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What is the Exception Report?

What is the Exception Report?

The off-site shipment of a hazardous waste from a Large or Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste (an LQG or SQG, respectively) requires the use of the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest (the manifest).  The purpose of the manifest is to provide documentation to track the hazardous waste from its “Cradle”, ie. its point of generation to its “Grave” or its point of final disposal.  A component of this “Cradle to Grave” tracking is the Exception Report.  Its purpose is to confirm the acceptance of a hazardous waste shipped from an LQG or SQG, and carried by one or more transporters, by the facility designated on the manifest as the destination for the hazardous waste (the designated facility).  This article will explain how an LQG or SQG must comply with the 40 CFR 262.42 – Exception Reporting, and what records are required to be maintained.

Compliance will depend on your hazardous waste generator status.

Requirements of a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste under §262.42(a):
  • Must contact the transporter and/or the owner or operator of the designated facility to determine the status of the hazardous waste  if he does not receive a copy of the manifest with the handwritten signature of the owner or operator of the designated facility within 35 days of the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter.

And…

  • Must submit an Exception Report to the USEPA, or state if it has an authorized hazardous waste program,  if he has not received a copy of the manifest with the handwritten signature of the owner or operator of the designated facility within 45 days of the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter.

The Exception Report must include the following:

  • A legible copy of the manifest for which the generator does not have confirmation of delivery; and,
  • A cover letter signed by the generator or his authorized representative explaining the efforts taken to locate the hazardous waste and the results of those efforts.
  • Pursuant to §262.40(b), an LQG must keep a copy of each Exception Report for at least three years from the due date of the report.  Due date for Exception Report = date signed by Transporter 1 + 60 days.
Requirements of a Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste under §262.42(b):
  • Must submit a legible copy of the manifest, with some indication that the generator has not received confirmation of delivery, to the USEPA, or state if an authorized hazardous waste program does not receive a copy of the manifest with the handwritten signature of the owner or operator of the designated facility within 60 days of the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter.
  • Since an SQG is not required to submit an Exception Report, it is not required to maintain a record pursuant to §262.42(b).  However, it is a good idea to maintain a record of your submittal for at least three years.
Requirements for rejected shipments of hazardous waste or container residues contained in non-empty containers that are forwarded to an alternate facility by a designated facility using a new manifest
  • The generator (both LQG and SQG) must comply with the regulations summarized above for the shipment from the original designated facility to the alternate facility instead of from the generator to the original designated facility.  Therefore, the copy of the manifest received by the generator must have the handwritten signature of the owner or operator of the alternate facility in place of the signature of the owner or operator of the original designated facility
  • The 35/45/60-day time periods begin the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter forwarding the hazardous waste shipment from the original designated facility to the alternate facility.
Note the following regarding the Exception Report:
  • Compliance requires a copy of the manifest with the handwritten signature of the owner or operator of the designated facility
  • The start date to determine compliance is the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter; not the date the manifest was signed by the Generator/Offeror.
  • For an SQG the submission to USEPA or State need only be a handwritten or typed note on the manifest itself, or on an attached sheet of paper, stating that the return copy was not received.
  • Your state may revise these requirements to make them more stringent and more broad than those of the USEPA.  Check with your state.

It’s easy to overlook something like the Exception Report since the designated facility will normally return a signed manifest to you within the allotted time frame.  However, you should not assume that this will always be the case.  I recommend you track your off-site shipments of hazardous waste to ensure you are receiving the signed copies within the regulatory deadlines.

If you ship hazardous waste as either an LQG or SQG, then you will require both HazMat Employee Training required by the PHMSA/USDOT and RCRA Training required by the USEPA, or state.  Contact me to provide this training for you in any one of many convenient formats.