Yesterday, October 31, 2016, U.S. EPA posted the pre-publication version of its final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (“Final Generator Rule”).  The Final Generator Rule was signed by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on October 28, 2016.  This rule has been long in the making and addresses various issues applicable to all hazardous waste generators, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste generated or industry sector.  Other changes significantly alter requirements applicable to Large Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators.

Among other things, the Final Generator Rule restructures existing hazardous waste generator requirements; modifies waste determination, labeling, emergency response, and hazardous waste accumulation unit and facility closure requirements; requires Small Quantity Generators to re-notify every four years of hazardous waste generation; allows Very Small Quantity Generators (historically called Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators) to send hazardous waste to Large Quantity Generators under the control of the same person, so long as various conditions are satisfied; and allows Very Small Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators to rely upon new “episodic generation” requirements to avoid registering as a higher generator status, so long as various conditions are satisfied.

The final rule will be effective in Alaska and Iowa (the only states without an authorized RCRA program) six months after the Final Generator Rule is published in the Federal Register.  The remaining states are required to adopt the provisions in the Final Generator Rule that are more stringent or broader in scope than existing hazardous waste regulations.  Some requirements in the Final Generator Rule are considered less stringent, and some are neither more nor less stringent, than current hazardous waste regulations, and thus states have discretion in whether to adopt these requirements.

We are now carefully reviewing the Final Generator Rule, and we will host a lunch webinar on November 18, 2016 to discuss the Final Generator Rule requirements.  The pre-publication version of the final rule is available here.

For more information or questions regarding this regulation, please contact Gregory Blount or Karlie Webb.