Managing Hazardous Waste

We strengthen regulations and streamline waste management

Generator Improvements Rule

DTSC encourages all interested parties to subscribe to the GIR E-List to receive updates and information regarding the adoption of the Generator Improvements Rule in California.

Introduction

On May 30, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA’s) Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule (GIR) went into effect. However, because California is an authorized state the GIR does not take effect in California until DTSC adopts the rule, or parts thereof, via the rulemaking process.

To summarize, the GIR does the following:

  1. Re-organizes and consolidates generator regulations
  2. Provides greater flexibility to generators
  3. Strengthens environmental protections by identifying regulatory gaps
  4. Clarifies certain aspects of the generator program

More information about the GIR can be found on the Final Rule: Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements web page. The Federal Register where the GIR was published contains detailed information regarding US EPA’s rationale for adopting the various provisions of the GIR. The Federal Register on the GIR may also be accessed by clicking on the “US EPA Federal Register on GIR” link under the “Hazardous Waste Related Links” on the right side of this web page.

DTSC will adopt some portions of the GIR. To accomplish this, DTSC will do the following:

  1. Conduct a non-substantive (Section 100) rulemaking that will:
    • Adopt regulations from the GIR that are more stringent than California’s hazardous waste generator regulations. These regulations are considered mandatory provisions.
    • Re-organize California’s hazardous waste generator regulations to align with the federal re-organization.
  2. Propose legislation that aligns statutory provisions with the final rulemaking
  3. 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. These regulations are considered optional provisions.
  4. Evaluate information provided by the work groups.
  5. If necessary, conduct a separate rulemaking to adopt optional provisions from the GIR.

Mandatory Provisions

Of the changes that US EPA included in the GIR, DTSC is required to adopt provisions of the rule that are identified as more stringent than US EPA’s previous regulations and are also more stringent than California’s current hazardous waste laws and implementing regulations. These provisions are considered mandatory because DTSC must adopt them to maintain authorization to administer California’s hazardous waste program in lieu of the federal program pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The following provisions have been identified by DTSC as mandatory provisions that will be adopted via the rulemaking process:

  • 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))
  • Increased requirements for satellite accumulation areas (40 CFR 262.15(a)(3))
  • New requirements added to the preparedness, prevention, and emergency procedures for small quantity generators and large quantity generators including:
    • Documenting that arrangements with local authorities were made or attempted to be made by the generator (40 CFR 262.16(b)(8)(vi) and 262.256)
    • A quick reference guide that summarizes a large quantity generator’s contingency plan (40 CFR 262.16(b)(8)(iv), 262.256, and 262.262(b))
  • Additional requirements for containers holding ignitable and reactive wastes for large quantity generators (40 CFR, 262.17(a)(1)(vi)(B))

Optional Provisions

DTSC may also adopt other provisions of the GIR identified as either less stringent or neither more nor less stringent than US EPA’s previous regulations. These provisions are considered optional because DTSC is not required to adopt them to maintain authorization to administer California’s hazardous waste program in lieu of the federal program.

The following are some provisions that have been identified by DTSC as optional provisions that may be adopted via the rulemaking process:

  • Changed the term conditionally exempt small quantity generator to very small quantity generator (40 CFR 260.10)
  • New definitions for large quantity generator, small quantity generator and non-acute hazardous waste (40 CFR, 260.10)
  • New requirements allowing very small quantity generators to voluntarily send their hazardous waste to large quantity generators (40 CFR 262.14(a)(5)(vii) and 262.17(f))
  • Special requirements for accumulating ignitable/reactive wastes for large quantity generators (40 CFR 262.17(a)(1)(vi))
  • New requirements for generators that temporarily change generator category as a result of an episodic event (40 CFR 262 subpart L)
  • The addition of language to hazardous waste determination criteria to improve program efficiency (40 CFR 262.11)
  • Distinguishing between independent requirements and conditions for exemption (40 CFR 262.10(a) and (g))
  • Revisions to the satellite accumulation area requirements for small quantity generators and large quantity generators (40 CFR 262.15)
  • Moved/integrated regulations in 40 CFR, including section 261.5, 262.12 and section 262.34 into part 260 (definitions section), section 262.13 (New generator category determination section ), section 262.14 (New conditions for exemption for very small quantity generators section), 262.15 (New satellite accumulation area conditions for exemption for small quantity generators and large quantity generators section), 262.16 (New conditions for exemption for small quantity generators section), 262.17 (New conditions for exemption for large quantity generators section) and 262.18 (New EPA ID#s section)

Reorganization of California’s hazardous waste generator regulations

As stated above, DTSC intends to reorganize California’s hazardous waste generator regulations via the rulemaking process to align them with the federal re-organization. DTSC believes such changes will improve the overall clarity of the hazardous waste generator regulations and will ensure that the mandatory provisions can be easily integrated into the State’s existing hazardous waste generator regulations.

These organizational changes will include the following:

  • Moving the satellite accumulation area regulations from 22 CCR 66262.34(e) to a new section 66262.15
  • Moving the small quantity generator regulations from 22 CCR 66262.34(d) to a new section 66262.16
  • Moving the large quantity generator regulations from 22 CCR 66262.34 to a new section 66262.17
  • Moving preparedness and prevention requirements and contingency and emergency procedures, from 22 CCR, Division 4.5, Chapter 15, articles 3 and 4, to the new article 9 in 22 CCR Division 4.5, Chapter 12 entitled Preparedness, Prevention, and Emergency Procedures for Large Quantity Generators.

Next Steps

DTSC has begun the rulemaking process to re-organize the generator regulations and adopt the mandatory provisions. DTSC will provide periodic updates on the progress with the rulemaking process both on this web page as well as through the GIR E-list. DTSC encourages all interested parties to subscribe to the GIR E-List.

Still Have Questions?

If you have additional questions about the Generator Improvements Rule or DTSC’s regulation adoption activities, please email gir@dtsc.ca.gov.