Managing Hazardous Waste

We strengthen regulations and streamline waste management

Fees Related Legislative History

The Hazardous Substance Account (HSA) was created by Chapter 756, Statutes of 1981. In 1989, SB 475 (Torres, c. 269, stats. 1989) moved the Land Disposal Fee from the HWCA to the HSA, established the Environmental Fee for corporations with 50 or more employees, set the base rate for the Disposal Fee at $52.50, added a new category for waste transported out of state, and established fees for oversight activities provided by the DTSC Site Mitigation Program.

FY 1990/91

SB 1857 (Torres, c. 1268, stats. 1990) eliminated the Superfund tax and the discount for disposal to double-lined surface impoundments, and reduced the base rate for mining waste from 25 percent to 13 percent. In addition, the legislation doubled the disposal fee base rate from $52.50 to $105.00 per ton, and made several technical and corrective changes to the hazardous waste funding program. These rates became effective on January 1, 1991.

FY 1991/92

SB 48 (Thompson, c. 766, stats. 1991) created the Railroad Accident and Prevention Fund and mandated DTSC to establish a fee to be paid by surface transporters of hazardous materials to fund the Railroad Accident Prevention and Immediate Deployment Force.

FY 1992/93

SB 1469 (Calderon, c. 852, stats. 1992) created the Federal Receipts Account for fees collected from Federal Agencies, combined the HWCA and the HSA accounts into the HWCA, and created the Site Remediation Account, which was funded from the HWCA to pay for direct site cleanup. Land Disposal Fees for waste going out of state were eliminated, and the Disposal Fee for the Resource Conversation and Recovery Act (Federal), 42 USC Section 6901, 40 Code of Federal Regulation (RCRA) waste dropped from $105 to $42.42 per ton. This bill also created two new fees, the Manifest User Fee and the EPA ID Number Verification Fee. AB 1772 (Polanco, c. 1325, stats. 1992) established a new Tiered Permitting Fee, exempted certain onsite treatments from past and future Facility Fees, and established new annual fees for companies that operate in the lower permitting tiers.

FY 1993/94

SB 27 (Wright, c. 410, stats. 1993) set new fees for the Standardized Permits for hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities that accept hazardous waste from other locations and that are not required to obtain a permit under federal law (RCRA). Also, SB 922 (Calderon, c. 1145, stats. 1993) made substantial changes to the California Hazardous Substances Tax Law, effective January 1, 1994. Some of these changes included reducing the Disposal Fee on cleanup waste, eliminating most Site Mitigation Activity Fees, reducing the Manifest Fee on recycled wastes, increasing the Generator Fee, and limiting the liability for Facility Fees after closure. SB 1123 (Calderon, c. 65, stats. 1994) exempted facilities and operators from any Permit Modification Fee liability resulting from a revision of the facility’s or operator’s closure plan.

FY 1994/95

AB 3582 (Richter, c. 1154, stats. 1994) established effective January 1, 1995, that oil-contaminated bilge water that requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit from a regional water quality control board was no longer considered to be “used oil.”  Such oil-contaminated bilge water was now subject to the Hazardous Waste Generator Fee if shipped off-site for treatment. Bilge water treated in an onsite treatment unit authorized to operate under Permit-by-Rule (PBR), under Conditional Authorization, or under Conditional Exemption remained exempt from the Generator Fee  under H&SC Section  25205.5(e)(2). The effluent or residue from the treatment process is subject to the fee unless another exemption applies.  Also, SB 1815 (Wright, c. 548, stats. 1994) provided that the base rate for a Standardized Permit would be the rate for the 1993-94 fiscal year.  SB 1082 (Calderon, c. 418, stats. 1993) created the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) and instituted a single fee system specifically for the support of the local CUPAs.  Each CUPA collects a state surcharge, determined by the California Environmental Protection Agency, to fund the state’s costs of overseeing the program.  DTSC is one of the agencies that receive a portion of the state surcharge.

