Most businesses and facilities generate dangerous waste. If your site generates dangerous waste, you must determine your generator category each month. Your generator category tells you which dangerous waste rules to follow.
- Designate your waste to determine which wastes you have.
- Count the dangerous waste you generated for the month.
- Determine your generator category (small, medium, or large quantity generator).
Keep in mind that your generator category may change from month to month.
Determine your generator category
Designating waste gives you codes that help you figure out what type of waste you have. Waste types are determined by quantity exclusion limits (QELs).
What are quantity exclusion limits (QELs)?
A QEL is a monthly weight limit that determines your generator category (small, medium, or large quantity generator). There are two main waste types:
Most dangerous wastes have a QEL of 220 pounds.
Dangerous wastes that are toxic in small amounts have a QEL of 2.2 pounds.*
*This includes extremely hazardous waste (code WT01), and acutely hazardous waste (all P-listed waste and some F-listed waste codes: F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, F027).
Monthly generation limits determine your category
Count how much of each waste type (above) you generated in a month. Then, compare these amounts with the monthly generation limits (below) to determine your generator category.
For accidental spills of 2.2-pound QEL waste, cleanup materials like contaminated soil, water, or debris from the cleanup have a 220-pound limit. (This includes all P-listed waste as well as F020, F021, F022, F023, F026, F027, and WT01 wastes.) If you generate more than 220 pounds of residue from a cleanup of these wastes, you are an LQG.
If your generator category goes down, you must wait until all of the dangerous waste that was on site while you were operating at the larger generator category has been properly treated or disposed. Only then can you operate under the rules for the smaller generator category.
If your generator category goes up, begin to follow the rules for your new generator category (medium or large quantity generator) immediately.
If you have questions about your generator category, call your regional Ecology office and ask a hazardous waste compliance specialist for help. If you want to move to a smaller generator category by generating less dangerous waste, request a technical assistance visit.
If you generate more dangerous waste than normal because of a special project or unusual event, you may be able to follow the rules for episodic generation instead of the regular rules for medium and large quantity generators.
To use the episodic generation rules, there are specific timelines and actions you must take. For an unplanned event, for instance:
- Contact your local HWTR office within 72 hours of the event.
- File an Episodic Addendum form within 30 days.
More details about episodic generation
- Episodic waste does not affect your generator category.
- Rules for episodic generation applies only to the waste generated from the episodic event.
- Not all events qualify as episodic generation.
If you did not generate any dangerous waste in one month, the next month you still need to designate any new wastes to determine your generator category.
For the Dangerous Waste Annual Report, a facility is in XQG status when they do not generate dangerous waste in a calendar year. Even if they did not generate dangerous waste, the facility is required to submit an annual report if they: