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What’s the Difference Between Parts 264 and 265 of 40 CFR?

What’s the Difference Between Parts 264 and 265 of 40 CFR?

Anyone who reads the regulations applicable to generators of hazardous waste, either the Federal USEPA or those of your state (if it has an authorized hazardous waste program), will notice frequent references to Parts 264 and 265 to Title 40.  The full names for these two parts are:

PART 264—STANDARDS FOR OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF HAZARDOUS WASTE TREATMENT, STORAGE, AND DISPOSAL FACILITIES

And…

PART 265—INTERIM STATUS STANDARDS FOR OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF HAZARDOUS WASTE TREATMENT, STORAGE, AND DISPOSAL FACILITIES

What’s confusing is that if you read these two Parts, they are pretty much the same.  So why the distinction?  The reason for having two sets of similar standards for owners and operators of hazardous waste TSDFs in the CFR goes back to the initial promulgation of the hazardous waste regulations by the USEPA based upon the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Through RCRA the US Congress mandated that the USEPA develop regulations for TSDFs that were in operation at the time the statute was enacted – and therefore were subject to the regulations immediately – and for TSDFs that would come into operation after the enactment of the regulations.  Congress wanted the standards for these two types of facilities (those of the present and those of the future) to differ only where absolutely necessary, hence the similar content of these two Parts.  The reason for two sets of regulations and for the few differences between them lies in the understanding that a facility in existence at the time the regulations went into affect could not be expected to be immediately in compliance, thus the “Interim Status” standards for TSDFs at Part 265 were designed to give these existing TSDFs time to come into compliance.

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TSDFs that would be constructed after RCRA regulations were enacted were expected to be designed and built to meet those standards.  Therefore, these new facilities – or TSDFs of the future – were subject to the more strict regulations of 40 CFR 264.

Why does any of this matter to a generator of hazardous waste?  Throughout the USEPA regulations applicable to generators of hazardous waste you’ll find references to Part 265, like this one at 40 CFR 262.34(a)(1) which references the Use and Management of Containers and the RCRA Air Emission Standards, respectively:

(i) In containers and the generator complies with the applicable requirements of subparts I, AA, BB, and CC of 40 CFR part 265; and/or

Or, this at 40 CFR 262.34(a) which refers to – in order – the regulations for Preparedness and Prevention, Contingency Plan and Emergency Procedures, and the training requirements (initial and annual) for all Facility Personnel:

(4) The generator complies with the requirements for owners or operators in subparts C and D in 40 CFR part 265, with §265.16, and with all applicable requirements under 40 CFR part 268.

And in some state regulations applicable to generators of hazardous waste you’ll find a reference to 40 CFR 264, like this one in Title 10, Division 25 of the Missouri Code of State Regulations which refers to the Contingency Plan and Emergency Procedures:

Missouri Code of State Regulations Title 10 Division 25

Missouri hazardous waste regulations reference 40 CFR Part 264

(D) Contingency Plan and Emergency Procedures.  This subsection sets forth requirements which modify or add to those requirements in 40 CFR part 264 Subpart D.

In my experience, it really doesn’t matter to a generator of hazardous waste whether the reference is to Part 264 or 265.  What matters is that the generator researches the regulation and ensures that they are in compliance with it.

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