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Policy & Guidance


A hazardous waste generator is any person or site whose processes and actions create hazardous waste (see 40 CFR 260.10). Generators are divided into three categories based upon the quantity of waste they produce:

  1. Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) generate 1,000 kilograms per month or more of hazardous waste, more than 1 kilogram per month of acutely hazardous waste, or more than 100 kilograms per month of acute spill residue or soil.
  2. Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1,000 kilograms, of hazardous waste per month.
  3. Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) generate 100 kilograms or less per month of hazardous waste, or 1 kilogram or less per month of acutely hazardous waste, or less than 100 kilograms per month of acute spill residue or soil.

Each class of generator must comply with its own set of requirements. For more information these requirements, please see the Generator Summary Chart.

Laws, Regulations, and Information on the Regulatory Development Process

Academic Laboratories Rulemaking
This final rule applies to laboratories at eligible academic entities that are LQGs, SQGs, and CESQGs.

Federal Register Environmental Documents -- Wastes
This Web site allows users to search and review all Federal Register notices and documents pertaining to wastes back to 1994.

Hazardous Waste Manifest System
This Web site details the forms, reports, and procedures designed to seamlessly track hazardous waste from the time it leaves the generator facility where it was produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility that will store, treat, or dispose of the hazardous waste.

Hazardous Waste Generator Standards — Information Collection Requests

Presentations from a Public Meeting on Development and Implementation of Electronic Manifests to Accompany Hazardous Waste Shipments

RCRA Burden Reduction Initiative

Notification of Regulated Waste Activity and RCRA Hazardous Waste Part A Permit Application and Modification — Information Collection Requests

Criteria for Classification of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities and Practices, Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements — Information Collection Requests

For more information, see 40 CFR 262 or review a list of generator guidance documents and resources.


Hazardous waste transporters are individuals or entities that move hazardous waste from one site to another by highway, rail, water, or air (see 40 CFR 260.10). This includes transporting hazardous waste from a generator's site to a facility that can recycle, treat, store, or dispose of the waste. It can also include transporting treated hazardous waste to a site for further treatment or disposal.

Requirements for transporters include (see also 40 CFR 263):

Note that some states may have additional requirements for transporters. You should contact your state environmental office if you are not familiar with the requirements that may apply to you.

Other Resources

Part 261 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 261) – Federal Standards for Identifying Hazardous Waste)

Part 263 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 263) – Federal Standards for Transporting Hazardous Waste)

TSD Facilities

Through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Congress directed EPA to regulate all aspects of hazardous waste. As a result, EPA developed strict regulations for the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. States may implement stricter requirements than the Federal regulations as needed.

  • Treatment and Disposal: Any process that changes the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a waste to minimize its threat to the environment.  
  • Storage: The temporary holding of waste before the waste is treated, disposed of, or stored somewhere else.
  • Requirements for TSDFs: Regulations specific to hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities cover topics such as:
    • Air emissions
    • Closure
    • Corrective action/hazardous waste cleanup
    • Financial assurance
    • Ground water monitoring
    • Land disposal restrictions
    • Permits and permitting

Special Waste

Congress enacted the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Public Law 94-580) on October 21, 1976. RCRA required EPA to “promulgate regulations identifying characteristics of hazardous waste and listing particular hazardous waste” that would be subject to hazardous waste management standards. EPA also was required to develop standards for the owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities.

In response to this mandate, EPA proposed regulations for managing hazardous waste under Subtitle C of RCRA on December 18, 1978 (43 FR 58946). Included in these proposed regulations was a deferral of hazardous waste requirements for six categories of waste—which EPA termed “special wastes”—until further study and assessment could be completed to determine their risk to human health and the environment. The six categories of special wastes included:

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