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Management of Hazardous Waste in Tanks at Large Quantity Generator – 40 CFR 265.194 General Operating Requirements

Management of Hazardous Waste in Tanks at Large Quantity Generator – 40 CFR 265.194 General Operating Requirements

The RCRA regulations for hazardous waste provide a generator of hazardous waste with four hazardous waste accumulation units, they are:

  • Containers
  • Tanks
  • Drip pads
  • Containment buildings

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A Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste that accumulates its hazardous waste in tanks must comply with the regulations of 40 CFR 265, Subpart J – Tank Systems, referenced from §262.34(a)(ii).  A brief summary of these regulations reveals the following regulatory responsibilities for an LQG:

  • A thorough integrity assessment for existing tank systems.
  • Stringent design standards and installation requirements for new tanks.
  • Specifications for secondary containment and leak detection systems.
  • General operating requirements.
  • Inspection requirements:  frequency and scope.
  • Response to spills or leaks.
  • Requirements for tanks that are unfit for use.
  • Closure and post-closure care.  LQG is not subject to full post-closure care.
  • Special requirements for ignitable, reactive, or incompatible wastes.

A Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste (SQG) that accumulates hazardous waste in tanks need comply solely with the requirements of 40 CFR 265.201.

This article will focus on the specific requirements of 40 CFR 265.194 – General Operating Requirements for the management of hazardous waste in a tank at an LQG.

It is important to remember that these requirements are in addition to any other regulations applicable to the accumulation of hazardous waste in tanks at an LQG.  Adherence solely to these regulations is not enough to ensure compliance; be certain to read all of §265, Subpart J thoroughly.

General Operating Requirements for Hazardous Waste in Tanks at a Large Quantity Generator

(a) Hazardous waste or treatment reagents (if the tank is to be used for treating hazardous waste) must not be placed in a tank system if they could cause it to rupture, leak, or fail.

(b) Generator must use appropriate controls and practices to prevent spills and overflows; to include at a minimum:

  • Spill prevention controls.  eg. check valves or dry disconnect couplings.
  • Overfill prevention controls.  eg. level sensing devices, high level alarms, automatic feed cutoff, or bypass to a standby tank.
  • If an uncovered tank, maintain sufficient freeboard (ie. don’t fill to the brim) to prevent overtopping by wave or wind action or precipitation.

(c) If a leak or spill, comply with §265.196 which specifies actions to respond to the spill and to prepare the tank to be put back into service, if possible.

There’s more to 40 CFR 265, subpart J and even more to the requirements of a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste, such as your responsibility to provide initial (within 6 months) training and an annual review for all facility personnel who work with hazardous waste or may be called upon to respond to a hazardous waste emergency.  Contact me to provide you with RCRA Training or if you have any other questions about the hazardous waste regulations of the USEPA – or your state.

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