Welcome to the Department of Toxic Substances Control

Automotive Repair/New Car Dealerships

picture of a new carAuto Body and Paint Shops
 
Introduction

This web page was developed by the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Compliance Assistance Team (CAT) to provide information on California hazardous waste requirements to new car dealers. The CAT worked with California New Car Dealers Association, KPA Consulting, and the California CUPA Forum to identify compliance issues that were of concern to new car dealers. This web page should be valuable to any business involved with vehicle service repair as well as other generators.

The answers below provide general information on the topic covered. For ease of use, most of the answers do not directly contain statutory or regulatory citations. However, many of the links provided go to documents that contain the citations. Be sure to consult the actual statutes and regulations before making any decisions that may impact statutory and regulatory compliance.

This web page focuses on select issues. For additional information on DTSC Generator requirements consult DTSC’s Web Page for Regulatory Assistance for Generators.



Management of Hazardous Waste in California

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Q. Why do I need to know California State Laws and Regulations regarding Hazardous Waste when I am already familiar with the Federal requirements?
A.

California’s hazardous waste program is broader in scope and sometimes stricter than the federal program. In addition, even though the regulations may have the exact same wording, California sometimes reads the law differently than does the federal government. If you ignore California state law and only follow the federal regulations, you will likely end up violating State law. That can result in considerable fines (penalties).

The following list highlights some of the major differences between the state and federal hazardous waste programs that affect generators:

  1. California law has a broader definition of hazardous waste than the federal law. Wastes that are not hazardous waste under the federal regulations may be identified as hazardous wastes by California law. Used oil that is recycled and wastes that are corrosive solids, and wastes containing asbestos, nickel and/or zinc are examples of common California-only hazardous wastes that may be classified by their generators as “non-RCRA hazardous wastes.” 
  2. Federal law exempts generators of very small quantities of hazardous wastes aka Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) from most hazardous waste management laws; California does not. California law subjects CESQGs to all applicable hazardous waste laws. 
  3. California law defines scrap metal differently than the federal law. Hence, the scrap metal exemption applies more narrowly than does the federal scrap metal exemption. For example, in California, materials that contain hazardous metal particles less than 0.004 inches do not qualify as scrap metal. 
  4. California law requires permits for hazardous waste recycling units (unlike federal law). California law does not allow treatment in hazardous waste tanks or containers without obtaining permits as does federal law. 
  5. California law requires hazardous waste transporters to register with DTSC and meet certain additional requirements. 
  6. California’s law does not allow automotive-type lead-acid batteries or pesticides to be managed as universal wastes.

Q. Does California have different standards (regulations) for Large Quantity, Small Quantity and an exemption for Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators as does the Federal RCRA regulations?
A.

California does not have an exemption for conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs) as in the federal regulations. However, similar to the federal RCRA regulations, California’s hazardous waste regulations do have differing standards for generators based on the monthly quantities of hazardous wastes produced by those generators. In most cases, the generator is referred back to the Federal Regulations for the standards applicable to generators of less than 1,000 kg/month of hazardous waste. It is important to note that in California, a generator must include all of its hazardous wastes (i.e. both its RCRA hazardous wastes and its non-RCRA hazardous wastes) when it computes its totals in order to apply these regulations.

The California CUPA Forum has developed a Generator Requirements Summary Chart Guidance Document that provides a useful comparison of the California generator requirements based on the monthly quantities of RCRA and non-RCRA hazardous wastes a generator produces.

Also, although California does not have the CESQG exemption, California does have an exemption for generators of silver-only hazardous wastes. Because this exemption is written in terms of the federal regulations, some generators in California may qualify for reduced regulation for these hazardous wastes that is essentially equivalent to California having the CESQG exemption.

Q. What is a CUPA?
A.

CUPA stands for Certified Unified Program Agency. A CUPA is a local agency authorized to administer the six program elements under the Unified Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Management Regulatory Program (Unified Program). These program elements include:

  • Hazardous Waste Generator Inspection and Onsite Hazardous Waste Treatment Programs 
  • Aboveground Storage Tank Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC) 
  • Hazardous Materials Release Response Plans and Inventory Program 
  • California Accidental Release Prevention Program (Cal-ARP) 
  • Underground Storage Tank Program (UST) 
  • Uniform Fire Code Plans and Inventory Requirements

The CUPA is the primary entity that will be conducting hazardous waste generator inspections in California. DTSC serves as the CUPA in Imperial and Trinity Counties.

Q. How do I contact my local CUPA?
A.

For information on your local CUPA, please refer to the Cal/EPA CUPA Directory Search.

Q. Where can I get a copy of California Law and Regulations related to hazardous waste?
A.

The DTSC Laws, Regulations and Policies web page  will take you to the webpage where you can access excerpts from the California Health and Safety Code and Title 22 California Code of Regulations.



Common Violations

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Q. What are some of the most common violations that inspectors find at Dealerships/Vehicle Service and Repair Facilities?
A.

Based on a limited survey of the CUPAs, DTSC found the following top eight violations:

  1. Improper, incomplete, worn or missing labels
  2. Improper container management including not closed, in poor condition or not secure
  3. Missing manifests, consolidated manifest receipts, bill of lading, recycling and disposal receipts for oil filters, brake metal shavings, used oil, used solvent, and used antifreeze
  4. Lack of weekly container and daily tank inspections including logs
  5. Conducting and documenting training 
  6. Housekeeping problems including keeping secondary containment clean and dry at all times, cleaning up spills and failing to minimize a release 
  7. No accumulation start dates 
  8. Incomplete Contingency or Business Plans

The information below is intended to help hazardous waste generators comply with California Hazardous Waste Laws and Regulations and avoid these violations.

