Managing Hazardous Waste

We strengthen regulations and streamline waste management

Regulatory Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a Hazardous Waste or Isn’t It?

If my waste is a detergent or soap and I have results that show it only fails the aquatic toxicity test, can I ignore those results and handle it as nonhazardous waste?

There is no waiver or exclusion from the aquatic toxicity testing requirement, nor is there any rule or regulation that allows a generator to ignore a result obtained from performing the aquatic fish bioassay test. If you have aquatic toxicity test results from your waste detergent or soap that shows an acute aquatic 96-hour LC 50 less than 500 milligrams per liter then the waste is determined to be hazardous and should be managed according to all applicable hazardous waste requirements. DTSC is aware that confusing and conflicting information has been reported about California’s aquatic toxicity test. Some claims have been made that running the aquatic toxicity test on soaps and detergents doesn’t truly measure “toxicity”, but simply results in suffocating or killing the test fish due to physiological effects not related to toxicity. DTSC does not agree with these claims, and continues to apply and abide by this mandated test procedure. The mechanisms of toxicity of many surfactants are not significantly different from those found with other surface-acting toxicants such as copper and acrylamide. The acute aquatic bioassay test does not distinguish fish mortality resulting from a toxic effect of one or more surfactants from those resulting from another ingredient in a product. Therefore, DTSC continues to apply and requires compliance with the aquatic toxicity test procedure as set forth in regulation.

EPA ID Numbers and Manifesting

Can I just fill out Form 1358 to deactivate a federal EPA ID number?

No. You must notify both agencies: U.S. EPA and DTSC.

How do I cancel/de-activate a federal (U.S.) EPA ID number?

Please contact DTSC at 800-618-6942 to cancel or deactivate your EPA ID or State ID number.

How do I file a manifest exception report?

If a Generator has not received a signed copy of the manifest from the TSDF after 35* days from the date the waste was received by the transporter, the Generator is required to contact the Transporter and TSDF to determine the status of the waste shipment.

If shipped by water, 60 days triggers calling the TSDF.

If after contacting the TSDF and Transporter, the Generator has not received a signed copy of the manifest, the Generator is required to file an Exception Report with DTSC. If the Generator receives a signed copy from the TSDF, then an Exception Report is not necessary.

A Generator files an exception report after:

  • 45 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators >1000 kg/month
  • 60 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators <1000 kg/month
  • 90 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators that shipped any amount of hazardous waste by water

The Exception Report needs to include a legible copy of the manifest, and a cover letter explaining what the Generator has done to locate the hazardous waste and the results of those efforts.

Send Exception Reports to:

DTSC Report Repository
Generator Information Services Section
P.O. Box 806
Sacramento, CA 95812-0806

How do I get an EPA ID number?

There are EPA ID numbers, and State ID numbers. There are also permanent and temporary ID numbers. The type of number you need determines how you get a number. Please go to our Hazardous Waste ID Number web page for more guidance, and instructions.

I received a Manifest Fee Calculation Sheet for Manifest Fees for 2008. I don’t know what a manifest is, and I do not have hazardous waste. I did not apply for an EPA ID Number. Why did I receive this form?

You received the form because you had hazardous waste removed from your facility, business, or property in 2008. If you had construction work done on a building, for example, there may have been asbestos removed. If you had a property cleaned up, there may have been waste oil, paints, solvents, etc. that was removed. These materials require a Hazardous Waste Manifest (opens new window) (shipping document) in order to be removed from the property. A temporary EPA ID Number obtained in your name was used on the hazardous waste manifest in order to remove this waste.

DTSC collects a one-time fee of $7.50 for each hazardous waste manifest that is used. If you are a home owner, property owner or a business that employs less than 100 people, there is a fee exemption that provides for up to four free manifests in a calendar year. In order to receive this fee exemption, you will need to write the Manifest Tracking Number(s) in the space provided on the Manifest Fee Calculation Sheet. You will find the Manifest Tracking Number in Box 4 in the top right corner of your Hazardous Waste Manifest (opens new window) copy. If you do not have a copy of the manifest(s), contact the contractor or hazardous waste transporter who performed the work for you. Whether or not you owe manifest fees, you are required to complete the form and return it to DTSC.

Universal Waste and Household Hazardous Waste

Are “green” fluorescent lamps hazardous or not?

Even though the lamp manufacturers say that their “green” fluorescent lamps are not hazardous waste, they really are.

