United States
Environmental Protection
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
  PB96-207 055
          RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA
               Hotline Training Module
     Introduction to:
      (40 CFR Parts 264/265, Subpart I; §261.7)
              Updated July 1996

                                          DISCLAIMER                                   '

This document was developed by Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. under contract 68-W6-0016 to EPA. It is intended
to be used as a training tool for Hotline specialists and does not represent a statement of EPA policy.

The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies.
This document is used only in the capacity of the Hotline training and is not used as a reference tool on Hotline
calls. The Hotline revises and updates this document as regulatory program areas change.

The information in this document may not necessarily reflect the current position of the Agency. This document
is not intended and cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any
party in litigation with the United States.
                      RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA Hotline Phone Numbers:
            National toll-free (outside of DC area)
            Local number (within DC area)
            National toll-free for the hearing impaired (TDD)
(800) 424-9346
(703) 412-9810
(800) 553-7672
                   The Hotline is open from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Standard Time,
                        Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.

1.  Introduction	  1
2.  Regulatory Summary for Management of Containers
      2.1 Applicability	'.	
      2.2 Design Requirements	
      2.3 Operating Requirements	...
      2.4 Inspections	:...
      2.5 Closure	
      2.6 Sp*ecial Issues	,	
   Regulatory Summary of the Empty Container Requirements
      3.1 Regulatory Standards	:	
      3.2 Special Issues:-Aerosol Cans...	
. 6

. 9
. 9


                                                                     Containers -1
                            1.   INTRODUCTION
 Containers represent one of the most commonly used and diverse forms of
 hazardous waste storage. Compared to tanks or surface impoundments, containers
 are less expensive and generally less difficult to manage. Containers are also mobile,
 allowing ah owner/operator to use only one unit for storage, transportation, and
 disposal. Prior to regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
 (RCRA), however, containers were frequently mismanaged or abandoned.  When
 the abandoned containers became weathered or corroded, the hazardous contents
 were released, posing a far-reaching danger to human health and the environment.

 This module reviews two sets of regulatory requirements for containers:
 requirements that pertain to the management of hazardous waste containers, and
 regulations governing residues of hazardous waste in empty containers. The
 regulations covering management  of hazardous waste stored in containers  are
 found in 40 CFR Parts 264/265, Subpart.L  These specific requirements must be met
 by the owners/operators of treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) and
.generators who manage hazardous waste in containers.

 The regulations covering the management of container residues and the definition
 of when residues in containers are exempt from regulation are found at 40 CFR
 §261:7. .These regulations set out procedures for establishing a container as "empty."
 Since empty  containers no  longer contain hazardous waste, these regulations are
 also used to  determine when containers are no longer subject to the requirements of
 RCRA:      .             .
                          -N.         -  '         ''        • 1           '
 When you have completed this module you will be able to. apply the appropriate
 regulations governing hazardous waste containers when assisting Hotline callers.
 Specifically, you will be able to:      .

    •   Find the definitions  of "container" and "empty container," and provide
       examples and citations for each

    •   Provide an overview of the  requirements for the design and operation of
       hazardous waste containers

    •   Explain the difference between the container standards set out in Part 264 and
       Part 265            .  -

    •   State the requirements for rendering a hazardous waste container "RCRA
       empty"  .               '                  -   •            •

    •   Explain when container rinsate must be managed as a hazardous waste.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

2 - Containers
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation ot hFA s regulations or policies,
                      but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

                                                                      Containers - 3
                              OF CONTAINERS
 Containers storing hazardous waste ^at permitted and interim status facilities are
 subject to the general facility standards under Parts 264/265, Subparts A through E, as
'well as the unit-specific requirements set out in Parts 264/265, Subpart I See the
 training module entitled TSDFs for more information about the general facility
'standards. When EPA promulgated the unit-specific requirements for hazardous
 waste containers,  the Agency emphasized that although mismanagement of
 containers has caused some of the worst contamination, relatively few regulations
 would be needed  to eliminate most of these problems. These straightforward
 regulations are viewed simply as "good management practices."

