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Determining the Effective Date for the Retention of Records for Hazardous Waste Generators per the Requirements of RCRA

Determining the Effective Date for the Retention of Records for Hazardous Waste Generators per the Requirements of RCRA

The hazardous waste regulations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) require Large Quantity Generators (LQG) and Small Quantity Generators (SQG) of hazardous waste to retain a copy of certain documents as a record of compliance.  While there are slight variations in where and how the records are to be maintained (refer to this article on RCRA’s recordkeeping requirements), there are two points on which the regulations agree:

  1. Records must be made available to an agent of the USEPA or an authorized state upon request.
  2. Records must be maintained for three (3) years from the effective date of the compliance document.

This article will identify the effective date for record retention of documents generated per the the hazardous waste regulations of the USEPA.  Keep in mind that your State may add additional recordkeeping requirements on top of those identified below.

Table 1 summarizes the various recordkeeping requirements of RCRA and identifies the date that the three year retention period begins (ie. the Effective Date).

These regulations only apply to LQG’s and SQG’s, and in some cases solely to LQG’s.  A Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste (CESQG) is not required to maintain records of any kind [40 CFR 261.5(b)], though in some cases it is a good way to demonstrate compliance.

Table 1:

Record

Effective Date

 

Regulation

40 CFR

Comments

Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest

Date waste was accepted by the initial transporter.

§262.40(a)

Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Exception Reports

Due date of the report.

§262.40(b)

Formal Exception Report not required for SQG.

Land Disposal Restriction Notification and Certifications

Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal.

 §§268.1(b) & 268.7(a)(6,8)

LDR Waste Analysis Plan

Date waste was last sent to specified onsite treatment.

§268.7(a)(5,8)

Biennial Report Due date of the report
(March 1st).

§262.40(b)

Waste Analysis Data

Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal.

§262.40(c)

Process Knowledge Hazardous Waste Determination

Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal.

§262.40(c)

Weekly Inspection Record – Containers

Date of inspection

§265.15(d)

Record retention not required by USEPA.  May be required by State.

Daily Inspection Record – Tanks

Date of inspection

§265.195(g)

Record retention not required by USEPA for SQG.  May be required by State.

Facility Personnel Training

Current employees until facility closure.  Last day of employment for former employees.

§265.16(e)

Not required for SQG.

Emergency Responder Agreements

Date of agreement or refusal.

§265.37

Contingency Plan

Activation date.

§265, Subpart D

Export Reports

Due date of report

(March 1st).

§262.56

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF TABLE 1.

After three years have passed from the effective date you have another decision to make:  to keep or purge the records.  This is not a decision to be taken lightly and any option you choose will have its risks and its benefits.  I am curious to know what you do to comply with the recordkeeping requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.