All fluorescent lamps contain mercury vapor. Some lamp manufacturers have engineered lamps that can pass the federal hazardous waste threshold, either by reducing the amount of mercury used in the lamp, or by placing materials in the lamp that help the lamp pass the federal hazardous waste tests. We are so concerned about how toxic mercury is, that California’s hazardous waste rules for lamps state that a lamp with ANY added mercury is a hazardous waste, and you must dispose of it as either hazardous or as a universal waste.

You are best off handling the light tubes as a universal waste so you don’t have to get an EPA ID number or use a hazardous waste manifest to get rid of them (Households do not need EPA IDs).

Additionally, if you already do have an EPA ID and manifest hazardous waste, there have been significant changes regarding manifests since September 5. Find out now about the new uniform federal manifest instructions, which requires you to purchase manifest forms in advance from U.S. EPA-approved vendors. For more specific information, see our Hazardous Waste Manifest Information page.

Does an appliance repair business need to become a Certified Appliance Recycler?

No. If the appliance is being repaired, it is not a waste. CAR requirements apply to discarded major appliances. Once an appliance is discarded and becomes a waste, a CAR would need to properly remove and dispose of all the Materials that Require Special Handling.

How do I dispose of electronic waste? Can you help?

First, many, but not all, household hazardous waste collection locations also accept various types of electronic waste. If you’re wondering what a household hazardous waste place is, it’s where you took your old paint, solvents, and garden pesticides the last time you cleaned out your garage. We have a list of household hazardous waste programs (opens new window) that we put together for another purpose, but it will work for you, too.  CalRecycle also has a directory of organizations (opens new window)that collect e-waste.

How much does it cost to obtain certification?

There is no application fee to become a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR).

I have a medical waste – like insulin syringes and needles. How do I dispose of it?

Medical waste, including needles and syringes, is not hazardous waste as it is defined by the state of California. Please contact the Environmental Health Division of your county Department of Health Services or the California Department of Public Health (opens new window).

I have chemicals — pesticides, pool chemicals, old paint, used oil from when I do an oil change on my vehicle, things like that. How can I dispose of them properly?

These kinds of wastes – generated by households – are known as “Household Hazardous Wastes”, or HHW.  CalRecycle (opens new window) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (opens new window) have information and links about almost all aspects of household hazardous wastes and recycling. Your local city or county Public Works Department may also have a schedule of local collection events, or call 1-800-CLEANUP or visit this HHW Community Locator (opens new window).

If it has a cord, must electronic devices be disposed of at a Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility?

There are many electronic devices which when discarded have been tested and shown to be hazardous waste, due to their heavy metal content. These include televisions, computer monitors, laptop computers with LCD displays, to name a few. There are additional electronic devices which may also be a hazardous waste when they are ready to be disposed of that may not have been tested. A good rule of thumb is if in doubt and it has a plug take it to your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility. They will have the knowledge and expertise to dispose or recycle it appropriately.

Is there some kind of Universal Waste exemption that extends to the PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts?

There is a limited exemption for PCB containing ballasts that was written long before Universal Waste Regulations.The exemptions are found in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (22CCR) section 67426.1 et seq.This section allows up to 2, 55 gallon drums per vehicle to be transported to an authorized location without having to use a hazardous waste manifest or using a hazardous waste transporter.A shipping paper such as a bill of lading must be used.So, the exemption is tied to how many are transported on one vehicle at one time,not how many are generated.

Just because there is a waste code for a material does not automatically mean that you have to use a manifest.

What does universal waste mean to me?

It is called “universal” waste because everyone produces it. “It” here, means products that are really useful in everyday life but, if dealt with improperly after you are done with them, could hurt the environment. We’re talking batteries, fluorescent tubes, electronic waste (from your cell phone through your old computer monitor), small electronic appliances, and that thermometer that’s been in your medicine cabinet for decades.

We all used to throw those things away but that’s why we find so many toxic metals in our drinking and surface water. Now, you have to make sure that you take your universal waste to a place that will deal with it safely. A lot of household hazardous waste collection places accept universal wastes in small quantities. So do various companies and organizations. CalRecycle (opens new window) has information about organizations and companies that collect universal wastes.

Specific Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances

Aerosol Cans – Does California allow the puncturing and draining of aerosol cans?

Health and Safety Code Section 25201.16 (opens new window), effective January 1, 2002, has expanded Universal Wastes to include aerosol cans and describes their management. In particular, onsite puncturing and draining of aerosol cans does not require a permit or other authorization if carried out according to Subsection (h), provided notice is given to the CUPA or equivalent before such work begins. Offsite treatment still requires a permit.

