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Used Oil - 2010 Summary of Changes

mechanic Senate Bill (SB) 546 (Lowenthal), Chapter 353 (Statutes of 2009) will make a number of changes to the used oil management programs in California when it takes effect on January 1, 2010.

Used oil is the highest volume of hazardous waste generated in California with approximately 100 million gallons being recycled in-state each year. An estimated 14 million gallons of California used oil gets recycled out-of-state each year. DTSC's used oil program oversees the proper management of used oil through inspections and enforcement of used oil recyclers, transfer facilities and transporters within California.

SB 546 enhances used oil recycling by:
  • Requiring mandatory used oil testing
  • Revamping the Used Oil Fee structure
  • Encouraging used oil recycling into re-refined oil through an additional incentive payment beside the payment for recycled oil
SB 546 specifically requires DTSC to implement and enforce new used oil provisions that require used oil transporters to take measures to ensure used oil testing occurs before it is recycled by:
  • obtaining information from the used oil generator
  • having the used oil tested at a certified laboratory
  • obtaining documentation from the in-state transfer, storage or recycling facility that testing will occur before the used oil is further transported or recycled
  • obtaining documentation (e.g., a certification) from an out-of-state used oil recycling facility that it has an agreement with DTSC for used oil testing and reporting (which may include an out-of-state inspection)
  • annually report the out-of-state facilities and volumes of used oil that are shipped to them
Because it is important that used oil is not contaminated, testing each load of used oil is mandatory. This change in the law is intended to ensure that used oil from California generators, whether recycled in California or out-of state, is managed in ways that are equivalent to California's environmental standards. The definition of used oil, however, specifically excludes, among other things, oil that contains PCBs at a concentration of five ppm or more. Oil that is excluded from the definition of used oil, such as PCB-containing oil, cannot be managed as used oil, but rather must be managed as hazardous waste.

For more information on DTSC and the new changes in law click here

For more information on the California Oil Recycling Enhancement Act and Used Oil Incentive Click here for Other useful Links:
Legislative Council
Used Oil Generator Requirements
Managing Wastes at Transfer Facilities
Re-refined Oil
CalRecycle Used Oil Recycling Program

For more information, contact your DTSC regional assistance officer at: (800) 728-6942
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