U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 14, 2019
A person who generates a solid waste, as defined in 40 CFR 261.2, must make an accurate determination as to whether that waste is a hazardous waste in order to ensure wastes are properly managed according to applicable RCRA regulations. A hazardous waste determination is made using the following steps:
(a) The hazardous waste determination for each solid waste must be made at the point of waste generation, before any dilution, mixing, or other alteration of the waste occurs, and at any time in the course of its management that it has, or may have, changed its properties as a result of exposure to the environment or other factors that may change the properties of the waste such that the RCRA classification of the waste may change.
(b) A person must determine whether the solid waste is excluded from regulation under 40 CFR 261.4.
(c) If the waste is not excluded under 40 CFR 261.4, the person must then use knowledge of the waste to determine whether the waste meets any of the listing descriptions under subpart D of 40 CFR part 261. Acceptable knowledge that may be used in making an accurate determination as to whether the waste is listed may include waste origin, composition, the process producing the waste, feedstock, and other reliable and relevant information. If the waste is listed, the person may file a delisting petition under 40 CFR 260.20 and 260.22 to demonstrate to the Administrator that the waste from this particular site or operation is not a hazardous waste.
(d) The person then must also determine whether the waste exhibits one or more hazardous characteristics as identified in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261 by following the procedures in paragraph (d)(1) or (2) of this section, or a combination of both.
(1) The person must apply knowledge of the hazard characteristic of the waste in light of the materials or the processes used to generate the waste. Acceptable knowledge may include process knowledge (e.g., information about chemical feedstocks and other inputs to the production process); knowledge of products, by-products, and intermediates produced by the manufacturing process; chemical or physical characterization of wastes; information on the chemical and physical properties of the chemicals used or produced by the process or otherwise contained in the waste; testing that illustrates the properties of the waste; or other reliable and relevant information about the properties of the waste or its constituents. A test other than a test method set forth in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261, or an equivalent test method approved by the Administrator under 40 CFR 260.21, may be used as part of a person's knowledge to determine whether a solid waste exhibits a characteristic of hazardous waste. However, such tests do not, by themselves, provide definitive results. Persons testing their waste must obtain a representative sample of the waste for the testing, as defined at 40 CFR 260.10.
(2) When available knowledge is inadequate to make an accurate determination, the person must test the waste according to the applicable methods set forth in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261 or according to an equivalent method approved by the Administrator under 40 CFR 260.21 and in accordance with the following:
(i) Persons testing their waste must obtain a representative sample of the waste for the testing, as defined at 40 CFR 260.10.
(ii) Where a test method is specified in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261, the results of the regulatory test, when properly performed, are definitive for determining the regulatory status of the waste.
(e) If the waste is determined to be hazardous, the generator must refer to parts 261, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, and 273 of this chapter for other possible exclusions or restrictions pertaining to management of the specific waste.
(f) Recordkeeping for small and large quantity generators. A small or large quantity generator must maintain records supporting its hazardous waste determinations, including records that identify whether a solid waste is a hazardous waste, as defined by 40 CFR 261.3. Records must be maintained for at least three years from the date that the waste was last sent to on-site or off-site treatment, storage, or disposal. These records must comprise the generator's knowledge of the waste and support the generator's determination, as described at paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. The records must include, but are not limited to, the following types of information: The results of any tests, sampling, waste analyses, or other determinations made in accordance with this section; records documenting the tests, sampling, and analytical methods used to demonstrate the validity and relevance of such tests; records consulted in order to determine the process by which the waste was generated, the composition of the waste, and the properties of the waste; and records which explain the knowledge basis for the generator's determination, as described at paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The periods of record retention referred to in this section are extended automatically during the course of any unresolved enforcement action regarding the regulated activity or as requested by the Administrator.
(g) Identifying hazardous waste numbers for small and large quantity generators. If the waste is determined to be hazardous, small quantity generators and large quantity generators must identify all applicable EPA hazardous waste numbers (EPA hazardous waste codes) in subparts C and D of part 261 of this chapter. Prior to shipping the waste off site, the generator also must mark its containers with all applicable EPA hazardous waste numbers (EPA hazardous waste codes) according to § 262.32.