Frequent Questions

Does a hazard waste manifest need to accompany an off-site shipment of waste samples to a laboratory for waste characterization?

A manifest does not need to accompany an off-site shipment of waste samples to a laboratory for testing (§261.4(d)). EPA excludes samples of wastes from the requirements of Parts 262 through 268, 270, 124, and the notification requirements of §3010, provided that the samples are collected and shipped for the sole purpose of testing  to determine its hazardous waste characteristics or composition. Storage and transportation associated with the testing of the sample are excluded from regulation even when the testing is complete, provided the sample is returned to the generator, and the specific provisions of §261.4(d) are met (§261.4(d)(1)). In addition, when shipping the sample to or from the laboratory, the sample collector or lab personnel must comply with certain labeling requirements, as well as any applicable U.S. Postal Service or Department of Transportation shipping requirements (§261.4(d)(2)).

Additional guidance regarding the samples exclusion is available in the following documents: 

Memo, Bussard to Prior; August 11, 1994 (RCRA Online #11866) Memo, Wilson to Environmental Compliance Managers; June 5, 1989 (RCRA Online #13291)
Memo, Straus to Rideout; April 27, 1989 (RCRA Online #11428) Memo, Barnes to Landrum; March 31, 1989 (RCRA Online #13269) Memo, Barnes to Steele; August 11, 1988 (RCRA Online #11362) Memo, Horner to Citizen; July 31, 1985 (RCRA Online #12438)
Memo, Horner to Citizen; January 23, 1985 ( RCRA Online #11053

These documents are available in the RCRA Online Database at the following URL: 
www.epa.gov/rcraonline

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