Q. Do you have some examples of common violations?
A.

Violations Example #1

Labels on tank are worn and puckered. The accumulation start date cannot be read.

Labels on tanks are worn and
puckered. The accumulation
start date cannot be read.

Violations Example #2

Drum with a worn, incomplete label. The label does not list any generator or waste specific information.

Drum with a worn, incomplete
label. The label does not list any
generator or waste specific
information.

Violations Example #3

A 55-gallon drum used to store used oil filters is left open. The container is also not properly labeled.

A 55-gallon drum used to store
used oil filters is left open. The
container is also not properly
labeled.

Violations Example #4

Failure to properly close a container - funnel is open on a 55-gallon drum. The drum is also not properly labeled.

Failure to properly close a
container - funnel is open on a
55-gallon drum. The drum is
also not properly labeled.

Violations Example #5

Failure to properly close several drums stored outdoors. The bungs are open. Containers are in poor condition.

Failure to properly close several
drums stored outdoors. The
bungs are open. Containers are
in poor condition.


Violations Example #6

Secondary containment around the tank is filled with fluid. Failed to keep secondary containment clean and dry, clean up spill and minimize a release.

Secondary containment around
the tank is filled with fluid.
Failed to keep secondary
containment clean and dry,
clean up spill and minimize a
release.

Violations Example #7

Failed to clean up spill and minimize a release.

Failed to clean up spill and
minimize a release.



Labeling and Marking

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Q. Why do I need to use a hazardous waste label?
A.

All containers and tanks used to accumulate hazardous waste must be properly labeled and marked. This serves to identify that it contains hazardous waste and to communicate the hazards of the waste. Labels are a key tool to ensure the safe handling and transportation of hazardous waste containers. They also help a generator to not exceed the accumulation time limit.

Q. When should I use a hazardous waste label?
A.

A label must be placed on a container or tank as soon as you start putting hazardous waste into it.

Q. How do I know if I have a container or a tank?
A.

Tanks are designed to be stationary; containers are portable when they contain waste.

Q. What information needs to be labeled or marked on a tank that is being used to accumulate hazardous waste onsite?
A.

  1. The date upon which each period of accumulation begins; and 
  2. The words, "Hazardous Waste." 
  3. Tanks used to accumulate used oil also must be labeled with the words “Used Oil.”

Q. What information needs to be labeled or marked on a container that is being used to accumulate hazardous waste onsite?
A.

  1. The date upon which each period of accumulation begins; 
  2. The words, "Hazardous Waste." 
  3. The composition and physical state of the waste 
  4. A statement or statements that call attention to the particular hazardous properties of the waste (e.g. flammable, reactive); and 
  5. The name and address of the generator.

Q. What are hazardous waste accumulation times?
A.

Depending on the amount and type of hazardous waste that your facility generates, you are required to properly dispose of the waste (generally for shipment to a permitted treatment/recycling, storage or disposal facility by a registered hazardous waste transporter) within a certain number of days after beginning to accumulate the waste (accumulation time). Effectively, if your dealership generates 1,000 kg or more of hazardous waste including used oil, per month, you must send that hazardous waste off for disposal or recycling within 90 days or less from the first date on which any amount of hazardous waste begins to accumulate during that month.

The DTSC Fact Sheet Hazardous Waste Accumulation Time for Generators contains more information on accumulation times.

Q. Do I need to add any more information to the hazardous waste container before I ship it offsite?
A.

Before having your hazardous waste transported offsite, mark each container of 119 gallons or less with the following words and information:

Example of a hazardous waste label for a container of 119 gallons or less

 

Q. Do I need to include any Department of Transportation information on my hazardous waste label?
A.

Before transporting or offering hazardous waste for transportation off-site, a generator shall label each package in accordance with the applicable Department of Transportation regulations on hazardous materials under Title 49 CFR Part 172. This includes: 

  1. Proper shipping name 
  2. Hazard class 
  3. Identification number (preceded by UN or NA as appropriate)

Q. Where can I get more information on hazardous waste labeling and marking?
A.

The DTSC Fact Sheet on hazardous waste generator requirements includes information on labeling and marking.

Q. How do I label containers containing drained used oil filters and/or drained waste gasoline or diesel fuel filters?
A.

Containers holding filters that have been drained of all free-flowing oil or fuel and are being sent for recycling as scrap metal must be labeled with the contents for example “Drained Used Oil Filters” or “Drained Used Oil and Gasoline Filters” and clearly marked with the initial date of accumulation. Note that filters and filter components that are not recycled as scrap metal (e.g., plastic and paper waste fuel filters) cannot be accumulated with the used oil filters, but must be evaluated for hazardous waste properties and managed separately. More information on managing drained used oil filters can be found in the DTSC Fact Sheet Managing Used Oil Filters for Generators while information regarding gasoline or diesel filters can be found in the DTSC Fact Sheet Management of Waste Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Filters.

