August Mack Newsletter | July, 2017

Effective May 30, 2017 - NEW RCRA Generator Rules.
by Scott Pfeiffer

The long awaited Comprehensive Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule becomes effective May 30, 2017. Many states that are authorized are in the process of adopting these rules. Is your facility prepared to comply with these changes that will affect every generator classification?

Why a change?

The first generator rules were enacted in 1981. That’s 36 years doing things one way, and is why a change was needed. These changes are a result of EPA’s experience in evaluating and implementing the hazardous waste generator program, and are a response to the issues and concerns raised by the states and regulated community. The new rule will affect more than 670,000 industrial entities and will require generators to comply with a variety of new regulatory responsibilities and procedures. All generators are responsible for determining what changes at their facility, and to properly manage and document the full cycle of the waste until it is disposed of or recycled.

These changes address “gaps in the regulations, provide greater flexibility for hazardous waste generators to manage their hazardous waste in a cost-effective and productive manner, and reorganize the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly and thus improve their usability by the regulated community”.

What are the major changes?

The changes include simple technical clarifications, reorganizing the regulations to make it easier to locate in the CFR as well as provide more flexible ways to accumulate, store, and transport wastes generated by manufacturing sites. The following are some bullet points of the major changes and miles stone dates to be aware of:

  • Effective dates:
    • May 30, 2017 for IA, AK, territories, and tribal lands.
    • Authorized states must pick up more stringent rules by July 2018.
    • Authorized states required to revise state law have until July 2019.

  • Generator Categories:
    • Volumes defined in TABLE 1 Of § 262.13
    • CESQGs designation is eliminated and replaced by VSQG. 
    • SQG and LQG remain the same. 

  • Waste Determinations:
    • Increased focus and enforcement of accurate hazardous waste determinations.
    • Documentation of non-hazardous waste determinations, as proposed, was not adopted in the final rule.

  • Episodic Generation:
    • Will not result in a change to generator category determination provided that:
      • There is only one event per calendar year with ability to petition for second event.
      • If first event is planned, the petition for a 2nd event must be for an unplanned event or vice versa.
      • Notify EPA or state at least 30 days prior to initiating a planned episodic event.
      • Notify EPA or state within 72 hours after an unplanned event.
      • Conclude the episodic event within 60 days, including getting the episodic waste off-site.


  • VSQGs can now consolidate wastes at a LQG under the same control provided certain conditions are met.
  • Container markings:
    • Markings or labeling are now consistent for all storage areas (SAA and Central Accumulation Area).
    • Hazards must be identified with:
      • DOT hazard communication, OSHA hazard statement or pictogram, NFPA chemical hazard label, or RCRA characteristic can be used.
      • RCRA waste codes are not sufficient to ID the hazard, the characteristic must we written.
      • RCRA waste codes must be listed prior to shipment.
      • Containers themselves must be marked.  Signage at the storage area is not sufficient.


  • Notification:
    • SQGs now required to re-notify every 4 years
    • Completed via Subtitle C form (currently under revision)
    • The first re-notification is effective 2021.

  • Emergency Preparedness:
    • Contingency Plans:
      • Contingency Plans now require Quick Reference Guides.
      • Contingency Plans submitted to a LEPC can be in the form of an executive summary.
      • Less personal information of contact persons in the plan is required to protect privacy.
      • This is effective immediately for all new LQG’s.

    • All generators must make an attempt to make arrangements with local authorities (LEPC or fire departments), and retain documentation of the attempt.

  • There is new waiver of 50ft requirement (requirement for storage to be at least 50ft from property lines) for facilities in urban areas where storage room is limited.

  • Coordinated through the local fire department.

  • LQG Closure of an SAA or CAA:
    • LQGs accumulating waste in containers that fail to clean close are now required to close as a landfill.
    • Require LQGs closing an accumulation area to place notice in their operating record within 30 days after closure identifying location of unit within facility; or meet closure performance standards and notify EPA.
    • Increased notification requirements for facility closure (30 days prior, 90 days after).


During our webinar July 19th we’ll cover these and other topics in detail.

What Can I do now?

Businesses that embrace these changes and modify their management systems immediately could find themselves at superior advantage instead of having to scramble at the last minute. Or worse yet, be sited for non-compliance.    

There are things you can do. Begin by developing a “Waste Management Strategy”. By this I mean know where you stand now. Ask questions like; “Are we in compliance?” “How do I know I am?” “Is my hazardous waste properly identified?” “Can I make changes to raw materials used in manufacturing and eliminate hazardous waste?” Finally, conduct an audit of your facility to identifying everything coming in and everything going out. Train you’re employees on the changes. Stay connected with the state if they are authorized. Don’t hesitate to seek out information. 


Scott Pfeiffer is a Business Development Representative based in the Lewis Center, Ohio office. Scott has over 30 years helping industries with environmental and health compliance issues, OSHA safety compliance, and remedial construction needs. Scott specializes in connecting clients with the right people and solutions for their need. Scott can best be reached at 740-548-1500 or spfeiffer@augustmack.com.


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