Asbestos – Can I remove asbestos-containing materials myself?

In California, the California Air Resources Board and the Regional Air Quality Management Districts or Local Air Pollution Control Districts regulate the removal of Asbestos-Containing Materials, or ACM. For a general background on asbestos-containing material, go to the California Air Resources Control Board’s Asbestos web pages (opens new window).  Some districts allow homeowners to remove small amounts of ACM from their own residences without a permit as long as they follow correct practices. For larger amounts, a certified asbestos removal contractor is required. Call your Regional Air Quality Management District (opens new window) (AQMD) for information on rules applicable to your area.

Asbestos – How can I find a removal contractor?

See the yellow pages under “Asbestos Abatement Contractors.” All contractors must have a license and certification by the Contractors State Licensing Board, look for CAL OSHA certified consultants and contractors.

Asbestos – How can I have it tested?

Check in the yellow pages under “Laboratories, Analytical” and “Asbestos Abatement and Removal Services” for certified labs. If none are listed in your local directory, check with your local Air Quality Management District (opens new window) for advice.

Asbestos – I have waste asbestos. Where can I take it?

A landfill must have special authorization to accept asbestos containing materials. There are also special packaging requirements, and a hazardous waste manifest is required for transportation. Call your local landfill or County Solid Waste Department, or contact your regional water quality control board for information about landfills in your area. CalRecycle’s Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) has a searchable list of landfills and their specifications.

Asbestos – I’m removing transite pipe. Does it have to be managed as a hazardous waste? Who can accept it?

If transite pipe is not to be broken or crushed, and is not friable, it is not a hazardous waste. However, it still may be regulated as an asbestos containing material by your local Air Quality Management District  (opens new window) and disposal site. Call them for disposal options and requirements.

Asbestos – Is Asbestos a hazardous waste?

The DTSC Asbestos Fact Sheet describes in some detail how to determine whether the material is a hazardous waste and the requirements for handling, transport, and disposal if it is. Friable, finely divided, and powdered wastes containing more than 1 percent asbestos are classified as hazardous wastes in California. Such solid materials as transite are not so classified because the fibers are well-bonded into the structure unless cutting or grinding has occurred, or the surface has weathered and become powdery. Wetting asbestos for purposes of handling or transportation is not regarded as treatment.

Asbestos – I’ve found asbestos during demolition or remodeling, who do I call for a permit?

Newly discovered asbestos containing material should be left in place until the local Air Quality Management District (opens new window) is notified and, if necessary, an abatement permit issued. Depending on the type, amount and composition of the material, an abatement contractor may have to be hired to remove it.

Asbestos – I’ve found that there is asbestos (ceiling, siding, insulation, duct work, flooring, shingles) in my house . . . Will it harm me?

The U.S. EPA  (opens new window) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (opens new window) provide excellent literature discussing this question.  Call the Contractor’s State Licensing Board for a free booklet explaining asbestos use in building materials: 1-800-321-2752. Keep in mind that intact asbestos containing material on homes is not subject to hazardous waste regulations until it has been removed or the house has been demolished.

Asbestos – May I use asbestos-containing serpentine gravel for road base?

It depends on the asbestos content. Check with the local AQMD (opens new window).

Asbestos – My excavation spoils have naturally-occurring asbestos content (serpentine rock). What can I use it for?

Check with your local AQMD (opens new window) for the regulations in your area. If it is to be disposed of, you must make a hazardous waste determination.

Asbestos – What does “friable asbestos” mean in California?

Friable asbestos material means any material containing more than 1percent asbestos, that, when dry, can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.  Asbestos containing materials that are not classified as friable may be made friable by fires, demolition and other renovation activities.

Asbestos – Who else can I call about Asbestos?

For general information, including abatement issues, contact your local AQMD (opens new window); your County Department of Health Services may also provide information through an Environmental Health unit. This should be done before any material is disturbed. Note that all contractors must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board (opens new window); those doing asbestos (and lead) abatement must have special training and be registered with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (opens new window).

U.S. EPA (opens new window) has extensive information about asbestos. Federal regulation through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), maybe found at 40CFR 763. Note, however, that California’s regulation of hazardous waste may be more stringent than EPA’s. California statutes relating to asbestos use in buildings can be found in HSC Division 20, Chapters 10.3 through 10.6 HSC 25910-25999 (opens new window). Local Air Quality Management districts also develop their own regional rules that may differ from district to district.

