On October 5, 2020, the Ohio EPA Hazardous Waste Management Program’s “Generator Improvements” (also known as “Set Gen”) rule package went into effect.
The rule package was adopted by Ohio EPA to be consistent with US EPA’s Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, which was effective on May 30, 2017. While the updates aim to streamline the hazardous waste generator rules to make them easier to understand and provide greater flexibility for generators, they also include some more stringent provisions focusing on safety and protection of the environment.
The changes include 133 amended, rescinded, and new hazardous waste management rules. Below are some of the changes that may have the biggest impact on your facility’s hazardous waste management:
Reorganization and Clarifications
Ohio EPA has moved many of the generator regulations that were previously cross-referenced and scattered throughout the hazardous waste standards into one Generator Standards chapter, OAC Chapter 3745-52, in an effort to make the rules easier to understand and increase compliance. The rules also replace the phrase “Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator” (CESQG) with “Very Small Quantity Generator” (VSQG), and move the VSQG regulations to OAC Chapter 3745-52, where the regulations for Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) and Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) are located. The new rules also provide clarification on determining generator status when generating both acute and non-acute hazardous waste in OAC rule 3745-52-13.
LQG Consolidation of VSQG Waste
Among the provisions intended to provide greater flexibility, the rules allow for VSQGs to send hazardous waste to a LQG under the control of the same person to be consolidated before being transported to a TSDF, provided certain conditions are met. The hazardous waste can be shipped to the LQG without a hazardous waste uniform manifest, and is not required to be transported by a hazardous waste transporter, as long as the applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements are met. LQGs consolidating waste from VSQGs must notify Ohio EPA using the Site ID Form (EPA 9029) and the new “LQG Consolidation of Hazardous Waste from VSQGs” form. Ohio EPA recommends these notifications be submitted electronically using myRCRAid, an online application provided by US EPA’s RCRAInfo system.
The new rules also provide VSQGs and SQGs the option to maintain their existing generator category in the event of an episodic generation event. From time to time, VSQGs and SQGs may generate more waste in a month than their current generator category allows, pushing them into a generator category that would otherwise have more stringent requirements. This is referred to as “episodic generation.” Under the new rules, generators are allowed one episodic generation event per year, with the ability to petition for a second. The event may be a planned event, such as a tank cleanout, or unplanned, such as a spill. Generators must submit a notification to Ohio EPA at least 30 days prior to initiating a planned event, and within 72 hours of an unplanned event. All episodic events must be complete within 60 days, and all episodic waste must be shipped offsite in that time. Notifications must be submitted to Ohio EPA using the Site ID Form (EPA 9029) and the new “Episodic Generator Addendum,” that can be submitted electronically using myRCRAid.
While some provisions of the new rules allow for more flexibility, others are more stringent. For example, the rules now require SQG facilities to submit a renotification of their status as an SQG status every four years, beginning September 1, 2021. The notification must be submitted to Ohio EPA using the Site ID Form (EPA 9029), that can be submitted electronically using myRCRAid.
LQG Closure Requirements
Under the new rules, LQGs are required to notify Ohio EPA within 30 days prior to the closure of their facility, and again within 90 days after closing the facility. The facility must meet the closure performance standards in OAC rule 3745-55-11. Notifications must be submitted to Ohio EPA using the Site ID Form (EPA 9029), that can be submitted electronically using myRCRAid.
Labeling and Marking
The new rules also contain more stringent labeling requirements. Containers and tanks must have labels that include the words “Hazardous Waste” as well as an indication of waste’s hazard (using either words or a pictogram). These requirements apply to containers in both central and satellite accumulation areas. In addition, containers in satellite accumulation areas must be marked with the date on which the volume exceeds 55 gallons, prior to moving to the central accumulation area. Containers in central accumulation areas must be labeled with their accumulation start date. The accumulation start date for tanks may either be marked on the tank or tracked in a separate inventory log. In addition, the RCRA waste codes must be placed on the containers prior to transporting offsite but are not required before that time.
Contingency Plan Changes
The new rules also require LQGs to prepare a quick reference guide when they develop or update their contingency plan. The quick reference guide should include elements critical to local responders during an emergency, such as the types, amounts, and names of hazardous waste onsite; the hazards associated with those wastes, including exposure risks that may require special emergency treatment; facility and surrounding community maps; location of water supply and emergency notification systems; and emergency contact information. New LQGs must submit the quick reference guide when they submit their contingency plan to local emergency responders. Existing LQGs must submit the quick reference guide the next time they submit a revised contingency plan to local responders due to other necessary revisions.
The rules have also added local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) to the list of emergency planning organizations with which SQGs and LQGs are required to make response arrangements, meaning LQGs must also include the LEPCs when submitting their contingency plan and quick response guides.
In addition to these changes to generator requirements, Ohio EPA’s rule package also includes provisions regarding the Safe Management of Recalled Airbags, Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals, Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste, and E-Manifest.
You can find a summary table of the changes made on Ohio EPA’s website.