Individuals who generate hazardous waste are subject to licensing and other regulatory requirements under the RCRA. A generator is any person whose act or process produces hazardous waste or whose actions cause hazardous waste to become subject to regulation (40 CFR §262.10). Generators are subject to a number of requirements, including:
1. Testing materials they generate to determine if they are hazardous
2. Keeping accurate records which identify quantities and constituents of the hazardous waste they generate
3. Labeling storage, transport, and disposal containers
4. Providing information on the wastes they are transporting, storing, or disposing
5. Complying with manifest system and notification rules (40 CFR §261.10)
Any person who generates hazardous waste must obtain a generator identification number (40 CFR §262.12). That person must also notify the EPA at least thirty days prior to generating the waste (40 CFR §262.12). A generator that transports or provides for the transport of hazardous waste for treatment, storage, or disposal offsite must fully prepare a manifest before the waste leaves the site (40 CFR §§262.20-262.23). The manifest must include the generator's name, address, telephone number, EPA identification number, and a description of the waste's constituents and quantity. It must also contain the name and EPA identification number of each transporter, the designated receiving facility, and an alternative receiving facility (40 CFR §262.20-262.23).
Typically, the generator must sign the manifest, obtain the signature of the first transporter, and enter the date on which the waste is accepted. The generator must also submit a copy of the manifest to the state agency in charge of administering that state's hazardous waste program. If the destination of the waste is out of state, the generator typically must use the receiving state's manifest form and send a copy of it to that state's agency in charge. A generator must also retain a copy of the manifest for a minimum of three years.
The TSDF receiving the waste must return a copy of the manifest, signed by the TSDF operator, to the generator. If the generator does not receive notice from the TSDF within a specified time, the generator must contact the
TSDF. If the manifest does not come, the generator must notify the state agency in charge of the hazardous waste program. The notice provided to the state agency is referred to as an exception report. It includes a copy of the original manifest and a letter stating the efforts made by the generator to locate the material which it shipped offsite (40 CFR §262.42).
The RCRA provides an exemption for small quantity generators, those which create less than 100 kg of hazardous waste per month (40 CFR §261.5). However, acute hazardous waste in excess of 100 kg per month, or with a total of 100 kg or greater of residue, contaminated soil, or debris from a cleanup of a spill of acute hazardous waste, subjects the generator to full regulation. A conditionally exempt small quantity generator can treat hazardous waste onsite or send the waste to an authorized TSDF.
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