IDEM requires specific notifications, reports, and/or management standards from facilities that generate hazardous waste. These requirements apply to all sites, regardless of how the waste was created. The Office of Land Quality (OLQ) focuses on the quantity and type of hazardous waste generated per calendar month. Chapter 4 of the Indiana Small Business Guide elaborates on waste management regulations. The guide details what generators need to measure and which category they would be classified as. The three categories of hazardous waste generators are: very small quantity generator (VSQG), small quantity generator (SQG), and large quantity generator (LQG). The U.S. EPA describes the hazardous waste generator categories in detail.
Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule
The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (GIR) published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 became effective federally on May 30, 2017. IDEM adopted the rule on December 26, 2019 without significant revisions.
The GIR contains over 60 changes to the hazardous waste program. Key provisions of the rule include an allowance for episodic generation events (planned and unplanned) and for VSQGs to send waste to LQGs under the control of the same person. The U.S. EPA’s Final Rule: Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements page has more information, guidance, and frequently asked questions about the rule. For assistance with GIR requirements, please contact the Hazardous Waste Compliance staff or the IDEM Compliance and Technical Assistance (CTAP) staff.
SQGs and LQGs must obtain a RCRA identification number. The RCRA identification number is site-specific. Generators that have successfully obtained a RCRA ID number are required to use their ID number while filling out the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.
SQGs and LQGS have various record keeping standards applicable to the determined generator category and must keep records for at least three years after the waste is shipped off-site for treatment, storage, or disposal.
SQGs that store hazardous waste on-site for more than 180 days (or 270 days if the waste is shipped more than 200 miles) are considered to be storage facilities, which requires a permit from IDEM.
LQGs that store hazardous waste on-site for more than 90 days are considered to be storage facilities, and must have a permit from IDEM.
Extensions for Generators’ On-Site Accumulation Time
Generators who cannot ship their hazardous waste off site within the allowed timeframe (90, 180, or 270 days) should request a 30-day Extension for On-Site Accumulation of Hazardous Waste [PDF] if they have not already exceeded their time limit. The extension is to be requested for exceeding the storage time for singular events and is not to be used as a regular operations practice. If the waste cannot be shipped off site before the extension expires or if the waste has already exceeded the time limit, the generator should self-disclose that they are in violation of the on-site accumulation standard for hazardous waste generators.
The “Derived from” Rule
Any waste which is derived from a listed hazardous waste, is itself considered hazardous, even if the original listed waste is undetectable after treatment. However, there is a “de-listing” procedure whereby a generator can petition, on a case-by-case basis, to have “derived from” wastes which have been effectively treated to be exempted from RCRA disposal requirements.
The Mixture Rule
Similarly, listed hazardous waste that is mixed with non-hazardous wastes to dilute, or reduce, the overall level of concentration, is still considered to be a listed hazardous waste, even if the mixture’s concentration is below hazardous levels. Diluting hazardous waste is prohibited in the hazardous waste rules and can compound disposal problems.
Additional Resources for Hazardous Waste Generators
Anyone seeking to exclude a waste from a particular generating facility from being regulated as a listed waste may petition for a regulatory amendment in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations under 40 CFR 260.22. However, such exemptions are conditional, usually requiring some specific monitoring, handling, or other remedy or conditional behavior on the part of the generator.
Generators are required to comply with management standards determined by their particular generator category. These requirements are outlined by the U.S. EPA.
For the safety of people and the environment, LQGs must have a Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan [PDF]. This outlines response procedures if a spill, fire, explosion, or release of hazardous waste were to happen and gives an example of a properly laid out plan.