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Used Oil


Used Oil Management

Senate Bill 546 (Lowenthal, Chapter 353, Statutes of 2009)

Approximately 100 million gallons of used oil are recycled in California each year. An estimated 14 million gallons of California used oil gets recycled out-of-state each year. DTSC's used oil program oversees the proper management of used oil through inspections and enforcement of used oil recyclers, transfer facilities and transporters within California. Senate Bill (SB) 546 (Lowenthal, Chapter 353, Statutes of 2009) will make a number of changes to the used oil management programs of DTSC and the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) when it takes effect on January 1, 2010. The California Oil Recycling Enhancement (CORE) Act implemented by CalRecycle outlines the requirements for responsible management of used oil in California to reduce the amount of illegal disposed used oil and encourage recycling and reuse, thereby minimizing impact to the environment.

Recent Legislation » See the Summary of Changes page
SB 546 added Health and Safety Code (H&SC), Sections 25250.29-25250.30 regarding used oil management that includes testing used oil and reporting requirements for used oil transported out-of-state.

Changes to the CORE Act incentive program can be found on the CalRecycle website.

Fact Sheets are available that provide an overview of the SB 546 requirements as well as FAQs for Transporters.

Key Elements of SB 546

SB 546 Transporter Used Oil Testing Requirements for Shipments of Used Oil
SB 546 requires that prior to shipment, the transporter must ensure that each load of used oil that is transported to a transfer or recycling facility, or to a facility located out-of-state is laboratory tested to demonstrate that it meets all of the following criteria:

  • flashpoint above 100 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) less than 5 parts per million (ppm), and
  • total halogen content of 1000 ppm or less (Note: if the halogen content is over 1000 ppm, the presumption of hazardous waste may be rebutted)
Alternatives to Used Oil Testing for Transporters
The used oil transporter is not required to perform testing of the used oil if the transporter can provide documentation that the load of used oil 
  • was tested by the generator of the used oil prior to shipment;
  • will be tested by a DTSC permitted transfer, storage, or recycling facility;
  • will be tested by an out-of-state used oil recycling facility with a testing and testing-related reporting agreement with DTSC.

SB 546 and Used Oil Generator Requirements
SB 546 contains no new requirements for generators of used oil. The generator is not required to perform the used oil testing and analysis outlined in SB 546; however, the law allows the generator to provide testing results of each load of used oil destined for an out-of-state facility to the transporter for the purpose of complying with the testing requirements. All the hazardous waste generator requirements in regulations are still applicable, including the responsibility to classify the waste appropriately.

Used Oil Testing Requirements for DTSC-Permitted Facilities
SB 546 contains no new requirements for DTSC-permitted used oil transfer, storage and recycling facilities receiving used oil, regardless of the source. Testing of each load of used oil may be required, in accordance with their permit, but is not mandated by law. For any used oil shipped by a DTSC-permitted facility to an out-of-state recycler, providing documentation attesting that they have met the used oil testing requirements in their permits will meet the SB 546 testing requirements.

Testing and Reporting Agreements for Out-of-State Facilities
Out-of-state used oil recycling facilities may elect to provide a service to transporters of used oil from California by establishing a testing and reporting agreement with DTSC. The used oil testing must be equivalent to testing and reporting requirements for California's permitted used oil recycling facilities and the facility must be a registered used oil recycler with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).  To begin the application process for a Used Oil Testing and Reporting Agreement with DTSC, submit a request form.

Please Note: Even if the out-of-state used oil recycling facility does not participate in the CalRecycle's used oil recycling incentive payment program (i.e., does not process California used oil from a certified collection center), in order to obtain a testing and reporting agreement with DTSC, the out-of-state facility must register with CalRecycle.

oil dropFact Sheets
FAQ for Used Oil Collection Centers, October 2017

Bill Overview Fact Sheet January 2010
FAQ for Transporters, December 2009
Used Oil Generator Requirements, November 2008
Managing Hazardous Wastes at Transfer Facilities, October 2006
Re-refined Oil

Other Resources
CIWMB Used Oil Recycling Program
Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Part 279-Standards for the Management of Used Oil

Contact Us:
For more information, contact your DTSC regional assistance officer at: (800) 728-6942

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