DTSC Moving Forward with State Adoption of the Federal Generator Improvement Rule

By Dawn Koepke

Capitol Update, July 2, 2018 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This summer the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) will move forward with its first phase relative to the adoption of the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule (GIR).  The Rule went into effect at the federal level May 2017, providing a much-needed update to the federal hazardous waste generator regulations.  The intent was to make the rules easier to understand, facilitate better compliance, provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed and close important gaps in the regulations.  Two key provisions providing more flexibility include: 

  • Allowing a hazardous waste generator to avoid increased burden of a higher generator status when generating episodic waste provided the episodic waste is properly managed, and
  • Allowing a very small quantity generator (VSQG) to send its hazardous waste to a large quantity generator under control of the same person.

Additionally, the rule is intended to enhance the safety of facilities, employees, and the general public by improving hazardous waste risk communication and ensuring that emergency management requirements meet today’s needs.

Notably, because California is an authorized state the GIR does not take effect until DTSC adopts the rule, or parts thereof, via a formal rulemaking process.  DTSC will adopt portions of the GIR in at least two phases that will include formal rulemaking to re-organize California's hazardous waste generator regulations to align with the GIR's re-organization; formal rulemaking to adopt regulations from the GIR that are more stringent than California's hazardous waste generator regulations, which is a mandatory requirement of the state; propose legislation that aligns statutory provisions with the final rulemaking; establish work groups to evaluate and comment on regulations in the GIR that are clarifications or less stringent than California's hazardous waste generator regulations, which are optional provisions; evaluate information provided by work groups; and if necessary, adopt a separate rulemaking relative to the optional provisions from the GIR.

Some of the mandatory provisions to be adopted include, but are not limited to:

  • A re-notification requirement for small quantity generators and large quantity generators (40 CFR 262.18(d))
  • Additional marking and labeling requirements for containers and tanks (40 CFR 262.15(a)(5), 262.16(b)(6), 262.17(a)(5), 263.12(b) and 268.50(a)(2)(i)
  • Additional pre-transportation marking requirements for containers (40 CFR 262.32(b) and (c))
  • New large quantity generator closure requirements (40 CFR 262.17(a)(8))
  • New requirements added to the preparedness, prevention, and emergency procedures for small quantity generators and large quantity generators.
  • Additional requirements for containers holding ignitable and reactive wastes for large quantity generators (40 CFR, 262.17(a)(1)(vi)(B))
  • New definitions for large quantity generator, small quantity generator and non-acute hazardous waste (40 CFR, 260.10)

At this point, the first phase related to the mandatory provisions is expected to be adopted without a formal public review and comment period under a Section 100 rulemaking, as they are mandatory provisions required to be adopted and implemented as adopted at the federal level. DTSC is expected to move the first phase forward this summer.  Stay tuned for more information….

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