Q. How do I label containers containing universal waste?
A.

Universal Wastes are specific hazardous wastes generated by a wide variety of people that contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper and other substances hazardous to human health and the environment. These wastes must be managed in a manner that meets specific standards described in further detail in the Universal Wastes Section. Universal wastes commonly found at dealerships such as fluorescent tubes, HID lamps, small alkaline batteries or mercury switches can be handled under the universal waste standards. The universal waste standards have specific labeling requirements which usually include the words “Universal Waste” followed by the class of the waste. For example fluorescent tubes must be labeled “Universal Waste–Lamps”, batteries must be labeled “Universal Waste-Batteries”, and mercury switches must be labeled “Universal Waste-Mercury-Containing Equipment.” Universal waste does not have to be labeled with an accumulation start date. However, if the universal waste is not labeled with an accumulation start date, then the generator must be able to demonstrate when it first became a waste. Maintaining an inventory system onsite could satisfy this requirement. You should consult the laws and regulations to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements to manage your waste under the universal waste standards and the particular labeling requirements for that waste.

You still need to determine which if any Department of Transportation labeling requirements apply when you ship the waste off-site.

More information on managing universal wastes can be found at the DTSC Universal Waste web page.

Q. Do you have examples of labels?
A.

Label for Hazardous Waste

yellow hazardous waste container label

(Link to an example of a completed label)

Label for Drained Used Oil Filters

label for drained used oil filters

(Link to an example of a completed label)

Label for Drained Used Oil and Gasoline Filters

label for drained used oil and gasoline filters

(Link to an example of a completed label)

Label for Universal Waste

label for universal waste

(Link to larger image)



Container Management

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Q. Is my unit a container or a tank?
A.

Generally, containers are portable waste storage units, while tanks are stationary.

Q. How should I maintain my container?
A.

All hazardous waste containers must be maintained so that they are 

  1. In good condition;
  2. Compatible with contents;
  3. Closed, except when adding or removing hazardous waste; 
  4. Managed to avoid rupture or leaks; 
  5. Inspected weekly; and 
  6. Properly labeled.

Q. Where should my containers be stored?
A.

Do not place incompatible wastes such as acids and bases, into the same container and separate containers holding incompatible wastes or materials. For generators of 1,000 kg or more of hazardous waste per month, containers holding ignitable or reactive wastes must be at least 50 feet from the facility's property line.

Q. Do I need to have secondary containment for storage of my containers?
A.

While DTSC does not require secondary containment for a generator's hazardous waste containers, local codes may require it. Secondary containment will contain spills that may occur and prevent them from spreading.  Furthermore, Federal law requires all facilities with petroleum storage capacity of over 1,320 gallons to adhere to Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures requirements which include secondary containment for all containers (including drums) of 55 gallons or more.

Q. Am I required to inspect my containers holding hazardous waste and any containment area I use for those containers?
A.

Yes.

Q. How often am I required to conduct container inspections?
A.

At least weekly.

Q. What must I look for during inspections of containers and containment areas?
A.

You need to inspect for leakage and deterioration of the containers. It is recommended that while you are inspecting the containers you also check for other container requirements such as whether the container is properly labeled, closed if waste is not being added or removed and if there is adequate aisle space for unimpeded access to the container.

Q. Am I required to keep written logs of my container inspections?
A.

No, but it is recommended that you do.

Q. What should I do if I observe a leak or release from a container?
A.

Leaks and spills should be cleaned up immediately and the hazardous waste transferred to a better container if a container is not in good condition. Certain reporting requirements may apply depending on the size of the release.

Q. Where can I get more information on managing my containers of hazardous waste?
A.

A DTSC Fact Sheet on hazardous waste generator requirements includes information on accumulating hazardous waste on-site

Q. When is a container considered empty?
A.

A container is empty if all the pourable/non-pourable material has been removed.

Q. How can I manage my empty containers greater than five gallons appropriately?
A.

Containers that previously held hazardous materials or waste are exempt from regulation if they are empty and:

  1. Marked with the date emptied; and 
  2. Managed within one year of emptying by reclaiming as scrap, or by reconditioning the container, or returning the container to the supplier for refilling with compatible product.

Q. How can I manage my empty containers equal or less than five gallons appropriately?
A.

The container can be disposed of in an approved solid waste facility, reclaimed as scrap, reconditioned, or remanufactured.

Q. Where can I get more information on managing empty containers?
A.

The DTSC Fact Sheet Managing Empty Containers has more information on managing empty containers.



Tank System Inspections

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Q. How do I know if I have a container or a tank?
A.

Tanks are designed to be stationary; containers are portable when they contain waste.

Q. What is a tank system?
A.

A tank system is the tank and any associated ancillary equipment, such as connected pipes, valves and fittings, and containment system.

Q. How often must I inspect my tank system?
A.

Tank systems must be inspected daily. Generators of less than 1,000 kg per month of hazardous waste that never accumulate more than 6,000 kg of hazardous waste on-site at any one time can conduct certain inspections less frequently as discussed below.

Q. What must I look for during a tank system inspection?
A.

You must inspect the following (if present):

  1. any overfill/spill control equipment to ensure that it is in good working order; 
  2. the aboveground portions of the tank system to detect corrosion or release of waste;
  3. data gathered from monitoring and leak-detection equipment to ensure that the tank system is being operated according to its design;
  4. the construction materials and the area immediately surrounding the externally accessible portions of the tank system including secondary containment structures to detect erosion or signs of releases of hazardous waste; and
  5. for uncovered tanks, the level of waste in the tank to ensure maintenance of sufficient freeboard (2 feet) to prevent overtopping unless the tank is equipped with a containment structure, drainage control systems or diversion structure that equals or exceeds the volume of the top 2 feet of the tank.

 If you generate less than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month and never accumulate more than 6,000 kg of hazardous waste on-site at any one time, the tank system inspections for deterioration and releases (inspection items two and four above) can be conducted weekly but the other elements must be conducted daily.

