Although different used oil handlers may have specific requirements, the following requirements are common to all types of handlers. These requirements relate to storage and to cleaning up leaks and spills, as follows.
- Label all containers and tanks as Used Oil.
- Keep containers and tanks in good condition. Don’t allow tanks to rust, leak, or deteriorate. Fix structural defects immediately.
- Never store used oil in anything other than tanks and storage containers. Used oil may also be stored in units that are permitted to store regulated hazardous waste. Tanks and containers storing used oil do not need to be RCRA permitted, however, as long as they are labeled and in good condition. Storage of used oil in lagoons, pits, or surface impoundments that are not permitted under RCRA is prohibited.
Oil Leaks or Spills
- Take steps to prevent leaks and spills. Keep machinery, equipment containers, and tanks in good working condition and be careful when transferring used oil. Have sorbent materials available on site.
- If a spill or leak occurs, stop the oil from flowing at the source. If a leak from a container or tank can’t be stopped, put the oil in another holding container or tank.
- Contain spilled oil. For example, containment can be accomplished by erecting sorbent berms or by spreading a sorbent over the oil and surrounding area.
- Clean up the oil and recycle the used oil as you would have before it was spilled. If recycling is not possible, you first must make sure the used oil is not a hazardous waste and dispose of it appropriately. All used cleanup materials, from rags to sorbent booms, that contain free flowing used oil also must be handled according to the used oil management standards. Remember, all leaked and spilled oil collected during cleanup must be handled as used oil. If you are a used oil handler, you should become familiar with these cleanup methods. They may also be part of a spill response action plan.
- Remove, repair, or replace the defective tank or container immediately.