Neutralized Solid Waste
Category : Questions
If a California facility generates acid waste but neutralizes it and it’s disposed through a wastewater treatment system, does the amount of acid waste need to be considered for the purpose of determining generator status?
Under RCRA regulations, hazardous waste water treated prior to sewer or NPDES permit
discharge is regulated under the Clean Water Act, not RCRA (the so-called sewer exclusion).
The California Health and Safety Code does not include a sewer exclusion, and attempts to
interpret the federal rule as applicable have failed [Peo. V. Sangani (citations omitted)]. Due to the
fact Title 22 regulations were modeled after RCRA rules that rightly ignore this issue, the state
regulations are silent on the subject, hence the confusion. This issue has come up only once before,
under the 1992 Treatment Permitting Reform Act that established tiered permitting (which I hope
you have, if not exempt), with respect to exempting waste water being treated from generator fees.
In regards to counting them toward generator size, most generators and regulators looked the other
way (and lack of manifesting made this issue easy to ignore).
Unfortunately, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 612, which adds a new provision to the
Health and Safety Code at § 25158.1 requiring all hazardous wastes generated to count toward
generator size at 22 CCR § 66262.34, and requires DTSC to add this to its regulations by December 31, 2016.
In my opinion, this will turn a lot of SQGs into LQGs.