Biennial Report Not Required When Exporting Hazardous Waste

Posted by Larry Burton on Mar 28, 2016 10:45:36 AM

If you are exporting your hazardous waste to Mexico with Temarry Recycling, you do not have to fill out the Biennial Report for waste being manifested to Temarry.

temarry-transportation-495x369.pngOnce hazardous waste is exported from the United States, it is no longer under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Toxic Services Control (DTSC).  It comes under federal regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Because of this change in jurisdiction, and the requirements associated with the hazardous waste export process, hazardous waste generators can find relief from some of the regulatory reporting requirements of the DTSC.

Specifically, the Biennial Report.

The Reporting Confusion

Federal statues are clear that reporting requirements including hazardous waste movements shift to exporters upon shipments leaving the country. Once your hazardous waste crosses the border from U.S. soil to Mexican soil, Temarry becomes the primary exporter of record. This means that Temarry is responsible for completing an annual report submitted to the EPA.

From the 2015 EPA Hazardous Waste Report: “Unless required by your State, do not file the 2015 Hazardous Waste Report if, during 2015, all of your hazardous waste was exported directly out of the U.S. to a foreign country. Facilities that export hazardous waste must file a separate Annual Report under 40 CFR 262.56.” This report is submitted by the exporter of record who may or may not be the actual generator. See EPA Memo here.

Many generators become confused by this requirement because DTSC regulations are very clear regarding requirements for biennial reports when waste is manifested to a facility within the U.S. When a waste is manifested outside of the U.S. there is no DTSC regulation so you can’t find it if you search for it. The software provided for reporting does not work because it does not allow for the prefix of an international TSDF. Because international shipments are covered by Federal regulations, you must look at Federal statutes (40 CFR 262.56).

For generators and transportation companies that try and complete their reporting online by inputting the foreign facilities EPA ID number into the report, you will receive an error message for which there is no resolution. This is because the DTSC software will not accept an EPA ID number of a foreign TSDF.       

Regulatory Requirements of Exporters

Primary exporters may be subject to various reporting requirements depending on their yearly export activities.  These reports include exception reports (§262.55) and annual reports (§262.56)

By March 1 of each year, the primary exporter has to file an annual report with the Administrator summarizing the types, quantities, frequency, and ultimate destination of all wastes exported during the previous year. 

What Is the Biennial Report?

Federal and State hazardous waste regulations require certain RCRA hazardous waste generators, as well as, facilities that treat, store or dispose of RCRA hazardous waste, to report their hazardous waste activities biennially on odd-numbered calendar years. The information collected:

  • Provides the U.S. EPA and California with a view of current hazardous waste generation and waste management in the United States,
  • Shows trends and changes in waste management and quantity when compared to past years' reports, and
  • Is summarized and provided to the public, primarily through publication of the National Biennial RCRA Hazardous Waste Report.

DTSC collects Biennial Reports from generators of RCRA (Federally-regulated) hazardous waste streams. (Source: California DTSC)

Another Option

If you are a generator that would still like to file a Biennial Report in CA there is a way that has been reported to us. This was given to us in an email from one of our customers who had a conversation (or email) from Cassie at DTSC. Cassie from DTSC states that if you change the MXC prefix of the Recicladora EPA ID number to CAM the reporting software will accept it. Temarry does not encourage or discourage this technique. Temarry does not know if it is legal to submit a legal document (Biennial Report) using a fictitious EPA number just so that the software will work. We know that the suggestion did come from DTSC and we know that generators have used the technique successfully.  

Relief for Temarry's Customers

Lifting or relieving this reporting chore is a tremendous benefit for our customers and an important one for everyone to understand. Among the many benefits of exporting your hazardous waste with Temarry is the fact that once your waste crosses the international border, your regulatory requirements are complete.  This is the grave in the cradle to grave liability for a generator of hazardous waste. By utilizing Temarry you have reduced your regulatory burden and achieved the highest level of sustainability available in the western United States.

skeptical about taking hazardous waste to mexico