Q. What should I do if I detect a leak or release from my tank system?
A.

Leaking tank or secondary containment systems should be immediately removed from service and the release cleaned up. Certain reporting requirements may apply depending on the size of the release.

Q. How often should I inspect my cathodic protection system?
A.

For those generators with cathodic protection systems, these systems must be inspected annually and all sources of impressed current must be inspected and/or tested as appropriate at least bimonthly.

Q. Am I required to keep written logs for the daily tank inspections?
A.

Yes. However, if you generate less than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month and never accumulate more than 6,000 kg of hazardous waste on-site at any one time you are not required to keep written logs although it is recommended that you do.

Q. Where can I get more guidance on managing tank systems for generators?
A.

The Cal-CUPA Forum has developed tank system management guidance which is available on their web site. 



Training

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Q. As a hazardous waste generator, what kind of training must I have for my employees?
A.

If you generate less than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month, you must ensure that all employees that manage hazardous waste are thoroughly familiar with the proper waste handling and emergency procedures relevant to their jobs during normal business operations and emergencies.

If you generate 1,000 kg or more of hazardous waste per month (including used oil and antifreeze sent for recycling), you must ensure that your employees that manage hazardous waste:

  1. Successfully complete training whether in a classroom setting or as on-the-job training that shall teach them to how to handle, store and manage the hazardous waste as part of their job duties.
  2. Successfully complete this training within six months after the date of their employment or assignment to a position at a facility. Employees shall not work in unsupervised positions until they have completed the requirements of the training program.
  3. Take part in an annual review of the initial training. The classroom instruction or on-the-job-training shall:
    1. Be directed by a person trained in hazardous waste management procedures, and shall include instruction which teaches facility personnel hazardous waste management procedures (including contingency plan implementation) relevant to the positions in which they are employed.
    2. At a minimum be designed to ensure that facility personnel are able to respond effectively to emergencies by familiarizing them with emergency procedures, emergency equipment, and emergency systems, including where applicable:

(A) procedures for using, inspecting, repairing, and replacing facility emergency and monitoring equipment;
(B) key parameters for automatic waste feed cut-off systems;
(C) communications or alarm systems;
(D) response to fires or explosions;
(E) response to ground-water contamination incidents; and
(F) shutdown of operations.

Q. What kind of training documents do I need to keep as a generator?
A.

Generators of 1,000 kg or more hazardous waste per month shall maintain the following documents and records at the facility:

  1. The job title for each position at the facility related to hazardous waste management, and the name of the employee filling each job.
  2. A written job description for each position listed. This description may be consistent in its degree of specificity with descriptions for other similar positions in the same company location or bargaining unit, but shall include the requisite skill, education, or other qualifications, and duties of facility personnel assigned to each position.
  3. A written description of the type and amount of both introductory and continuing training that will be given to each person filling a position listed. 
  4. Documents that show the training or job experience required has been given to, and completed by, facility personnel.

If you generate less than 1,000 kg/month of hazardous waste you are not required to have a written training plan or keep written training records for each staff. However, keep in mind that OSHA may require written training plans and records.

Q. How long do I need to keep training records?
A.

Training records on current personnel shall be kept until closure of the facility. Training records on former employees shall be kept for at least three years from the date the employee last worked at the facility. Personnel training records may accompany personnel transferred within the same company.

Q. Where can I get more information on training requirements?
A.

The DTSC Fact Sheet on hazardous waste generator requirements includes information on training requirements. 

Q. Where can I get training on hazardous waste generator requirements?
A.

DTSC and California Compliance School (CCS) have developed a 4-hour training module that covers both generator and pollution prevention issues in the vehicle service repair industry. CCS also offers classes on hazardous waste generator and Tiered Permitting requirements. For more information on CCS, go to www.compliance.org, contact them at 800-337-1422, or contact Richard Casagrande by email at rcasagra@kccd.edu or by phone at 661-619-2345.



Contingency Plans

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Q. As a hazardous waste generator when do I need a written Contingency Plan?
A.

Every generator is required to have at least a Hazardous Materials Business Plan for Emergency Response as required by the local CUPA.

Samples of the Business Plan forms and required information can be found at the Unidocs web site.

Additionally, generators of 1000 kg/month or more of hazardous waste must have a written Contingency Plan.

 The written Contingency Plan requires the same information as the Hazardous Materials Business Plan for Emergency Response and also requires an “after business hours” contact phone number for the Emergency Coordinator. A cell phone number assigned to the Emergency Coordinator is acceptable.

Q. Where can I get more information on contingency plans?
A.

A DTSC Fact Sheet on hazardous waste generator requirements includes information on contingency plans.



Transportation Documents

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Q. What is a hazardous waste manifest?
A.

Hazardous waste manifest means the shipping document, the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest, EPA Form 8700-22, (including if necessary, the continuation sheet, EPA Form 8700-22A).

Q. When must a hazardous waste manifest be used?
A.

A hazardous waste manifest must be used whenever you transport or offer for transport to a registered transporter hazardous waste from your site.  There are some exceptions which will be described below.

Q. What is a consolidated manifest?
A.

A consolidated manifest means a hazardous waste manifest used by a registered consolidated transporter to combine shipments of specified hazardous waste (e.g. used oil) from multiple eligible generators on one manifest. Generators using the consolidated manifesting procedure are exempt from filling out a hazardous waste manifest. The transporter is listed as both the generator and transporter on the manifest.