Not all asbestos needs to be removed from homes or the workplace to make them safely habitable. It can often be encapsulated in a way that will keep the fibers from escaping. Information about this may be obtained from the Environmental Health Unit of your County Department of Health Services, your local air district, or from your city or county’s Department of Building and Safety. Cal/OSHA (opens new window) regulates safety in the workplace.

Do employees who transport medical waste need a commercial driver license with hazardous materials endorsement?

Admittedly, this can be a confusing issue. It is important to remember that DTSC registers businesses, not vehicles, as hazardous waste transporters. The California Highway Patrol writes and enforces the regulations that govern hazardous waste endorsement, although the Department of Motor Vehicles conducts the testing and ultimately issues the license.

Here’s the rule of thumb to follow: If you are not required to placard the vehicle for the specific load being transported, then the driver does not need a hazardous materials endorsement. If you are still uncertain, contact the Hazardous Materials Unit of the California Highway Patrol at 916-445-1865.

How could lead get into my drinking water?

Lead gets into water after water leaves your local treatment plant or well. The source of lead in your home’s water is most likely corrosion of the pipes or solder in your home’s own plumbing. Corrosion results from a reaction between the water and the plumbing parts. Dissolved oxygen, low pH (acidity) and low mineral content in water are common causes of corrosion. One factor that increases corrosion is the practice of grounding electrical equipment (such as telephones) to water pipes. Any electric current traveling through the ground wire will accelerate the corrosion of lead in pipes. Eliminating the lead content in your home plumbing is an effective control of lead in drinking or cooking water.

How do I calculate the perchlorate concentrations? I am having some trouble figuring out what exactly to label, etc., for perchlorate. I know that the threshold concentration limit in the regulations is 6 parts per billion. Do I calculate that based on just the battery or on the device that contains the battery?

You calculate the 6 ppb on a mass basis –in other words, the weight of the perchlorate ion divided by the weight of the battery or, if the battery is in a device, the weight of the device. If you can’t tell how much the perchlorate ion weighs, a conservative approach is to take the weight of the perchlorate compound found in the Material Data Safety Sheet (perhaps more familiarly, MSDS) to calculate the perchlorate concentration of the item.

Latex and Other Paint – What about other paints?

Waste oil-base paints are hazardous wastes when they are disposed of because of the ignitable and toxic solvents they contain. There may be other reasons as well, such as heavy metals like chromium, lead and zinc in their pigments. Specialty coatings such as urethanes, epoxy, and resins are hazardous in liquid form due to the toxicity of uncured resins and epoxies.

Aerosol spray paint cans, however, are not considered hazardous as long as they have been completely emptied. But if there is still paint and pressure inside, they must be handled as hazardous waste, due to both the paint and the flammable pressurized gas.

Most of us have heard of the hazards of lead-based paint, especially to children young enough to eat chips of it or chew on painted surfaces. For more information about lead hazards, check the Department of Health Services Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (opens new window) web page. When the paint has been removed from wood or other surfaces, the chips, powder or other forms that it may be in must be treated as hazardous waste.

Latex and Other Paint – What is the proper way to get rid of latex paint?

In 1991, the California State Legislature addressed the problem of environmental contamination by the irresponsible disposal of liquid latex paint by enacting Article 10.7 of Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the California Health and Safety Code. It defines “recyclable latex paint” as any water-based latex paint, still in liquid form, that is transferred to be recycled. You may not dispose of liquid latex paint, or even try to do so, to the land or the waters of the state.

The best way to get rid of latex paint is to use it up in the manner that it was intended. Spreading latex paint for the purposes of drying and disposing of it is not permitted. If you have paint left over from your job that is still usable, someone else might be able to use it. Sometimes the “someone else” is a neighbor, sometimes a public-service club or organization, such as Graffiti-Busters, church, schools, theater, or youth groups, low-income housing organizations, etc.

If this is not feasible, recycling is the answer — getting the paint back to a company that will combine it with similar paints and other ingredients to give it new life as a serviceable new paint. Household hazardous waste collection events or centers are open to people who generate hazardous waste at their homes and, in some cases, to CESQGs(Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generators — businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of federally-regulated hazardous waste per month).  In particular, these collections accept recyclable paints, as well as all other types of paint and paint products that are no longer to be used. There are also recycle-only events, which may accept useable latex paint, used motor oil and oil filters, antifreeze, vehicle and household batteries, and fluorescent and HID lamps. Information for finding locations and times of operation can be found by calling 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687) or by contacting your sanitation or public works department. If you are interested in using recycled latex paint, check CalRecycle’s Web site (opens new window) on recycled latex paint.

