The mission of the U.S.
 Environmental Protection
 Agency (EPA) is to protect
 human health and safe-
 guard the environment.
 One way EPA helps fulfill
 its mission is by regulat-
 ing the management and
 disposal of hazardous
 wastes under the
 Resource Conservation
 and Recovery Act (RCRA).
 RCRA has the following
 three general goals: To
 protect human health and
 the environment • Jo
 reduce waste while con-
 serving energy and natur-
 al resources  • To reduce
 or eliminate the genera-
 tion of hazardous waste.
                           United States
                           Environmental Protection
                           Solid Waste
                           and Emergency Response
                 October 2000

Hazardous  Waste  in
Your  Community
        Hazardous wastes are generated and managed in a variety of different set-
        tings, possibly even in your own community. In order to meet the goals of
        RCRA and to safeguard human health and the environment in all settings,
        EPA has established a "cradle-to-grave" waste management system, where
hazardous wastes are regulated by EPA from the point they are first created
("cradle") until they reach final  disposal ("grave"). This fact sheet will help you
understand what requirements  must be met under RCRA in order to manage haz-
ardous waste in a safe and protective  manner.

The three parties involved in the cradle-to-grave lifecycle of a hazardous waste are:
generators; transporters; and treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (TSDFs).

A generator is any business or individual
who initiates the production of a haz-
ardous waste or who first causes the
waste to become  subject to RCRA regula-
tions (e.g., by importing hazardous waste
from a foreign country into the United
States, or by cleaning up a site contami-
nated with a hazardous waste).
A wide variety of facilities, common in
most communities, can be hazardous
waste generators. For example, small
businesses such as dry cleaners and gas
stations, or large-scale operations such
as chemical manufacturing plants, might
produce hazardous waste as a result of
normal business operations. RCRA's gen-
erator regulations are based on EPA's
understanding that these businesses are
not heavily involved in hazardous waste
management. EPA requires generators to
comply with various "good housekeeping"
rules that ensure the waste is properly
identified and managed but do not overly
burden the generators' business prac-

RCRA regulations also recognize that not
all businesses produce the same quanti-
ties of hazardous waste. Since managing
                                                        > Printed on paper that contains at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.

a larger volume of waste can present a greater risk, per-
sons or facilities that generate larger volumes are sub-
ject to  more stringent regulations. Under RCRA, EPA
identifies three classes of generators based on the
amount of waste they produce in a calendar month:
large quantity generators (LQGs), small quantity genera-
tors (SQGs), and conditionally exempt small quantity
generators (CESQGs).

Of the three generator categories, LQGs are subject to
the most rigid  regulations, including the following:

•  Obtain an EPA identification number  prior to manag-
   ing hazardous waste. These are unique numbers
   used to track generators' activities.

•  Comply with manifest requirements when shipping
   hazardous waste off site. The manifest is a docu-
   ment that accompanies the shipment and serves as
   a tracking mechanism.

•  Limit the accumulation  of hazardous waste to 90
   days  or less.

•  Accumulate hazardous waste only in specified units:
   containers, tanks, drip pads, and containment buildings.

•  Develop a personnel training program, contingency
   plans, and emergency procedures.

•  Submit  a "Biennial Report" to EPA every other year
   describing hazardous waste generation and manage-
   ment activities.
   Hazardous Waste Generator Classification
   •   > 1,000 kg (2200 Ibs.) hazardous waste
   •   > 1 kg (2.2 Ibs.) acute hazardous waste
   •   > 100 kg (220 Ibs.) spill cleanup material
      containing acute hazardous waste
   •   Between 100 and  1,000 kg hazardous waste
   •   < 100 kg hazardous waste
   •   < 1 kg acute hazardous waste
   •   < 100 kg spill cleanup material containing
      acute hazardous waste

   Hazardous waste transporters are responsible for
   hauling waste between generation and treatment
   facilities  by highway, air, water, or rail. In order to
   ensure consistent requirements, EPA's transporter
   regulations have been developed jointly with the
   U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT has
   established extensive standards for the transporta-
   tion of hazardous materials, including container
   labeling,  vehicle placarding, emergency response,
   and packaging standards.

   In addition to the DOT transportation requirements,
   EPA has added the  following provisions under RCRA:
SQGs follow less stringent standards, but they also
have restrictions on their waste management processes
and must comply with the following:

• Obtain an EPA identification number prior to manag-
  ing hazardous waste.

• Comply with manifest requirements when shipping
  hazardous waste off site.

• Limit waste accumulation to no more than 180 days
  (or 270 days if the receiving facility is more than
  200 miles from the generator).

• Accumulate hazardous waste only in tanks or

• Never accumulate more than 6,000 kg of  hazardous
  waste on site at any one time.

• Designate an emergency coordinator and follow limit-
  ed emergency response procedures.

CESQGs are subject to minimal regulation, including the

• Never accumulate more than 1,000 kg of  hazardous
  waste on site at a given time.

• Ensure proper delivery of the hazardous waste to a
  facility that is registered under RCRA to recycle, treat,
  store, or dispose of solid or hazardous waste.

  Obtain an EPA identification number before legally
  transporting hazardous waste.

