Regulatory Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

 
This Week's FAQs
Is it a Hazardous Waste or Isn't It?
EPA ID Numbers and Manifesting
Universal Waste and Household Hazardous Waste
Specific Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances
Site Cleanup
Common Generator Questions
Permitting and Permitted Facilities
Complaints
Contact Information
About the FAQ Page

You are responsible for knowing which regulations you must follow and for following them.
Let us help you find the answers.

You are responsible for knowing which regulations you must follow and for following them.  If you have questions, call or e-mail DTSC's Regulatory Assistance Officers. 
 

This Week's FAQs

Is it a Hazardous Waste or Isn't It?

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Q. If my waste is a detergent or soap and I have results that show it only fails the aquatic toxicity test, can I ignore those results and handle it as nonhazardous waste?
A.

Answered by DTSC Attorneys

I've heard that California's fish bioassay test doesn't apply to soaps, detergents or other wastes that contain 'surfactants'.

There is no waiver or exclusion from the aquatic toxicity testing requirement, nor is there any rule or regulation that allows a generator to ignore a result obtained from performing the aquatic fish bioassay test. . If you have aquatic toxicity test results from your waste detergent or soap that shows an acute aquatic 96-hour LC 50 less than 500 milligrams per liter then the waste is determined to be hazardous and should be managed according to all applicable hazardous waste requirements.

DTSC is aware that confusing and conflicting information has been reported about California’s aquatic toxicity test. Some claims have been made that running the aquatic toxicity test on soaps and detergents doesn’t truly measure “toxicity”, but simply results in suffocating or killing the test fish due to physiological effects not related to toxicity. DTSC does not agree with these claims, and continues to apply and abide by this mandated test procedure. The mechanisms of toxicity of many surfactants are not significantly different from those found with other surface-acting toxicants such as copper and acrylamide. The acute aquatic bioassay test does not distinguish fish mortality resulting from a toxic effect of one or more surfactants from those resulting from another ingredient in a product. Therefore, DTSC continues to apply and requires compliance with the aquatic toxicity test procedure as set forth in regulation.



EPA ID Numbers and Manifesting

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Q. Can I just fill out Form 1358 to deactivate a federal EPA ID number?
A.

No. You must notify both agencies: U.S. EPA and DTSC.

Q. How do I cancel/de-activate a federal (U.S.) EPA ID number?
A.

You will need to contact US EPA directly at 415- 495-8895 (Tetratech subcontractor), and you will also need to inform DTSC by filling out Form 1358.

Q. How do I file a manifest exception report? (April 1, 2009)
A.

If a Generator has not received a signed copy of the manifest from the TSDF after 35* days from the date the waste wasreceived by the transporter, the Generator is required to contact the Transporter and TSDF to determine the status of the waste shipment.
 
● If shipped by water, 60 days triggers calling the TSDF.
 
If after contacting the TSDF and Transporter, the Generator has not received a signed copy of the manifest, the Generator is required to file an Exception Report with DTSC. If the Generator receives a signed copy from the TSDF, then an Exception Report is not necessary.
 
A Generator files an exception report after:
 
● 45 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators >1000 kg/month
● 60 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators <1000 kg/month
● 90 days after the date of transporter receipt for Generators that shipped any amount of hazardous waste by water

The Exception Report needs to include the following:

● a legible copy of the manifest, and
● a cover letter explaining what the Generator has done to locate the hazardous waste and the results  of those efforts.

Send Exception Reports to:

DTSC Report Repository
Generator Information Services Section
P.O. Box 806
Sacramento, CA 95812-0806
 
California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 66262.42

Q. How do I get an EPA ID number?
A.

I'm told that I will need to get a California EPA ID number for my new business. How do I go about doing that?

Congratulations on your new enterprise! We have something new to offer you, too. An Internet-accessible fill-and-print (or save and email) California EPA ID application Form 1358 to replace the form that had to be downloaded, completed and faxed.

Q. I received a Manifest Fee Calculation Sheet for Manifest Fees for 2008. I don’t know what a manifest is, and I do not have hazardous waste. I did not apply for an EPA ID Number. Why did I receive this form?
A.

You received the form because you had hazardous waste removed from your facility, business, or property in 2008. If you had construction work done on a building, for example, there may have been asbestos removed. If you had a property cleaned up, there may have been waste oil, paints, solvents, etc. that was removed. These materials require a Hazardous Waste Manifest (shipping document) in order to be removed from the property. A temporary EPA ID Number obtained in your name was used on the hazardous waste manifest in order to remove this waste.

 

DTSC collects a one-time fee of $7.50 for each hazardous waste manifest that is used. If you are a home owner, property owner or a business that employs less than 100 people, there is a fee exemption that provides for up to four free manifests in a calendar year. In order to receive this fee exemption, you will need to write the Manifest Tracking Number(s) in the space provided on the Manifest Fee Calculation Sheet. You will find the Manifest Tracking Number in Box 4 in the top right corner of your Hazardous Waste Manifest copy. If you do not have a copy of the manifest(s), contact the contractor or hazardous waste transporter who performed the work for you. Whether or not you owe manifest fees, you are required to complete the form and return it to DTSC.

Q. Why didI receive a Verification Questionaire?
A.

You received the form because you had hazardous waste removed from your facility, business, or property in 2008. If you had construction work done on a building, for example, there may have been asbestos removed. If you had a property cleaned up, there may have been waste oil, paints, solvents, etc. that was removed. These materials require a Hazardous Waste Manifest (shipping document) in order to be removed from the property. A temporary EPA ID Number obtained in your name was used on the hazardous waste manifest in order to remove this waste.

