Prior to the Generator Improvements Rule a small quantity generator of hazardous waste (SQG) need only make an initial notification to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) or authorized state agency before it managed a hazardous waste. After the initial notification the SQG was not required to re-notify the USEPA / state agency unless there was a change to the information on the initial notification. The Generator Improvements Rule changed this by now requiring an SQG to submit a re-notification every four (4) years. The purpose of this article will be to identify and explain the new requirement under the Generator Improvements Rule for a small quantity generator of hazardous waste to submit a re-notification to the USEPA.
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Before we begin…
The new regulation is found at 40 CFR 262.18, which itself is one of the changes made by the Generator Improvements Rule. Previous to the new rule the requirement for an SQG – or a large quantity generator (LQG) for that matter – to submit an initial notification to the USEPA and receive an EPA identification number was located at §262.12. Due to a reorganization of the RCRA regulations under the new rule, it was moved to §262.18 where it was joined by this all-new requirement for an SQG to re-notify.
This requirement of the new rule is more strict than existing USEPA regulations. Therefore states must adopt this new regulation unless they already have more strict regulations. Example: Kentucky already required annual reporting from both LQGs and SQGs so it will not be adopting this requirement of the new rule. (Note: on December 7, 2017 Kentucky adopted all other provisions of the Generator Improvements Rule). Read: What regulations of the Generator Improvements Rule are more strict than existing regulations?
More work, right? Well, USEPA had its reasons: Federal and state information regarding the universe of SQGs is outdated and inaccurate because there was no requirement for SQGs to re-notify after their initial notification. The new requirement for SQGs to re-notify every four (4) years is an attempt to fix this problem.
(d) Re-notification. (1) A small quantity generator must re-notify EPA starting in 2021 and every four years thereafter using EPA Form 8700-12. This re-notification must be submitted by September 1st of each year in which re-notifications are required.
What the new rule requires:
- Beginning in 2021 an SQG with an EPA identification number must re-notify the USEPA.
- Re-notification must then be made every four years thereafter. i.e. 2025, 2029, 2033, 2037…
- Re-notification must be made using EPA Form 8700-12.
- Re-notification must be submitted by September 1st of each year in which a re-notification is required.
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Simple? Please also note the following:
- States may require a more frequent re-notification.
- States may require an SQG to use a state form for the re-notification instead of USEPA’s 8700-12 form.
- The regulations as currently written are unclear as to which facilities are subject to the re-notification. Is it any facility that was an SQG in the four years prior to the reporting year (e.g. 2017 to 2021)? Only those facilities that were an SQG in the reporting year (e.g. 2021)? Only those facilities that are an SQG at the reporting deadline (September 1, 2021)? Some combination of the above?
While the new regulation specifies the re-notification must be done by an SQG, it is not clear as to the period of time the re-notification applies.
Seeking an answer to this last point I contacted the USEPA representative for the Generator Improvements Rule. I was informed that USEPA is aware of the ambiguity of the regulation and is working with states and interested parties to clarify the re-notification requirements for SQGs. Prior to the first due date (September 1, 2021) USEPA will provide clarification of this regulation and guidance for those seeking compliance. Stay tuned!
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