Managing Hazardous Waste

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Generator Accumulation Standards

Please note: EPA released the Generator Improvement Final Rule, which included changes in 40 CFR. We will be updating this site shortly with the correct links.

The storage of hazardous waste generally requires a permit under California’s Hazardous Waste Control Laws (HWCLs). However, generators may accumulate their hazardous waste without a permit if they meet certain management standards for the accumulation unit and their facility including contingency plans and personnel training. The length of time a generator may accumulate their hazardous waste is based on the category of generator.

The accumulation standards for SQGs are found in 40 CFR 262.34 (d), (e) & (f) referenced in subsection (d) of section 66262.34 of T22.

Accumulation Units

LQGs accumulating hazardous wastes may only do so in containers, tanks, containment buildings, or on drip pads. SQGs may only accumulate waste in tanks or containers. If SQGs wish to accumulate waste in containment buildings or on drip pads, then they must meet the LQG standards.

Generator accumulation units are subject to certain standards applicable to Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Transfer, Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities such as release detection and prevention requirements.

  • CONTAINERS: LQGs that accumulate hazardous waste in containers are subject to articles 9, 27, 28 and 28.5 of chapter 15 while SQGs are subject to subpart I of part 265 of 40 CFR, except for §§265.176 and 265.178
  • TANKS: LQGs that accumulate hazardous waste in tanks are subject to articles 10, 27, 28, and 28.5 of chapter 15, while SQGs are subject to §265.201 in subpart J of part 265 of 40 CFR
  • DRIP PADS: LQGs that accumulate hazardous waste in drip pads are subject to articles 17.5, 27, 28 and 28.5 of chapter 15, including maintaining additional records (only generators of wood preserving wastes may use drip pads).
  • CONTAINMENT BUILDINGS: Generators that accumulate hazardous waste in containment buildings are subject to article 29 of Chapter 15, and must meet additional documentation and record keeping requirements.


All containers and tanks (i.e., for LQGs and SQGs) must be labeled “Hazardous Waste”, marked with the date accumulation begins and include additional information (e.g., the physical composition of the waste). Generally, the time period for generator waste accumulation starts when hazardous waste is first placed in or on the empty accumulation unit (i.e., tank, container, drip pad, or containment building).

Exemption for SQGs that generate 100 kg or less of hazardous waste per month

The accumulation start date for SQGs that generate 100 kg or less of hazardous waste per month does not begin until the 100 kg limit is reached. For example, if a generator produces 80 kg of hazardous waste in the month of June and on the 12th of July it produces 20 kg of hazardous waste (making it 100 kg of hazardous waste total generated onsite), the accumulation start date for that waste begins on the 12th of July. From that point in time the generator would have 180 days (or 270 days, if applicable) to get rid of the waste, including any other wastes added to accumulation unit(s) storing the 100 kg of hazardous waste.

Accumulation Time Limits

LQGs are allowed to accumulate hazardous waste on site for up to 90 days in specified units without obtaining a storage permit, if they comply with the requirements of T22, CCR section 66262.34(a) & (f).

SQGs may accumulate up to 6,000 kg of hazardous waste for 180 days or less without a storage permit if they comply with the modified requirements in T22, section 66262.34(d). If the TSDF is 200 miles or more away, the generator may accumulate hazardous waste for 270 days or less. Note that these extended time limits only apply to SQGs accumulating waste in tanks or containers. SQGs who accumulate waste in containment buildings or on drip pads are subject to the accumulation standards for LQGs.

Generators may receive a 30-day extension to their 90-day, 180-day, or 270-day accumulation period if uncontrollable and unforeseen circumstances cause them to accumulate waste on site for longer than the allowed time period. Such an extension may be granted by DTSC on a case-by-case basis. An example of an uncontrolled or unforeseen circumstance is a truckers’ strike preventing the shipment of waste off site.

LQGs and SQGs accumulating waste beyond the authorized time limits for their categories become storage facilities subject to the requirements applicable to Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Transfer, Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities including permitting. An SQG who accumulates more than 6,000 kg during the authorized period also becomes a storage facility.

Satellite Accumulation

Satellite accumulation allows generators to accumulate hazardous waste for up to one year at or near the point where it is initially generated and collected during daily operation thereby exempting generators from the accumulation standards including the 90,180 or 270 day accumulation limits if certain conditions are met.

A person may accumulate up to 55 gallons of hazardous waste or 1 quart of acute hazardous waste at each satellite accumulation area, if it is under the control of the person operating the process that generates the waste. Limited standards, such as labeling and maintaining the container in good condition, apply to satellite areas. Once the 55-gallon or 1 quart limit is exceeded at the satellite area, the excess waste must be dated and moved within three days to the central accumulation area where LQG or SQG accumulation standards apply (or the waste can be shipped directly off site).

Other Accumulation Standards

LQGs and SQGs accumulating hazardous waste on site must comply with the preparedness and prevention procedures in Chapter 15, article 3. These requirements include having an emergency coordinator and testing and maintaining emergency equipment.

LQGs must develop and maintain a contingency plan on site, as found in Chapter 15, article 4, which outlines the response procedures necessary to minimize the hazards posed by fires, explosions, or unplanned releases of hazardous waste from the facility (§66262.34(a)(4)). Such a plan is not required for SQGs, although 40 CFR §262.34(d)(5)(iv) outlines appropriate response procedures.

LQGs must comply with the personnel training requirements referenced in §66265.16. These regulations require facility personnel to complete classroom or on-the-job training to become familiar with proper hazardous waste management and emergency procedures for the wastes handled at the facility. SQGs must follow modified personnel training requirements in 40 CFR §262.34(d)(5)(iii).