Latex and Other Paint – Why is latex paint a problem?

Although latex paints pose much less risk to the environment than they did some years ago, individual types may still be hazardous, so the best plan is to treat all paint as hazardous. Compounds used in the formulation of some latex paint can cause it to be toxic to many aquatic organisms. Since most storm drains drain to streams, rivers, bays and the ocean, dumping excess latex paint into storm drains or rinsing painting equipment into the gutter or storm drain is prohibited. We all know that groundwater needs to be protected from contamination, but danger to fish and other water life is an important consideration too. Older paint may have lead or other metals in the coloring (pigments), and chemicals that are added to prevent mildew frequently make paint products hazardous.  Residual organic compounds(solvents) could also be a threat. When you need to rinse brushes and painting equipment, either do it in the sink or in a basin that can capture the rinse water, so that you can dispose of it to the sanitary sewer (sink or toilet). Sanitary sewer systems can digest latex rinse water into harmless products. Do not, however, pour undiluted latex paint into the sanitary sewer. It is not allowed by law, and can cause plumbing problems.

Lead – What’s the threshold for non-hazardous lead? Do we still have to take wastes with more than 350 ppm total lead to a Class I landfill even if they aren’t hazardous wastes?

Maybe. The total threshold limit for lead is 1,000 parts per million (ppm). If your waste contains less than 1,000 ppm lead total concentration, you may not have to dispose of it in a Class I hazardous waste landfill. If your lead contains greater than 50 ppm lead (total concentration), you must determine if the waste is hazardous waste due to the soluble concentration of lead in the waste.

On January 1, 1999, a law went into effect putting several restrictions on the disposal of copper, nickel, and, lead-containing waste. It said that you had to dispose any waste having more than 350 parts per million of lead to a full-blown hazardous waste landfill (very expensive) or to one of the “in between” landfills (we call them Class II) that is specifically permitted to take lead-containing waste. That left you with having to deal with non-hazardous waste –lead concentrations between 350 and 1,000 ppm –as hazardous waste.

But that law had what we call a “sunset”, a date after which it is no longer effective unless the Legislature acts to make it continue on. The “sunset” on this law passed on July 1, and the Legislature did not act.

Therefore, if you have soil, let’s say, with levels of lead less than 1,000 ppm and the soil does not exceed any of the other criteria for a hazardous waste, you can take it to any non-hazardous waste disposal facility that’s allowed to accept lead.

Lead – Who can I contact with questions about lead?

There are many agencies that specialize in the topic of lead safety— especially with respect to lead paint in the home. County Departments of Health Services frequently have such units.  Ask if your County has a Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

California has its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (opens new window), and U.S. EPA has its Lead Programs (opens new window), with links to other sites.  All building contractors must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (opens new window); those doing lead abatement must also have special certification from the California Department of Health Services and be registered with Cal/OSHA (opens new window).

Perchlorate – What do I have to do to label a piece of equipment that has batteries with perchlorate? With the new perchlorate best management practices, if we have a piece of equipment that uses lithium batteries, do we have to label the end product?

The short answer is yes. The perchlorate regulations for California require that product manufacturers, or product distributors, who bring products into California label those products to inform consumers of the perchlorate content and where additional information can be found. The 6 parts-per-billion threshold applies to any product that contains perchlorate or a perchlorate device –so you have to label perchlorate-containing batteries and any product that contains those batteries. For example, a coin-cell, lithium-manganese dioxide battery containing perchlorate is considered to be a “consumer good” or commodity, and subject to the labeling requirements for perchlorate materials, as would be the product that runs off that battery (if the battery is included with the end product). You have options for labeling, though. One option is to use a Material Safety Data Sheet (known by its familiar acronym, MSDS), the shipping documents themselves, or a package insert. The packing insert can be a product flyer (a separate sheet included with the instructions), the product manual, or a sticker.

Pesticides – How can I find out about the toxicity of insecticides or pesticides that were sprayed in my home, my community or on local fields?

The local agency for pesticide information and regulation is the County Agriculture Commission.   The Department of Pesticide Regulations has over-all responsibility for the registration and proper use of pesticides in California, including licensing of applicators. You can call the DPR at (916) 445-4300 or go to their web site (opens new window) for contact information.