FY 1995/96

SB 1222 (Calderon, c. 638, stats. 1995) lowered the rate for non-RCRA cleanup waste to $7.50 per ton, lowered the rate for other non-RCRA waste to $17.94 per ton, and added a reduced fee for designated treatment residues disposed in-state. In addition, this bill required hazardous waste disposal facilities to collect the Disposal Fee and transmit the fee to BOE (the predecessor agency to CDTFA) and eliminated the requirement for facilities receiving non-RCRA waste imported for treatment, recycling or disposal to pay the Generator Fee.  AB 1906 (Sher, c. 637, stats. 1995) consolidated fee return filing and provided for prepayment for the Facility, Generator and Generator Surcharge Fees.  SB 1964 (Figueroa, c. 630, stats. 1995) required annual adjustments to the Hazardous Waste Fees to be based on the CPI for California rather than the United States Index.  SB 1291 (Wright, c. 640, stats. 1995) created procedures for a facility to convert from a full permit or ISD to an onsite tier, either PBR, Conditional Authorization or Conditional Exemption, and established a fee of $500 for the permit modification to make the conversion. Fees are paid only on the highest tier.

FY 1996/97

AB 2776 (Miller, c. 999, stats. 1996) allowed DTSC to, until January 1, 2002, grant temporary relief from certain requirements by issuing a single variance to all affected businesses and allowing a variance applicant to enter into an optional cost payment agreement as an alternative to the flat rate variance fee.  SB 1532 (Wright, c. 259, stats. 1996) changed existing law to require that certain facilities operating under a standardized permit or grant of interim status receive a credit for the annual Facility Fee .  SB 1532 also exempted a generator from the annual Generator Fee if the generator’s facility received a credit under the Facility Fee Provision for a specific site.  SB 1839 specified that, effective July 20, 1996; a Generator Fee prepayment was not required for a fee payer whose prepayment due was less than $500.

FY 1997/98

SB 660 (Sher, c. 870, stats. 1997) enacted the Environmental Cleanup and Fee Reform Act of 1997 and implemented many of the recommendations made by the Fee Reform Task Force mandated by SB 1222.  Effective January 1, 1998, SB 660 eliminated the Generator Fee surcharge and restructured the Generator Fee, Disposal Fee, Facility Fee and the Environmental Fee.  Effective July 1, 1998, the fees for a preliminary endangerment assessment for site mitigation, extremely hazardous waste, border zone property assessment, waste classification, variance, and class I modifications were eliminated.  Variances (except variances for transporters), waste classifications, and preliminary endangerment assessments became cost reimbursement activities.  In addition, permitted facilities may submit a self-certification letter (“pledge letter”) which allows the permitted facility to pay a reduced Facility Fee corresponding to the reduced amount of hazardous waste being generated at those respective facilities.  SB 660 also established the Toxic Substances Control Account (TSCA) to receive the Environmental Fee, cost reimbursements and other revenues not listed in this summary. TSCA funds are to be expended for site remediation, technology programs, and administration and implementation of cleanup programs.

FY 1998/99

SB 2240 (Committee on Environmental Quality, c. 882, stats. 1998) allowed DTSC to choose either the Standard Industrial Classification system or the North American Industry Classification system, whichever it deemed suitable, when providing BOE (the predecessor agency to CDTFA) with a list of codes for the Environmental Fee.  While SB 660 eliminated the Manifest Fee for manifests used solely for recycled waste, this bill added a fee for manifests used to transport hazardous wastes derived from air compliance solvents.

FY 1990/00

SB 606 (O’Connell, c. 745, stats.1999) added a penalty to the Disposal Fee of five (5) times the normal Disposal Fee rate for recyclable wastes that have been disposed on land. This penalty is in addition to any other penalties that DTSC may assess through an enforcement action.

FY 2000/01

AB 2309, which would have extended the sunset date for the reduction of fees for Disposal and Facility Fees set by SB 660 (Sher, c. 870, stats. 1997), was vetoed.

FY 2000/01

AB 1259 (Wiggins, c. 461, stats. 2001) required DTSC to suspend or deny the permit of  a hazardous waste facility if the owner or operator is delinquent in paying fees or penalties owed to DTSC provided all appeal rights have been exhausted or have expired.

FY 2002/03

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2003/04

AB 1247 (Aghazarian, c. 286, stats. 2003) authorized DTSC to use enforcement orders and enforceable agreements to impose the requirements of postclosure plans at hazardous waste facilities in lieu of issuing postclosure permits. If DTSC imposes postclosure plan requirements through an enforcement order or enforceable agreement, the facility owner or operator is required to pay DTSC’s Activity Fee and annual Postclosure Facility Fee. DTSC may only impose postclosure plan requirements through enforcement orders and enforceable agreements from January 1, 2004, to January 1, 2007.

