Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities

The final link in the cradle-to-grave concept is the treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF) that follows the generator and transporter in the chain of waste management activities. The regulations pertaining to TSDFs are more stringent than those that apply to generators or transporters. A TSDF must comply with the standards of Chapter 14 or Chapter 15.


The Chapter 14/15 regulations apply to facilities that treat, store, and dispose of hazardous wastes. The terms "facility," "treat," "store," and "dispose" all have specific definitions found in §66260.10.

  • A facility includes all contiguous land, structures, and appurtenances on or in the land used for treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste. A single facility may consist of several types or combinations of operational units.
  • Treatment is defined as any method, technique, or process designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize such waste, or so as to recover energy or material resources from the waste, or so as to render such waste nonhazardous, or less hazardous; safer to transport, store or dispose of; or amenable for recovery, amenable for storage, or reduced in volume.
  • Storage is defined as holding hazardous waste for a temporary period, at the end of which the hazardous waste is treated, disposed of, or stored elsewhere.
  • Disposal is the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid or hazardous waste on or in the land or water. A disposal facility is any site where hazardous waste is intentionally placed and at which the waste will remain after closure.

If an area meeting the definition of a facility is engaged in treatment, storage, and/or disposal, it must be in compliance with the standards under Chapter 14 or 15.

The Term TSDF

TSDF is a term of convenience, grouping all facilities engaged in treatment, storage and/or disposal together for the purpose of discussing the regulations. In practice, there are storage facilities, treatment and disposal facilities, and every other combination possible. A facility becomes subject to Chapter 14/15 if it chooses to perform any of these three regulated activities.

Chapter 14 vs. Chapter 15

Standards were created for both existing TSDFs that were immediately subject to regulation at the time the regulations were adopted and for facilities that would be built after regulations were established. To make allowances for existing facilities that would not be able to comply with the full regulatory program immediately, DTSC adopted interim status standards in Chapter 15. New facilities, on the other hand, would be constructed after the regulations were promulgated, thus enabling these facilities to be designed and built to meet the standards deemed necessary to protect human health and the environment.  While the standards in Chapter 14 are more stringent than those in Chapter 15, the standards are nearly identical except in the limited circumstances where the standards for new facilities would be impracticable for existing facilities to implement immediately.


A TSDF not only must comply with the standards of Chapter 14/15, but an owner or operator also needs to obtain a permit in Chapter 20 (or operate under interim status) to engage in hazardous waste management. A permit is an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by DTSC to implement the TSDF requirements. TSDF permits are facility specific and are issued after a documentation and review process.