The Generator Improvements Rule went into affect at the Federal level and in states lacking an authorized hazardous waste program on May 30, 2017. The new rule contained approximately 60 changes to existing RCRA regulations. Some of the changes were less strict than existing regulation, e.g. episodic generation of hazardous waste for a small quantity generator; some were neither less strict nor more strict, e.g. changing the name of a conditionally exempt small quantity generator to a very small quantity generator; and some were more strict than existing regulations, e.g. requiring an LQG to add a “quick reference guide” to their contingency plan.
This matters because states must adopt the regulations of the new rule under the following schedule:
- The entirety of the new rule went into affect on May 30, 2017 in states lacking an authorized hazardous waste program.
- Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania immediately adopt all changes to USEPA regulations despite the fact that they maintain an authorized hazardous waste program. Therefore, the entirety of the new rule went into affect in these two states on May 30, 2017.
- States with an authorized hazardous waste program are under no responsibility to adopt provisions of the new rule that are less strict than existing regulations or those that are neither more nor less strict than existing regulations.
- States with an authorized hazardous waste program must adopt provisions of the new rule that are more strict than existing regulations unless their state regulations are already more strict. Example: Kentucky did not adopt the new requirement for a small quantity generator (SQG) of hazardous waste to re-notify every four years since in Kentucky SQGs are already required to re-notify annually. If a state must adopt a more strict regulation it must do so under the following schedule:
- More strict regulations must be adopted by July 1, 2018.
- More strict regulations must be adopted by July 1, 2019 if a change to state law is required.
So what are the more strict requirements of the Generator Improvements Rule?
- Hazardous waste in a satellite accumulation area is subject to incompatibility requirements.
- Hazardous waste in a satellite accumulation area is subject to preparedness and prevention and the contingency plan.
- Labeling and marking of hazardous waste accumulation areas.
- Labeling and marking of hazardous waste containers prior to off-site transportation.
- A Small Quantity Generator (SQG) of hazardous waste must re-notify every four years.
- A Large Quantity Generator (LQG) must submit biennial report for all hazardous waste generated in a reporting year.
- Facilities that recycle hazardous waste without prior on-site storage must prepare and submit a biennial report.
- An LQG updating its contingency plan must include a ‘quick reference guide’.
- An LQG must notify USEPA or state of planned facility closure.
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