New RCRA Exclusions: Generator-Controlled Reclamation

Posted on 2/28/2017 by Scott Dunsmore

When the EPA promulgated changes to its definition of solid waste on January 13, 2015, the Agency created several new exclusions for certain types of hazardous secondary material reclamation. This is the first in a series of articles, where we will examine each of these new exclusions. Today, we examine the exclusion for “generator-controlled” reclamation.

Chemical plant distillation columnsBy capitalizing on the new reliefs for hazardous secondary material reclamation, hazardous waste generators may be able to lower their generator status and reduce the number or cost of off-site hazardous waste shipments.

As we discussed in a Lion News post last year, hazardous secondary materials reclaimed by the generator are not solid waste per 40 CFR 261.4(a)(23) and therefore not subject to the hazardous waste management standards. In that post (linked above), we discussed the requirements that apply when the material is reclaimed at the generator’s site.

However, the exclusion also allows the hazardous secondary material to be reclaimed off site, provided the off-site location is either a:
  • Site that is controlled by the same person as the generator, or
  • Toll manufacturer site.

What Is a “Generator-controlled site”?

In order to be a generator-controlled site, the site must be controlled by the same person who has “the power to direct the policies of the facility, whether by ownership of stock, voting rights, or otherwise” [40 CFR 261.4(a)(23)(i)(B)]. So, the most common example is when a company has similar manufacturing plants in different locations. The EPA does exclude sites in which a contractor operates a facility on behalf of the other person.

Recordkeeping and Emergency Preparedness for Off-site Reclamation

Both the generator of the excluded hazardous secondary material and the generator-controlled reclamation site must follow the same notification, device management, and emergency preparedness/planning requirements discussed here.

Both the generator site and receiving site must retain records that track the shipments of the hazardous secondary material. Since the secondary material is not a hazardous waste, a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is not required. The tracking records must include the:
  • Name of the transporter,
  • Date of shipment or receipt (as appropriate), and
  • Type and quantity of hazardous secondary material.

These records must be retained for at least three years. While a manifest is not required, it is important to note that if the hazardous secondary material meets the US DOT definition of a hazardous material, the shipment must be made in accordance with all applicable hazardous materials regulations at 49 CFR 171 to 180, including packaging, shipping papers, marks and labels, and more.

All of the exclusions in the 2015 definition of solid waste rules are still relatively new. So, in order for the generator to take advantage of this exclusion, both the state where the hazardous secondary material is generated and the state of the off-site generator-controlled site must have adopted these new exclusions. To find out more about how states adopt Federal changes to the RCRA Definition of Solid Waste, read New RCRA DSW Rule Coming to Your State.

RCRA Training for Managers in Phoenix, Denver, Portland, and SLC

RCRA hazardous waste management trainingMeet EPA’s annual RCRA training requirement and find out how big changes in the historic “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule” will impact your facility. Trusted since 1978, the RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshop will be in your area in March.
Join us for RCRA training in Phoenix, Denver, Portland, and Salt Lake City to collaborate, network, and learn alongside other managers in your field. You will meet EPA’s annual training requirement and get the latest on the EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule. When the workshop ends, you will return to work ready to answers questions from leadership about what you need to do to stay in compliance.     

Short on time or training budget?

Find convenient, cost-effective online training options at—including initial and refresher RCRA training; the live, expert led Generator Improvements Rule WebinarLDRs OnlineHazardous Waste Recycling Reliefs Online, and more.   

Tags: EPA, hazardous waste, new rules, RCRA

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