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Avoid Double-Counting of Hazardous Waste When Determining Generator Status

Avoid Double-Counting of Hazardous Waste When Determining Generator Status

In an earlier article I directed you towards the applicable regulations (40 CFR 261.5) for determining your hazardous waste generator status.  Specifically, 40 CFR 261.5(c) listed the hazardous wastes that need not be counted toward your generator status.

Another concern when summing the amount of hazardous waste generated is double-counting.  To avoid double counting 261.5(d) lists the types of waste you need not count toward your generator status as they have been counted already:

  1. Hazardous waste when removed from on-site storage.
  2. Hazardous waste produced by on-site treatment (including reclamation) as long as the hazardous waste was counted once.
  3. Spent materials generated, reclaimed, and subsequently reused on site, as long as the spent material is counted once during the calendar month.

The key determination in each of the above situations is:  When is the Point of Generation (POG) of the hazardous waste?  If you know that, then understanding of the above regulations becomes easier.  So…

  1. “Hazardous waste when removed from on-site storage.”:  The POG is the process, event, or activity that created the hazardous waste which, we can assume, was then transferred to the on-site storage area.  It is counted towards your generator status at the POG, anything after that would be double-counting and is not necessary.
  2. “Hazardous waste produced by on-site treatment (including reclamation) as long as the hazardous waste was counted once.”:  On-site treatment and reclamation can be tricky, you may wish to read my articles on the topics of:  Treatment of Hazardous Waste and Spent Solvent Reclamation.  In brief, on-site treatment involves a process where a spent material is removed from its POG as a hazardous waste, treated, and then either returned to use or disposed of.  The treatment process may itself generate a hazardous waste which is referred to here.  If you counted the hazardous waste as it entered treatment, there is no need to count the hazardous waste generated by the treatment.
  3. “Spent materials generated, reclaimed, and subsequently reused on site, as long as the spent material is counted once during the calendar month.”:  In this example a spent material is removed from its POG as a hazardous waste, but is in some way made suitable for reuse on site.  This may happen several times during a calendar month.  In this situation, you need only count the amount of hazardous waste the first time it is generated in that month.  Note that a new month means counting the spent material again even if it is an amount carried over from the previous month.

Correctly accounting for the hazardous waste you generate is an early step in maintaining compliance with the regulations of the EPA.    You must then comply with the applicable regulations based on your hazardous waste generator status.  One of the requirements of a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) is to provide annual training for all personnel exposed to hazardous waste.  Contact me for a free consultation of your requirements to provide RCRA Training for Hazardous Waste Personnel and DOT HazMat Employee Training.