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Generator Status

As Hazardous Generators come in all sizes and shapes, USEPA recognizes that fact by placing generators in one of three categories based on volumes and types of hazardous waste generated. These classifications and criteria for the same are as follows:

  • Very Small Quantity Generators: VSQGs generate 100 kilograms or less per month of hazardous waste or one kilogram or less per month of acutely hazardous waste.
  • Small Quantity Generators: SQGs generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste per month
  • Large Quantity Generators: LQGs generate 1,000 kilograms per month or more of hazardous waste or more than one kilogram per month of acutely hazardous waste. 

Most states recognize the USEPA classifications however the following states have enacted differences that generators in those states need to be aware of:

CA :

D.C. :









Follows the USEPA Summary Table that provides a summary of requirements for each class of hazardous waste generator.

Once again, it is important for each generator to be knowledgeable of any individual state requirements that may exist as well.

Keeping in mind that generators are required to determine their status on a monthly basis (40CFR 262.13) and that they are required to measure their hazardous waste at the point of generation, there always exists a possibility that a generators status could change on a monthly basis. This maybe due to events such as a spill, increase in production, shutdown of a production area, lab cleanout, etc.. Follows some guidance on how to manage these situations:

  1. If you are normally a SQQ and due to an event as described above you generate >1000 kg in a given month AND your state has adopted the Hazardous Waste Generators Improvement Rule (See our articles, Parts 1, 2 and 3 Here) you may apply for the Episodic Generator exclusion as clarified in the rule. This will allow you to function as a LQG for that given month instead of the entire year. See the following previously published article for details, HWGIR – Part 3.
  2. If your state has not adopted the HWGIR, and/or does not allow for any type of Episodic Generation relief, then you will need to follow the rules for your new status for the balance of the calendar year.
  3. As with compliance with most or not all of the rules associated with Hazardous Waste on a federal and state level, it always comes down to documentation and communication. Document your activities and communicate with the agency (state or federal) that is responsible for regulating and enforcing the rules in your particular state.
  4. And as always, reach out to your WTS contact for help and guidance.