FY 2004/05

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2005/06

AB 1803 (Committee on Budget, c.77, stats.2006) authorized DTSC to expand the applicability of the Environmental Fee beyond corporations.  Under AB 1803, the language of H&SC Section 25205.6(a) was amended to include the definition of “organization,” which means a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, general partnership, and sole proprietorship.  In addition, AB 1803 exempted the fees of the first four non-recycled manifests for organizations with less than 100 California employees.   AB 1813 (Committee on Budget, c.344, stats. 2006) stipulated that the amended Environmental Fee will go into effect for CY 2007, and was due by February 29, 2008.

FY 2006/07

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2007/08

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2008/09

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2009/10

SB 855 (Committee on Budget, c. 718, stats. 2010) clarified that all penalties collected associated with lead in jewelry, lead wheel weights, and toxics in consumer product packaging will be deposited into TSCA.

FY 2010/11

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2011/12

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2012/13

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2014/15

SB 1249 (Hill, c. 756, stats. 2014) authorizes DTSC to collect an annual fee from metal shredding facilities at a rate sufficient to cover its costs in establishing and implementing alternative hazardous waste management standards within those facilities.

FY 2016/17

SB 839 (Senate Committee on Budget, c. 340, stats. 2016) alters how the costs of processing a hazardous waste facility permit application or a class 2 or class 3 permit modification are assessed. SB 839 requires anyone applying for a new permit, renewal of a permit, standardized permit or post closure permit or requesting certain permit modifications to enter into a written agreement to reimburse DTSC for its costs incurred in processing the application or request. This requirement also applies to requests for variances and waste classification determinations. SB 839 eliminated the option of paying a flat-rate Activity Fee for these applications and requests submitted on or after April 1, 2016.

SB 1325 (De León, c. 676, stats. 2016) was passed which allows DTSC, to the extent consistent with the federal act, to impose the requirements of a hazardous waste facility postclosure plan on the owner or operator of a facility through the issuance of an enforcement order, entering into an enforceable agreement, or issuing a postclosure permit.  Health and Safety Code section 25247(d)(3) was amended to provide that when an enforcement order or agreement is utilized for the postclosure plan in lieu of a postclosure permit, the owner or operator shall enter into a cost reimbursement agreement with DTSC pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 25205.7 (Activity Fee reimbursement agreement) at the time the plan is submitted.  Additionally, upon commencement of the postclosure period the owner/operator shall pay the postclosure permit fee required by subdivision (c)(9) of Health and Safety Code section 25205.4 (annual Facility Fee for a Postclosure Permit).  The commencement of the postclosure period for purposes of the fee shall be the effective date of the postclosure permit, enforcement order, or enforceable agreement.

AB 2153 (Garcia, c. 666, stats. 2016) The Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 establishes in part a Manufacturers Battery Fee and a California Battery Fee.  A Manufacturer Battery Fee of one dollar ($1), shall be imposed on a manufacturer of lead-acid batteries for each lead-acid battery it sells at retail to a person in California or that it sells to a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, or other person for retail sale in California.  The fee becomes inoperative on April 1, 2022, and as of January 1, 2023 is repealed, unless a later enacted statute becomes operative on or before January 1, 2023.  A California Battery Fee shall be imposed on a person for each replacement lead-acid battery purchased from a dealer of the type specified in statute.  The California Battery Fee is set at one dollar ($1) on and after April 1, 2017, until March 31, 2022, and after April 1, 2022, the amount of the fee shall be two dollars ($2).  Revenues collected pursuant to the Act will be deposited into a newly established Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund and be used in part, and on appropriation by the Legislature, to fund response actions at any area of the state that is reasonably suspected to have been contaminated by the operation a lead-acid battery recycling facility.

FY 2017/18

There were no changes to the fee structure.

FY 2018/19

AB 181 (Maienschein, c. 797, stats. 2019) was passed and amended the Activity fee cost reimbursement agreement under Health & Safety Code Section 25205.7. AM 181 eliminated the requirement for 25% advance payment with respect to a reimbursement agreement entered into by a facility owned by a federal agency under Section 25205.7, subd. (a)(1). Additionally, AB 142 (Garcia, c. 860, stats. 2019) was passed and amended the Manufacture Battery Fee and California Battery Fee increases from $1 to $2, and this fee continues indefinitely without an expiration date. Further, AB 142 provided on and after January 1, 2020, if a new motor vehicle dealer sells or leases to a person a used vehicle into which the new motor vehicle dealer has incorporated a replacement lead-acid battery, the California Battery Fee does not apply to the person with regard to that replacement lead-acid battery.