The Kentucky Division of Waste Management has adopted revisions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations that became effective on December 7, 2017.  These revisions affect labelling of hazardous waste containers for Small Quantity Generators (SQG), Large Quantity Generators (LQG), transporters, and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF).

For SQGs and LQGs, containers located in satellite accumulation areas (SAA) and central accumulation areas (CAA) are now required to have the words “Hazardous Waste” AND identification of the hazards of the contents.  Methods for identifying the hazards include, but are not limited to, the hazardous waste characteristic, 49 CFR part 172 subpart E (labeling) or subpart F (placarding) for DOT requirements, a hazard statement or pictogram consistent with OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, or an NFPA code 704 label.  It is also important to note that these same labelling and identification requirements apply to tanks used for batch or continuous storage of hazardous waste.

For ease of use and consistency with other programs, SMG suggests using one of the programs listed that is already in use at your facility.  If your work force is familiar with the pictograms under your OSHA program, then also using the same pictograms for the hazardous waste is appropriate.  If your facility uses the NFPA code for most of its materials, then using the NFPA code for your hazardous waste may be more appropriate.  The requirement is flexible enough to allow for multiple avenues to comply (Just make sure you established and are using one of these).

Though many facilities have already implemented best management practices for it, labelling of containers of 119 gallons or less must now include the appropriate EPA hazardous waste codes prior to transporting hazardous waste off site.  As an alternative to including the waste codes on containers, generators, transporters and TSDFs may use a nationally recognized electronic system to identify the waste codes.  An example would be a bar code system used by waste management industries that include all aspects of the waste profile.  Be sure to check with your vendors on what requirements they are using to make sure the containers are labeled for transport.

There is an exemption from identifying the hazardous waste codes on containers for lab packs.  Only lab packs that will 1) be incinerated and 2) do not contain arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, or silver.  The residues from incinerating lab packs containing these heavy metal wastes must undergo further treatment, and therefore must be labeled with the appropriate hazardous waste codes.

Revision to the regulations for managing containers by transporters are consistent with the requirements for SQGs and LQGs with one small difference.  When consolidating wastes into a new container, that container must also be labeled as “Hazardous Waste”, and have the appropriate hazardous waste codes; however, identification of hazards of the contents is achieved by following DOT requirements for marking of containers in transport.  This is to prevent possible confusion if other means of labelling were used.

Since containers must be properly labeled prior to and/or during transport, TSDFs are only required to label a container to meet these requirements if it is received directly from a facility that is not a LQG or SQG, such as a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) because no requirement for VSQGs to label containers of hazardous waste.

Derek Howard is an Environmental Scientist at Smith Management Group.  Derek can be reached at derekh@smithmanage.com or by phone at 859-231-8936, ext. 129.