CHA News Article

State Clarifies Regulatory Status of Certain Hazardous Waste Containers
Provides interpretation of EPA letter affecting California generators

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently published the attached letter clarifying the regulatory status of pharmaceutical-related hazardous waste generated by health care facilities in California — specifically, the impact of previous EPA guidance on California generators. While federal regulations allow hospitals to factor in only the weight of the RCRA P-listed hazardous waste residue when determining generator status and completing the hazardous waste manifest, the DTSC letter clarifies that California hospitals must consider the weight of P-listed waste containers in addition to the residue, unless the containers are properly cleaned — a time-consuming and costly process.

DTSC states that California’s regulations on the definition of empty containers are currently more stringent than those of the federal EPA. The letter advises California health care facilities to include the total weight (of the container and the residue) on the hazardous waste manifest and states that this weight will count toward the monthly total to determine if the health care facility meets the one kilogram per month threshold for acute hazardous waste. The letter further advises health care facilities to be aware that DTSC will use the weight of the container and residue to calculate tonnages and collect annual generator fees.

CHA is not aware of any inspections, citations or investigations currently underway by DTSC or certified unified program agencies; any facility that has been contacted should notify Cheri Hummel, CHA vice president, emergency management and facilities.