  Do not accept a shipment of hazardous waste for off-
  site transportation unless it is accompanied by a man-
  ifest. Rail and water transporters may carry a shipping
  paper instead of a manifest; the manifest will be for-
  warded to the  next highway carrier or the TSDF.
  Main Hazardous Waste Transporter Requirements
  •  Obtaining an EPA identification number.
  •  Ensuring that a manifest accompanies offsite
    shipments of hazardous waste.
  In the event that hazardous waste is dis-
  charged or spilled  during transporta-
  tion, take immediate action to
  protect human health and the envi-
  ronment. These response actions
  must include notifying appropri-
  ate authorities and blocking off
  the discharge area.

  Store hazardous waste only tem-
  porarily for up to 10 days during
  the normal course of  transportation
  at a transfer facility (e.g., loading
  docks, parking areas).
Treatment, Storage, and
Disposal Facilities

TSDFs provide temporary storage and final treatment or
disposal for hazardous wastes. Since they manage
large volumes of waste and conduct activities that may
present a higher degree of risk, TSDFs are regulated
more stringently than generators. Some  common exam-
ples of TSDFs that could exist in your community
include hazardous waste landfills, incinerators, and stor-
age yards. The RCRA requirements that all TSDFs must
meet are listed below:

• Obtain a permit from EPA detailing how the facility
  will be operated and  what types of activities the facil-
  ity is allowed to perform. TSDFs that were estab-
  lished prior to RCRA, or that have recently become
  subject to RCRA because of changes  in regulations,
  are allowed to operate without a permit until their
  permit applications are processed.  These facilities
  are called interim status facilities.

• Obtain an EPA identification number.

• Test all hazardous waste to ensure it  is acceptable
  under individual facility standards.

• Maintain security  systems, as well as perform routine
  inspections and provide  adequate  personnel training.
  Adopt measures to
  minimize and pre-
  vent accidents, such
  as fires or spills,
  and develop an
  emergency contin-
  gency plan.
TSDF Compliance
• Permitting
• General facility standards
• Specific unit standards
• Financial assurance
• Closure
• Ground-water monitoring
• Meet recordkeeping
  and  reporting
  requirements, including the manifest regulations to
  track waste. TSDFs also must maintain an operating
  record that details all waste receipts, treatment meth-
  ods, and dates of treatment, storage, and disposal.

• Submit a "Biennial Report" to EPA detailing the facili-
  ty's hazardous waste management activities.

In addition to these  general facility standards, each
TSDF must also comply with specific design and operat-
ing requirements for each hazardous waste manage-
ment unit at the facility. A hazardous waste
management unit is any unit acceptable under RCRA to
store, treat, or dispose of hazardous waste. Acceptable
waste management  units  could include tanks, contain-
ers, containment buildings, drip pads, surface impound-
ments, and waste piles. Acceptable hazardous waste
disposal units are land treatment units, landfills, sur-
face  impoundments, and waste piles. The  degree of reg-
ulation varies according to the unit's purpose  (whether

it's for storage or disposal). In general, disposal units
are  regulated more stringently than storage units
because the waste remains in a disposal unit perma-
nently. There also are very strict regulations for com-
bustion units, such as incinerators (which destroy
hazardous waste by burning it) and boilers and indus-
trial furnaces (which  burn hazardous waste  to recover
energy or materials).

In preparation for their eventual  closure, TSDFs must
meet additional  requirements to ensure the protec-
tion of human health and the environment after they
have discontinued operations. The RCRA regulations
pertaining to TSDF closure are as follows:
    From the time of opening, demonstrate that the
    TSDF will have enough money to properly close
    when necessary.

    Submit a closure plan during the permitting process
    that explains how and approximately when each
    waste  management unit in the facility will close.

    Establish a system of wells to detect the ground-
    water migration of hazardous contaminants from
    any land-based disposal unit, such as a landfill or
    surface impoundment, during and after the active
    life of the facility.
How Can You Find out More About
Hazardous Waste Generators and
Handlers in Your Community?

Contact your state hazardous waste agency or the
hazardous waste division of your EPA Regional Office.

Research facilities in your area by the name of the
facility, identification number, or zip code under the
RCRIS database. This database can be accessed
on the  Internet at the following address:

Would You Like More Information?

RCRA, Superfund, and EPCRA Hotline

Call 800 424-9346 or 703 412-9810 in the
Washington, DC area. For the hearing impaired,
the number is TDD 800 553-7672.

You also can access information via the hotline's
Internet site at: .

Additional Documents

These additional  documents can help you learn
more about the requirements for hazardous waste
handlers. These documents are free and can be
ordered from the RCRA Hotline. Reference the  EPA
document number (EPA530...) when ordering.
Understanding the Hazardous Waste Rules: A
Handbook for Small Businesses—1996 Update,

Hazardous Waste Requirements for Large Quantity
Generators, EPA530-F-96-032

RCRA Orientation Manual: 1998  Edition,

Contact Your State

Although EPA's federal regulations set the national
standard for compliance, individual states often
have regulations
that are more strin-
gent than the feder-
al regulations. You
should contact your
state about its spe-
cific regulations.
State environmen-
tal contacts are
available from the
RCRA Hotline.