Photographic silver waste – Generators of waste photo fixer are no longer required to have permits to treat their waste. Are they still regarded to be hazardous waste generators?

As a result of SB 2111 (Costa, 1998, HSC 25143.13) (opens new window), those who have waste photo fixer still generate a hazardous waste, but the state does not require them to obtain EPA ID numbers if they generate less than 100 kilograms (about 27 gallons) of waste per month and store less than 1000 kilograms (270 gallons), provided the waste is hazardous only because of silver, this is the only hazardous waste produced, and the waste is recycled. There is no maximum time for which this waste may be held. Whether the local agency will require fees and Hazardous Materials Management Plans is up to that local jurisdiction. Waste photo fixer may NOT be disposed of “down the drain”. For more information on silver waste, see the Duty Officer Fact Sheet Dental, Medical and Veterinary Offices – Managing Your Hazardous Waste.

What are the standards for cleanup of spilled hazardous materials or wastes? Where can I find the cleanup levels for certain chemicals in soil?

The Department does not publish, nor use, generic soil clean-up levels for contaminated sites. Because each site is unique, cleanup levels must be calculated for each site through a risk assessment, which takes into account the types of toxic materials at each site, the potential receptors, the pathways that the toxic compounds might follow to get to the receptors and their fate in the environment. The process begins with a Preliminary Endangerment Assessment (PEA), which may be followed by a health risk assessment, depending on the findings of the PEA. You may request a copy of the PEA manual from your local DTSC Regional Office (PDF map). The U.S. EPA often uses Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) (opens new window) and Soil Screening Guidance as site screening tools. With the prior approval of the DTSC project manager, PRGs have been used on some specific sites in California. They are not routinely used as screening levels in California.

What do I do with waste fireworks? I know fireworks are dangerous under the best of circumstances. I also know that they contain perchlorate that can get into drinking water. I want to do the right thing, but I can’t find a facility that will take fireworks for disposal. Can you help?

Unfortunately, for the short-term, there are no facilities in California authorized to dispose of these wastes. We have created a table of hazardous waste management facilities in the U.S. that are authorized to accept fireworks and other reactive wastes. To address the issue of seized illegal fireworks, the Office of State Fire Marshal is getting funding for four mobile fireworks treatment units that will destroy the fireworks collected by local government agencies. However, this technology is in the development phase and we don’t expect that they will become operational until 2008.

The fireworks eligible to be treated in the mobile units will be restricted to Department of Transportation Hazard Class 1.4 (explosives with no significant blast hazard).  DTSC is in the process of developing streamlined Permit By Rule regulations, to be released to coincide with the roll-out of the mobile treatment units. To give you some idea of how we’re envisioning fireworks treatment working, it starts with the mobile unit going near the location fireworks cache to avoid having truckloads of skyrockets and M-80s on California’s freeways. Once the fireworks are treated (essentially, torched off in a blast chamber type device), the operators will collect and package the ash and debris. If the “residues” are hazardous because of heavy metals or perchlorate, they will go to a permitted hazardous waste facility.

Site Cleanup

Is DTSC going to conduct inspections to ensure that I am complying with the Act?

Yes. DTSC will conduct inspections of lead-acid battery Dealers and Manufacturers to ensure compliance with Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 and AB 142.

I am a Dealer, what will DTSC inspections include?

DTSC will inspect Dealer locations for the following:

  • Dealer shall accept a used lead-acid battery (of a type listed under §25215.1(f)) from a person at the point of transfer. Dealer shall not be required to accept from any person more than six used lead-acid batteries per day. Dealer shall not charge a fee to receive a used lead-acid battery. (HSC §§ 25215.15(b), 25215.2(a))
  • Dealer charges a refundable deposit for each replacement lead-acid battery purchased by a person who does not simultaneously provide a used lead-acid battery of the same type and size. (HSC § 25215.2(b))
  • Dealer displays the amount of the refundable deposit separately on the receipt provided to the purchaser for each such battery purchased.
  • If a used lead-acid battery of the same size and type is returned within 45 days, Dealers refund the deposit to the purchaser.
  • Dealer posts the notice below in a clearly visible public sales area of the establishment or on the purchaser’s receipt. (HSC § 25215.2(c)):
    • “This dealer is required by law to charge a nonrefundable $1.00 California battery fee and a refundable deposit for each lead-acid battery purchased.
    • A credit of the same amount as the refundable deposit will be issued if a used lead-acid battery is returned at the time of purchase or up to 45 days later along with this dealer’s receipt.”

