What Is Prohibited Waste?
A prohibited waste is one that, if it were disposed of, would be subject to land disposal restrictions (LDRs) in 40 CFR Part 268. Examples of prohibited wastes include:
- Hazardous wastes as defined at 40 CFR 261.3;
- Hazardous secondary materials excluded from the definition of solid waste at 40 CFR 261.4(a);
- Hazardous secondary materials that are solid wastes but are excluded from the definition of, or from regulation as, hazardous waste at 40 CFR 261.4(b)-(f);
- Hazardous wastes that are recycled according to 40 CFR 261.6; and
- Hazardous wastes that leave RCRA jurisdiction subsequent to generation (e.g., wastes that are reclaimed or introduced into a Clean Water Act permitted wastewater treatment unit).
The LDRs specify recordkeeping requirements to account for prohibited wastes.
Providing Information to the TSDF
The “Notification” or “Land Ban Form”
When a hazardous waste does not meet the LDR treatment standards, the generator must ensure the waste is treated before disposal.
A generator prepares a notification for the treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF) that contains information as specified at 40 CFR 268.7(a)(2), so the TSDF knows how to treat the hazardous waste prior to disposal. Generators often call this notification a “Land Ban Form.”
If the hazardous waste already meets the treatment standard at the original point of generation, or if the generator treats the waste on site to meet LDR standards, then the generator must prepare a certification that includes the information specified at 40 CFR 268.7(a)(3). A statement must be included in which the generator certifies that, through analysis and testing or through knowledge of the waste, the waste complies with LDR treatment standards.
Special Rules for Excluded and Exempted Wastes
The “One-time Notice to File”
Under RCRA, some wastes are excluded from the definition of solid or hazardous waste or are excluded from regulation as hazardous waste. While the wastes are excluded from the RCRA management rules, the generator must still account for this waste under the Land Disposal Restrictions. To accomplish this, the generator prepares a form known as the “One-time Notice to File” to keep on record at the facility.
Examples of prohibited wastes excluded from the definition of solid or hazardous waste include:
- Unlisted sludges and by-products that exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste that are reclaimed;
- Commercial chemical products listed at 40 CFR 261.33 or that exhibit a characteristic that are reclaimed;
- Spent sulfuric acid reclaimed and meeting the conditions of 40 CFR 261.4(a)(7); and
- Used oil filters that are hot drained and meet the conditions of 40 CFR 261.4(b)(13).
The contents of the “One-time Notice to File” are specified at 40 CFR 268.7(a)(7). The generator must describe the disposition of the waste and how it was generated and excluded from the definition of solid or hazardous waste. While this notice must be kept in the generator’s files and be available for inspection, the generator is not required to send it to the EPA or State regulatory agencies (unless specifically required by State regulation).
Wastes Exempted from RCRA After Generation
The same one-time notice is required for hazardous waste exempted from hazardous waste regulation subsequent to (i.e., after) its generation and must include a description of how the exemption occurred. Some examples of wastes exempted from RCRA after generation include:
- Spent solvents that are reclaimed (e.g., spent acetone that is distilled) to recover a usable component (40 CFR 261.3(c)(2)(i));
- Recyclable materials from which precious metals are reclaimed (40 CFR 261.6(a)(2)(iii)); and
- Wastes that are de-characterized in a Clean Water Act permitted wastewater treatment unit and discharged through sewer systems to a publically owned treatment works (POTW) or as point source discharges (40 CFR 261.4(a)(1) and (2)).
Understanding the LDR requirements is a crucial element of effective hazardous waste management. Overlooking these rules or failing to properly document your waste for treatment and disposal can lead to redundant treatment costs, US EPA fines as high as $37,500 per day/per violation, and future liability under CERCLA.
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