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NJDEP Hazardous Waste Handler Seminar “Remediation Waste – Is RCRA Regulated”

On October 10, 2018, the NJDEP held a seminar covering, for the first time, the topic of Remediation Waste – Is RCRA Regulated. Michael Hastry, NJDEP Director, from the Compliance and Enforcement Division, opened the session explaining that as he has met with Directors in other states, they are seeing a similar uptick in RCRA violations related to handling of Remediation Wastes. As such they agreed that NJ would be a good place to trial training on this specific topic. Based on the feedback they expect that other states will implement similar training on this emerging issue.

The main theme of the training was that even though the waste materials are generated during a remediation project, it doesn’t change the fact that all the RCRA requirements still apply: from generation, through storage, transportation and ultimate disposition, whether on or off site. The presentation materials can be found at and covered the following topics:

  • Hazardous Waste Determination and Counting (and impact on your Generator status)

  • EPA ID Numbers, Reporting and use of EPA form 8700-12

  • Waste Management specifically related to Remediation Wastes, including storage, labeling, etc.

  • Episodic Generation – use of this exemption from changes in Generator Status for one time events – like spill cleanups or remediation projects

  • General RCRA requirements – a good summary of ALL the RCRA requirements and a good reference to the Section numbers

  • Case Studies covering:

  • Alternative Treatment Standards for Contaminated Soils

  • Managing Imported Fill

  • Pistol/Gun Range contaminated Soil Remediation

  • Utility Sector Remediation Waste

Some Key Reminders / Takeaways overall include:

  • Generators are still ultimately responsible for wastes generated from their sites even if hired contractors to do the remediation work.

  • No liquids in Landfills, including drummed drill cuttings. For drill cuttings, we have to consider grouts, and other materials used during the installation of wells that drillers may put in the drums with the cuttings that over the time the drums are stored on site could make the overall materials a corrosive waste by the time it arrives at the disposal site and is sampled there.

  • Follow all the same RCRA material classification / waste determination rules as when generate wastes from operations. Coordinate with the disposal facilities.

  • Wastes from Spill cleanups and remediation projects count in your annual counting for Generator status (Small Quantity, Large Quantity) and see if use of the Episodic Generation exemption is available to avoid and increase in your generator status and associated requirements. For “Planned Episodes” NJDEP needs to be notified 30 days in advance.

  • Waste Storage rules apply to remediation wastes, including not storing incompatible wastes next to each other, isle spacing, proper labeling and visibility, periodic inspections, time limits, etc.

  • Determine if material is a hazardous waste before creating a soil pile on the site, versus placing soils in containers.

  • Ensure any soils to be used for backfill have been properly identified, sourced, sampled if needed, and documented.

The NJDEP representatives reminded us that they are available to help answer any questions as a resource to help answer any questions on applicability of the RCRA rules to remediation projects. NJDEP contact information for each of the areas covered is included at the end of their respective presentations.

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