When hazardous waste is transported to a Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF), it must travel on public roadways.  

To protect the public and environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation have developed hazardous waste transporter registration laws. 

In California as well, a person cannot transport hazardous materials unless that individual holds a valid registration from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).  

Below are the answers to the top 6 questions concerning hazardous waste transporter registration and procedures prior to the transport process. 


Who Is Considered A Transporter? 


Hazardous Waste Transporter RegistrationAs a business, your focus is to get your waste from point A (your site) to point B (a TSDF) safely and legally. According to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a hazardous waste transporter is the person or company that takes the waste from point A to point B.  

It is important to note that transporter regulations in the United States do not apply to someone transporting waste onsite within the waste generator’s property boundaries. For example, onsite transportation includes a TSDF transporting waste within its facility. If a waste generator has two geographically contiguous properties and waste is being transported between the two properties, transporter regulations do not apply in this situation either.  

However, if a company that produces waste is having that waste transported to another property it owns, but both properties are noncontiguous and require travel on public roads, the hazardous waste transporter is subject to all transporter laws under the RCRA.


Is Registration Required?


Yes. In California, an individual transporting hazardous waste must hold a valid registration issued by the DTSC.  

This registration is valid for one year, and each transporter has a unique registration number. This allows companies who need to hire a hazardous waste transporter the opportunity to look up a company’s registration status on the DTSC database site to ensure it is legally allowed to transport waste to a TSDF.  

Transporters also must register for an EPA identification number. The EPA assigns transporter ID numbers to the transportation company as a whole. That means if a transporter company has multiple trucks, they will all use the same ID number. 

If a transporter company is transferring what is considered to be waste from a very small quantity generator, it may not be required to obtain an EPA ID number. However, it is important that a generator consult its state agency to determine whether a transporter must meet certain requirements within its state.


Does Transport To Mexico Require Registration?


Hazardous Waste Transporter RegistrationYes, if you employ a company that is transporting hazardous waste to Mexico, like Temarry Recycling, registration is required.  

Temarry Recycling has completed all of the legal requirements to transport hazardous waste, including RCRA, Non-RCRA and non-hazardous waste, to its facility in Tecate, Mexico. This is evidenced by an Acknowledgment of Consent letter, commonly known as the AOC, received from the EPA. There is one AOC for liquids, one AOC for solids and another for aqueous solutions. The AOC’s are required for RCRA regulated waste. 

The AOC clearly lists all of the federal waste codes that Temarry Recycling is authorized to export to Recicladora Temarry. 

You can read more about the benefits of transporting your waste to Mexico in our article, Top 5 Benefits Of Sending Hazardous Waste To Mexico For Recycling.


Do Transporters Need Insurance?


Yes. To be registered as a hazardous waste transporter in California, transporters must have liability insurance. Insurance must not only include covered response to damages, but response to public liability as well, such as property damage or bodily injury. 

Transporters may provide proof of liability insurance through one of these methods:

  • Certificate of Insurance
  • A California licensed surety company bond
  • Evidence of being self-insured through a public agency


What Do I Need To Apply?


Your informationTransporters must fill out a Department of Toxic Substances Control registration form, which can be found on the department’s site. Information required on the registration form includes:

  • Information about the transporter, such as business name, address, contact information and type of business (sole proprietorship vs. corporation) 
  • Transporter EPA ID number
  • A contact name and number for a business contact person 

As mentioned above, applicants must also have proof of insurance and an active EPA ID number. All of these items must be mailed to the DTSC at the address found in this checklist document.


Are There Other Requirements For Transporters?


Depending on mode of transportation, transporters must follow manifesting responsibilities as well. When transporters become registered, they must agree to comply with the EPA’s hazardous waste manifest system.  

This system tracks waste from the moment it leaves the generator to the moment it reaches a TSDF. A transporter is not legally allowed to accept hazardous waste and transport it unless it also receives a manifest. (A small quantity generator (SQG), however, may not be required to have a manifest.) 

When transporters receive waste, they sign and date the manifest. A copy is then returned to the generator. If the waste is transported on public roadways, a copy of the manifest must remain with the shipment. 

More information about how the manifest system works and any fees associated with it can be found in our article, No EPA Manifest Fees When Using Temarry


Final Note For Generators


If you are a waste generator, before you send your hazardous waste to a Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility, it is critical to ensure the transporter you use is registered and following all state and federal regulations. 

Registering to become a hazardous waste transporter is a straight-forward process that is critical to ensuring all cradle to grave requirements for the generator and transporter are met, and that the safety of the public is held with the highest regard. 


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