 

DTSC collects a one-time fee of $7.50 for each hazardous waste manifest that is used. If you are a home owner, property owner or a business that employs less than 100 people, there is a fee exemption that provides for up to four free manifests in a calendar year. In order to receive this fee exemption, you will need to write the Manifest Tracking Number(s) in the space provided on the Manifest Fee Calculation Sheet. You will find the Manifest Tracking Number in Box 4 in the top right corner of your Hazardous Waste Manifest copy. If you do not have a copy of the manifest(s), contact the contractor or hazardous waste transporter who performed the work for you. Whether or not you owe manifest fees, you are required to complete the form and return it to DTSC.

Q. Will my Board of Equalization (BOE) number be automatically inactivated when I submit Form 1358?
A.

No, you will need to contact them directly at 916-323-9534 or visit their website at www.boe.ca.gov.



Universal Waste and Household Hazardous Waste

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Q. Are "green" fluorescent lamps hazardous or not?  (December 15, 2009)
A.

Even though the lamp manufacturers say that their "green" fluorescent lamps are not hazardous waste, they really are.

We wrote the rules! All fluorescent lamps contain mercury vapor.  Some lamp manufacturers have engineered lamps that can pass the federal hazardous waste threshold, either by reducing the amount of mercury used in the lamp, or by placing materials in the lamp that help the lamp pass the federal hazardous waste tests.  We are so concerned about how toxic mercury is, that California's hazardous waste rules for lamps state that a lamp with ANY added mercury is a hazardous waste, and you must dispose of it as either hazardous or as a universal waste.

You are best off handling the light tubes as a universal waste so you don’t have to get an EPA ID number or use a hazardous waste manifest to get rid of them (unless, of course, your business handles other hazardous waste in addition to the fluorescents). 

Households don’t need EPA IDs, by the way. We have lots of information about this that you can find under Hot Topics on our homepage.

Additionally, if you already do have an EPA ID and manifest hazardous waste, there have been significant changes regarding manifests since September 5. Find out now about the new uniform federal manifest instructions, which 

requires you to purchase manifest forms in advance from U.S. EPA-approved vendors. For more specific information, see theHazardous Waste Manifest Information page. (http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/IDManifest/Manifests.cfm.)

Q. Does an appliance repair business need to become a Certified Appliance Recycler?
A.

No. If the appliance is being repaired, it is not a waste. CAR requirements apply to discarded major appliances. Once an appliance is discarded and becomes a waste, a CAR would need to properly remove and dispose of all the Materials that Require Special Handling.

Q. How do I dispose of electronic waste? Can you help?
A.

Of course we can help! As can the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). First, many, but not all, household hazardous waste collection locations also accept various types of electronic waste. If you’re wondering what a household hazardous waste place is, it’s where you took your old paint, solvents, and garden pesticides the last time you cleaned out your garage. We have a list of household hazardous waste programs that we put together for another purpose, but it will work for you, too.

More specifically, CalRecycle has a directory of organizations that collect e-waste. They also have a link to ewaste collection companies (caveat emptor – some may charge for their service). 

Q. How much does it cost to obtain certification?
A.

There is no application fee to become a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR).

Q. How should I manage fluorescent lamp ballasts when I remove them under normal maintenance or as part of a lighting system upgrade? (03./26/09)
A.

The short answer is that you are required to follow federal and state regulations. Lamps and ballasts may contain hazardous materials and should be disposed of properly. 

 

What this means is you should assume that ballasts manufactured through 1979 and those without a “No PCBs” label do contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Alternatively, those ballasts designated “No PCBs” generally fall into two categories.

 

Some are known as “wet” because they contain a dielectric fluid, DEHP, but the ballasts that include them are not classified as hazardous waste. Recyclers must drain out the DEHP before they can recycle the metal and must manage the DEHP as a hazardous waste.

 

Other “dry” ballasts are entirely electronic and may be sent intact for recycling.

 

Because

California does not have an equivalent for the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which bans the manufacture and distribution of PCBs (40 CFR 761), the basic disposal requirements for PCBs are found in the Hazardous Waste Control Act (22 CCR 66261.24).

Q. I have a medical waste - like insulin syringes and needles. How do I dispose of it?
A.

Medical waste, including needles and syringes, is not hazardous waste as it is defined by the state of California. Please contact the Environmental Health Division of your county Department of Health Services or the California Department of Public Health.

Q. I have chemicals -- pesticides, pool chemicals, old paint, used oil from when I do an oil change on my vehicle, things like that. How can I dispose of them properly?
A.

These kinds of wastes - generated by households - are known as "Household Hazardous Wastes", or HHW. CalRecycle and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have information and links about almost all aspects of household hazardous wastes and recycling. Your local city or county Public Works Department may also have a schedule of local collection events, or call 1-800-CLEANUP or visit this HHW Community Locator (have your zip code ready) and follow the prompts.

Q. If it has a cord, must electronic devices be disposed of at a Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility (3/15/09)
A.

There are many electronic devices which when discarded have been tested and shown to be hazardous waste, due to their heavy metal content. These include televisions, computer monitors, laptop computers with LCD displays, to name a few. There are additional electronic devices which may also be a hazardous waste when they are ready to be disposed of that may not have been tested. A good rule of thumb is if in doubt and it has a plug take it to your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility. They will have the knowledge and expertise to dispose or recycle it appropriately.

Q. Is there some kind of Universal Waste exemption that extends to the PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts? (08/05/08)
A.

There is a limited exemption for PCB containing ballasts that was written long before Universal Waste REgulations.The exemptions are found in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (22CCR) section 67426.1 et seq.This section allows up to 2, 55 gallon drums per vehicle to be transported to an authorized location without having to use a hazardous waste manifest or using a hazardous waste transporter.A shipping paper such as a bill of lading must be used.So, the exemption is tied to how many are transported on one vehicle at one time,not how many are generated.

Just because there is a waste code for a material does not automatically mean that you have to use a manifest.