I am a Manufacturer, what will DTSC inspections include?

DTSC will check to see whether Manufacturers place a recycling symbol consistent with the requirements of Section 103(b)(1) of the Federal Mercury Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act, Pub. L. No. 104-142 (1996), and either “Pb” or the words “lead,” “return,” and “recycle” on all replacement lead-acid batteries sold in California. (HSC § 25215.65.)

What happens if I don’t comply with the Act?

Dealers and Manufacturers are required to comply with the provisions of the Act. If found to be in violation of the Act, Dealers and Manufacturers will be responsible for all penalty fees as permitted by statutes, pursuant to California Health and Safety Code (HSC §25180-25196 and §25215-25215.75).

Who do I contact if I have more questions about inspections?

You may contact the LABRIC Program by calling the toll-free number 1-833-7LABRIC or sending an email to

Who do I contact if I have questions about fees?

CDTFA updates their webpage to update Dealers and Manufacturers on the Act’s requirements and to register them with CDTFA for the payment of required fees. Information related to CDTFA’s fee activities can be found at the CDTFA website at (opens new window).

How do I update my contact information, so I do not miss any communications from DTSC?

DTSC uses the information from CDTFA to contact Dealers and Manufacturers. DTSC is unable to update or remove contact information. Log into your CDTFA account to maintain contact information: (opens new window).

What is a lead-acid battery?

“Lead-acid battery” means any battery weighing more than five kilograms that is primarily composed of both lead and sulfuric acid, whether sulfuric acid is in liquid, solid, or gel state, with a capacity of six volts or more that is used for any of the following purposes:

  • As a starting battery that is designed to deliver a high burst of energy to an internal combustion engine until it starts.
  • As a motive power battery that is designed to provide the source of power for propulsion or operation of a vehicle, including a watercraft.
  • As a stationary storage or standby battery that is designed to be used in systems where the battery acts as either electrical storage for electricity generation equipment or a source of emergency power, or otherwise serves as a backup in case of failure or interruption in the flow of power from the primary source.
  • As a source of auxiliary power to support the electrical systems in a vehicle, as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code, including a vehicle as defined in Section 36000 of the Vehicle Code.

How are cleanup standards determined when a site is being cleaned up?

The factors that contribute to the decision of what the cleanup levels will be at a site include looking at what is contaminated (for example, soil or water), the present and future land use of the property (local land use zoning), and the risk posed by the contaminants to human health and the environment (using a risk assessment model).

The decisions are made by staff trained in a number of disciplines (for instance, geology engineering, and toxicology), generally with oversight by a state or local agency. These decisions are specific to an individual site and its location. In broad terms, sites that involve residential properties, schools, or daycare facilities are typically held to more stringent cleanup standards than are those involving commercial or industrial activities.

How can I find out if my home, school, or other location is near a hazardous substances site?

Your local Planning Department should be able to assist in identifying hazardous substance release sites in the vicinity of your property. Check the Government section in the white pages of your phone directory.

Most local Planning Departments have a copy of the “Hazardous Waste and Substance Sites List” (also known as the “Cortese List”). This list is created pursuant to California Government Code section 65962.5 and contains a list of known or potentially contaminated sites provided to the California Environmental Protection Agency by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Health Services, Water Resources Control Board, and the CalRecycles. Planning departments and agencies use this list during their California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) evaluation of the potential impacts of siting projects near hazardous waste sites.

DTSC maintains a record of known and potential hazardous substance release sites under its jurisdiction within the EnviroStor database. Sites that meet the requirements of Health and Safety Code section 25356 are included on the Hazardous Waste and Substances Site List (Cortese) (opens new window). DTSC also maintains a list of properties with land use restrictions (opens new window) entered into with DTSC. For more information, contact the EnviroStor help desk at (916) 323-3400 or

Many realtors have access to services that search various databases for such information. Typically, the service will list all hazardous waste or substance sites within a selected radius of the specified property. Look for “Environmental Reporting” on the web.

Common Generator Questions

Do generators have to manage mixed waste in accordance with the requirements that apply to ordinary hazardous wastes?

Yes, in California, generators of mixed waste must manage those wastes in accordance with all applicable hazardous waste requirements.

