"Generator Improvements Rule" Becomes Effective June 1, 2018 in West Virginia
May 21, 2018
By: M. Shane Harvey
In 2016, EPA amended the requirements applicable to hazardous waste generators by promulgating the “Generator Improvements Rule.” See https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/final-rule-hazardous-waste-generator-improvements. Those requirements become effective in West Virginia on June 1,, 2018.
The rules for hazardous waste generators were largely written in the 1980s. In 2004, EPA undertook an evaluation of the hazardous waste program and identified several areas of potential improvement.
After collecting feedback from the regulated community, states and other stakeholders, EPA developed a proposal “to improve the entire hazardous waste generator program to strengthen environmental protection while ensuring businesses have the flexibility and certainty they need to successfully operate.”
This proposal resulted in the so-called “Generator Improvement Rule,” which was promulgated by EPA on November 28, 2016.
The Generator Improvements Rule provides some important new flexibility to hazardous waste generators. In particular, the rule:
- Allows a hazardous waste generator to avoid increased burden of a higher generator status when generating episodic waste provided the episodic waste is properly managed, and
- Allow a very small quantity generator (VSQG) to send its hazardous waste to a large quantity generator under control of the same person.
The rule also aims to improve hazard communication to employees and the general public through enhanced marking and labeling requirements. Under the new rule, generators must not only label waste containers as “hazardous,” but must also provide labeling indicating the hazards presented by the contents of the container (e.g. ignitable, toxic, corrosive, reactive). Examples of acceptable labels are shown below:
States were given time to adopt the “Generator Improvements Rule” into their state programs. West Virginia did so by promulgating 33 C.S.R. 20, which incorporates EPA’s “Generator Improvements Rule” by reference into West Virginia law, effective June 1, 2018.
Reportedly, inspectors with WVDEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management have been advising facilities of the effective date of the rule and hazardous waste generators in West Virginia would be wise to make sure they are compliant by June 1, 2018.
While some states have offered training programs on complying with the Generator Improvements Rule, West Virginia has yet to do so. However, we will update this blog if training sessions in West Virginia are announced. If you are interested in training materials prepared by EPA or other States, please contact us.