Hazardous Materials Transportation Act And Other Regulations

Transporters of hazardous waste are the critical link between the generator and the ultimate off-site treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste. Transporter regulations were developed jointly by the EPA and DOT to avoid contradictory requirements. Although the regulations are integrated, they are not contained under the same act. A transporter must comply with regulations under 49 CFR Parts 171-179, The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, and 40 CFR Part 263 (Subtitle C of RCRA).

A transporter is defined under RCRA as any person or firm engaged in the off-site transportation of hazardous waste within the United States, if such transportation requires a manifest under 40 CFR Part 262. This definition covers transport by air, highway, or water. Transporter regulations do not apply to on-site transportation of hazardous waste by generators with their own TSDs, or TSDs transporting waste within a facility. However, generators and TSD owners or operators must avoid transporting waste over public roads that pass through or alongside their facilities (Figure 11.10.4).

Under certain circumstances a transporter may be subject to regulatory requirements other than those contained in 40 CFR Post 263. Once a transporter accepts hazardous waste from a generator or another transporter, the transporter can store it for up to 10 days without being subject to any new regulations. However, if storage time exceeds 10 days, the transporter is considered to be operating a storage facility and must comply with the regulations for such a facility. In addition, transporters who bring hazardous waste into the United States or mix hazardous wastes of different DOT shipping descriptions by placing

Collection Point

Public Roadway

Satellite Accumulation Point

FIG. 11.10.4 Off-site transportation of hazardous waste.

them in the same container are classified as generators and must comply with the generator regulations.

A transporter is subject to regulations including obtaining an EPA ID number, complying with the manifest system, and dealing with hazardous waste discharges.

The transporter is required to deliver the entire quantity of waste accepted from either the generator or another transporter to the facility designated on the manifest. If the waste cannot be delivered as the manifest directs, the transporter must inform the generator and receive further instructions, such as returning the waste or taking it to another facility. Before handing the waste over to a TSD, the transporter must have the TSD facility operator sign and date the manifest. One copy of the manifest remains at the TSD facility while the other stays with the transporter. The transporter must retain a copy of the manifest for three years from the date the hazardous waste was accepted.

Even if generators and transporters of hazardous waste comply with all appropriate regulations, transporting hazardous waste can still be dangerous. There is always the possibility of an accident. To deal with this possibility, regulations require transporters to take immediate action to protect health and the environment if a release occurs by notifying local authorities and/or closing off the discharge area.

The regulations also give officials special authority to deal with transportation accidents. Specifically, if a federal, state, or local official, with appropriate authority, determines that immediate removal of the waste is necessary to protect human health or the environment, the official can authorize waste removal by a transporter without an EPA ID or a manifest.

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