Frequent Questions

When a facility has equipment that discharges hazardous wastes to attached containers, do the containers that collect such wastes have to be in compliance with the satellete accumulation area (SAA) regulations?

Yes. Even if the discharging unit is not regulated under RCRA, the attached containers that collect hazardous wastes from such equipment must be in compliance with the SAA regulations, if those containers collect wastes that are listed or characteristic hazardous wastes. Waste containers in SAAs must be:

- in good condition (265.171)
- compatible with their contents (265.172)
- labeled with "words that identify the contents of the container" or the words "hazardous waste" (262.34(c)(1)(ii)).

In addition, the containers in SAAs must be closed, except when adding or removing hazardous waste (265.173(a)). Generators would not be required to keep such containers closed while hazardous waste is being added to the container; but generators would need to keep them closed when the hazardous waste is not being discharged to the attached container.

The container(s) attached to such equipment is a point of generation. It is possible for there to be multiple pieces of equipment within one SAA, and thus multiple points of generation within a single SAA, provided all the pieces of equipment are "at or near" each other and "under the control of the operator of the process generating the waste." Under this scenario, the total amount of hazardous waste in the SAA would be limited to 55 gallons (or 1 quart of acute hazardous waste) and a generator would be allowed to consolidate like hazardous wastes from multiple discharging units.

Note: On November 28, 2016, EPA published the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule, which makes several revisions to the hazardous waste generator regulations. These revisions may affect the information provided in this FAQ. The final rule and additional information, including a fact sheet, frequent questions, and a webinar recording and slides, are available at www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/final-rule-hazardous-waste-generator-improvements.

The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule is effective on May 30, 2017; however, implementation in a particular state depends on the state’s authorization status. A discussion of the effect that this final rule will have on state authorization is available on page 85801 of the rule. Information about how the rule will affect the requirements in this FAQ in a particular state is best obtained from the state hazardous waste program. A list of state hazardous waste programs is available at www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/links-hazardous-waste-programs-and-us-state-environmental-agencies.

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