Q. What does Universal Waste mean to me? (July 19, 2006)
A.

It is called “universal” waste because everyone produces it. “It” here, means products that are really useful in everyday life but, if dealt with improperly after you are done with them, could hurt the environment.  We’re talking batteries, fluorescent tubes, electronic waste (from your cell phone through your old computer monitor), small electronic appliances, and that thermometer that’s been in your medicine cabinet for decades.

We all used to throw those things away but that’s why we find so many toxic metals in our drinking and surface water. Now, you have to make sure that you take your universal waste to a place that will deal with it safely. A lot of household hazardous waste collection places accept universal wastes in small quantities. So do various companies and organizations. CalRecycle, the agency that handles the non-hazardous landfills and a lot of recycling issues, has information on its Web site about organizations and companies that collect universal wastes. Go to the CalRecycle.

Also, if you are a retailer thinking about collecting universal waste, you really need to check into the DTSC/CalRecycle "Take It Back Parthership." Look for the logo on DTSC's home page, or follow the link in the art below.     



Specific Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances

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Q. Aerosol Cans - Does California allow the puncturing and draining of aerosol cans?
A.

Health and Safety Code Section 25201.16, effective January 1, 2002, has expanded Universal Wastes to include aerosol cans and describes their management. In particular, onsite puncturing and draining of aerosol cans does not require a permit or other authorization if carried out according to Subsection (h), provided notice is given to the CUPA or equivalent before such work begins. Offsite treatment still requires a permit.

Q. Asbestos - Can I remove asbestos-containing materials myself?
A.

In California, the California Air Resources Board and the Regional Air Quality Management Districts or Local Air Pollution Control Districts regulate the removal of Asbestos-Containing Materials, or ACM. For a general background on asbestos-containing material, follow this link to the California Air Resources Control Board's Asbestos web pages. Some districts allow homeowners to remove small amounts of ACM from their own residences without a permit as long as they follow correct practices. For larger amounts, a certified asbestos removal contractor is required. Call your Regional Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for information on rules applicable to your area.

Q. Asbestos - Does asbestos waste need to be reported on the annual or biennial reports? Must a disposal fee be paid to the state?
A.

No to both.

Q. Asbestos - How can I find a removal contractor?
A.

See the yellow pages under "Asbestos Abatement Contractors." All contractors must have a license and certification by the Contractors State Licensing Board, look for CAL OSHA certified consultants and contractors.

Q. Asbestos - How can I have it tested?
A.

Check in the yellow pages under "Laboratories, Analytical" and "Asbestos Abatement and Removal Services" for certified labs. If none are listed in your local directory, check with your local Air Quality Management District for advice.

Q. Asbestos - I have waste asbestos. Where can I take it?
A.

A landfill must have special authorization to accept asbestos containing materials. There are also special packaging requirements, and a hazardous waste manifest is required for transportation. Call your local landfill or County Solid Waste Department, or contact your regional water quality control board for information about landfills in your area. CalRecycle has a searchable list of landfills and their specifications on their Web site at the Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) Database.

Q. Asbestos - I'm removing transite pipe. Does it have to be managed as a hazardous waste? Who can accept it?
A.

If transite pipe is not to be broken or crushed, and is not friable, it is not a hazardous waste. However, it still may be regulated as an asbestos containing material by your local Air Quality Management District and disposal site. Call them for disposal options and requirements. Check CalRecycle's searchable list of landfills and their specifications on their Web site at the Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) Database.

Q. Asbestos - Is asbestos a hazardous waste?
A.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) is regulated by DTSC only when it is a hazardous waste. That aspect will be discussed first, and links to various agencies for other questions are provided thereafter.

The DTSC Asbestos Fact Sheet describes in some detail how to determine whether the material is a hazardous waste and the requirements for handling, transport, and disposal if it is. Friable, finely divided, and powdered wastes containing more than 1 percent asbestos are classified as hazardous wastes in California. Such solid materials as transite are not so classified because the fibers are well-bonded into the structure unless cutting or grinding has occurred, or the surface has weathered and become powdery. Wetting asbestos for purposes of handling or transportation is not regarded as treatment.

Q. Asbestos - I've found asbestos during demolition or remodeling, who do I call for a permit?
A.

Newly discovered asbestos containing material should be left in place until the local Air Quality Management District is notified and, if necessary, an abatement permit issued. Depending on the type, amount and composition of the material, an abatement contractor may have to be hired to remove it.

Q. Asbestos - I've found that there is asbestos (ceiling, siding, insulation, duct work, flooring, shingles) in my house . . . Will it harm me?
A.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Asbestos Web site provides some excellent literature discussing this question. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) webpage also has a fact sheet on asbestos. The Contractor's State Licensing Board will mail you a free booklet explaining asbestos use in building materials. Follow the link above or call 1-800-321-2752. Keep in mind that intact asbestos containing material on homes is not subject to hazardous waste regulations until it has been removed or the house has been demolished.

Q. Asbestos - May I use asbestos-containing serpentine gravel for road base?
A.

It depends on the asbestos content. Check with the local AQMD.

Q. Asbestos - My excavation spoils have naturally-occurring asbestos content (serpentine rock). What can I use it for?
A.

Check with your local Air Quality Management District for the regulations in your area. If it is to be disposed of, you must make a hazardous waste determination.

Q. Asbestos - What does "friable asbestos" mean in California?
A.

Friable asbestos material means any material containing more than 1percent asbestos, that, when dry, can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.  Asbestos containing materials that are not classified as friable may be made friable by fires, demolition and other renovation activities.


Q. Asbestos - Who else can I call about Asbestos?
A.

For health questions, contact your County Department of Health Services, the Environmental Health Unit if there is one. Also check this link to the California Air Resources Control Board's Asbestos web pages.