Q. When can I use a consolidated manifest?
A.

Hazardous wastes that may be eligible for consolidated manifesting include used oil, contents of an oil/water separator, solids contaminated with used oil, brake fluid, and antifreeze. For a more complete list of eligible hazardous wastes and other conditions where a generator can use a consolidated manifest, please consult the consolidated manifesting fact sheet which cites the particular regulatory requirements.

Q. When can I use a bill of lading or other shipping document for the transportation of hazardous wastes?  
A.

Several types of hazardous waste can be managed under reduced standards if the waste meets all of the conditions to be managed by those standards. Generally the waste must be sent for recycling. It is important that you know what those conditions and standards are in order to qualify. Under the alternative management standards, the waste may be shipped using a bill of lading or other document which complies with any applicable Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials requirements. Some examples of wastes that may qualify to not be shipped by hazardous waste manifest include: intact lead-acid storage batteries; properly drained used oil filters; and universal wastes such as batteries, electronic devices, lamps, mercury switches, mercury thermostats, and aerosol cans.

Q. Why do I need to keep copies of shipping documents (hazardous waste manifests, consolidated manifest receipts, bills of lading, etc.)?
A.

The law requires that you keep them. These are records that you properly disposed of or recycled your regulated wastes and can provide evidence of proper hazardous waste shipping processes when faced with an enforcement action.

Q. How long must I keep copies of documents used to ship my regulated wastes?
A.

The law requires that you keep these documents for three years. However, it is a good idea to keep them as long as you keep other business documents such as tax records.



Biennial Reporting

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Q. How do I know if I have to complete a Biennial Report for Generators (BRG)?
A.

DTSC defers to the Federal interpretation that this reporting requirement only applies to RCRA Large Quantity Generators. DTSC mails the BRG packet to the Large Quantity Generators approximately January 1, of every even numbered year. Unlike the vast majority of circumstances under California law, used oil generated by a facility that is sent for recycling does not count toward the 1,000 kg/month threshold for BRG requirements.

If you feel that you have received a BRG form in error, follow the instructions in the packet. There is a form to submit and complete for those who received the BRG packet in error.

More information on the Biennial Reporting requirements for generators is available on the DTSC web site.



Verification Questionnaire (VQ)

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Q. What is a verification questionnaire?
A.

California law requires that each holder of a Hazardous Waste Identification Number (a.k.a. EPA ID Number) complete and return the Verification Questionnaire (VQ) sent by DTSC. The purpose of the VQ is to verify the information on each generator in the Hazardous Waste Tracking System. Maintaining accurate information is fundamental to the “cradle to grave” principal. Typically, the mail-out happens in mid to early June of every year. The VQ package also contains the billing for the Manifest Fee and the Verification Fee. For more detailed information, please refer to the DTSC VQ web page.



Source Reduction Plans and Reports

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Q. How Do I Know if I Need to Prepare and Submit Hazardous Waste Source Reduction Plans and Reports?
A.

The State hazardous waste source reduction law requires that generators that routinely generate more than 12,000 kilograms of hazardous waste (not including used oil) per reporting year prepare three documents. These are:

  1. Source Reduction Evaluation Review and Plan (or if you qualify as a small business, the Compliance Checklist is an option), 
  2. Hazardous Waste Management Performance Report (or for a small business, your most recent biennial generator report),
  3. Summary Progress Report (SPR). Of these three documents, only the SPR must be submitted to DTSC after the reporting year. The reporting year occurs every four years, the next one is 2010.

Q. Are there exemptions to the source reduction reporting requirements?
A.

Some wastes routinely generated by automotive shops are exempt from the requirements and are not counted to reach the threshold amount that triggers reporting requirements. Waste vehicle fluids, such as coolant and used oil, are exempt. However, other hazardous waste, such as from parts and brake cleaning and hazardous oil water separator waste should be counted when determining if your shop exceeds the 12,000 kilogram threshold.

Q. Where can I find more information about Source Reduction Reporting requirements?
A.

Please visit the web page for a link to the guidance manual, on-line training presentation, forms, and more information about specific requirements.

Q. Who can I contact to ask specific questions?
A.

To speak to someone about your questions, please call the Office of Pollution Prevention and Green Technology at (916) 322-3670 or by email, SB14@dtsc.ca.gov.

Q. Where can I get more information on specific source reduction or pollution prevention methods for vehicle service and repair and auto body and paint shops?
A.

DTSC has two web pages that offer pollution prevention information for vehicle service and repair, and auto body and paint shops.



Housekeeping

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Q. What are the benefits from maintaining good housekeeping in the shop?
A.

  • A clean, orderly shop helps minimize the possibility of spills and releases of hazardous materials, and the potential for fire or explosion;
  • You can more easily recognize new spills, leaks, and potential problems when everything is kept in the right place, free of spills and debris; 
  • Good housekeeping will help you stay in compliance with container management, labeling and storm water requirements; 
  • Good housekeeping is a no-cost or low cost method to reduce waste and saves more money by reducing disposal costs.

Q. What are some ways to prevent spills inside and outside the shop?
A.

  • Minimize spills from transferring liquids -Use funnels, funnel drum covers and enclosed transfer systems; 
  • Keep containers closed; 
  • Inspect containers daily to make sure they are in good condition; 
  • Use secondary containment for hazardous materials storage; 
  • Inspect vehicles for leaks and use drip pans until the leak can be repaired or drained into a proper container.

