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RCRA Housekeeping to Close 2021

Posted on 12/7/2021 by Roseanne Bottone

As we count down the days until 2022, it's a good time to review and organize the "administrative" elements of your RCRA compliance efforts. Good recordkeeping is essential; inspectors commonly review paperwork like training records, manifests, and hazardous waste determination records during onsite inspections.

Annual Training and Training Records

​Is your training documentation organized, up-to-date, and easily accessible?

US EPA requires annual training for hazardous waste personnel at large quantity generator facilities (40 CFR 262.17(a)(7)). Annual refresher training should be provided as near as possible to the anniversary of the employee's previous training. For employees who are "past due" for annual training, time is running out to fit a refresher in for 2021. 

Inspectors will request training records for personnel when they visit your facility. Large quantity generators must maintain the following documents and records related to RCRA training at the facility:
  • Each employee's name and job title;
  • A written job description for each position at the facility related to hazardous waste management;
  • A written description of the type (e.g., classroom, online, or on-the-job) and amount (e.g., hours) of training provided; and
  • Records proving that personnel completed the required training or job experience. 
Training records on current personnel must be kept until the facility closes. Training records for former employees must be kept for at least three years from the date the employee last worked at the facility.

The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest

If you are still using paper manifests, are the last three years of your site’s manifests organized and easily accessible?

Both large- and small quantity generators (LQGs and SQGs) must keep a copy of each signed manifest for three years, or until a signed copy is received from the designated facility after the waste is delivered. This latter copy must also be retained for at least three years from the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter.

If you have not already registered to use the EPA’s e-Manifest system, you might consider putting it on your 2022 agenda for consideration. The electronic system is expected to save industry and the states time, resources, and money. 

EPA hosts monthly webinars regarding the e-Manifest initiative. The next webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at 2:00 PM (ET). EPA also provides updates in a quarterly newsletter

Find more details on EPA’s e-Manifest portal .

The LQG Biennial Report

Are you ready to report in 2022? Do you have a copy of the report you filed in 2020 easily accessible?

All large quantity generators must submit a biennial report by March 1, 2022. March 1 will come fast, so right now is a good time to review the Biennial Report filing instructions and start gathering the data you need to report.

A copy of each Biennial Report must be kept for at least three years from the due date of the report. 

New! Re-notification for Small Quantity Generators 

Are you a small quantity generator in a state that's adopted EPA's Generator Improvements Rule?

In states that have adopted EPA's Generator Improvements Rule, small quantity generators are required to re-notify EPA of their status every four years. 

The first deadline to re-notify was September 1, 2021. If you missed that deadline, you will want to act right away. The next re-notification deadline is September 1, 2025. 

The re-notification requirement for small quantity generators is one element of the Generator Improvements Rule that made the RCRA rules more stringent. Therefore, it is mandatory for states to adopt the re-notification rule for SQGs, if they don't already have one. Where is the Generator Improvements Rule in Effect Now?

Hazardous Waste Determination Records

Do you have all required records of your solid and hazardous waste determinations? 

40 CFR 262.11(f) lays out recordkeeping requirements for documenting hazardous waste determinations for large and small quantity generators. Generators must identify whether a solid waste is a hazardous waste, and support that determination with documentation. If the waste is a hazardous waste, all the applicable waste codes must be noted.

In addition to indicating the results of tests, sampling, and waste analyses, the generator must maintain records:
  • Documenting the tests, sampling, and analytical methods used to demonstrate the validity and relevance of the tests used.
  • Consulted to determine the process by which the waste was generated, the composition of the waste, and the properties of the waste.
  • Explaining the knowledge basis for the generator's determination.
If you used an exclusion claiming a material is not a solid waste (and, therefore by definition, not a hazardous waste), have you documented how you meet the terms of the exclusion? (See 40 CFR 261.2(f))

Inspectors are very interested in solid wastes that you determined were non-hazardous.Have you documented your assertions? Records must be maintained for at least three years from the date that the waste was last sent to on-site or off-site treatment, storage, or disposal.

Land Disposal Restrictions

Is the information on your Land Ban forms still accurate and up to date?

Take the time to review your Land Disposal Restriction (LDRs) Notifications (a.k.a. “land ban forms”). Although they are required to be sent to a Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF) only with the first shipment of waste (See 40 CFR 268.7(a)(2)), it is prudent to review them periodically.

Your waste vendor may manage this for you, or your TSDF may ask on a yearly basis, “is this still correct?”

A new LDR notification must accompany any shipment of waste that has changed or if it is sent to a new TSDF. Are your process inputs different? Is the waste generated in a different way (e.g., spent solvent from paint cleanup operations vs. parts cleaning)? Have the properties or constituents of the waste changed (including the presence of new underlying hazardous constituents or their expected levels)?

Final RCRA Refresher of 2021! 

Join Lion for annual RCRA refresher training, presented live by a credentialed, experienced instructor over the web. The last RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher of the year will be held on December 14.  

Can't join us live? Train at your own pace with on-demand online courses at Lion.com/RCRA

Tags: environmental compliance, hazardous waste management, RCRA, RCRA Training

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