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Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste (40CFR261.1 -- 40CFR261.33)

The following is a summary of the referenced federal rules, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This information is provided as an aide to help understand the requirements of the federal regulations, as they pertain to specific industrial or manufacturing operations. This information is not provided nor intended to act as a substitute for legal or other professional services. CFR citation numbers for each subpart are indicated, while the full text of the CFR citations can be viewed by clicking HERE and following the directions.

Subpart A -- General (40CFR261.1 -- 40CFR261.9)

Purpose and scope (40CFR261.1)
This section identifies those solid wastes which are subject to regulation as hazardous wastes. This part defines solid waste and hazardous waste, identifies wastes which are and are not regulated, and describes the criteria for listing or classifying wastes as hazardous. In addition to wastes defined as “solid,” other materials qualify for regulation as hazardous. This includes “spent material” which as a result of contamination can no longer serve the purpose for which it was produced without processing, sludges, by-products which are not solely produced for sale, and some materials accumulated for recycling.

Definition of solid waste (40CFR261.2)
Broadly encompasses all discarded materials, regardless of the intent to dispose, burn, or recycle the materials, including materials that are accumulated, stored, or treated prior to disposal, burning, or recycling. Certain materials are excluded from this definition.

Definition of hazardous waste (40CFR261.3)
A solid waste is considered hazardous if it exhibits any of the characteristics listed in Subpart C (40CFR261.20 et seq), it is listed in Subpart D (40CFR261.30 et seq), or is a mixture of any of those wastes. Certain materials are excluded from this definition.

Exclusions (40CFR261.4)
Exclusions to the definitions of solid waste and hazardous waste are presented. The more notable solid waste exclusions include domestic sludge, mining wastes, pulping wastes, and some petroleum wastes. Hazardous waste exclusions include household wastes, agricultural wastes, and certain other wastes from industries which are regulated under other programs.

Special requirements for hazardous waste generated by conditionally exempt small quantity generators (40CFR261.5)
Small quantity generators who generate no more than 100 kilograms of hazardous waste in a calendar month are conditionally exempt from most hazardous waste management requirements. Once the minimum quantity has been accumulated by the generator, regulations pertaining to the storage, manifesting, and disposal come into effect. Some states may not permit facilities to use this designation. Check with your state environmental office for more information.

Requirements for recyclable materials (40CFR261.6)
Hazardous wastes that are recycled are defined as “recyclable materials” for this section. Special regulations for accumulating, storing, manifesting, and transporting the materials are provided.

Residues of hazardous waste in empty containers (40CFR261.7)
Residues of hazardous wastes in containers are exempt if they are less than 2.5 centimeters (1inch) thick, or no more than 3% (by weight) of the total container capacity (110 gallons) remains in the container, or no more than .3% (by weight) of the total container capacity (provided that it is less than or equal to 110 gallons), or the container has been cleaned to remove traces of the hazardous material.

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) wastes regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (40CFR261.8)
With certain qualifications, the disposal of PCB-containing dielectric fluid and electric equipment containing such fluid is exempt from regulation as a hazardous waste.

Requirements for Universal Waste (40CFR261.9)
These wastes (batteries, pesticides and thermostats) are not fully regulated as hazardous waste under certain conditions.

Subpart B -- Criteria for Identifying the Characteristics of Hazardous Waste and for Listing Hazardous Waste (40CFR261.10 -- 40CFR261.11)

Criteria for identifying the characteristics of hazardous waste (40CFR261.10)
Criteria for identifying characteristics of hazards wastes include causing or contributing to an increase in mortality or serious illness, or posing a hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed or otherwise managed.

Criteria for listing hazardous waste (40CFR261.11)
A solid waste is listed as hazardous if it exhibits the characteristics of a hazardous waste, has been found to be fatal to humans or to test animals, or contains toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic constituents. Includes individual materials as well as classes or categories of materials.

Subpart C -- Characteristics of Hazardous Waste (40CFR261.20 -- 40CFR261.24)

General (40CFR261.20)
A solid waste is a hazardous waste if it exhibits any of the following characteristics:

Characteristic of ignitability (40CFR261.21)
Includes liquids which have more than 24% alcohol by volume with a flash point under 60 ?C (140 oF) degrees solids which cause fire through friction or spontaneous change under standard temperature and pressure, ignitable gases, or oxidizers.

Characteristic of corrosivity (40CFR261.22)
Based on the pH of the liquid (less than or equal to 2, greater than or equal to 12.5), or can corrode steel at a specified rate, under certain circumstances.

Characteristic of reactivity (40CFR261.23)
Includes being normally unstable, reacting violently with water, potentially explosive in water, or capable of explosion if heated or confined.

Toxicity characteristic (40CFR261.24)
A waste exhibits this characteristic, when a representative sample of the waste contains specific contaminants at concentrations equal to or greater than those specified in the regulation. The test that evaluates this characteristic is known as the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP).

Subpart D -- Lists of Hazardous Wastes (40CFR261.30 -- 40CFR261.35)

General (40CFR261.30)
Listed solid wastes are considered hazardous, unless specifically excluded from this list by the provisions of 40 CFR Part 260.

Hazardous wastes from non-specific sources (40CFR261.31)
Solid wastes produced by non-specific sources (i.e., “F” listed wastes).

Hazardous wastes from specific sources (40CFR261.32)
Solid wastes produced by specific sources (i.e., “K” listed wastes).

Discarded commercial chemical products, off-specification species, container residues, and spill residues (40CFR261.33)
Discarded commercial chemical products, off-specification species, container residues, and spill residues (i.e., “P” and “U” listed wastes).

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