Q. I am a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) of hazardous waste. What requirements do I have to meet when disposing of my waste?
A. The EPA provides significant relief for CESQGs at 40 CFR 261.5. In order to be exempt from most of the RCRA hazardous waste regulations, most CESQGs need to do three things:
- Identify their waste (i.e. they still need to know whether they have generated hazardous waste),
- Remain below generation and accumulation limits (the federal rules specify <100 kg/month, <1 kg/month acutely hazardous waste, and <1,000 kg total), and
- Ensure their waste is delivered to an appropriate location (more below).
If you meet these requirements, you are relieved from typically applicable rules for generators (40 CFR 262.34, etc.). These reliefs include not having time limits for how long you can hold your waste on site, not having to use a hazardous waste manifest when shipping off site, not having to treat your waste to meet land disposal restrictions (LDRs), and not having to use only permitted TSDFs (treatment, storage, and disposal facilities).
In fact, CESQG waste can be delivered to any of the following:
- A hazardous waste TSDF,
- A facility authorized by the state to accept waste (which could be something like a solid waste landfill),
- A recycling facility, or
- A household hazardous waste facility.
Of course, these facilities would have to be willing to take the CESQG waste. And in addition to those, because CESQG hazardous wastes are exempt from 40 CFR 270, a permit is not required for a facility to accept CESQG hazardous waste from off site. That means a CESQG can also send its waste to a small quantity generator (SQG) or a large quantity generator (LQG). However, that waste would then have to be counted by those facilities toward their generator status.
Reference: [40 CFR 261.5]