 The regulations for containers found under Parts 264/265, Subpart I, include
 provisions regarding design and operating requirements,'inspections, and closure.
 These requirements are designed to ensure that the integrity of the container is not
 breached; thus the same standards apply regardless of whether the containers are
 used  for treatment or storage.          •

 Since the interim status standards (Part 265) are designed to regulate existing
 facilities until they can comply with the permitted standards (Part 264), certain
 portions of the container regulations for interim status facilities are  less stringent
 than those for permitted facilities.  Specifically, Part 265, Subpart I, regulations do
 not address requirements for secondary containment or closure as do the standards  .
 in Part 264, Subpart I.  Therefore the discussions of these standards will only cite Part
 264 standards.       .      ^

 The following is a summary of the regulations affecting containers used to store
 hazardous waste.           ,

Unless the container is specifically exempted from .regulation under §§264.1 or 265.1,
all containers storing hazardous waste must comply with the regulations found
under Parts 264/265, Subpart I. Hazardous waste containers at generator sites must
be in compliance with the Part 265 standards as well. A container is any portable
device in which a material is stored, transported, treated, disposed of, or otherwise
handled (§260.10).  This definition is intentionally broad to encompass all the
different types of portable devices that may be used to handle hazardous waste. A
container may be a 55-gallon drum made from steel or plastic, a large tanker truck, a
railroad car, a small bucket, or a test tube.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of bPA s regulations or policies,
             ,    but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

 4 - Containers
Storage means holding hazardous waste for a temporary period, at the end of which
the hazardous waste is treated, disposed of, or stored elsewhere. Again, this
definition is made intentionally broad to include any situation .in which hazardous
waste is held for any period of time.                                          ,  •

The regulations governing the design of a container storage area are intended to
ensure that the waste will not escape the storage area. These regulations ensure that
the owrier/operator is using a functional container, and that the container will hold
waste that is compatible with the container itself or other wastes in the container.  In
addition, the containers must be placed in a containment area designed to prevent
releases from the containers from reaching the environment.' The following
sections detail these requirements.


Containers that are deteriorating (e.g., cracked, rusted) or leaking must not be used.
Waste stored in defective containers must be transferred to containers in good
condition or handled in another way that satisfies the requirements of .Parts 264/265
(§§264/265.171).    ,


Sections 264/265.172 and 264/265.177 both regulate situations involving
incompatible wastes. The term incompatible waste refers to a hazardous waste
which is unsuitable for (1) placement in a container because it may cause corrosion
or decay of the container or inner liner; or (2) commingling with another waste or
material under uncontrolled conditions because it might produce heat or pressure,
fire or explosion, violent reaction, toxic dusts, mists, fumes or gases, or flammable
fumes or gases (§260.10).                                              .  .

Containers used to store hazardous waste must be made of or lined with materials
that will not react  with and are otherwise compatible with the waste in the
container (§§264/265.172). Incompatible wastes and materials must not be placed in ,
the same container (§§264/265.177).  This requirement includes  unwashed
containers that previously held an incompatible waste or material. Incompatible
wastes or materials can only be mixed  in a manner that will not cause an adverse
reaction, such as an explosion or uncontrolled  flammable fumes (§§264/265.17(b)).

Appendix V in Parts 264/265 provides  a list of potentially incompatible wastes. The
list is not intended to be exhaustive.  Adequate analysis should be performed to   ,
avoid creating uncontrolled hazards such as heat generation, violent reaction, fire,
explosion, and generation of flammable or toxic gases.  ,
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation ot hFA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

                                                                     . Containers - 5

As mentioned in the summary, the regulations for containment only apply to .
permitted facilities under Part 264, not facilities operating under interim status. In
general, the interim status regulations are less comprehensive because some of the
regulations for permitted facilities require the retrofit of equipment, which could
place undue burden on the facilities.  Therefore, only'permitted container storage
areas.must have a secondary containment system (§264.175(a)). Secondary
containment provides a backup system to prevent a release into the environment
should primary containment (i.e., the container) fail. This usually consists of a
poured concrete pad or other impervious base with curbing to prevent releases of
hazardous waste into the environment and to allow drainage of any accumulated
liquid to a sump, tank, or other container.

Storage areas holding containers with no free liquids are not required  to have
secondary containment systems (§264.175(c)). Free liquids are liquids which readily
separate from the solid portion of a waste under ambient temperature and'pressure
(§260.10).  The Agency requires use of the Paint Filter Liquids Test (PFT), Method
9095, to determine whether sludges or semisolids contain free liquids (Test Methods
for Evaluating Solid Waste:  Physical/Chemical Methods. EPA SW-846^ provides
information on test methods).        •

Technical Requirements
                                                          ^    '    •   i   •
At a minimum, the secondary containment  system  must meet certain criteria
designed to ensure that the waste will remain in the containment system until it is
removed in a "timely" manner.  Specifically, the containment system  must meet
the following requirements:     . .                           .

   •  The base must be free of cracks or gaps and mustbe sufficiently impervious to
      contain leaks, spills, and accumulated precipitation (§264.175(b)(l)).

