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.
Posted in Cal EPA, chemical accidents, EPA enforcement, Hazardous waste management, Liability
Tagged DTSC, enforcement, EPA, Home Depot, Norman Wei, Superior Court, waste transporter
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In California, the state legislature’s SB1158 – enacted several years ago – addressed the issue of on-site treatment of aerosol spray cans. The state law re-classified non-empty aerosol cans as universal wastes if they are to be recycled. It allows waste generators to use state certified equipment to puncture spray cans and recover their contents without having to obtain an on-site treatment permit.
The provisions of SB 1158 were codified in the California Health and safety Code HSC 25201.16. Under this code, the users of such equipment must notify their CUPA (Certified Unified Program Agency) in person or in writing prior to “processing” their non-empty cans. They must also have documented proof that they have trained their employees on how to properly operate such equipment. There are also labeling and storage requirements for the cans and disposal requirements for the recovered contents.
DTSC has produced a fact sheet that addresses all of the regulatory requirements stated above.
Always check with your state agencies. Many states have more stringent requirements.
When an agency inspector comes to inspect your hazardous waste storage area, he looks for things like waste manifests, reports, labels, and plans. Why? Because it is easy to find violations in these areas – either you have filled them out properly or you have not. It is straightforward.
The video below is from an inspector at the California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC). Listen to what the DTSC inspector has to say about what he looks for in your hazardous waste labels.
Here is a short video from California’s DTSC on the training requirements for hazardous waste generators:
Every business that stores hazardous wastes on site are required to have an emergency response plan. If you are a small quantity generator – one that generates less than 2200 lbs (approximately five 55-gallon containers) each calendar month – you do not need to have a WRITTEN plan. But you still have to have a plan.
An emergency response plan provides answers to the following questions:
- Who is in charge?
- Who are you going to call?
- Where can you find the emergecny response equipment?
- Do you know how to use the equipment?
Here is a short video clip from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on this topic. Very instructive and straight forward. Enjoy the video.
One of the four characteristics of a hazarodus waste is “reactivity”. The other three are ignitability, toxicity and corrosivity and these three characteristics are pretty easy to define by measuring the flash point, concentration and pH respectively. Reactivity is a bit harder (less objective) to determine.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has a short video clip on how to determine reactivity. In general, if something is going to go “boom”, it is likely to be reactive. Or if the MSDS states that a material is reactive with water or unstable, the waste that is derived from that material is likely to be a reactive waste. Enjoy the video.