Q. I work in an R&D laboratory doing quality testing for a manufacturing plant at the other end of town. We are a conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG) of hazardous waste, mostly ignitable spent solvents.
Our corporate EH&S specialist says we can use the Materials of Trade (MOT) rule to haul our hazardous waste across town and consolidate it with the manufacturing plant’s hazardous waste because it’s not “really” hazardous waste.
Can you explain what he’s talking about?
A. Certainly! We understand that you may be reluctant to try and ship your hazardous waste under the Materials of Trade (MOT) rule because the definition of material of trade (49 CFR 171.8) “means a hazardous material other than a hazardous waste…” But we assure you, the regulations are on your side this time.
Even though your waste exhibits the characteristic of ignitability (D001; 40 CFR 261.21) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers it a hazardous waste, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) does not.
The EPA’s rules for CESQG hazardous waste exclude your waste from 40 CFR Part 262, including the requirement to use a manifest. [40 CFR 261.5(b)] And if you do not need a hazardous waste manifest, then the DOT does not consider your waste to be hazardous waste. [49 CFR 171.8]
Therefore, your EH&S specialist is correct; provided you follow all the conditions specified at 49 CFR 173.6 for the materials of trade exception, you can use the MOT rule to transport your CESQG waste.