   •  The base must be sloped1 or the system must be designed so that liquids
      resulting from releases can drain and  be removed.  This is not necessary if the
      container is elevated (e.g., on pallets)  or otherwise protected from contacting
      accumulated liquids (§264.175(b)(2)).
   •  The secondary containment system must have the capacity  to contain at least
      10 percent of the volume of the containers or 100 percent of .the volume of
      the largest container — whichever is greater.  If containers hold no free
      liquids, they do not have to be considered in this calculation (§264.175(b)(3)).
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of, EPA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

 6 - Containers
   •  Stormwater run-on must be prevented from entering the system unless the
      collection system has sufficient capacity to contain any run-on entering,the
      system in addition to the capacity requirements (§264.175(b)(4)).

   •  Any waste that, has spilled or leaked into the secondary containment area or
      any accumulated precipitation must be removed in a timely manner

Even the most well-designed storage areas can fail if the containers and the waste
are not handled properly.  When EPA promulgated the rules for container storage
areas, the Agency believed that the following operating guidelines would curtail the
bulk of container mismanagement in the United States. Note that although
secondary containment is addressed under the design requirements, there are also
specific requirements to maintain the secondary containment properly.

 '      i        '                /

Under §§264/265.173, containers holding hazardous waste must always be closed
during storage, except when waste is added or removed. In addition, containers
must not be handled, opened, or stored in a manner which may cause them to leak.


Containers holding ignitable or reactive wastes must be located at' least 15 meters.
(50 feet) from the facility's property line (§§264/265.176). This requirement is
sometimes  referred to as the buffer zone requirement, because it creates a zone of
protection between waste storage and adjoining properties.  The general facility
standards of §§264/265.17(a) specify additional requirements for ignitable and
reactive wastes.   .                               .
At least once a week, container storage areas must be visually inspected for leaking
and deteriorating containers (§§264/265.174). Recordkeeping requirements, for
inspections are detailed in §§264/265.15(d).  The owner/operator must record
inspections in a log, including the date and time of the inspection, the name of the
inspector, observations made, and the date and nature of any repairs. These records
must be kept for a minimum of three years from the date of inspection.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of fcrA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

                                                                      Containers - 7
 2.5   CLOSURE

 As mentioned in the summary, specific closure requirements for containers appear
 only in the regulations for permitted facilities. At closure, all hazardous waste and
 associated residues must be removed from the container storage area., Remaining
 containers, liners, bases, and soil contaminated with hazardous waste must be
 decontaminated or removed (§264.178).

 Although no container closure requirements appear in the^ regulations under Part
 265, Subpart I, the general closure standards of Part 265, Subpart G, are applicable
 (47 FR 2831; January 12,1981).  Section 265.114 requires that wastes be removed from
 storage facilities at closure and that structures and equipment be disposed of or
'decontaminated.                         ,                         ,

 At closure, the owner or operator must determine whether any solid waste (e.g.,
 residues) removed from the containment system is hazardous waste.  If an      ..  .
 owner/opera tor determines the solid waste is hazardous waste, he or she is
 considered the generator of the waste and must manage it in compliance with all
 applicable requirements of Parts 262 through 266.

 Three additional issues specific to containers merit discussion.


 Specific management standards for storing F-listed dioxin-containing waste (F020,
 F021, F022,.F023, F026, and F027) in containers apply to both permitted and interim
 status facilities.  Storage in fully permitted facilities is preferable due to the acutely
 hazardous nature of the waste. Permitted container storage areas holding
 F-listed dioxin-containing wastes must have a containment system as specified in
 §264 >175(b), even if those containers contain no free liquids (§264.175(d)(l)).

 Although EPA would prefer that dioxin-containing wastes be managed at permitted
 facilities because of their extreme toxicity, the Agency has been concerned about
 possible shortages in short-term management capacity. Therefore, certain types of
 interim status .storage facilities may be able to provide adequate management in the
 short term: The Agency contends that interim status container storage facilities do
 provide sufficient control of these wastes to prevent a substantial environmental
 hazard or an unreasonable risk. Interim status container storage facilities accepting
 dioxin-containing wastes must meet most of the requirements for fully permitted
 container facilities while operating under interim status.  These requirements
 include containment, management, and inspection of containers (§§265.171-.174).
                                                reiation of EPA's regulations or poicies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

 8 - Containers

On December 6,1994 (59 ĢE 62896), EPA published a final rule promulgating air
emission standards for containers, tanks, and surface impoundments at treatment,
storage, and disposal facilities, and large quantity generator sites. The rule will
require hazardous waste containers to comply with Parts 264/265, Subpart CC,
within specified timeframes.. See, the module entitled Air Emissions Standards for
more details about the Subpart CC requirements.


