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Hazardous Waste Determination


Hazardous Waste Determination

Properly identifying and classifying hazardous waste is a critical compliance requirement for generators in California. Facilities must evaluate and document whether their waste streams meet federal and state criteria for hazardous wastes. This waste determination involves assessment at the point of generation and often laboratory analysis. Mishandling waste determinations can lead to violations, fines, and permitting issues.

Our team of EH&S specialists can evaluate your waste streams onsite and collect samples for lab analysis when needed. CDMS will provide you with detailed hazardous waste determination reports. Let us handle this compliance requirement accurately and defensibly, saving your staff time and giving you peace of mind.

Regulatory bodies
  • EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • DTSC (Department of Toxic Substances Control)
  • CalEPA (California Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Local CUPAs (Certified Unified Program Agencies)
Who needs it

State and Federal regulations identify the criteria for what is considered a Hazardous Waste. In general, waste can be hazardous based on three major criteria:

  • Flammability
  • Corrosivity
  • Reactivity
  • Toxicity
Regulation reference
  • 40 CFR 261
  • 22 CCR 66261
  • 40 CFR 262
  • 22 CCR Div 4.5 – DTSC
  • 22 CCR 66261.10-24
  • 22 CCR 66261.126
What our service provides:

CDMS can assist facilities in evaluating, determining, and documenting whether a waste is considered hazardous according to Federal or State requirements or not. Typically, this involves the evaluation of the waste at the generation point, and laboratory analysis.

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What determines if a waste is hazardous in California?
Wastes are hazardous if they exhibit dangerous characteristics or appear on state/federal hazardous waste lists.

How do I know if a waste exhibits a hazardous characteristic?
Wastes must be tested at a certified lab to determine if they are ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic.

What are some examples of listed hazardous wastes?
Common examples include certain solvents, petroleum products, plating solutions, batteries, and pesticides.

Do I need to make a hazardous waste determination on all waste streams?
Yes, a determination is required on all solid and liquid waste streams generated at your facility.

What if I’m not sure if a waste is hazardous or not?
When in doubt, assume it is hazardous and manage it accordingly until definitive determination is made.

How often do I need to review or update the determinations?
They should be reviewed any time the process generating the waste changes significantly.

What records are required for hazardous waste determinations?
The regulation cited, testing data, personnel involved, evaluation dates, and determination basis.

Can hazardous waste determinations be contracted out?
Yes, environmental firms can be hired to perform the evaluations and testing. Please Contact Us to get support or request a Hazardous Waste Determination assessment. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.

Are there state-specific hazardous wastes in California?
Yes, California’s list of hazardous wastes includes more chemicals than the federal list.

What method is used to test for the toxicity characteristic?
The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) mimics landfill conditions.

Are Pharmaceutical wastes handled separately?
Yes, healthcare facilities have additional regulations for handling pharmaceutical hazardous waste.

Can hazardous wastes be exempted based on the amount generated?
No, the hazardous waste requirements apply regardless of the quantity generated.

Can I treat a hazardous waste to render it non-hazardous?
Yes, treatment like solidification can sometimes remove the hazardous designation.

What are potential violations for incorrect waste determinations?
Inaccurate determinations can lead to illegal disposal, fines, permit issues and penalties.

Do determinations need to be made before waste transportation?
Yes, hazardous waste cannot be offered for transport without proper classification.

How long must I keep my hazardous waste determination records?
At minimum 3 years, but 5+ years is recommended.

Can hazardous waste determinations be appealed?
No formal appeal process exists, but the regulatory agency can be petitioned.

Do laboratory analysis fees count toward generator status thresholds?
No, fees for hazardous waste determination tests do not count toward generator thresholds.

Can hazardous waste determinations be shared between companies?
No, determinations are site-specific based on individual processes generating the waste.