Very Small Quantity Generators

Last updated on September 29, 2021

The new rule changed the name of the Generator Classification for those persons that produce the least amount of waste from Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator to Very Small Quantity Generator. There are Limited Requirements under both the previous regulations and the new final rule.

  • Same basic requirements but they are now located in 262.14
  • The new final rule provides new options for flexibility for VSQGs
    • Episodic Generation
    • Consolidation at an LQG under the same company

The current RCRA rules lacked the flexibility to address an “episodic” change in a generator’s regulatory category. These episodes occurred often enough to address this situation in the new Generator Rule. Here are the types of episodes that may occur:

  • Planned event (i.e., periodic maintenance such as tank cleanouts),
  • Unplanned event (i.e., production upset conditions, spill, acts of nature), and
  • Generators must comply with more comprehensive set of regulations for short period of time when they are not regular generators of higher levels of hazardous waste.

This new episodic generation rule is applicable to both VSQGs and SQGs. New part 262 subpart L allows generators that temporarily change their generator category as a result of an episodic event to operate under streamlined requirements. All hazardous waste from episodic events must be shipped by hazardous waste transporter with a hazardous waste manifest to a RCRA-designated facility (TSDF or recycler). Both VSQGs and SQGs must notify the EPA about episodic events using the Notification Form (EPA form 8700-12).

What is an Episodic Event?

  • Episodic event means an activity or activities, either planned or unplanned, that does not normally occur during generator operations, resulting in an increase in the generation of hazardous wastes that exceeds the calendar month quantity limits for the generator’s usual category.
  • Planned episodic event means an episodic event that the generator planned and prepared for, including regular maintenance, tank cleanouts, short-term projects, and removal of excess chemical inventory
  • Unplanned episodic event means an episodic event that the generator did not plan or reasonably did not expect to occur, including production process upsets, product recalls, accidental spills, or “acts of nature,” such as tornado, hurricane, or flood.

Issue that the New Consolidation Provision Addresses

Some companies would like to be able to consolidate wastes from their own VSQG sites for more efficient shipping and hazardous waste management.

  • Reduces liability for company as a whole by ensuring proper management of hazardous waste
  • Sending to a RCRA-designated facility is the most environmentally sound option
  • Previously, an LQG needed a RCRA permit to receive VSQG wastes

Final Consolidation Provision

Consolidate waste at an LQG under the control of the same person:

  • Person – as defined under RCRA in 260.10 – means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, Federal Agency, corporation (including a government corporation), partnership, association, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or any interstate body
  • Control – means the power to direct policies at the facility

VSQG requirements

  • Marks and labels waste containers with “Hazardous Waste” and the
  • No hazardous waste manifest is required and hazardous waste transporters do not have to be used

LQG requirements

  • Notifies state on Notification Form that it is participating in this activity and identifies which VSQGs are participating
  • Recordkeeping for each shipment – normal business records
  • Manages consolidated waste as LQG hazardous waste including ensuring final treatment or disposal is at a RCRA-designated facility (TSDF or recycler)
  • Reports in Biennial Report – there will be a different source code for the VSQG consolidated waste to distinguish from the LQG’s own generated waste

FAQs about New Consolidation Provision

  • When transporting the waste from the VSQG to the LQG, what requirements must be met?
    • There are no specific RCRA requirements for the transport but any applicable DOT requirements would continue to apply.
  • Is there a quantity limit for shipments from the VSQG?
    • No, but the VSQG has to stay within its own accumulation limit.
  • Can the VSQG and the LQG be in different states?
    • Yes, if both states have adopted the consolidation provision. If the HW is transported through other states, the generator should check with the transit state to see if they can pass through.
  • What marking and labeling should be on the containers?
    • At the VSQG, the words “Hazardous Waste” and the hazards.
    • At the LQG, the words “Hazardous Waste,” the hazards, and the accumulation start date.

Call 800.772.5657 to learn more about how Sharps Compliance can help you manage your hazardous waste.

Also, if you’d like to learn how to dispose of pharmaceuticals, download our white paper on the incineration of discarded pharmaceuticals.

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.

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