When do you need to clean up a chemical spill?

People often ask when do they need to initiate cleanup of a chemical spill. When they have a chemical spill, do they have to clean it up immediately?

The simple answer is yes. You need to clean it up as soon as possible. If you fail to clean up your spill promptly and the chemical you spill is a hazardous waste (it exhibits one or more of the hazardous waste characteristics or it is a listed waste), EPA will consider your site to be a hazardous waste disposal site and you will be subject to all the permitting requirements of a RCRA facility.

In other words, you can be cited for operating a RCRA Treatment and Storage Disposal Facility without a permit!

The agency is pretty clean on that. Just read its guidance document RO 12748 in RCRA Online.


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