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RCRA Biennial Report Tips and FAQ

Posted on 2/6/2018 by Roger Marks

It’s an even-numbered year, which—in addition to the Olympics—means that by March 1 hazardous waste generators must submit biennial reports to US EPA as required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and 40 CFR Part 262.41. 

Even if you’ve submitted Biennial Reports for decades, keep reading. There is at least one new requirement that may trip up generators in some states who are not familiar with the latest changes to RCRA regulation.

The instructions for meeting reporting requirements under Subtitle C of RCRA are more than 100 pages long, so you’re forgiven if you haven’t read them all. In this post, we’ll cover the major elements of a generator’s RCRA Biennial Report, what every report must include, and where to find more information.

Along the way, we’ll drop answers to the most frequently asked RCRA reporting questions we’ve received so far in 2018.


Who Must Submit a RCRA Biennial Report?

US EPA requires all hazardous waste generators designated as Large Quantity Generators for any single month during the most recent odd-numbered year (2017) to submit a Biennial Report.

That’s right—if you exceeded the 1,000 kg threshold (or the 1 kg threshold for acutely hazardous waste) during even ONE month in 2017, you must submit a Biennial Report that covers all your last year’s hazardous waste activity by March 1.

As is always the case with hazardous waste regulations, your State’s reporting standards may vary, but are at least as stringent as the Federal rules.  Some states require large quantity generators to report annually, others require all generators to submit reports. So check your state rules before you start reporting.  

Lion Members can check state hazardous waste requirements in the Lion.com Member Area under the Resources Tab. Choose your state from the State Tools menu and check out Lion’s summary of unique hazardous waste requirements.


Why Does RCRA Require Biennial Reports?

Under RCRA, hazardous waste must be managed properly from “cradle-to-grave.”  Biennial reports of hazardous waste activity illustrate trends in hazardous waste generation, management, and transport.
In addition, EPA can use Biennial Reports to help ensure hazardous waste generated in the US is accounted for and properly disposed of.


What’s In a RCRA Biennial Report?

Under EPA's Generator Improvements Rule, the RCRA Biennial Report comprises three or four major elements, depending on which state you work in:


New Requirement for 2018!
Site ID Form

EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule, in effect now in a number of US States, added a requirement for large quantity generators to “re-notify” EPA of their activity every two years, starting March 1, 2018 (40 CFR 262.18(d)(2)). 

The Site ID Form is used initially to procure an EPA ID#, which is required for most hazardous waste generators.The new re-notification requirement means that—even if you’ve already submitted a Site ID form and already have an EPA ID number—you must submit a Site ID form with your Biennial Report. Keep in mind that this includes Addendums to the Site ID Form regarding hazardous secondary materials (40 CFR 262.42).

This new RCRA reporting requirement is now in effect in Alaska, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Utah, and Kentucky. It’s also in effect in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Note: Small quantity generators will be required to “re-notify” EPA of their hazardous waste activities every four years starting September 1, 2021 (40 CFR 262.18(d)(1)).

The Generation and Management (GM) Form

For each hazardous waste or “waste stream” your facility generates, you must provide EPA with details about the quantity and type of waste, how you managed the waste, and the final disposition of the waste (e.g., off-site shipment).   

The Waste Received from Off-site (WR) Form

EPA authorizes large quantity generators to receive waste from sites under the control of the same “operator” (i.e. the same company). Collecting waste at a central location makes for more efficient management, disposal, and recordkeeping.

Sites that receive waste from so-called “sister sites” must report to EPA about the type and quantity of waste they received, where the waste came from, and how the waste was managed on-site. While our biennial reporting tips are geared toward generators, other facilities that receive waste from off-site, like TSDFs, must report as well.

The Off-site Identification (OI) Form 

Only required in certain states, the Off-site ID Form provides EPA with details—names, addresses, etc.—of generators, transporters, TSDFs, and other receiving facilities where hazardous waste was generated or shipped for recovery, treatment, or disposal.

Don't see what you need here? Check our archive of Biennial Report-related Lion News posts.  

Tags: EPA, hazardous waste, new rules, RCRA, reporting and recordkeeping

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