For general information, including abatement issues, contact your local Air Pollution Control District or Regional Air Quality Management District; your County Department of Health Services may also provide information through an Environmental Health unit. This should be done before any material is disturbed. Note that all contractors must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board; those doing asbestos (and lead)abatement must have special training and be registered with Cal/OSHA, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a part of the Department of Industrial Relations.

U.S. EPA has extensive information about asbestos. Federal regulation through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), maybe found at 40CFR 763. Note, however, that California's regulation of hazardous waste may be more stringent than EPA's. California statutes relating to asbestos use in buildings can be found in HSC Division 20, Chapters 10.3 through 10.6 HSC 25910-25999. Local Air Quality Management districts also develop their own regional rules that may differ from district to district.

Not all asbestos needs to be removed from homes or the workplace to make them safely habitable. It can often be encapsulated in a way that will keep the fibers from escaping. Information about this may be obtained from the Environmental Health Unit of your County Department of Health Services, your local air district, or from your city or county's Department of Building and Safety. Cal/OSHA, a part of the California Department of Industrial Relations, regulates safety in the workplace.

Q. Asbestos - Will a Household Hazardous Waste Facility or event accept my asbestos waste?
A.

Call the facility first.

Q. Do employees who transport medical waste need a commercial driver license with hazardous materials endorsement?
A.

Admittedly, this can be a confusing issue. It is important to remember that DTSC registers businesses, not vehicles, as hazardous waste transporters. The California Highway Patrol writes and enforces the regulations that govern hazardous waste endorsement, although the Department of Motor Vehicles conducts the testing and ultimately issues the license.

 

Here’s the rule of thumb to follow: If you are not required to placard the vehicle for the specific load being transported, then the driver does not need a hazardous materials endorsement. If you are still uncertain, contact the Hazardous Materials Unit of the California Highway Patrol at 916-445-1865.

Q. How could lead get into my drinking water?
A.

   Lead gets into water after water leaves your local treatment plant or well. The source of lead in your home's water is most likely corrosion of the pipes or solder in your home's own plumbing. Corrosion results from a reaction between the water and the plumbing parts. Dissolved oxygen, low pH (acidity) and low mineral content in water are common causes of corrosion. One factor that increases corrosion is the practice of grounding electrical equipment (such as telephones) to water pipes. Any electric current traveling through the ground wire will accelerate the corrosion of lead in pipes. Eliminating the lead content in your home plumbing is an effective control of lead in drinking or cooking water.

Q. How do I calculate the perchlorate concentrations? (Jan. 30, 2007)
A.

I am having some trouble figuring out what exactly to label, etc., for perchlorate. I know that the threshold concentration limit in the regulations is 6 parts per billion. Do I calculate that based on just the battery or on the device that contains the battery.

You calculate the 6 ppb on a mass basis – in other words, the weight of the perchlorate ion divided by the weight of the battery or, if the battery is in a device, the weight of the device. If you can’t tell how much the perchlorate ion weighs, a conservative approach is to take the weight of the perchlorate compound found in the Material Data Safety Sheet (perhaps more familiarly, MSDS) to calculate the perchlorate concentration of the item.

Let’s take it to what might appear to be an extreme: if you have a hotel that has doors that have keyless locks that operate with perchlorate containing batteries, you would divide the weight of the perchlorate item by the weight of the hotel.

Item Requirements:
Batteries Labeling, notification (if more than 500 pounds), spill response, disposal
Lock Labeling (when sold with battery in lock), notification (if total weight of batteries in the locks is more than 500 pounds), disposal (if lock contains the battery)
Door with lock Labeling (when sold or disposed), notification (if total weight of batteries in the locks on all the doors is more than 500 pounds), disposal (if the locks on the doors still contain the batteries)
Hotel with doors having locks Labeling (when sold), notification (if total weight of batteries in the locks on all the doors is more than 500 pounds), disposal (if the building is demolished with the batteries or other perchlorate-containing materials intact)


And who says regulations can’t be fun? Seriously, you benefit most by thinking about pollution prevention first when dealing with batteries and other items containing perchlorate (so true with all hazardous waste). Batteries are a way of life, we know that. But if you think ahead and manage the batteries themselves instead of the devices they power, you will save yourself a lot of math problems.

Q. Latex and Other Paint - What about other paints?
A.

Waste oil-base paints are hazardous wastes when they are disposed of because of the ignitable and toxic solvents they contain. There may be other reasons as well, such as heavy metals like chromium, lead and zinc in their pigments. Specialty coatings such as urethanes, epoxy, and resins are hazardous in liquid form due to the toxicity of uncured resins and epoxies.

Aerosol spray paint cans, however, are not considered hazardous as long as they have been completely emptied. But if there is still paint and pressure inside, they must be handled as hazardous waste, due to both the paint and the flammable pressurized gas.

Most of us have heard of the hazards of lead-based paint, especially to children young enough to eat chips of it or chew on painted surfaces. For more information about lead hazards, check the Department of Health Services Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch webpage. When the paint has been removed from wood or other surfaces, the chips, powder or other forms that it may be in must be treated as hazardous waste. Lead-painted items from demolition or remodeling are another concern, but requirements are not quite so simple. They will be addressed in a later FAQ.

Q. Latex and Other Paint - What is the proper way to get rid of latex paint?
A.

In 1991, the California State Legislature addressed the problem of environmental contamination by the irresponsible disposal of liquid latex paint by enacting Article 10.7 of Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the California Health and Safety Code. It defines "recyclable latex paint" as any water-based latex paint, still in liquid form, that is transferred to be recycled. You may not dispose of liquid latex paint, or even try to do so, to the land or the waters of the state.

The best way to get rid of latex paint is to use it up in the manner that it was intended. Spreading latex paint for the purposes of drying and disposing of it is not permitted. If you have paint left over from your job that is still usable, someone else might be able to use it. Sometimes the "someone else" is a neighbor, sometimes a public-service club or organization, such as Graffiti-Busters, church, schools, theater, or youth groups, low-income housing organizations, etc. They usually need to have at least gallon of paint in good condition; however, this could be one gallon left out of a five-gallon can.

