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3 Ways to Ship Hazardous Waste in California

Posted on 4/16/2018 by Roger Marks

US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) regulate hazardous wastes as “hazardous materials” in transport. The HMR defines hazardous waste as “any material that is subject to the Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the US EPA specified in 40 CFR Part 262”

THIS MONTH: Meet DTSC's annual hazardous waste training mandate and earn points toward your IHMM, ABIH, NEHA, or REHS credentials at the California Hazardous Waste Management Workshop.  

If you manage waste in California or another state with unique hazardous waste rules, you likely noticed the operative phrase in DOT’s definition of hazardous waste above: “…of the US EPA…”

In other words, hazardous wastes that do not require a manifest under the Federal RCRA program—like state-only hazardous wastes in California that require manifesting under State rules only—are not hazardous wastes in US DOT’s eyes.

Does this mean that you can ignore DOT’s 49 CFR hazmat rules when shipping a non-RCRA hazardous waste? Not exactly.

Three Ways to Ship California Hazardous Wastes

When you ship a hazardous waste in California, your shipment will fall into one of three categories (generally speaking). The type of wastes you ship will impact how you describe and document the shipment. A mistake with these wastes can lead to rejected shipments, incidents in transit, and fines from DTSC or US DOT.

Scenario 1: RCRA-regulated hazardous wastes

 Not every hazardous waste in California is unique—most are also regulated under US EPA’s RCRA regulations. As such, these wastes are subject to EPA’s manifest rules and therefore are hazardous wastes for transport purposes under the HMR.
When you ship a Federally regulated hazardous waste, you must:
  • Use the Hazardous Waste Manifest.
  • Choose an appropriate proper shipping name from the 49 CFR 172.101 Hazmat Table
  • Add the word “WASTE” in front of the Proper Shipping Name.
Because a RCRA-regulated hazardous waste is also a hazardous waste for transport purposes, you must add the word “waste” to the Proper Shipping Name. [49 CFR 172.101(c)(9)]

Scenario 2: Non-RCRA hazardous waste that meets the DOT definition of Hazard Class 1–9

Many wastes that California regulates as hazardous also meet the definition of a DOT hazardous material Class 1-9. This is where DOT’s definition of a “hazardous wastes” becomes very important. When you ship a non-RCRA waste, keep in mind that US DOT does not consider your material to be a hazardous waste.
In this scenario, you must: 
  • Use a Hazardous Waste Manifest
  • Choose the appropriate DOT shipping name from 49 CFR 172.101 Table.
  • Do NOT add the word “WASTE” to the Proper Shipping Name
In this case, you do not add the word “WASTE” to the proper shipping name as you normally would, because DOT does not consider your material to be a waste.
Non-RCRA hazardous wastes which California regulates as hazardous and which meet DOT’s definition of a hazardous materials include:
  • Division 6.1 toxic materials (i.e., acute poisons)
  • Marine pollutants
  • Sodium hydroxide

Scenario 3: Non-RCRA hazardous waste that does not meet the DOT definition of Hazard Class 1–9

The third type of shipment is a waste that is neither a RCRA hazardous waste nor a DOT hazardous material, but which is regulated as hazardous waste in California.

Because your material is a state-regulated hazardous waste, you must use the Hazardous Waste Manifest. Because the material is not a RCRA-regulated waste, you do not add “WASTE” to the proper shipping name.

Because the material is not a DOT hazardous material, you may not use any proper shipping name from the 49 CFR 172.101 list.  Instead, you must choose one of the following shipping names:
Appendix X, paragraph (b) of California’s Title 22 hazardous waste regulations lists about 35 generic names to choose from.

What About Used Oil in California?

Under federal hazardous waste and hazmat regulations, used oil that displays no hazardous waste characteristics and does not meet the definition of a DOT Hazard Class 1–9 would not require a hazardous waste manifest.  

But because California regulates all used oil as hazardous waste, used oil must be shipped using the hazardous waste manifest in California.

Don’t panic! Many generators use what’s called a “consolidated Manifest” for used oil shipments, which is perfectly acceptable. We will cover consolidated manifesting in a future Lion News post.  Subscribe now to get weekly updates on new content to help you streamline and simplify regulatory compliance.

Title 22 Hazardous Waste Training

Meet DTSC's annual hazardous waste training mandate and earn points toward your IHMM, ABIH, NEHA, or REHS credentials. The California Hazardous Waste Management Workshop returns to the Golden State in April, with stops in San Diego, Ontario, San Jose, and Sacramento.


Tags: California, DTSC, Non-RCRA hazardous waste, state rules, Title 22

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