Q. We do all we can to prevent them, but still have some spills. What are best practices for spill clean up?
A.

"Stop if there’s a Drop" - Clean up spills right away

  • Check for and wipe up spills on tops and sides of containers and tanks immediately;
  • Clean up spills in secondary containment areas and check for container/tank leaks; 
  • Labels need to be readable by shop staff and emergency personnel- clean up drips and spills on hazardous waste labels and product labels on containers. You may be able to use clear plastic to cover and protect labels from spillage; 
  • Clean up drips and spills on the shop floor right away using a dry floor clean up method. If spills on the floor are not cleaned immediately:
    • Workers can slip and fall 
    • Waste gets tracked outside and around the shop, office and vehicles 
    • You will spend more time and money washing the floor.

Q. Why use dry floor clean up methods?
A.

  • Avoid generating contaminated waste water 
  • Sweeping the floor keeps debris from building up and makes cleaning small spills easier.

Q. What are dry floor clean up methods?
A.

  • Dry floor clean up methods may include using reusable absorbent pads, a “hydrophobic” mop, or squeegee and dust pan to pick up oil, and a dedicated cloth mop to clean up coolant spills.

Q. How can we be prepared for unexpected events and maintain good housekeeping practices?
A.

  • Place and maintain spill kits in the shop; 
  • Make sure employees know what to do in case of a spill in the shop. 
  • Allow time and provide easy access to brooms, dust pans, oil absorbing pads, mops and other equipment needed for clean up after each task; 
  • Train employees to prevent spills and keep the shop clean;
  • Let technicians know this is a priority; 
  • Provide incentives for good performance and for spill prevention ideas from employees.

 


housekeeping_tools

 

Each work station is provided with tools to keep area clean

Used Motor Oil

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Q. Is used (motor) oil classified as a hazardous waste in California?
A.

Yes, used motor oil is classified as a hazardous waste in California even if the used oil is sent for recycling.

Q. Does used motor oil sent for recycling count against my generator size?
A.

Yes, since used oil is a hazardous waste even if it is sent for recycling, the amount of used oil generated is counted in determining generator size (quantity of hazardous waste generated monthly) for the purpose of determining compliance with generator requirements like storage time.

Q. Can I mix my used motor oil with used brake fluid?
A.

No, a generator may not intentionally mix used motor oil with any other hazardous waste.

Q. Is transmission and gear box oil considered used oil?
A.

Yes.

Q. Is it ok to drain fluid from fuel filters into the same container that I drain fluid from oil filters into?
A.

No, in general a generator may not intentionally mix used motor oil with any other hazardous waste. If a generator wishes to mix waste gasoline or waste diesel fuel with its used oil, the generator must meet the additional requirements in subsection (c) of Health and Safety Code section 25250.7. This may include, for example, demonstrating that the fuel, prior to mixing, was not hazardous due to its benzene concentration and that the resultant mixture has a flash point greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. As most generators typically do not have the data to make these demonstrations, it is recommended they do not mix other contaminated petroleum products (waste fuels) into their used oil.

For more information regarding the phrase “other than minimal amounts of vehicle fuel” as used in the used oil statutes, please refer to the response to question #3 in the DTSC letter regarding Federal and State (California) Used Oil Management.

Q. Does DTSC have any guidance for used oil generators?
A.

Yes, the Regulatory Assistance Officers have developed and posted guidance for used oil generators in a used oil management fact sheet.



Air Bags

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Q. Is an undeployed airbag considered hazardous waste?
A.

It depends on the airbag deployment system selected by the manufacturer. Some airbag deployment systems may inflate the airbag via a chemical reaction of one or more hazardous chemicals or use a small pyrotechnic charge as part of the deployment system. Since the details on the chemicals used in the airbag unit may be considered proprietary, it is the car dealer’s responsibility to contact the manufacturer and determine if the undeployed airbag is a hazardous waste.

Q. Can I deploy the airbag to render it non-hazardous?
A.

If the generator has determined that the undeployed airbag is a hazardous waste, then deploying the airbag would be considered treatment and would require a permit from DTSC. If the airbag is determined not to be a hazardous waste, the generator should consider whether other laws and regulations may apply and take into account worker safety issues prior to deploying the air bag due to the physical hazards deployment may pose.

Q. Are deployed airbags considered hazardous waste?
A.

Deployed airbags removed from vehicles are not considered hazardous waste at this time.

Q. Where can I get more information regarding shipment of undeployed air bags?
A.

Please refer to the Department of Transportation requirements regarding shipping air bags for more information.



Seatbelt Pretensioners

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Q. Are un-activated seatbelt pretensioners considered hazardous waste?
A.

It depends. Some seatbelt pretensioners use a small pyrotechnic charge to generate gas in a piston that tightens the seatbelt during a crash. Other pretensioners may use a mechanical system such as an inertial wheel with a pendulum device that moves under the rapid deceleration of the crash to lock the belt into place while others use an electrical system for sensing deceleration. The car dealership should contact the manufacturer and determine if the chemicals used in the seatbelt pretensioner system are hazardous.

Please refer to Department of Transportation requirements regarding seatbelt pretensioners.



Universal Wastes

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Q. What are Universal Wastes?
A.

Common examples of Universal Wastes include Televisions, Computers, Computer Monitors, Batteries, Fluorescent Lamps, and Mercury Switches. Universal wastes are hazardous upon disposal but pose a lower risk to people and the environment than other hazardous wastes. State and Federal regulations identify which unwanted products are universal wastes and provide simple rules for handling and recycling of them. More information is available on the DTSC Universal Waste web page.