If this is not feasible, recycling is the answer --- getting the paint back to a company that will combine it with similar paints and other ingredients to give it new life as a serviceable new paint. Household hazardous waste collection events (temporary) or centers (permanent) are open to people who generate hazardous waste at their homes and, in some cases, to CESQGs(Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generators --- businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of federally-regulated hazardous waste per month).In particular, these collections accept recyclable paints, as well as all other types of paint and paint products that are no longer to be used. There are also recycle-only events, which may accept useable latex paint, used motor oil and oil filters, antifreeze, vehicle and household batteries, and fluorescent and HID lamps. Information for finding locations and times of operation can be found by calling 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687) or by contacting your sanitation or public works department. If you are interested in using recycled latex paint, check the CalRecycle Web site's on recycled latex paint.

Q. Latex and other Paint - Why is latex paint a problem?
A.

Although latex paints pose much less risk to the environment than they did some years ago, individual types may still be hazardous, so the best plan is to treat all paint as hazardous. Compounds used in the formulation of some latex paint can cause it to be toxic to many aquatic organisms. Since most storm drains drain to streams, rivers, bays and the ocean, dumping excess latex paint into storm drains or rinsing painting equipment into the gutter or storm drain is prohibited. We all know that groundwater needs to be protected from contamination, but danger to fish and other water life is an important consideration too. Older paint may have lead or other metals in the coloring (pigments), and chemicals that are added to prevent mildew frequently make paint products hazardous. Residual organic compounds(solvents) could also be a threat. When you need to rinse brushes and painting equipment, either do it in the sink or in a basin that can capture the rinse water, so that you can dispose of it to the sanitary sewer (sink or toilet). Sanitary sewer systems can digest latex rinse water into harmless products. Do not, however, pour undiluted latex paint into the sanitary sewer. It is not allowed by law, and can cause plumbing problems.

Q. Lead - How does mandating disposal restrictions for waste with greater than 350 ppm lead, affect disposal of lead-painted building debris? Are the wastes with greater than 350 ppm lead now hazardous wastes?
A.

Also, are the wastes with greater than 350 ppm lead now hazardous wastes?

This statute,(HSC 25157.8 (from AB 2784, Strom-Martin, 1998),  affects all types of wastes, including, but not limited to, those from lead abatement projects, soil from excavations, and demolition debris. According to the statute, wastes with total lead greater than 350ppm disposed of in California must be disposed of at a Class 1 hazardous waste landfill, or at other landfills that have specific permits to accept these wastes. However, the wastes are not classed as hazardous wastes unless for another reason. The California hazardous waste threshold for total lead is 1,000 ppm and the soluble threshold concentration (STLC) for lead is 5 ppm. If the total and soluble lead levels are below these threshold concentrations, it is not a hazardous waste in California. Therefore, you do not need to use a hazardous waste manifest or registered hazardous waste transporter when transporting the waste if the only hazard is that it contains lead at greater than 350 ppm but less than 1,000 ppm (mg/kg).

Q. Lead - What’s the threshold for non-hazardous lead? Do we still have to take wastes with more than 350 ppm total lead to a Class I landfill even if they aren't hazardous wastes?
A.

Maybe. The total threshold limit for lead is 1,000 parts per million (ppm). If your waste contains less than 1,000 ppm lead total concentration, you do may not have to dispose of it in a Class I hazardous waste landfill. If your lead contains greater than 50 ppm lead (total concentration), you must determine if the waste is hazardous waste due to the soluble concentration of lead in the waste.“What?” you ask, “Is this new?”  Yes.

The reason for some confusion about metal-contaminated waste is that, on January 1, 1999, a law went into effect putting several restrictions on the disposal of copper, nickel, and, of particular interest to you, lead-containing waste.  It said that you had to dispose any waste having more than 350 parts per million of lead to a full-blown hazardous waste landfill (very expensive) or to one of the “in between” landfills (we call them Class II) that is specifically permitted to take lead-containing waste.  That left you with having to deal with non-hazardous waste – lead concentrations between 350 and 1,000 ppm – as hazardous waste! 

But that law had what we call a “sunset”, a date after which it is no longer effective unless the Legislature acts to make it continue on.  The “sunset” on this law passed on July 1, and the Legislature did not act. 

Therefore, if you have soil, let’s say, with levels of lead less than 1,000 ppmand the soil does not exceed any of the other criteria for a hazardous waste, you can take it to any non-hazardous waste disposal facility that’s allowed to accept lead (and not all are, but that’s a separate discussion). 

If you are one of those with an unquenchable desire to read statutes, see Health and Safety Code section 25157.8.

Q. Lead - Who can I contact with questions about lead?
A.

There are many agencies that specialize in the topic of lead safety--- especially with respect to lead paint in the home. County Departments of Health Services frequently have such units. Ask if your County has a Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

California has its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and U.S. EPA has its Lead Programs, with links to other sites. All building contractors must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board; those doing lead abatement must also have special certification from the California Department of Health Services and be registered with Cal/OSHA,a part of the Department of Industrial Relations.

Q. Mold - I found mold growing on my walls. How do I know if it is the dangerous toxic mold? (Nov. 29, 2006)
A.

Will it make me, my kids, or my pets sick? How do I get rid of it?

Even though mold may be toxic, we at DTSC dont have anything to do with mold, toxic or otherwise.  But because we get the question fairly often, here are some resources that may be of use to you. The lead agency for mold-related issues is the California Department of Health Services (DHS). They have a good, short fact sheet to get you started, Mold in My Home. What Do I Do? You can find even more information about how to hire a mold inspector & contractor on the DHS Web site, in English y Español. Since they are the experts, well let them tell you whats what with mold.

