In an earlier article I summarized the US EPA regulations regarding onsite treatment of hazardous waste by a generator. The Ohio EPA have their own regulations pertaining to this subject; they largely follow the US EPA but with some important differences.
Treatment is defined in the Ohio Administrative Code at 3745-50-10(A) as any method, technique or process – including neutralization – designed to change the physical, chemical or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste to:
- Neutralize the waste.
- Recover energy or material resources from the waste.
- Render the waste nonhazardous or less hazardous.
- Make the waste safer to transport, store or dispose.
- Make the waste easier to recover or store.
- Reduce the volume of waste.
Pursuant to 3745-52-10(C) of the OAC a generator is allowed to treat their own hazardous waste without a permit provided they comply with 3745-52-34. These are the standard management requirements for the accumulation of hazardous waste; they include: labeling, closed container, onsite accumulation time limit, training, inspections, etc. 3745-52-10(C) does not specify a generator status, therefore it applies to all generators of hazardous waste: Large Quantity Generator, Small Quantity Generator, & Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator. If treating hazardous waste, an LQG or SQG must comply with the regulations applicable to their generator status. Where Ohio differs from the US EPA is that a CESQG that treats its waste must comply with the regulations of an LQG.
Acceptable forms of onsite treatment for a hazardous waste generator in Ohio include, but are not limited to:
- Stabilization: Mixing a characteristic hazardous waste (D008 Toxicity for Lead) with cement to stabilize the lead.
- Wastewater Treatment: A variety of methods may be used to remove a hazardous constituent from a wastestream if the wastewater treatment unit and its discharge is permitted under the Clean Water Act.
- Neutralization: Mixing an acidic waste (D002 Corrosivity) with an alkaline material to neutralize it, or vice versa.
- Polymerization: A resin (D001 Ignitable) may be mixed with its reactant to cause a polymerization reaction creating a solid nonhazardous waste.
- Evaporation: Evaporation of an aqueous (water-based) waste that does not contain volatile organic compounds. Any release of a hazardous waste, such as VOC’s, to the air is disposal and not allowed without a permit.
The following must also be considered before conducting hazardous waste treatment without a permit in Ohio:
- The waste must be generated onsite.
- Acceptable units for onsite treatment of hazardous waste are limited to: Containers, Tanks, and Containment Buildings.
- The Federal RCRA air emission standards may apply, refer to: 40 CFR 265, Subpart AA, BB, or CC.
- Thermal treatment (incineration) is not allowed. This includes treatment at ambient temperatures, eg. leaving solvent-soaked rags to dry. Refer to the description of Evaporation above.
- The closed container requirements do not apply to a hazardous waste undergoing treatment in a container.
The Ohio land disposal restrictions of 3745-270 present an additional treatment standard – beyond the determination of hazardous or non-hazardous – that must be met before the waste may be land disposed. This means that if you intend to treat your hazardous waste to make it non-hazardous you must also decide if your treatment will meet the LDR.
- If not treated to meet the LDR: Then the waste will have to be treated to meet the LDR’s before land disposal.
- If treated to meet the LDR: Then you must comply with the requirements of 3745-270, which include:
- Develop a written Waste Analysis Plan [3745-270-07(A)(5)].
- Comply with the notification and certification requirements [3745-270-07(A)].
This information is based on the regulations of the Ohio EPA, the Federal regulations and those of your State will differ. Check with your State for its interpretation of these regulations.
Additional information is available from the Ohio EPA: DHWM Guidance Document – Generator Treatment.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the RCRA regulations (Federal or State) or those of the US DOT for the transportation of hazardous materials.