Hazardous Waste


Comparison of State and Federal Hazardous Waste Rules

General Summary (find a description of Federal Rules here).

    Minnesota follows the federal rules for hazardous waste management and also has more stringent state requirements.

1. Do I need an EPA ID number to handle hazardous wastes in Minnesota?

    In Minnesota, you submit a copy of the state form, Notification of Regulated Waste Activity, to obtain an EPA ID Number/Waste ID Number. Follow the instructions that accompany the form; and send it to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at the address given on the form. When a Waste ID number has been assigned, the MPCA will send you a notification response letter.

Main Hazardous Waste Page: State Hazardous Waste Management Information

Permits and Associated Guidance Documents: Hazardous Waste Permits

2. How do I determine my generator status?

    Minnesota generally follows the federal rules for defining generator status. Minnesota has a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) classification instead of the CESQG classification. VSQG's must meet most of the requirements for SQG's, with the exception of emergency response plan and emergency coordinator requirements.VSQG's that generate 100 pounds (about 10 gallons liquid) or less of hazardous waste in an entire year are called "Minimal Quantity Generators" (MQG's). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has established reduced requirements for MQG's, for reduced record-keeping, reporting and fee requirements for qualifying generators.If a VSQG or SQG exceeds the hazardous waste quantity limits in any calendar month, the classification status is no longer valid. The VSQG must comply with SQG requirements; and the SQG must comply with LQG requirements. Written approval from the state is required to regain status. SQG's may automatically regain status under certain circumstances (spills/releases/cleanup). All hazardous waste generators must have a state license for each individual generation site and have it posted.

3. How can I tell if the waste materials I handle are considered hazardous wastes?

    Minnesota generally follows the federal rules for defining hazardous wastes.Hazardous waste is a subset of waste (not solid waste).The state is more restrictive in a number of the federal exemptions it has adopted. In addition, the state has not adopted some of the federal exclusions as to what constitutes waste and hazardous waste Minnesota regulates the following as hazardous wastes: Wastes that exhibit the characteristic of "lethality"; small amounts of unrelated chemicals from laboratories; material containing polychlorinated biphenyls in concentrations of 50 parts per million or greater; and used oil not intended for recycling for which no other waste numbers are applicable. If a generator produces waste that exhibits the characteristic of "lethality," he may be exempt from some of the hazardous waste regulations if he can demonstrate that "the waste is not capable of posing a present or potential hazard to human health and the environment if the waste were to be improperly treated, transported, stored, disposed, or managed under routine waste management methods." Minnesota also identifies "oxidizer" and "lethality" as hazardous waste characteristics.

4. How long can I store hazardous wastes on site?

    Minnesota generally follows the federal rules for storing hazardous wastes.Storage areas must be protected from unauthorized access and inadvertent damage from vehicles or equipment. A container that hold free liquids be placed on a containment surface that is impermeable to the wastes stored and, if outside, is curbed. All containers, in addition to being labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste," are labeled with a description that clearly identifies their contents to employees and emergency personnel. If it is not possible for labels to be clearly visible for inspection, the information on the labels must be accessible in some other form that allows identification of the contents without having to move the containers.Any containers stored outside must be placed in an area with an overhead roof or other covering if the container's ability to contain the hazardous waste would be adversely affected by exposure to sunlight or moisture. Roofing or covering must not obstruct the visibility of the labels.SQG's can accumulate up to 3,000 kg of hazardous waste on-site for 180 days. If an SQG is given an extension to store waste for an additional 90 days, they must not exceed the 3,000 kg accumulation limit during the extended 90 days. SQG's must comply with all of the state's container standards, marking and labeling requirements.VSQG' can accumulate hazardous waste on-site without a permit until 1,000 kg of hazardous waste (that is not acutely hazardous waste) is accumulated. VSQG's that have been granted an extension to store waste for an additional 90 days must not exceed the 1,000 kg accumulation limit during the additional 90 days. VSQG's must comply with the state's container standards, marking and labeling rules and the requirement to prepare emergency preparedness and prevention procedures and make arrangements with local authorities in the event of an emergency.Generators that store hazardous waste in satellite accumulation areas must also meet strict requirements for containers inspections.

5. Who can transport and receive the wastes I ship off site?

    Minnesota generally follows the federal rules for shipping hazardous wastes to a TSD.Generators may not generate hazardous waste in-state or transport hazardous waste produced outside the state to a facility within the state unless that generator has adequate financial resources to ensure that the hazardous waste is disposed of, treated, or processed at a permitted hazardous waste facility.Generators must not relinquish control of hazardous waste if they have reason to believe the hazardous waste will not be properly managed; and can only be relinquished to permitted transporters or TSDF's with an ID number.Off-site TSDF's must meet certain criteria in order for a generator to send their hazardous waste to them, including having interim status, and is properly permitted and approved by the state and/or the EPA. Minnesota uses its own manifest form with added state-specific requirements.An exception to the manifest requirements is made for VSQG's that transport their own waste in their own vehicle to a VSQG hazardous waste collection program. VSQG's must keep a copy of each signed receipt for waste delivered to a collection site for three years from the date the waste was accepted at the collection site.

6. What records do I have to keep?

    Minnesota generally follows the federal rules for recordkeeping.Generators must keep on-site: weekly container inspection reports, copy of license application, copy of annual license renewal application, training records, and VSQG receipts for waste delivered to collection sites. These must be kept on file for at least three years.

7. Do I have to file reports?

    Minnesota follows the federal rules for reporting.

8. What training requirements do I have to meet?

    Minnesota follows the federal rules for training.

9. What differences between states may exist with regard to use of the the new standardized manifest form?

    As of September 5, 2006, the new standardized manifest form (EPA Form 8700-22) and its continuation sheet (EPA Form 8700-22A) must be used in every state to track hazardous waste shipments. There will be no state variations of the new federal form and states may not require information to be included on the form that is in addition to that required by federal rules. That said, some differences between states may exist with regard to use of the form. For Minnesota these differences include:

    Additional Wastes: None.

    Exemptions: None.

    The generator must send a copy of the manifest to MPCA within five working days of the initial transporter's acceptance of the hazardous waste shipment. A copy of the manifest must be sent by the receiving facility (for shipments out of state) to MPCA within 40 working days of the acceptance of the waste by the facility The generator is responsible for ensuring the MPCA receives the copy.

    There is only one set of exception reporting requirements applicable to all classes of generators, VSQGs.

    Recordkeeping: None.

    Other Notes, Comments::
    Generators may petition MPCA to use an alternate manifest system when their hazardous waste is being reclaimed because, unlike the federal rules, the state does not provide a manifest reclamation (recycling) exception for SQGs.

10. What are some other differences between federal and state rules?

    If any hazardous waste in the control of the generator spills, leaks, or otherwise escapes, generators must immediately notify the MPCA, if the release may cause pollution of the state's air, land resources, or waters; and recover the released hazardous waste as rapidly and thoroughly as possible, and immediately take any other action necessary to protect human health and the environment. The state does not provide a manifest reclamation (recycling) exception for SQG's. Generators must pay an annual generation fee, based on the amount of waste generated and by location. Also, generators must an annual statewide program fee equal to a percentage of their annual fee Generators must pay an annual tax that is deposited into a fund created under the state's Superfund law.

11. Contacts