The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to implement six major changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 2018. Waste generators of all sizes will need to review these changes to ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines.
In particular, 47 states, including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, are implementing stricter hazardous waste standards in 2018. More than 600,000 facilities nationwide will be impacted by these new hazardous waste guidelines. Facilities from large quantity generators to those that generate a single drum of hazardous waste will need to incorporate the following six changes.
1. Written Documentation for Hazardous Waste Determinations
State inspectors will request to see documents of all hazardous wastes being stored on site. Keep multiple copies of these documents on hand for supervisors to provide to state inspectors.
2. Hazardous Identification Labeling
Facilities should be able to quickly scan a container to know what wastes are stored inside, when certain wastes were added to a container, and the particular hazards (corrosiveness, flammability, etc.) associated with the contents of a particular container.
3. Contingency Plan Reference Guide
Emergency procedures must be developed to follow in the event of an unplanned major event.
4. Biennial Waste Reporting for Large Quantity Generators
Previously, large quantity generators needed to report only for months they generated a threshold amount of waste.
5. Facility Closure and Notification Is Mandatory
Facilities that shut down hazardous waste management units must document and report these closures.
6. Re-notification Requirements
Large quantity generators will need to re-notify with the state every even-numbered year by March 1. Small generators need to re-notify the state every four years starting in 2021.
Facility owners should meet with supervisors and staff to ensure that everyone is clear about these six changes. If you have any questions about how best to prepare your facility for these new requirements, please contact Connell Foley’s Environmental Law Group.