Depending on the type of business you operate in Los Angeles, you may accumulate hazardous or toxic waste. For example, if you work in a medical facility, you will accumulate hazardous from the treatment of patient. Or if you work in a factory, you will accumulate hazardous waste in the form of solvents, toxic byproducts and more.
California has specific laws regarding the handling and disposal of toxic materials. In addition, the disposal of hazardous waste is governed by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Anyone who stores, treats or disposes of hazardous waste needs a permit from the Department of Toxic Substances Control to do so. California has a tiered permitting program for the disposal of hazardous waste. The following is a brief overview of these tiers.
The RCRA and non-RCRA hazardous waste
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) governs facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste. Federal Code lists which products are considered hazardous waste. Hazardous waste that does not fall under the umbrella of RCRA hazardous waste may still be considered hazardous waste under California law.
The five-tier permit structure
California takes a five-tiered approach to the disposal of hazardous waste. These tiers govern non-RCRA activities.
- Tier 1: The full permit tier. This tier governs all businesses that require a RCRA permit and engage in non-RCRA activities.
- Tier 2: The standardized permit tier. This tier applies to those that manage waste that does not fall under RCRA regulations but are still regulated on a state level.
- Tier 3: The permit by Rule (PBR) Tier. This tier applies to non-RCRA sites for specific waste and treatment processes.
- Tier 4: The conditional authorization (CA) Tier. This tier applies to non-RCA waste treatment sites that only process specific waste streams.
- Tier 5: The conditional exemption tier. This tier applies to non-RCA sites for small-quantity or low-risk treatment of hazardous substances.
This five-tier approach provides flexibility for businesses that utilize hazardous waste in a variety of manners.
Ensure you get the proper permit for your activities
As this shows, it is important that you get the proper tier for handling hazardous waste. Obtaining the wrong permit or moving forward with no permit whatsoever can lead to legal troubles. Our firm is ready to assist those who want to learn more about legally handling hazardous waste.