Managing Hazardous Waste

We strengthen regulations and streamline waste management

Hazardous Waste Facility Permits

Any person who stores, treats or disposes of hazardous waste as described in the Hazardous Waste Control Laws (Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.5) must obtain a permit or a grant of authorization from DTSC.

What is RCRA?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the federal statute that regulates facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste.

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste in California includes wastes defined in RCRA plus additional wastes that California has determined to be hazardous.  Hazardous waste in California is defined in California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 4.5, Chapter 11.

Tiered Permitting

California has a five-tiered permitting program which matches the statutory/regulatory requirements imposed upon each category of hazardous waste facility to the degree of risk posed by them. The five permitting tiers are:

1. The Full Permit Tier

2. The Standardized Permit Tier

Some facilities that manage waste not regulated under RCRA, but are regulated as a hazardous waste in California (i.e., non-RCRA hazardous waste), such as recyclers, oil transfer stations, and precious metal recyclers may be eligible for authorization under a standardized permit.

3. The Permit by Rule (PBR) Tier

A non-RCRA onsite treatment permit for specific waste streams and treatment processes, such as concentrated metal-bearing wastes, concentrated acids or alkalies, wastes posing multiple hazards, and silver recovery.

4. The Conditional Authorization (CA) Tier

A non-RCRA hazardous waste onsite treatment authorization for specific waste streams such as metal-bearing waters, and mostly single-hazardous wastes, some neutralization, and oil/water separation.

5. The Conditional Exemption (CE) Tier

A non-RCRA hazardous waste onsite treatment authorization for small-quantity treatment and other low-risk treatment, including oil-water separation, container rinsing or destruction, gravity settling, and some neutralization.