ENFORCEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL REGULATIONS: Reportedly, local inspectors (Environmental Compliance Officers) have gone into dumpsters at auto service facilities to determine the occurrence of illegal waste disposal. They have cited heavy fines for violations when hazardous waste and universal waste are found in the dumpster. Alameda and Santa Clara counties sued an auto dealership chain and recently obtained a settlement of $3.38 million. See link.
TO MIX OR NOT TO MIX – OLD RULE
SEPARATION OF PAPER & METAL: In 2016, California EPA started to enforce hazardous waste regulations regarding used oil filters. While crushed metal oil filters could be recycled as scrap metal, paper cartridge filters and metal oil filters (with free flowing used oil upon puncture) were to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Dealers started to separate the two types of oil filters and dispose of them as two different streams.
BACKGROUND: Used Oil Filters may exhibit hazardous characteristics and hence are classified as hazardous waste in California. To encourage recycling of used oil filters, California DTSC adopted reduced handling requirements for drained used oil filters that are sent for recycling as scrap metal. Used oil filters must not be disposed in trash cans or at nonhazardous waste landfills. Legislation was enacted in 2004 (AB 2254, Aghazarian) that allowed spent fuel filters from automobiles be added to spent oil filters for disposal.
Background: Present US law requires that most hazardous waste be transported from hazardous waste generators (dealerships) to permitted recycling, treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (TSDF) by registered hazardous waste transporters, and that each shipment be accompanied by a hazardous waste manifest. The manifest is the document that provides information for “cradle-to-grave” tracking of the hazardous waste.
The good new is that the dealers in California and other states do not have to manifest used oil, used coolant, used oil filters or any of the Universal Wastes. The only waste that is regularly manifested to disposal from dealerships’ is their clarifier sludge. As of July 2000, manifests were no longer required in California for parts cleaning solvent (both water based and petroleum based) even though certain haulers continue to manifest the parts washer waste.
Every state had a different manifest and believe me; they were as different as they could be. California had a six-page manifest with blue, white and yellow colors. Texas, Arizona and Alabama each had them in different colors and formats. In summary, keeping track of manifests was a state-to-state mission and confusing at best. Now the Feds have marched in with a new manifest applicable to one and all in every state.
On February 8, 2006, regulations that require recycling of mercury containing fluorescent lamps, batteries, (non-automotive type) and other mercury containing materials will be prohibited from disposal as ordinary trash and required to be recycled. Some of the Universal Wastes that require recycling is as follows:
- Fluorescent Lamps
- Mercury Containing Switches, Novelties & other products
- Batteries (non-automotive kind)
- Non-Empty Aerosols
- Cathode Ray Tube
Investigate Accidents: Save Money & Fight Fraud
A prompt, accurate and thoughtful accident investigation can, simply stated, save money and fight fraud. First, it is state law that mandates that an employer investigate each accident and take corrective measures to prevent repetition of accidents. Secondly, a written investigation report can be reviewed by senior management or the safety committee to undertake steps that would prevent such accidents in the future. Last and not the least, such reports can be useful ammo in fighting the 3F–Fictitious, Fraudulent or Frivolous claims. In summary, as an employer, it is your duty to provide a safe workplace and also to ensure that any worker’s compensation claim is legitimate and preventable in the future.
Tires – Keep on Trucking
Late last year, the California legislature made significant changes to the California Tire Fee and used tire management programs. These issues were dealt in detail in our November 2000 newsletter. As part of the law enacted in late 2000, the regulating agency, California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has developed new forms for dealers to report used tires generated at their facility.
You cannot dump your fluorescent lamps into the dumpster any more! The US EPA has made changes to waste rules applying to spent mercury-containing light bulbs that requires recycling of these lamps and prohibit landfill disposal.
The rule has been adopted to reduce the disposal of mercury containing wastes into landfills. Mercury is a toxic pollutant that accumulates in our body, especially for children who are at a high risk as they absorb more mercury as a percentage of their body weight. Examples of wastes that are being regulated under this new rule are fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, metal halide, thermostat (with metallic mercury in an ampoule), batteries (non-automotive), and lamp ballasts.
A number of auto dealers in Orange County, California are involved in a lawsuit over improper disposal of wastewater to storm drains. A company that previously was involved in cleaning the shop floors at some of these dealerships has filed the lawsuit. While the legal theories being used in the lawsuit are complex, the objective of this article is to reinforce proper wastewater disposal procedures for the dealerships.
Hazardous Waste Management — Cost Analysis
The California Attorney General’s Office has sent several automobile dealers notices regarding deceptive advertising practices being used for hazardous waste disposal charges. The Attorney General’s office is specifically concerned with advertisements (i.e. coupons) that list a price for a service with a notation “Plus Hazardous Waste Disposal.”