cover in our Federal/California regulations seminars.