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Environmental Technology Certifications Program

Environmental Technology Certifications Program   •   Technology Type List   •   Hazardous Constituent List

Due to the current budget shortfall for the State of California, and associated budget uncertainty, DTSC is not accepting any new applications into its Hazardous Waste Technology Certification Program. This program certified the performance of hazardous waste environmental technologies.

Public Notices


The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) began a program to certify hazardous waste environmental technologies in January 1994.

The statutes establishing this program specify that the technologies which may be certified shall include, but are not limited to, hazardous waste management technologies, site mitigation technologies, and waste minimization and pollution prevention technologies.

Technologies types which fall within this scope include less polluting raw materials, processes and products; recycling technologies; analysis, monitoring, and process control technologies; treatment technologies; and site characterization and remediation technologies.

The statutes establishing the program mandate that certified technologies meet certain specified criteria including:

  • Technologies must not pose a significant potential hazard to public health and safety or the environment if operated in compliance with specified conditions; and 
  • Technologies must not involve incineration of hazardous waste.


Certification is intended to evaluate the effectiveness, reliability, and protectiveness of hazardous waste technologies within the purview of DTSC. It is further intended to ease the regulatory burdens of using these approved technologies by taking advantage of DTSC’s Tiered Permitting system which sets the administrative process commensurate with the risk posed by the technology and the wastes in question.

Certification may help streamline the regulatory requirements associated with use of the technology as well as provides information on the technology’s performance.

The State will provide a high quality technical evaluation of the efficacy and efficiency of a technology’s performance. This certification can be used by the applicant to support marketing of their hazardous waste environmental technology, domestically or abroad. The results of a performance certification may also be used to provide information to regulatory agencies in support of a permit.

Certifications may provide estimates of performance in areas such as:

  • Efficacy and efficiency for a specified uses, matrices, and chemicals; 
  • Percent reductions in constituent/waste concentrations; 
  • Reductions in constituent/waste concentrations to specified levels or thresholds; 
  • Accuracy, precision, and detection limits for measurement of specified constituents (e.g., for monitoring and detection technologies); and 
  • Other performance criteria.

Program Components

The statutes establishing the program specify that an application for certification of a hazardous waste environmental technology must include any information required by DTSC to make a determination on the certification application.

The statutes also specify that all certifications must include:

  • A statement of the technical specifications applicable to the technology; 
  • A determination of the composition of the hazardous wastes or chemical constituents for which the technology can appropriately be used; 
  • An estimate of the efficacy and efficiency of the technology in regard to the hazardous wastes or chemical constituents for which it is certified; and 
  • A specification of the minimal operational standards the technology is required to meet to ensure that the certified technology is managed properly and used safely.

Program Objectives

DTSC has identified the objectives for the Technology Certification Program to include:

  • Protect public health and safety and the environment; 
  • Facilitate and streamline compliance with hazardous waste regulations; 
  • Increase acceptance of environmental technologies by regulators, users, responsible parties and the public; 
  • Encourage pollution prevention; 
  • Help California’s businesses be more prosperous and competitive in both the domestic and international marketplace; 
  • Foster growth and stability of California’s environmental technology industry; 
  • Create a regulatory environment that will attract new businesses to California and retain businesses currently located in California; 
  • Ensure the safety, efficacy and efficiency of environmental technologies used in California; 
  • Ensure treatment and recycling technologies are available in California as alternatives to land disposal; and 
  • Provide a mechanism to communicate to the public the safety, efficacy, and efficiency of environmental technologies used in California.

Program Status

DTSC began a technology certification program in January 1994. To date, DTSC has negotiated agreements, identified data requirements, reviewed data packages, and completed technical evaluations leading to the certification of twenty-five hazardous waste environmental technologies, including:

  • An oil filter to greatly extend the time between oil changes, thereby reducing the amount of used oil generated by trucks and automobiles; 
  • A double-walled piping and monitoring system to meet double containment requirements for hazardous materials; 
  • Two formaldehyde treatment methods making it safer for hospitals to discharge certain wastes to the sewers; 
  • An ozone generation and treatment system replacing the use of hazardous biocides to treat water from cooling towers to kill corrosion causing bacteria; 
  • Fifteen monitoring technologies which are quicker and less expensive for detecting and measuring various contaminants (including BTEX, mercury, PCB, PCP, PAHs, petroleum hydrocarbons, TNT, and RDX) in contaminated soil and/or groundwater; 
  • A cold gas plasma system for surface cleaning of various plastic and metallic parts; and 
  • A real-time in-situ subsurface field screening method for petroleum, oil, and lubricants that contain polynuclear aromatic compounds using laser-induced fluorescence.

Criteria and Preferences for Selection of Technologies

Technologies are selected for the program based on the following criteria and preferences:

  • Availability of adequate resources and technical expertise to evaluate the technology; 
  • Performance based certification; 
  • Availability and completeness of high-quality data which support potential performance statements; 
  • High probability of acceptance by all stakeholders; 
  • Contribution to program objectives and implementation; and 
  • Correspondence with current program focus areas.

Certification Quality

Certifications by the State should be of a quality which will meet standards for peer review by national and international organizations. Data quality objectives will be established based on the type of certification and the specifics of the technology and its application. Trade secrets will be protected under applicable statutes and regulations.

Program Support (Fees)

The statutes establishing the Certification Program specify that DTSC shall charge fees to recover its actual costs to review and certify the technology. DTSC will negotiate an agreement with selected applicants which will include the payment of fees based on the estimated costs to complete the certification.

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