In 2001, U.S. EPA adopted regulations providing a conditional exemption from the definition of hazardous waste in 40 CFR 261.3. This exemption is located in 40 CFR part 266, subpart N. Under these regulations mixed wastes are not federally regulated as hazardous wastes provided the conditions of the exemption are met. However, these mixed wastes are regulated as hazardous wastes when first generated and until they are placed into accumulation and meet the conditions of the exemption. In addition, these wastes again become subject to RCRA regulation (“return” to RCA” regulation) after decay-in-storage such that the wastes are no longer mixed wastes (i.e., are no longer low level radioactive wastes). [see 66 FR 27236]. In other words, the mixed wastes are only conditionally exempt from regulation as hazardous wastes under the RCRA regulations as long as they: 1) are mixed wastes, and 2) are managed in accordance with the exemption (i.e., essentially, per the corresponding NRC license agreement).

California, an authorized state under RCRA, has not adopted regulations conditionally exempting mixed wastes from regulation as hazardous wastes. Therefore, in California mixed wastes remain subject to dual regulation as hazardous wastes and as low level radioactive wastes (I.e., They are regulated by both DTSC and by NRC/DHS). Generators of mixed waste are subject to all applicable requirements in Chapter 12, of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (22 CCR). Generators of mixed wastes who desire to (or must) store their mixed wastes for time periods longer than that allowed under 22 CCR 66262.34 must obtain hazardous waste facility permits, variances, or extensions in order to do so legally. If, except for the federal exemption discussed above, the mixed waste would be regulated as a hazardous waste under RCRA’s implementing regulations, then the mixed waste would be a “RCRA hazardous waste” in California. Otherwise, the mixed waste would be a non-RCRA hazardous waste in California.

How do I notify DTSC about my E-waste address change?

When you have a change of address you need to re-notify DTSC with the updated information. You need to do this 30 days prior to you accepting e-waste, even if you already notified before. If you originally notified on paper, then you can either re-notify the same way, or now, since we have on-line notification you can set up an account (if you didn’t before) and notify that way.

My company only generated Non-RCRA waste. Am I required to file?


What is a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)?

Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) (opens new window) identifies a business entity. This number is also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number. Generally, all businesses need an FEIN. Many one-person businesses use their Social Security Number as their FEIN. You can find additional information about Federal Employer ID Numbers on the IRS website (opens new window).

Permitting and Permitted Facilities

I need to identify closure cost estimates for the tiered permitting facilities.

These numbers can change every quarter, so you will need to verify what quarter these numbers apply to.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has posted the Gross Domestic Product Price Deflator (opens new window).

My soil (or other waste) is contaminated, and is a non-RCRA waste. Where is there an LDR treatment standard for this waste, or does it have to meet one?

There are no specific treatment standards for non-RCRA hazardous waste contaminated soil in California. The list of California restricted wastes can be found in 22CCR, Chapter 18, Article 11.

Contact Information

I’m filling out a Emergency Response Plan for our 1000 gal fuel tank, and have a few questions. What is the phone number for the Calif EPA Toxic Substance Control?

You can call DTSC’s emergency response phone number (800) 260-3972, or (916) 255-6504.

Where can I find the agency that can help me?

Your question may be outside of DTSC’s jurisdiction or best answered by another agency. We put this quick reference guide together to help you determine what agency will have the answer to your question. Clicking on an underlined item will take you to that agency’s website.

Toxics and environmental issues in, at, or near your home:

  • Health-related matters such as safety of food-handling establishments, sewage releases, lead paint abatement, asbestos safety, etc. may be handled by a County Environmental Health Department. Follow this link to the County Contacts list, which also includes CUPAs. For health exposure information, based on specific chemicals, follow this link to the Federal Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (opens new window).
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facilities accept residential pesticides, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, televisions sets, computer monitors, old paint, solvents, used oil, antifreeze, and other chemicals that should not go into the regular trash. Find the HHW Collection Facility (opens new window) for your area.
  • Illegal discharges to sanitary or industrial sewers are overseen by the City or County Public Works or Sanitation Departments. You can call your City directly or click on the link for the National Association of Counties (opens new window) Web site.
  • Medical waste, low-level radioactive waste, and lead poisoning. Issues are managed by the California Department Of Health Services (DHS) (opens new window).
  • Sellers and Landlords are required to give prospective purchasers and tenants the “Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Residential Environmental Hazards” booklet. You can get the booklet through a member of the California Association of Realtors (opens new window).

Toxics and environmental issues in or at your small business:

If you need additional assistance, contact a Regulatory Assistance Officer.