On 5/16/17, DTSC held a webinar to explain the process of adopting US EPA's Generator Improvement Rule in California. This process has begun, and once we have the regulations package, we will be placing more information in the Laws, Regulations, and Publications section of the DTSC website. The presentation slides are available in a PDF file by clicking here.

Error in element (see logs)

A generator is any person, by site, whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in Chapter 11 of the hazardous waste regulations or whose act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to regulation.

When determining if the generator regulations (Chapter 12 - Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste) apply to you, there are 3 important terms used in the definition to consider:
  • "person" (defined in regulation) includes any entity involved in the process of producing a hazardous waste (e.g., an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, business concern, corporation, a city or county)
  • "by site" (not defined in regulation) refers to where the hazardous waste is generated. Hazardous waste generation is tracked on a site-specific basis through unique EPA Identification (ID) numbers. Hazardous waste generation should be evaluated collectively on a single piece of property for any activities occurring under the control of the owner or operator. For example, if a company has three facilities operating on the same piece of property, only one EPA ID number is required. However, if a company has three facilities operating on separate non-contiguous properties, then three separate and distinct EPA ID numbers must be used.
  • "act" (not defined in regulation) clarifies that to be a generator, a "person" does not necessarily have to produce the hazardous waste. For example, if a cleaning service removes residues from a product storage tank excluded in §66261.4(c), the person removing the residues is the first person to cause the waste to become subject to regulation, not the owner of the tank (i.e., the person who produced the waste).


Generators are responsible for properly characterizing (or identifying) all their hazardous wastes. The steps set forth to make such a determination are found in section 66262.11. Once a generator determines their waste meets the definition of a hazardous waste, the requirements that apply to them depends on the amount (or volume) generated. 

DefiningHWDocument: Defining Hazardous Waste

In California, generators are divided into 2 categories:
  • Generators of 1,000 kg or more of hazardous waste per month, excluding universal wastes, and/or more than 1 kg of acutely or extremely hazardous per month (commonly referred to as Large Quantity Generators (LQGs)), or
  • Generators of less than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month, excluding universal wastes, and/or 1kg or less of acutely or extremely hazardous waste per month (defined as Small Quantity Generators (SQGs)).

If you have P-Listed hazardous waste, please read this 12/24/2015 letter regarding P-listed hazardous waste containers at California Healthcare Facilities

Each type of generator must comply with its own set of requirements. For more information please see the following chart: Generator chart

Does California have a conditional exemption for smaller quantity generators (i.e., generators of 100 kg or less of hazardous waste)?

No. California did not adopt the conditional exemption for smaller quantity generators in 40 CFR 261.5 including the counting requirements found in that section. Therefore, in California generators of 100 kg or less of hazardous waste per month are regulated as SQGs and not Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) as they would be under the federal hazardous waste management program.

Generators that periodically fall above or below their normal generation limit

If the amount of hazardous waste produced in a calendar month puts a generator in a different category, then they are responsible for complying with the applicable standards for that category of generator for that month (e.g., if a generator produces 500 kg of hazardous in June, they must comply with the SQG requirements but if they produce 1,200 kg of hazardous waste in the next month they must follow the LQG requirements). Generators who change status should consult with their CUPA.



A generator must count (i.e. must add up, or total) the entire quantity of hazardous waste is generates in a month, pursuant to section 66262.34 of Title 22, to determine their generator status for that month. Generally, most hazardous wastes are counted, however some are not.


The following are some examples of hazardous wastes that count towards generator status:

 Hazardous Waste Not Counted

The following are examples of hazardous wastes that DO NOT count towards generator status:

 Hazardous Waste Not Counted

NOTE: This page has been updated on 12/28/15 to reflect changes made by SB 612, which is effective 01/01/2016. DTSC is developing proposed regulatory changes to comply with SB 612. Click here to view the proposed universal waste regulation page.