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Petition to EPA for one Additional Hazardous Waste Episodic Event per Year

Petition to EPA for one Additional Hazardous Waste Episodic Event per Year

The Generator Improvements Rule created new regulations at 40 CFR 262, subpart L known as Alternative Standards for Episodic Generation.  These new regulations allow very small quantity generators of hazardous waste (VSQG) and small quantity generators of hazardous waste (SQG) to periodically exceed the thresholds for hazardous waste generation of their status (100 kg/mo and 1,000 kg/mo, respectively) without a change to their generator status.

In earlier articles I identified and explained the requirements for compliance with these new regulations for each applicable generator status.

Both a VSQG and SQG are limited to one episodic event per calendar year, unless a petition is granted by EPA under 40 CFR 262.233.

The purpose of this article is to explain the requirements of 40 CFR 262.233 for a very small quantity generator and a small quantity generator of hazardous waste to petition the EPA for one additional episodic event in a calendar year.

Before we can get to section 233 of this part we must first look at some important definitions in section 231.

Episodic event means an activity or activities, either planned or unplanned, that does not normally occur during generator operations, resulting in an increase in the generation of hazardous wastes that exceeds the calendar month quantity limits for the generator’s usual category.

Planned episodic event means an episodic event that the generator planned and prepared for, including regular maintenance, tank cleanouts, short-term projects, and removal of excess chemical inventory

Unplanned episodic event means an episodic event that the generator did not plan or reasonably did not expect to occur, including production process upsets, product recalls, accidental spills, or “acts of nature,” such as tornado, hurricane, or flood.

So, an episodic event is something that happens – planned or unplanned – resulting in enough hazardous waste generation to change a facility’s generator status.  A planned episodic event is one the generator saw coming and planned for.  An unplanned episodic event is one for which the generator did not expect nor plan.

In the event a generator of hazardous waste experiences a second episodic event – planned or unplanned – in a calendar year, it may petition the Regional Administrator of the EPA in writing, either on paper or electronically.

Conditions of Petition:

  • If the VSQG or SQG has already had a planned episodic event in that calendar year, it may petition for an additional unplanned episodic event.  The petition must be submitted within 72 hours of the unplanned event.
  • If the VSQG or SQG has already had an unplanned episodic event in that calendar year, it may petition for an additional planned episodic event.

It seems there are two limits to the petition:

  1. You may not petition for more than two episodic events in a calendar year.
  2. Your second episodic event – the one that requires the petition – can not be the same type as the first episodic event in that calendar year.

Content of Petition:

  • The reason(s) why an additional episodic event is needed.
  • The nature of the episodic event.
  • The estimated amount of hazardous waste to be managed from the event.
  • How the hazardous waste is to be managed.
  • The estimated amount of time needed to complete management of the hazardous waste – not to exceed sixty (60) days.
  • Information regarding the previous episodic event, including:
    • The nature of the event.
    • Whether it was planned or unplanned.
    • How the generator complied with the conditions of 40 CFR 262, subpart L for the episodic event (refer to the links to the respective articles above).

The written approval from EPA – if issued – must be retained by the generator for three (3) years from the date the episodic event ended.

Contact me with any questions you may have about the generation, identification, management, and disposal of hazardous waste

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