The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act lays the foundations for cradle-to-grave management of hazardous waste. Generators play an important role in ensuring safe and effective disposal including proper record keeping and reporting. Both Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) and Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) are required to keep proper documentation to stay in compliance.
A Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) is not required by RCRA to keep records however, as best practice it is suggested to keep certain documents for three years to provide evidence of their status. Executed, signed copies of the Hazardous Waste Manifest and Hazardous Waste Determination for all solid waste are documents a CESQG would benefit in keeping on file.
For SQGs and LQGs, regulations may vary in some respects but overlap on two points.
- Upon request, documentation must be presented to a USEPA or state agent.
- Records need to be kept for three years from the effective date of compliance.
The table below illustrates the start date of the 3-year period of record retention for LQGs and SQGs. The exemptions which apply to SQGs are highlighted in color.
|Properly Executed Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest *||Date waste was accepted by the initial transporter|
|Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Exception Reports||Due date of the report|
|Land Disposal Restriction Notification & Certifications||Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal|
|LDR Waste Analysis Plan||Date waste was last sent to specified onsite treatment|
|Biennial Report||Due date of the report (March 1st)|
|Waste Analysis Data||Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal|
|Process Knowledge Hazardous Waste Determination||Date waste was last sent to onsite or offsite treatment storage or disposal|
|Weekly Inspection Record – Containers||Date of inspection|
|Daily Inspection Record – Tanks||Date of inspection|
|Facility Personnel Training||Current employees until facility closure. Last day of employment for former employees|
|Emergency Responder Agreements||Date of agreement or refusal|
|Contingency Plan||Activation date|
|Export Reports||Due date of the report (March 1st)|
|* Please note that Generators that have registered with e-Manifest may elect to use their e-Manifest account to store and retrieve their manifest copies.|
It should be noted that state requirements may vary and although documentation may not be required by RCRA, each generator should check their state regulations as well.
If audited, it is helpful to be prepared and stay organized throughout the year. The core documents your EPA inspector will likely want to see should be kept in a common space, in the same electronic file for digital documents or in the same filing cabinet for hardcopies. This also helps in preparing the biennial report when you may need to reference documents or search for specific data.
Further explanation of these standards can be found in 40 CFR part 262 and part 268.