Every two years the EPA requires large-quantity hazardous waste generators (LQGs) to report the “nature, quantities, and disposition” of hazardous wastes they generate: a form-filling exercise with the uncharacteristically straightforward moniker, Biennial Report.
But lest you become overconfident in your command of EPA nomenclature, know that the form is also affectionately referred to as the Hazardous Waste Report, except when it’s called by its alphanumeric nickname, 8700-13A/B.
Anyway, whatever you call it, Good Ol’ 8700-13A/B must be submitted to your “authorized state agency or the EPA Regional Office” by March 1st of every even-numbered year.
That might seem like awaze-away now, but remember that what you’ll be reporting to the authorities in 2020 are your hazmat goings-on that happened (and are happening) in 2019 from January through December, inclusive.
That means you’ll have a scant 60 days after the close of business on New Year’s Eve to gather the data for your mandatory confession to the EPA; and so your future self would really appreciate your doing some preparation now to make things easier later.
(BTY, last time we looked, you could get the biennial report form here as a fillable PDF.)
Who has to file?
Biennial reporting is required only if you’re a Large Quantity Generator (LQG), meaning you generate 2200 lbs. or more of hazardous waste per month.
The EPA would also love to hear from you if you’re operating a treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF) for hazardous waste with similar numbers—and the EPA folks take their love-interests very seriously.
And be careful: the EPA considers you to be an LQG even if you’ve only once & incidentally generated 2200 lbs. or more of a hazardous waste in a single month during 2019.
For example, say you generated 40 barrels of goo from your facility during a once-in-a-decade cleanout project. At 55 gal. per barrel, you’ve achieved 2200 lbs., and if said goo is considered a “listed” or “characteristic” waste by the EPA, congratulations: you’re an LQG and need to file.
If this happens to you, then you’re going to need an EPA Identification Number, which—generally speaking—can be obtained by filing EPA Form 8700-12, aka Notification of Regulated Waste Activity.
Filling this little from out for the first time and be daunting. (So scare up some hazmat experts such as the PegEx team – call us at (888) 681-9616)
So, who doesn’t have to file?
Maybe you. Or maybe not. As in all things involving the EPA, expert advice is crucial. But generally speaking, you don’t have to file the biennial report if:
- You’re a Small Quantity Generator (SQG), producing more than 220 lbs. (100 kgs) but less than 2200 lbs. (1000 kgs) of hazardous waste monthly.
- Or, you’re a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG), producing 220 lbs. (100 kgs) or less of hazardous waste monthly.
But be advised that state agencies often have more stringent reporting requirements. For example:
- Some states require annual as opposed to biennial reports—25 of them
- Notification of “regulated waste activity” might require state-specific paperwork in lieu of federal forms
- Time intervals between required accumulations might be tighter
Also, federal restrictions are much more stringent for acutely hazardous wastes: the kind that will cause death, disabling personal injury, serious illness, or otherwise entirely ruin your day.
Have we mentioned that expert advice is crucial? PegEx can help you – call us at (888) 681-9616.
What needs to be reported?
Along with the usual requirements for such standard info as your EPA ID and the name & address of your facility, the EPA wants to know the quantity of hazardous waste you’ve sent to each TSDF during 2019, as well as:
- The name, address, and EPA ID of those TSDFs
- The name and EPA ID of the transporter(s) you used to get it there
- And a description of the hazardous waste (by EPA hazardous waste number)
But wait…there’s more. Somewhat ominously, you’re beholden to describe to your functionary friends at the EPA:
- What efforts you’ve undertaken during 2019 to reduce the volume & toxicity of the hazardous wastes you generate
- Any changes in hazardous waste volume and toxicity you’ve achieved during the year in comparison to previous years
Your biennial report needs to be certified—i.e. signed—by you or your authorized representative. An “authorized representative” is a person responsible for the overall operation of your site (i.e., plant manager or superintendent, or a person of equal responsibility).
Some notes on bookkeeping
Your biennial report must be archive and remain available for three years after the due date, but you don’t necessarily need to have it onsite.
It can be at your corporate headquarters—far away from any hazardous waste—or maybe in your sock drawer. Just so long as you’re able to provide the EPA with “information on, or access to, these records” upon demand. (So maybe the sock drawer isn’t ideal.)
Your biennial report needs to be accompanied by another form, called the Site Identification Form—or Site ID. You can file the Site ID electronically, but you do so by contacting your regional authority, which might be an EPA district office, but the chances are pretty good that it’s something with a name like “Alabama Department of Environmental Management.”
To figure out your situation, look here.
The Site ID must also bear the autograph of someone in your organization legally considered an owner; operator; or in the case of an authorized representative, “a plant manager or superintendent, or a person of equal responsibility.”
How can you make this easier?
There’s required paperwork that’s fairly common across different kinds of businesses that generate hazardous waste, and that you’re supposed to have on file for viewing on demand by the EPA. If these are up to date, they can be harvested for much of the information you’ll be asked for in your biennial report. Three of the most useful are:
Records of waste determination. You must document how you identified something as hazardous waste and what danger it poses. (Just as importantly, you should document how you identified something as not being hazardous waste in the event you’re challenged about it.) Such records must also be easily accessible and retained for three years subsequent to the last treatment, storage, or disposal of a material.
Hazardous waste manifests. These are integral to most hazardous waste inspections. As a hazardous waste generator, you must keep a copy of the manifest signed by the transporter; a confirmation copy of the manifest with the TSDF’s signature must also be kept on file after the waste is accepted by the transporter. Both must be retained and accessible for three years.
Land disposal restriction documentation. Certain determination and notification records must be kept onsite for three years subsequent to your shipping hazardous waste offsite to be treated before disposal.
Which states require annual instead of biennial reports?
As of this writing, precisely half of them. And the envelope, please:
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Have questions? PegEx has the answers. Get expert advice by calling us at 888-681-9616.