By Thomas W. Baker, Hatchett & Hauck LLP
As of December 26, 2019, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Generator Improvements rule was effective in the state of Indiana. This regulation, previously adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2016, changes some aspects of how generators of hazardous waste are required to handle, dispose of and comply with recordkeeping requirements for hazardous waste. The rule provides flexibility in some cases and imposes new requirements in others. Among the changes are:
- Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators are now known as “Very Small Quantity Generators”
- Very Small Quantity Generators are now allowed to ship their wastes to Large Quantity Generators under the same control for disposal, if notification and other requirements are met
- Containers and tanks used to accumulate waste must now display the hazard(s) associated with the waste and, prior to disposal, must be labeled with the applicable waste code(s)
- Small and Large Quantity Generators must now keep records concerning Waste Determinations for three years after the last shipment of the material for treatment or disposal
- Very Small Quantity and Small Quantity Generators may now periodically exceed large quantity monthly limits without full-blown compliance of Large Quantity Generator requirements if the exceedance is caused by a qualifying episodic generation event, and other conditions are met
- Requirements for Satellite Accumulations Areas are clarified
- For Large Quantity Generators, requirements for creating and notifying local agencies of contingency plans and emergency preparedness plans are increased, including the requirement to add a “quick reference guide”
- Large Quantity Generators must perform RCRA closure of container accumulation areas after the area will no longer be used
- Biennial reporting requirements are changed to reflect instructions provided in the report instructions
- The method of calculating flow-through tank disposal volumes to demonstrate compliance with 90- or 180-day accumulation time frames is now codified in the regulation
This is not a complete list of the changes in the rule and the rule language should be consulted for applicability to any particular situation. The full rule may be found at 81 Fed. Reg. 85732 (Nov. 28, 2016). For specific questions about the application of this new rule to hazardous waste generation activities, please contact Tom Baker of Hatchett & Hauck LLP at email@example.com.
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Environmental Law Section, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.