Hazardous Waste Packaging

Last updated on January 13, 2017

So, you want to ship some material that has been determined to be a hazardous waste, do ya. You followed the EPA regulations to make your determination that you have a hazardous waste, and you will ship the waste to an EPA permitted and authorized Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) for the proper treatment. But — another Federal Agency, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT or just DOT) will take precedence over the manner that the waste is shipped over the road. So you started by following EPA regulations in the determination and while the waste is on your site, then when you offer the waste for transport, the DOT regulations kick in. Once the waste is received at the TSDF, the EPA regulations govern the treatment of the waste.

How do you prepare a hazardous waste for shipment under the DOT regulations? Well, you become very familiar with 49 CFR and especially the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) 172.101.

49 CFR § 172.1 Purpose and scope

This part lists and classifies those materials which the Department of Transportation has designated as hazardous materials for purposes of transportation and prescribes the requirements for shipping papers, package marking, labeling, and transport vehicle placarding applicable to the shipment and transportation of those hazardous materials.

49 CFR §172.101 Purpose and use of Hazardous Materials Table

(c) Column 2: Hazardous materials descriptions and proper shipping names. Column 2 lists the hazardous materials’ descriptions and proper shipping names. Modification of a proper shipping name may otherwise be required or authorized by this section. Proper shipping names are limited to those shown in Roman type (not italics).

(9) Hazardous wastes. If the word “waste” is not included in the hazardous material description in Column 2 of the Table, the proper shipping name for a hazardous waste (as defined in §171.8 of this subchapter) shall include the word “Waste” preceding the proper shipping name of the material, e.g., waste acetone.

49 CFR §171.8 Definitions and abbreviations

Hazardous waste, for the purposes of this chapter, means any material that is subject to the Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in 40 CFR part 262.

40 CFR §262.20 General requirements

(a)(1) A generator who transports or offers for transport a hazardous waste for offsite treatment, storage, or disposal or a treatment, storage, and disposal facility who offers for transport a rejected hazardous waste load must prepare a Manifest (OMB Control number 2050-0039) on EPA Form 8700-22 and if necessary, EPA Form 8700-22A according to the instructions included in the appendix to this part.

Easy peezy – huh? A generator must have received DOT training prior to offering a hazardous waste shipment for transportation and before signing the shipping documents. Sounds like a topic for a later discussion. . . hopefully, this was a good start to understanding the dynamics of shipping hazardous waste off site.


Joe Jordan has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Chemistry from Washington and Jefferson College. He is certified in RCRA and DOT as well as 40 Hour HAZWOPER certified. Joe has been in the hazardous waste industry since 1990 and has managed industrial, healthcare, retail, and governmental clients, both large and small.

published in Hazardous Waste