The RCRA contingency plan is a requirement for Large Quantity Generators of hazardous waste (LQGs) and hazardous waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) pursuant to 40 CFR 265, Subpart D (LQGs are directed to this citation via §262.34(a)(4)). It is a document that describes specific actions a facility must take in the event of a fire, explosion, or release of hazardous waste. Learn more about the RCRA Contingency Plan.
Unlike other documents that the RCRA regulations require to be kept for a set period of time (normally 3 years from its effective date, read more…) as a record of past compliance, the regulations of 40 CFR 265, Subpart D require the following:
- Keep all information in the contingency plan accurate and up-to-date.
- Maintain a copy of the contingency plan on-site and make it available in the event of an Agency inspection.
- Submit a copy of the contingency plan to all local police departments, fire departments, hospitals, and State and local emergency response teams that may be required to respond to an emergency.
In order to keep the contingency plan up-to-date, it should be reviewed regularly. However, USEPA regulations do not specify a frequency for these reviews, though annually is a good idea and may be required by your State. Instead, it indicates five conditions where the contingency plan should be reviewed and amended immediately, if necessary. These five conditions are:
- Applicable regulations are revised.
- The plan fails in an emergency.
- The facility changes in a significant way or in a way that changes the response necessary in an emergency.
- The list of emergency coordinators changes.
- The list of emergency equipment changes.
If a revision or update is made to the plan, all older copies should be discarded and updated/amended copies should be provided to all external authorities who received a copy initially.
A requirement of 40 CFR 265.52(c) is that the contingency plan must describe arrangements agreed to by local police departments, fire departments, hospitals, contractors, and State and local emergency response teams to coordinate emergency services. Documenting “agreement” can be done by any of several methods since none are specified by the USEPA. However, whatever method is used, a record of that “agreement” must be maintained with the RCRA contingency plan.
The challenge of the RCRA contingency plan is in keeping it up-to-date when changes such as the five listed above mandate a review and change. But, keep it up-to-date you must, and maintain a copy on-site available for inspections, and provide updated copies to the specified external authorities. There is no requirement for a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste to maintain older copies of the RCRA contingency plan as a record of past compliance.
If you are subject to the regulations of 40 CFR 265, Subpart D Contingency Plan and Emergency Procedures, then you must also be subject to the requirements of §265.16 Personnel Training which requires you to provide initial training with an annual review for all facility personnel involved in the handling of hazardous waste or may respond in the event of a hazardous waste emergency. I provide this training and can help you to gain a better understanding of the USEPA regulations pertaining to a generator of hazardous waste. Contact me for a free consultation: 815.821.1550.