Frequent Questions

Should a Small Quantity Generator (SQG) performing on-site treatment of hazardous waste in a tank comply with the special Section 265.201 standards, or is the SQG subject to all of Part 265, Subpart J?

A SQG performing on-site treatment in a tank would continue to follow the special standards in Section 265.201. Since the Part 265, Subparts I and J unit standards, including the special SQG tank standards in Section 265.201, are designed to ensure that the integrity of a tank or container is not breached, the same standards apply regardless of whether a unit is used for treatment or accumulation (56 FR 10146, 10168; March 24, 1986). The structure and content of the regulations in Section 265.201 were intended to supplant Subpart J requirements for SQGs rather than supplement them. Therefore, a SQG complies with Section 265.201 instead of all of the Subpart J regulations when accumulating or treating hazardous waste in tanks. Generators should be aware that authorized states can be more stringent than EPA and should always confer with the implementing agency to determine applicable unit standards.

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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