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.
BACKGROUND: Used oil filters may exhibit hazardous characteristics and are hence, 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. We wrote about that in July 2016 stating that you should drain the filter properly. Now the DTSC (Cal/EPA) has started to classify all used oil filters, with a flapper valve that prevents oil from being drained out, as hazardous waste.
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.
CAL-EPA REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE 1/1/16
90-Day Storage Limit: Automobile dealerships generating more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month must dispose of hazardous waste within 90 days (otherwise the facility must obtain a storage permit, an arduous process). Almost all dealerships generate more than 1,000 kg (about 300 gallons) of used oil and used coolant per month and hence, must limit storage to 90 days. In the past, local enforcement agencies excluded used oil from these calculations so all dealers fell below the 1,000 kg/mo. level. The new law, SB 612, clarifies the fact that all hazardous waste generated at the facility are counted towards the 1,000 kg/mo. calculation. For facilities generating less than 1,000 kg/mo. of hazardous waste (Federal Term: Small Quantity Generator), the maximum accumulation time is 180 days or 270 days if the waste must be transported more than 200 miles for treatment and disposal.
In summary, each hazardous waste storage container must have a proper date of accumulation marked on each container along with EPA required waste labeling and secondary containment requirements. The waste must be disposed of within 90 days of the start date. Almost all facilities have used oil pickup on a 30-day or more frequent cycle. However, other smaller waste streams, such as used coolant or contaminated fuel, are not on the radar screen. Dealers must ensure that these wastes are now on a 90-day pickup cycle through a licensed and registered hazardous waste hauler. Contact your hauler to set up a required pickup schedule immediately.
Background: California auto dealers are charging for expenses related to management and disposal of hazardous wastes generated during servicing an automobile since 1989. The dealers are allowed to recover the expenses, both direct and indirect, incurred in managing and disposal of wastes generated during servicing automobiles. The used oil haulers who were once paying dealers for oil in the amount of $0.85 to $1.00 per gallon are no longer paying. This is the direct consequence of the reduction of the price of crude oil.