On October 28, 2016, EPA announced that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. The rule will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks, and will become effective six months after it is published.

According to EPA, the objectives of the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule are to:

  • Reorganize existing regulations to make them more user-friendly and improve generator compliance.
  • Provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed.
  • Enhance the safety of facilities that create hazardous waste and the response capabilities of emergency responders by improving risk communication.

The new rule includes more than 60 changes to existing hazardous waste generator regulations and will impact between 424,099 – 676,890 industrial entities.

A few key changes in the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule include:

  • Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) are re-named Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs).
  • VSQGs are allowed to transport hazardous waste to Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) that are under the control of the same entity.
  • VSQGs and Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) will not be automatically bumped up to a higher generator category when they experience an episodic event resulting in a short-term increase in hazardous waste generation, subject to certain conditions.
  • SQGs and LQGs must maintain hazardous waste determination records for 3 years.
  • New LQGs (or LQGs amending their contingency plan) are required to submit a “quick reference guide” with their contingency plan.
  • SQGs must re-notify EPA every 4 years starting in 2021.

A Fact Sheet and a Pre-Publication Version of the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule are available at the EPA website.