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November 27, 2017
The 2017 Biennial Report—are you ready to prepare it?
By Elizabeth M Dickinson, JD, Senior Legal Editor - EHS

As hazardous waste large quantity generators (LQGs) and hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) know all too well, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires them to report every 2 years on the quantities, types, and management methods of hazardous wastes generated on-site and hazardous wastes received from off-site sources. Referred to by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Hazardous Waste Report (EPA Form 8700-13 A/B, aka the Biennial Report), this report must be submitted by March 1 of every even-numbered year with information about the facility’s hazardous waste activities during the previous odd-numbered calendar year. 2017 is, of course, an odd-numbered calendar year, and therefore, the report must be filed by March 1, 2018. The EPA always makes changes to the report form, and the 2017 form is no exception to this practice. So, let’s take a look at some of the changes that will need to be addressed as you prepare your report.

Image credit: iNueng / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Who must report and for what period

Yes, LQGs and TSDFs are still required to report, but as a result of revisions set forth in the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (New Rule), both permitted TSDFs that store hazardous waste before recycling it and facilities that recycle hazardous waste without first storing the waste (i.e., the facility does not have a RCRA Part B storage permit) must also report for calendar year 2017. Such unpermitted facilities could include small quantity generators (SQGs) that may be otherwise exempt from filing a Biennial Report.

The New Rule clarifies that a generator must complete and submit a Biennial Report if the generator was an LQG for at least 1 month of the reporting year and it:

  • Shipped any hazardous waste off-site to a TSDF within the United States; or
  • Treated, stored, or disposed of hazardous waste on-site.

In the preamble to the New Rule, the EPA emphasizes that the LQG must identify in the Biennial Report all hazardous waste generated in the calendar year and not just for the month in which the generator was an LQG.

Report content

The New Rule deleted from the federal regulations the list of information that must be included in the report and replaced the list of specific data elements with a reference to the EPA Form 8700-13 A/B itself, which specifies the information needed for the 2017 report. Although changes have been made to all of the four reporting forms that comprise the Biennial Report, we’ll just focus on the one that has been most revised: the Site Identification Form (Site ID Form).

These items have been added to the Site ID Form for the 2017 Biennial Report:

  • E-mail, telephone number and extension, fax, and notes to the section for the legal owners of the site (Item 9.A)
  • Address, e-mail, telephone number and extension, fax, and notes to the section for the operators of the site (Item 9.B)
  • Indication that you are an SQG or very small quantity generator (VSQG) generating hazardous waste from an episodic event (Item 13)
  • Indication that you are an LQG notifying of consolidating VSQG hazardous waste under the control of the same person, as per 40 CFR 262.17(f) (Item 14)
  • Indication that you are an LQG notifying of site closure of a central accumulation area or an entire facility (Item 15)

All LQGs and TSDF owners or operators must fill out the Site ID Form to report their current regulated waste activities as of the date they submit the Biennial Report. For generators, this means that they must report their current hazardous waste generator status, which may be different from their status in the reporting year (i.e., 2017).

In addition, these addendums to the Site ID Form have been either revised or added:

  • Addendum for notification of hazardous secondary material activity
  • Addendum for episodic generation (as now allowed under the New Rule and applicable to SQGs and VSQGs only)
  • Addendum for LQG consolidation of VSQG hazardous waste (as now allowed under the New Rule).

Source codes and management method codes

For the 2017 Biennial Report, the EPA revised and/or added several source codes and management method codes that are used in completing the Biennial Report. To mention just one example, source code G51 has been added to address LQGs that receive hazardous wastes from VSQGs that are under the control of the same person.

Gather your records and jump-start the process

To complete the Biennial Report, consult your records on quantities and types of hazardous waste generated, managed, shipped, or received by your facility. Helpful records often include:

  • Manifests
  • Previously submitted Biennial Reports
  • Records of hazardous waste generated or accumulated on-site
  • Results of laboratory analyses of wastes
  • Contracts and agreements with off-site facilities that manage your wastes
  • Copies of permits for on-site waste management systems

Familiarizing yourself now with the changes made to the 2017 Biennial Report and locating the records to help complete the report will make the preparation process much easier as time marches on to the March 1, 2018, submittal deadline.

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