Q. Perchlorate - What do I have to do to label a piece of equipment that has batteries with perchlorate? (Nov. 16, 2006)
A.

With the new perchlorate best management practices, if we have a piece of equipment that uses lithium batteries, do we have to label the end product?

The short answer is yes. The perchlorate regulations for California require that product manufacturers, or product distributors, who bring products into California label those products to inform consumers of the perchlorate content and where additional information can be found. The 6 parts-per-billion threshold applies to any product that contains perchlorate or a perchlorate device – so you have to label perchlorate-containing batteries and any product that contains those batteries. For example, a coin-cell, lithium-manganese dioxide battery containing perchlorate is considered to be a “consumer good” or commodity, and subject to the labeling requirements for perchlorate materials, as would be the product that runs off that battery (if the battery is included with the end product). You have options for labeling, though. One option is to use a Material Safety Data Sheet (known by its familiar acronym, MSDS), the shipping documents themselves, or a package insert. The packing insert can be a product flyer (a separate sheet included with the instructions), the product manual, or a sticker. 

For those curious about the chemistry behind why it is that the batteries have perchlorate, lithium battery types include lithium-manganese dioxide, lithium-sulfur dioxide, and lithium-thionyl chloride. The anode is made of lithium and the cathode is made of manganese dioxide, or sulfur dioxide, or thionyl chloride. The electrolyte of the lithium-manganese dioxide battery is made out of an organic solvent, propylene carbonate and 1,2 dimethoxyethane, which is a solution of lithium perchlorate. Basically, it makes the batteries work better.

Q. Pesticide - Are my symptoms a result of pesticide exposure?
A.

See your physician

Q. Pesticides - How can I find out about the toxicity of insecticides or pesticides that were sprayed in my home, my community or on local fields?
A.

The local agency for pesticide information and regulation is the County Agriculture Commission. Call your County Agriculture Commissioner - See the Government pages in the Phone Book, or follow this link to a list maintained by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). DPR has over-all responsibility for the registration and proper use of pesticides in California, including licensing of applicators. Call the DPR at (916) 445-4300 or follow this link to the DPR site.

Q. Photographic silver waste - Generators of waste photo fixer are no longer required to have permits to treat their waste. Are they still regarded to be hazardous waste generators?
A.

As a result of SB 2111 (Costa, 1998, HSC25143.13, those who have waste photo fixer still generate a hazardous waste, but the state does not require them to obtain EPA ID numbers if they generate less than 100 kilograms (about 27 gallons) of waste per month and store less than 1000 kilograms (270 gallons), provided the waste is hazardous only because of silver, this is the only hazardous waste produced, and the waste is recycled. There is no maximum time for which this waste may be held. Whether the local agency will require fees and Hazardous Materials Management Plans is up to that local jurisdiction (the CUPA or the Participating Agency). Waste photo fixer may NOT be disposed of "down the drain". For more information on silver waste, see the Duty Officer Fact Sheet Dental, Medical and Veterinary Offices - Managing Your Hazardous Waste.

Q. Radon - I am concerned about radon in my home or my child's school.
A.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control does not deal with radon. Information about this topic can be found at the Radiologic Health Branch of the California Department of Health Services, as well as at the U.S.EPA.

Q. What are the standards for cleanup of spilled hazardous materials or wastes? Where can I find the cleanup levels for certain chemicals in soil?
A.

The Department does not publish, nor use, generic soil clean-up levels for contaminated sites. Because each site is unique, cleanup levels must be calculated for each site through a risk assessment, which takes into account the types of toxic materials at each site, the potential receptors, the pathways that the toxic compounds might follow to get to the receptors and their fate in the environment. The process begins with a Preliminary Endangerment Assessment (PEA), which may be followed by a health risk assessment, depending on the findings of the PEA. You may request a copy of the PEA manual from your local DTSC Regional Office (PDF map)The U.S. EPA often uses Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) and Soil Screening Guidance as site screening tools. With the prior approval of the DTSC project manager, PRGs have been used on some specific sites in California. They are not routinely used as screening levels in California.

Q. What do I do with waste fireworks? (Jan. 30, 2007)
A.

I know fireworks are dangerous under the best of circumstances. I also know that they contain perchlorate that can get into drinking water. I want to do the right thing, but I can’t find a facility that will take fireworks for disposal. Can you help?

Unfortunately, for the short-term, there are no facilities in California authorized to dispose of these wastes. We have created a table of hazardous waste management facilities in the U.S. that are authorized to accept fireworks and other reactive wastes. To address the issue of seized illegal fireworks, the Office of State Fire Marshal is getting funding for four mobile fireworks treatment units that will destroy the fireworks collected by local government agencies. However, this technology is in the development phase and we don’t expect that they will become operational until 2008.

 The fireworks eligible to be treated in the mobile units will be restricted to Department of Transportation Hazard Class 1.4 (explosives with no significant blast hazard). DTSC is in the process of developing streamlined Permit By Rule regulations, to be released to coincide with the roll-out of the mobile treatment units. To give you some idea of how we’re envisioning fireworks treatment working, it starts with the mobile unit going near the location fireworks cache to avoid having truckloads of skyrockets and M-80s on California’s freeways. Once the fireworks are treated (essentially, torched off in a blast chamber type device), the operators will collect and package the ash and debris. If the “residues” are hazardous because of heavy metals or perchlorate, they will go to a permitted hazardous waste facility.

As always in developing regulations, DTSC will open a 45-day public comment period on the draft regulations. You can sign up to receive notice of all DTSC rulemakings, or keep an eye on that Web page for a fireworks-specific listserv distribution list.



Site Cleanup

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Q. How are cleanup standards determined when a site is being cleaned up? (Feb. 25, 2009)
A.

