Prepare for an inspection

We inspect facilities to ensure they handle, store, and dispose of dangerous waste according to the Dangerous Waste Regulations: Chapter 173-303 WAC.

The inspection

Dangerous waste compliance inspectors arrive unannounced, during standard business hours, to evaluate compliance at the facility during normal operations.  

Who should be available for the inspection?

Inspectors will ask for the contact person listed on your notification form or Dangerous Waste Annual Report

If this person is unavailable, another staff member who is knowledgeable about dangerous waste at the facility will need to act as the backup contact.  

The contact person should expect to:

  • Explain the facility's processes that generate waste.
  • Explain how the facility has designated the wastes generated.
  • Explain how the facility's waste is stored and managed. 
  • Provide documents that are required to be maintained onsite, if requested.

What records will the inspector request?

Inspectors will ask to review records relating to dangerous waste management. The records the business is required to keep depends on the facility's generator status. Some of the records an inspector might ask for are listed below.

What happens during an inspection?

Inspectors will tour the facility to check for compliance against the dangerous waste regulations. The areas that inspectors typically look at are:

  • Points of waste generation
  • Production areas
  • Central accumulation areas
  • Satellite accumulation areas
  • "Bone yards" or other storage areas

During the inspection pictures may be taken. The photos are to document violations found or examples of proper dangerous waste management. These photos also aid inspectors when writing inspection reports. Talk to your inspectors if you have questions or concerns about pictures being taken at the facility.

After the inspection

Inspectors will write an inspection report. As they do, they may have follow-up questions to clarify observations or information from the inspection. 

What's an inspection report?

The inspection report will include:

  • A narrative of the inspection
  • A list of violations, if any are found during the inspection
  • The actions needed to correct any violations found
  • Concerns and suggestions

What if my facility has violations? 

Once your facility receives the inspection report, you will have 30 days to complete the actions needed to correct any violations found. A completed compliance certificate, included in the report, must be signed and submitted to Ecology with supporting documentation that the violations have been corrected.

Frequently Asked Questions