Q. How can I manage my spent high intensity discharge (HID) and fluorescent lamps under the Universal Waste Rule?
A.

Spent HID and fluorescent lamps must be recycled in order to be managed under the simple, stream-lined universal waste handling standards. Spent HID and fluorescent lamps must either be sent directly to an authorized recycling facility or to a universal waste consolidator for shipment to an authorized recycling facility. If you do not plan to recycle these wastes, you must manage them as hazardous waste rather than as universal waste.

Q. What are the universal waste standards for handling HID and fluorescent lamps at my facility?
A.

  • Store lamps in a structurally sound package that is closed and adequate to prevent breakage.
  • Immediately clean up any broken lamps and place them in a closed structurally sound container.
  • Do not accumulate universal waste for over one year from the date it was generated and keep records to demonstrate the length of time the universal waste has been accumulated from the date it became a waste or was received.
  • Label “Universal Waste–Lamps.”

More information is available on the DTSC web site on managing waste mercury lamps.

Q. Can a facility use a drum-top fluorescent lamp crusher to manage spent fluorescent lamps?
A.

Use of drum-top lamp crushers is a form of hazardous waste treatment that requires authorization. Persons wishing to operate them must obtain a standardized hazardous waste facility permit from the Department of Toxic Substance Control. The requirements for this permit include a comprehensive review of the human health and environmental impacts of the treatment operation.

Q. Which types of batteries are considered universal waste?
A.

Universal waste batteries include rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, silver button batteries, mercury batteries, small sealed lead acid batteries (burglar alarm and emergency light batteries), most alkaline batteries, carbon-zinc batteries, and any other batteries that exhibit a characteristic of a hazardous waste. Per this definition, hybrid electric vehicle batteries may also be considered universal wastes-check with the manufacturer of the vehicle for further information about the composition of such batteries.  NOTE: Spent automotive-type lead acid storage batteries are not universal waste. They are hazardous wastes that are managed under a different set of regulatory requirements.

Q. How do I manage batteries under the universal waste standards?
A.

  • Manage batteries in a way that prevents the release of any universal waste or component of a universal waste into the environment.
  • Contain any battery that shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage in a closed structurally sound container compatible with the battery and its contents.
  • Do not accumulate universal waste for over one year from the date it was generated and be able to demonstrate the length of time the universal waste has been accumulated from the date it became a waste or was received.
  • Label “Universal Waste-Batteries.”

Q. How should batteries be stored and handled?
A.

All batteries should be handled, packaged and stored in a manner that prevents short-circuiting. Batteries with external terminals are more susceptible to shorts since the terminals can contact each other, the metal banding used to secure them to pallets, the metal drum walls, or even the transport vehicle itself. Lithium and lead acid batteries should be insulated and/or otherwise stored in a manner that prevents the terminals from creating a circuit. This is accomplished effectively by taping the terminals, bagging or stacking the batteries in a uniform manner where the terminals cannot contact each other, and securing them to prevent movement during transportation.

The car dealership should consult their battery recycler for the appropriate storing and handling procedures for their hybrid vehicle’s particular battery chemistry.



Brake Rotor and Drum Resurfacing Wastes (Dusts/Fines/Powders)

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Q. Are metal wastes generated from resurfacing brake drums and rotors (resurfacing wastes) hazardous wastes? 
A.

Resurfacing wastes produced as a result of resurfacing brake rotors and drums may be hazardous wastes. Generators must make hazardous waste determinations for their resurfacing wastes. If the generator determines a resurfacing waste is hazardous, the generator should determine if the resurfacing waste qualifies as scrap metal. Generally, if the resurfacing waste does not contain or consists of fine powders (i.e., the wastes particle size is 0.004 inches and larger [about the size of grains of table salt or larger]), the resurfacing waste may be managed as scrap metal. Provided that the scrap metal-resurfacing waste is recycled, it is not regulated as hazardous waste. Resurfacing wastes containing particles less than 0.004 inches are not scrap metal and must be managed as hazardous wastes (if hazardous) when recycled or disposed. Most automobile manufacturers recommend not resurfacing rotors and drums, but rather simply replacing the damaged rotors and drums. Auto dealers who follow these recommendations as policy can avoid generating resurfacing wastes altogether. (The occasional resurfacing job can be sent to an outside machine shop.)

Q. Where in the regulations can I find more information on California’s scrap metal requirements?
A.

Please refer to California Code of Regulations, title 22, section 66260.10 for the definitions of scrap metal and fine powder and section 66261.6 subsections (a)(3)(B), for more information on the scrap metal exemption.



Wheel Weights

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Q. When does the new law banning lead wheel weights go into effect?
A.

California law has recently changed to prohibit the manufacture, sale and installation of lead wheel weights (containing more than 0.1 percent lead). The law took effect on January 1, 2010.

Q. Where can I go for more information?
A.

Please visit the DTSC Lead Wheel Weight web page for more about the effort to reduce lead in wheel weights.  If you have questions about this law, please contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control at (800) 728-6942.

Q. How should I manage lead wheel weights?
A.

  • Place a container labeled “lead wheel weights only - scrap metal” near the tire changing and wheel balancing machines. 
  • Keep the container securely covered and only uncover it when adding discarded wheel weights. 
  • Recycle discarded lead wheel weights as scrap metal.
  • Do not put lead wheel weights in the trash cans or dumpsters. 
  • Return all lead wheel weights unused product to your supplier for credit or recycle them. 
  • Train your service technicians, supervisors, and cleaning staff on the above requirements.