The factors that contribute to the decision of what the cleanup levels will be at a site include looking at what is contaminated (for example, soil or water), the present and future land use of the property (local land use zoning), and the risk posed by the contaminants to human health and the environment (using a risk assessment model).  

The decisions are made by staff trained in a number of disciplines (for instance, geology engineering, and toxicology), generally with oversight by a state or local agency. These decisions are specific to an individual site and its location. In broad terms, sites that involve residential properties, schools, or daycare facilities are typically held to more stringent cleanup standards than are those involving commercial or industrial activities.

Q. How can I find out if my home, school, or other location is near a hazardous substances site?
A.

Your local Planning Department should be able to assist in identifying hazardous substance release sites in the vicinity of your property. Check the Government section in the white pages of your phone directory.

Most local Planning Departments have a copy of the "Hazardous Waste and Substance Sites List" (also known as the "Cortese List"). This list is created pursuant to California Government Code section 65962.5 and contains a list of known or potentially contaminated sites provided to the California Environmental Protection Agency by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Health Services, Water Resources Control Board, and the CalRecycles. Planning departments and agencies use this list during their California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) evaluation of the potential impacts of siting projects near hazardous waste sites.

DTSC maintains a record of known and potential hazardous substance release sites under its jurisdiction within the EnviroStor database. Sites that meet the requirements of Health and Safety Code section 25356 are included on the Hazardous Waste and Substances Site List (Cortese). DTSC also maintains a list of properties with land use restrictions entered into with DTSC. For more information, contact the EnviroStor help desk at (916) 323-3400 or EnviroStor@dtsc.ca.gov.

Many realtors have access to services that search various databases for such information. Typically, the service will list all hazardous waste or substance sites within a selected radius of the specified property. Look for "Environmental Reporting" on the web.



Common Generator Questions

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Q. Do generators have to manage mixed waste in accordance with the requirements that apply to ordinary hazardous wastes? 
A.

Yes, in California, generators of mixed waste must manage those wastes in accordance with all applicable hazardous waste requirements. 

In 2001, U.S. EPA adopted regulations providing a conditional exemption from the definition of hazardous waste in 40 CFR 261.3. This exemption is located in 40 CFR part 266, subpart N. Under these regulations mixed wastes are not federally regulated as hazardous wastes provided the conditions of the exemption are met. However, these mixed wastes are regulated as hazardous wastes when first generated and until they are placed into accumulation and meet the conditions of the exemption. In addition, these wastes again become subject to RCRA regulation ("return" to RCA" regulation) after decay-in-storage such that the wastes are no longer mixed wastes (i.e., are no longer low level radioactive wastes). [see 66 FR 27236]. In other words, the mixed wastes are only conditionally exempt from regulation as hazardous wastes under the RCRA regulations as long as they: 1) are mixed wastes, and 2) are managed in accordance with the exemption (i.e., essentially, per the corresponding NRC license agreement). 

California, an authorized state under RCRA, has not adopted regulations conditionally exempting mixed wastes from regulation as hazardous wastes. Therefore, in California mixed wastes remain subject to dual regulation as hazardous wastes and as low level radioactive wastes (I.e., They are regulated by both DTSC and by NRC/DHS). Generators of mixed waste are subject to all applicable requirements in Chapter 12, of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (22 CCR). Generators of mixed wastes who desire to (or must) store their mixed wastes for time periods longer than that allowed under 22 CCR 66262.34 must obtain hazardous waste facility permits, variances, or extensions in order to do so legally. If, except for the federal exemption discussed above, the mixed waste would be regulated as a hazardous waste under RCRA's implementing regulations, then the mixed waste would be a "RCRA hazardous waste" in California. Otherwise, the mixed waste would be a non-RCRA hazardous waste in California.  

Q. Federal Employee Number
A.

A Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) identifies a business entity. This number is also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number. Generally, all businesses need an FEIN. Many one-person businesses use their Social Security Number as their FEIN. You can find additional information about Federal Employer ID Numbers on the IRS website.

Q. How do I notify DTSC about my E-waste address change (March 10, 2008)
A.

When you have a change of address you need to re-notify DTSC with the updated information. You need to do this 30 days prior to you accepting e-waste, even if you already notified before. I

f you originally notified on paper, then you can either re-notify the same way, or now, since we have on-line notification you can set up an account (if you didn't before) and notify that way.

Here is the direct link to the notification section: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/database/UWED/index.cfm
Here's a link to the main page also: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/ewaste/index.cfm

Q. Is the DTSC reviewing the EPA's final rule regarding the definition of Solid Waste?
A.

(In reference to http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-24399.pdf)

Yes, DTSC is reviewing the current rule and evaluating its ability to fit into the current Hazardous Waste Control Law's structure.

Q. My company only generated Non-RCRA waste. Am I required to file?
A.

No.

Q. What is a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)?
A.

A Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) identifies a business entity. This number is also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number. Generally, all businesses need an FEIN. Many one-person businesses use their Social Security Number as their FEIN. You can find additional information about Federal Employer ID Numbers on the IRS website.

Q. What is a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)?
A.

A Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) identifies a business entity. This number is also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number. Generally, all businesses need an FEIN. Many one-person businesses use their Social Security Number as their FEIN. You can find additional information about Federal Employer ID Numbers on the IRS website.

 



Permitting and Permitted Facilities

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Q. I need to identify closure cost estimates for the tiered permitting facilities
A.


These numbers can change every quarter
, so you will need to verify what quarter these numbers apply to.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, has posted the Table 1.1.9. Implicit Price Deflators for Gross Domestic Product.

Q. My soil (or other waste) is contaminated, and is a non-RCRA waste. Where is there an LDR treatment standard for this waste, or does it have to meet one?
A.

