Update: Revised Cal DTSC Hazardous Waste Rule Open to 15 Day Comment Period

Posted on 7/7/2023 by Roger Marks

Update 04/15/2024

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control submitted final rulemaking package for the Generator Improvements Rule for review on March 22, 2024. If approved, the GIR will become effective in California starting July 1, 2024.

This rulemaking would adopt federal hazardous waste requirements at least as stringent as California's hazardous waste program.

CalEPA said this about the rule in its monthly Unified Program Newsletter:

The Office of Administrative has 30 days to review and approve the package. If approved, the GIR will become effective in California starting July 1, 2024. The GIR rulemaking package proposes to adopt federal hazardous waste requirements that are equivalent to or more stringent than California’s existing hazardous waste program. The rulemaking also proposes to reorganize several sections, and make other conforming updates, to align with the federal regulatory structure.

Update 07/07/2023

A revised proposal to adopt several stricter requirements for hazardous waste generators in California is open to public comment for 15 days, until July 20, 2023.

California DTSC amended the proposed rule based on feedback submitted by stakeholders during the initial 45-day comment period, which closed on May 8. Lion students and industry stakeholders interested in submitting comments can do so two ways, by emailing or by mailing written comments to Sacramento (Details).

Email seems to be the best bet to have your comments given due consideration in this case, given the limited time window.

Update: Revised Cal DTSC Hazardous Waste Rule Open to 15 Day Comment Period

The proposed rule adopts federally mandated provisions from US EPA’s RCRA program, including more stringent requirements related to contingency plans, container labeling, generator notifications, and more from the 2016 “Generator Improvements Rule.” 

Following the initial 45-day comment period, DTSC revised the proposed hazardous waste rulemaking to “correct errors, add clarification, and maintain equivalency with the federal hazardous waste program.”

Revisions to the text of the proposed rule include:

  • Adding the Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) criteria to the generator category table (Though VSQG is not a recognized generator category in California).
  • Revising the satellite accumulation area regulations related to accumulation quantity limits for multiple waste streams.
  • Revising the SQG description for RCRA hazardous wastes not subject to LDR provisions in chapter 18.

DTSC also made various non-substantive edits to correct typos, formatting, etc.

From DTSC's announcement:

“After the 15-Day public comment period, DTSC will prepare a Final Statement of Reasons that updates the Initial Statement of Reasons, summarizes how DTSC addressed comments, and includes other materials. A copy of the Final Statement of Reasons will also be posted on DTSC’s Internet site…along with the date the rulemaking is filed with the Secretary of State and the effective date of the regulation.”

15-Day Notice of Modified Text, Generator Improvements Rule. DTSC Ref. No. R-2023-08R

DTSC’s updated proposed rule text is available here.

Find more information about California DTSC's proposed rule to adopt stricter requirements for hazardous waste generator facilities below.

New Hazardous Waste Rules Proposed in California

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has proposed a rule to adopt several more-stringent provisions for hazardous waste generators from US EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule into the state’s regulations.

A 45-day public comment period opened on Friday, March 24 and closed on May 8.  

New Hazardous Waste Rules DTSC is Adopting

This proposed rule adds new and strengthened RCRA standards that are more-stringent than California's current regulations/laws.

The seven more-stringent provisions, which are mandatory for the state to adopt to maintain authorization under RCRA, are:

  1. New re-notification requirements for generators

  2. New labeling and marking requirements for hazardous waste containers

  3. New pre-transportation marking requirements 

  4. New large quantity generator closure requirements 

  5.  Additional requirements for incompatible wastes in satellite accumulation areas 

  6. New requirements added to the preparedness, prevention, and emergency procedures for small quantity generators and large quantity generators including:

    1.  Documenting that arrangements with local authorities were made or attempted to be made by the generator; and

    2. A Quick Reference Guide that summarizes a large quantity generator's contingency plan 

  7.  Additional requirements for containers holding ignitable and reactive wastes for large quantity generators. 

For details about submitting public comments, the full proposed regulatory text, regulators' reasoning for the rule, and more, visit the dedicated webpage on DTSC's website. 

hazardous waste drums in a truck in california

Re-organized Title 22 Hazardous Waste Regulations 

In addition to adding stricter requirements for generators, the proposed rule will re-organize California's hazardous waste regulations in Title 22 of the Code of California Regulations (22 CCR). The standards for large and small quantity generators, and the satellite accumulation rules, will be moved to 66262.17, 66262.16, and 66262.15 respectively

This change matches EPA's re-location of generator rules in RCRA—moving them out of the TSDF standards in 40 CFR Part 265 and into 40 CFR Part 262. 

California is also proposing to move the preparedness and prevention requirements and contingency and emergency procedures to a new Article 9 within 22 CCR Division 4.5, Chapter 12. 

From DTSC's Proposed Rule: 

California’s hazardous waste regulations parallel federal hazardous waste regulations in many respects, including organizational structure. Therefore, the proposed regulations align with the federal regulation organizational changes. Specific reorganizations are detailed in the Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) document.

California’s hazardous waste program is broader in scope than that of U.S. EPA because the requirements apply to generators of non-RCRA hazardous wastes. The proposed regulations apply many, but not all, of the GIR changes to both RCRA and non-RCRA hazardous waste generators in California.

DTSC has stated that the proposed rule released on Friday, March 24 is "Phase 1" of the agency's plan to adopt provisions from the Generator Improvements Rule.

What About Phase 2?

In a second rulemaking later this year ("Phase 2"), DTSC may adopt some new reliefs for generators also found in the Improvements Rule. This includes an exemption for hazardous waste generated by "episodic events," revisions to the satellite area rules, and more. 

For more detail on new requirements added to RCRA with the Generator Improvements, check out our GIR summary post that includes updates on state adoption around the US and a color-coded map of which states have adopted the new rules so far: Where is the Generator Improvements Rule in Effect Now?

How to Submit Comments to DTSC

Hazardous waste generators, industry stakeholders, and the general public can email written comments to or mail hard-copy written comments to:

Office of Legislation and Regulatory Review 
Department of Toxics Substances Control 
P.O. Box 806, Sacramento, CA 95802-0806 

California hazardous waste with state icon

Final California Hazmat and RCRA/Title 22 Workshops of 2023! 

Learn what you need to know to keep your site up to speed with changing regulations for storing, managing, and shipping hazardous waste and hazardous materials/dangerous goods in California. 

California Hazardous Waste Management Workshop

Los Angeles     September 11–12
San José       September 18–19  

Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshop (DOT/49 CFR)

Los Angeles     September 13–14
San José September 20–21

Or, join a live, expert-led webinar to blend the instructor-led experience Lion is known for with the train-anywhere convenience of online learning. Lion instructors will touch on the new proposed regulations, the latest updates, and the must-know provisions for generators in the Golden State, 

Tags: California, generator improvements rule, RCRA

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