Q. Can I sell a motor vehicle with lead wheel weights?
A.

It is against California law to sell a new motor vehicle manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2010, with lead wheel weights.  A wheel weight that complies with the new law will need to be installed.

If selling a used vehicle that has lead wheel weights installed, you are not required to replace the weights with compliant weights unless the weights are removed or altered prior to sale.

If the tires are replaced prior to the sale of a new or used vehicle, the wheel weights will have to be in compliance with the new law. Additionally, if lead wheel weights are removed from a tire for any reason, the old lead wheel weight cannot be placed back on the tire. A wheel weight that complies with the new law will need to be installed on the car.



Common Wastes Generated by the Vehicle Service and Repair Industry
Waste

Management (i.e., send away as)

Link to more information on waste

Used Oil Hazardous Waste

Used Motor Oil

DTSC Used Oil Fact Sheet

Coolant Hazardous Waste or Recycle and reuse onsite

DTSC Antifreeze Recycling Fact Sheet

DTSC Letter: Waste Antifreeze Recycling

Brake fluid Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Letter: Brake Fluid Recycling
Fuels Hazardous Waste  
Oil filters Drain and manage as used oil filters (metal only)

DTSC Used Oil Filters Fact Sheet

Fuel filters Drain and manage as used oil filters (metal only)

DTSC Fact Sheet: Management of Waste Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Filters

Rags Send for cleaning and reuse or Hazardous Waste Link to HSC 25144.6
(please scroll down this web page find to 25144.6)
Absorbents Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Letter: Determination of Absorbents Used to Absorb Minor Spills in Maintenance Operations
Brake pads & shoes Turn in for “core” or Hazardous Waste  
Tires Waste Tire Hauler or Hazardous Waste CalRecycle Web Page: Used/Waste Tire Manifest Program 
Paints Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Fact Sheet: Minimizing Paint Waste
Solvents Hazardous Waste or Recycle and Reuse onsite DTSC Fact Sheet: Solvent Recycling
Metal items (e.g., water pumps, alternators, power steering pumps, wheel bearings, U-joints, etc.) Scrap metal or Hazardous Waste DTSC Letter: Scrap Metal Recycling
Paint booth filters Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Letter: Disposing of Filters from Paint Booths
Machining wastes (chips) Scrap metal or Hazardous Waste DTSC Letter: Metal Shaving Recycling from Brake Repair Activities
Machining wastes (fines) Hazardous Waste or Excluded Recyclable Material to a primary smelter DTSC Letter: Scrap Metal Exclusion Pertaining to Lead Shot
Machining wastes & HEPA filter wastes (dusts/sludges) Hazardous Waste or Excluded Recyclable Material to a primary smelter DTSC Letter: Reclamation of "SWARF" and Contaminated Wipe Rags
Oil/Water separator sludge (A.K.A., clarifier waste, or sump tank sludge, or tank bottom sludge) Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Oil Water Separator Fact Sheet
Floor sweepings containing no identifiable spilled materials Regular trash

DTSC Flyer: Dry Floor Clean Up

DTSC Fact Sheet: Floor Clean Up

Floor sweepings with spilled hazardous materials Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous DTSC Fact Sheet: Floor Clean Up
Lead acid batteries (Automotive) Recycle lead-acid batteries DTSC Fact Sheet: Management of Spent Lead-Acid Batteries
Batteries other Universal Waste

Universal Waste

DTSC Web page: Universal Wastes

HID lamps Universal Waste

Universal Waste

DTSC Web Page: Universal Wastes

Fluorescent lamps Universal Waste

Universal Waste

DTSC Web Page: Universal Wastes

DTSC Web Page: Universal Waste for Small Businesses - Fluorescent Lamps

Lamps other Verify nonhazardous or Hazardous Waste

Universal Waste

DTSC Web Page:  Universal Wastes

Lead wheel weights Scrap metal or Hazardous Waste

Wheel Weights

DTSC Web Page: Lead Wheel Weights

Aerosol cans, empty Regular trash

DTSC Fact Sheet: Managing Empty Containers

DTSC Web Page: Universal Waste for Small Businesses - Non-Empty Aerosol Cans

DTSC Fact Sheet: SB 1158 Designates Aerosol Cans as "Universal Waste"

Aerosol cans, not empty Universal Waste

DTSC Web Page: Universal Waste for Small Businesses - Non-Empty Aerosol Cans

DTSC Fact Sheet: SB 1158 Designates Aerosol Cans as "Universal Waste"

Empty containers, 5gal. or less Regular trash DTSC Fact Sheet: Managing Empty Containers
Empty containers, greater than 5gal. Recycle for scrap value or Hazardous Waste DTSC Fact Sheet: Managing Empty Containers
Mercury switches (trunk lights, hood lights, abs switches, four wheel drive switches, etc.) Universal Waste DTSC Fact Sheet: How to Manage Mercury Switches in Vehicles 
Air bags Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous  Air bags
Seatbelt Pretensioners Hazardous Waste or Verify nonhazardous Seatbelt Pretensioners
Still bottoms Hazardous Waste   

If you have additional questions not addressed above, please contact the DTSC Regulatory Assistance Office at 1-800-728-6942 or RAO@dtsc.ca.gov.  If you have comments or suggestions for this web page, please send an e-mail to the DTSC Web Coordinator at WEBCOORD@dtsc.ca.gov.


 
 
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