Under.§§264.1(g)(10) and 265.1(c)(13), the addition of absorbent material to waste in a
container (as defined in §260.10) or the addition of waste to absorbent material in a
container, provided that these actions occur at the time the waste is first placed in
the container, does not constitute treatment requiring interim status or a permit.
The absorbent treatment process must take place in a container with solid structural
integrity, and the waste and the absorbent material must be compatible.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

                                                                    Containers - 9
                 3.  REGULATORY SUMMARY OF THE

The regulations at §261.7 define when hazardous waste residue in an empty
container is exempt from regulation.  These regulations set out the requirements for
rendering a container or inner liner "empty." To distinguish between the usual
meaning of the word "empty" and the strict regulatory definition, the phrase
"RCRA empty" is sometimes used.  Any hazardous waste remaining in either a
RCRA empty container or inner liner is not subject to regulation under RCRA
Subtitle C.  EPA promulgated these regulations to give guidance to owners/
operators on how to empty their containers so that the containers are no longer
subject to regulation, even if some residues  remain in the container. Therefore,
these regulations allow an owner/operator to reuse containers or inner liners
meeting the provisions of §26117 since the container is no longer considered to hold
hazardous waste.

Throughout this section, there will be references to the term "inner liner."  This
term refers to a continuous layer of material placed inside a tank or container which
protects the construction materials of the container from contact with the contained
waste or reagents used to treat the waste (§260.10). The following is a summary of
the standards for rendering a container or inner liner RCRA empty.

GASES              ,                                             •

Containers holding compressed gases that are hazardous wastes are considered
empty when the pressure in the container approaches atmospheric pressure
(§261.7(b)(2)).    ,

A container or inner liner of a container holding acutely hazardous waste (i.e., all
P-listed wastes and other hazardous wastes with the.designated hazard code H) is
empty when one of the following conditions is met:

    •  The container has an inner liner which prevents contact with the container
      and the liner is removed (§261.7(b)(3)(iii))    ,
                                       or                                •
    •  The container has been triple rinsed with a solvent appropriate for removing
     .the acutely hazardous waste (§261.7(b)(3)(i)).      .
    •  When triple rinsing  is inappropriate, an alternate method is used
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA s regulations or policies,
                but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

 10 - Containers
To date, EPA has not defined triple rinsing in the regulations or in interpretative
guidance. The rinsate is considered acutely hazardous waste according to the
mixture rule; however, the act of triple rinsing is not considered treatment (45 FR
78528; November 25, 1980}!


A container or inner liner removed from a container holding nonacute hazardous
waste as identified in Part 261, Subparts C and D, is empty when:

   •  All wastes have been removed using practices commonly employed industry-
      wide to remove  wastes from containers or liners, such as' pouring,  pumping,
      aspirating, and draining (§261.7(b)(l)(i)) and no more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) of
      material remains in the container or liner (§261.7(b)(l)(ii))


   •  No more than 3  percent by weight of the  container remains for containers
      with a capacity of 110 gallons or less, and no more than 0.3 percent by weight
      remains for containers with a capacity greater than 110 gallons
Common emptying methods might remove the liquid phase of the waste; however,
solids or semisolids might adhere to the sides of the container.  The definition of
empty container therefore states that in addition to emptying the container using
common practices, no more than 2.5 cm (1 in) of material may remain in the
container for it to be considered empty. If common practices are not used to empty
the container,  then the weight determination must be used.


Residues remaining in a RCRA empty container are exempt from Subtitle C
regulation.  Likewise, residues removed from an empty container (i.e., removed
after the container meets the regulatory definition  of empty) are also exempt from
Subtitle C requirements,  including the requirements for determining hazardous
waste characteristics.  In contrast, residues removed from a container that is not
RCRA empty or that result from  rendering a container empty are fully subject to
Subtitle C.         -            '
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation ot brA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

                                                                     Containers -11

A recurriiig issue within the container and empty container regulations is the
puncturing or venting of aerosol cans. The issue stems partly from the applicability
of the empty container regulations to aerosol cans, and partly from the issue of
whether the can itself is considered to be part of the waste.

In general, aerosol cans are capable of holding either compressed gas or liquid. If the
aerosol can is holding a compressed  gas, it is unclear whether the act of venting to
render the can empty would constitute treatment.  This question must be answered
by the appropriate EPA Region or authorized state. When the aerosol can is holding
a liquid, the applicability of the regulations depend on whether the can is being sent
for scrap metal recycling or disposal. If the can is sent for scrap metal recycling, the
can and its contents are exempt from regulation as a scrap metal under
§261.6(a)(3)(iii).  The act of emptying the can would be an exempt recycling activity •
under §261.6(c),  and any residues from emptying the can would be regulated if they
are listed or exhibit a characteristic of hazardous, waste. If the can is sent for disposal,
both the contents of the can and the can1 itself are subject to regulation. To dispose of
the aerosol can as nonhazardous,  the can must be RCRA empty according to §261.7,
and the can itself must not qualify as a hazardous waste.
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA s regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.