must comply with the requirements applicable to the site’s generator category.
RCRA defines “on-site,” as “the same or geographically contiguous property which may be divided by public or private right-of-way, provided the entrance and exit between the properties is at a crossroads intersection, and access is by crossing as opposed to going along [emphasis added] the right-of-way.”
The significance of this definition is that, with one exception, hazardous waste that is being transported on public roads can be sent only to a permitted treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). The exception [in 40 CFR § 262.20 (f)] explains that this restriction does “not apply to the transport of hazardous wastes on a public or private right-of-way within or along the border of contiguous property under the control of the same person, even if such contiguous property is divided by a public or private right-of-way.”
In all other cases, hazardous waste cannot be transported on public roads to an unpermitted holding facility, even if the public road and the receiving location are within the boundaries of an institution.
11.E.1.3 Minimum Requirements for Generators
Generators must obtain an EPA identification number, prepare the waste for transport, follow accumulation and storage requirements, manifest hazardous waste, and adhere to detailed record-keeping and reporting requirements. At most firms and institutions, hazardous waste is shipped off-site, treated, stored, and disposed of at commercial EPA-permitted TSDFs. Note that generators producing more than 1 kg in a calendar month of “acute hazardous waste” (see above) are subject to full regulation under RCRA as a large-quantity generator.
Although conditionally exempt small-quantity generators are partially exempt from these requirements, they must still
• identify their waste to determine whether it is hazardous,
• not accumulate more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste, and
• ensure that the waste is sent to a permitted TSDF or a recycling facility.
Note that state laws may differ. For example, some states regulate all generators of hazardous waste with no exemptions, and some states regulate chemical wastes that are not included in RCRA (e.g., used oil, as hazardous waste).
11.E.1.4 RCRA Waste Minimization Requirements
Generators are required to certify on the manifest accompanying off-site shipment of waste that they have a waste minimization program. Guidelines for a waste minimization program are available from EPA. By signing the manifest, the generator is certifying the following:
Large-Quantity Generators: “I have a program in place to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste generated to the degree I have determined to be economically practicable and I have selected the practicable method of treatment, storage, or disposal currently available to me which minimizes the present and future threat to human health and the environment.”
Small-Quantity Generators: “I have made a good faith effort to minimize my waste generation and select the best waste management method that is available to me and that I can afford.”2
11.E.1.5 Transportation of Chemicals and Hazardous Waste
For organizations whose laboratory operations are at a single site, transportation within that site is not regulated, as long as that transport involves no travel along public ways. Most organizations, however, have developed policies for on-site transport covering labeling, segregation of incompatibles, containment and double containment, and other necessary safeguards to prevent accidental release to the environment or injury to persons during transportation.
As with hazardous materials, off-site transportation of hazardous waste is regulated by DOT in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act. These regulations apply not only to those who actually transport, but also to those who initiate or receive hazardous waste shipments. DOT regulations applicable to transport of laboratory chemicals include those governing packaging, labeling, marking, placarding, and reporting of discharges. Those who prepare hazardous materials for transportation must also meet certain training requirements.
Under the DOT Materials of Trade exception, facilities may transport their own chemicals to another facility owned by the same organization under certain conditions. This exemption also applies to transport for the purpose of chemical demonstrations, such as at a local high school or as part of a special event. All chemicals must be properly packaged in DOT-specification containers. Hazardous waste may not be transported as a Material of Trade.
2From 40 CFR § 262.27(a).