There are no specific treatment standards for non-RCRA hazardous waste contaminated soil in California. The list of California restricted wastes can be found in 22CCR section 66268.29 and the treatment standards in 22CCR, Chapter 18, Article 11. There are also wastes that are prohibited from land disposal in California listed in 22CCR 66268.32 and 66268.100. Non-RCRA wastes not identified in the above sections have no LDR requirements pursuant to HSC 25179.6. Thus, the generator of those non-RCRA hazardous wastes not found in the above mentioned sections do not need to complete a LDR notification. Those in 22CCR 66268.29 or 66268.32 need to have a LDR notification if the destination facility is a land disposal facility in California (see 22CCR 66268.7(a)(3)(C) or (b)(6)&(b)(7)).



Complaints

Contact Information

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Q. I'm filling out a Emergency Response Plan for our 1000 gal fuel tank, and have a few questions. What is the phone number for the Calif EPA Toxic Substance Control? (Sept. 6, 2007)
A.

You can call DTSC's emergency response phone number 1-800-260-3972, or 916-255-6504.

 

Q. Where can I find the agency that can help me?
A.

Your question may be outside of DTSC’s jurisdiction or best answered by another agency. We put this quick reference guide together to help you determine what agency will have the answer to your question. Clicking on an underlined item will take you to that agency’s website.

 

Toxics and environmental issues in, at, or near your home

 

Health-related matters such as safety of food-handling establishments, sewage releases, lead paint abatement, asbestos safety, etc. may be handled by a County Environmental Health Department. Follow this link to the County Contacts list, which also includes CUPAs. For health exposure information, based on specific chemicals, follow this link to the Federal Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

 

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facilities accept residential pesticides, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, televisions sets, computer monitors, old paint, solvents, used oil, antifreeze, and other chemicals that should not go into the regular trash. Find the HHW Collection Facility for your area.

 

Illegal discharges to sanitary or industrial sewers are overseen by the City or County Public Works or Sanitation Departments. You can call your City directly or click on the link for the National Association of Counties Web site.

 

Medical waste, low-level radioactive waste, and lead poisoning. Issues are managed by the California Department Of Health Services (DHS).

 

Sellers and Landlords are required to give prospective purchasers and tenants the “Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Residential Environmental Hazards” booklet. You can get the booklet through a member of the California Association of Realtors or from our Web site in the "Publications" section under “Residential Environmental Hazards”.

 

Toxics and environmental issues in or at your small business

 

California hazardous waste laws are found in the CaliforniaHealth and Safety Code.

 

California hazardous waste regulations are found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22

 

Chemical-specific information can be found at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR).

 

Disposal of (small business) Hazardous waste -Contact your local environmental health program.

 

Groundwater or surface contamination is overseen by theRegional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB). They also oversee specific landfill regulations.

 

Inspection of hazardous waste generators are conducted by City or County Environmental Health or Emergency Services (Fire) departments, known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs). To find your CUPA click on County Contacts or go to the Cal-CUPA Forum, (look for "Regions" button).

 

Landfills are regulated by  CalRecycles.

 

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) can be found at a number of sites on the Internet. You’ll nee d to do a search under “MSDS” and the chemical name. 

 

Releases of pollutants into the air from stationary sources (buildings, factories, etc.), including: fumes, dust, smoke, odors, some asbestos issues, and any other stationary sources are managed by your local Air Pollution Control District, or the Regional Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD).

 

Smoking vehicles, and other mobile sources should be reported to the California Air Resources Board. You can file a complaint by calling 1-800-CUT-SMOG.

 

Work place standards are enforced by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) (such as unsafe working conditions, worker exposure to chemicals, and improper training.

 

If you need additional assistance, contact a Regulatory Assistance Officer.

Tips on asking and tracking questions

A word of advice from your Regulatory Assistance Officers – Calling multiple agencies can be frustrating, so to help you get an answer quickly you may want to:

  •   Write down the question(s) that you will be asking. That way, you'll be able to tell if your question is changing as you talk to different people and learn more about your subject of inquiry.
  •   Keep notes on who you have called, what agency they are with, and what they have told you. These notes will let you know if you are really going in circles (We know, sometimes it feels that way!).



About the FAQ Page

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Q. Disclaimer
A.

DTSC Regulatory Assistance Officers provide informal guidance only regarding management of hazardous waste for the convenience of the public. Such advice is not binding upon DTSC, nor does it have the force of law. If you would like a formal opinion on a matter by DTSC, please contact the responsible program office directly. You should also refer to the statutes and regulations, DTSC Policies and Procedures, and other formal documents.

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please contact the Regulatory Assistance Officers directly. You can call them at 800-728-6942, or contact them via the Department of Toxic Substances Control Web site.

If you believe that you have received incorrect information from a Regulatory Assistance Officers , please contact External Affairs at (916) 322-0476. We also encourage you to complete a Cal/EPA Customer Satisfaction Survey so that we may improve our Regulatory Assistance Program.

Q. restoring Communities
A.

1.0 Restoring Communities

1.1 Public Health and the Environment are Protected Through DTSC Actions
1.1.1 Number of Removals and Remedial Actions Completed. Percentage of Removals and Remedial Actions Completed. click here

1.1.2 Number of sites evaluated. Percentage of sites evaluated. click here

1.1.5 Percentage of sites with "human exposure under control". click here

1.1.7 Average time to process approval of the decision document. click here

1.1.8 Volume of contaminated media removed, treated, and/or recycled: soil; vapor; ground water. click here
 
1.2 Land Is Made Available for Reuse
1.1.1 Number of Removals and Remedial Actions Completed. Percentage of Removals and Remedial Actions Completed. click here

1.1.2 Number of sites evaluated. Percentage of sites evaluated. click here

1.1.5 Percentage of sites with "human exposure under control". click here

1.1.7 Average time to process approval of the decision document. click here

1.1.8 Volume of contaminated media removed, treated, and/or recycled: soil; vapor; ground water. click here