The regulations of the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act applicable to generators of hazardous waste, codified at 40 CFR 262-268 mandate the creation of a variety of reports, inspection logs, notifications, certifications, manifest, records, etc. In order to demonstrate compliance with these regulations a generator of hazardous waste must maintain a copy of the applicable document as a record. These records must be provided to an agent of the US EPA or their designee upon request. You can read more about your responsibility to make these records available to an inspector here: Making RCRA Records Available for Federal and State Inspectors.
The purpose of this article is to look closely at a single recordkeeping requirement of the US EPA for a generator of hazardous waste. Since these are the Federal regulations, you will need to check with your State environmental agency in order to confirm compliance.
This article: Training Records.
At 40 CFR 265.16, by way of §262.34(a)(4), a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste is required to teach all of its facility personnel to perform their duties in a way that ensures the facility’s compliance with the requirements of Part 265. This is the annual training requirement for employees of an LQG who generate, treat, handle, dispose, or work with or around hazardous waste, or may respond to a hazardous waste emergency. §265.16(d) requires an LQG to maintain a record of the training “…at the facility.” This precludes the off-site storage of these records, such as at a central office, even if a copy of them are accessible from the generator’s location. It is clearly the intent of the regulations to maintain the record of an employee’s training at the site of their employment.
Sub-paragraphs (d)(1-4) go on to list the exact records that must be kept in order to demonstrate compliance. Therefore, documenting the completion of the training is not enough, you must maintain as a record the information specified by this regulation. Since many in the regulated community overlook this component of the regulations, I have created a training record that meets the requirements of §265.16(d) and provide it to attendees of my Public Training Seminars.
§265.16(e) specifies the training record retention requirements for an LQG:
- For current personnel, training records must be kept until closure of the facility.
- Training records on former employees must be kept for at least three years from the date the employee last worked at the facility.
The training requirements for Small Quantity Generators of hazardous waste at §262.34(d)(5)(iii) have no provision for retention of a record; however, I feel that any action of yours to meet a regulatory requirement should be documented and records maintained. What form that record takes is up to you.
A Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste is excluded from the requirement to comply with the training requirement of §265.16 and, in fact, all recordkeeping requirements, at §261.5(b). I’ve trained many personnel from CESQG’s over the years, however, and they feel that even though training is not required, knowledge of the regulations benefits them and their facility.