Problem # 1: Have you crossed the line to hazmat offeror?
You’re a hazardous waste generator and you have hired a hazardous waste transporter to pick up your waste and haul it off. You’ve checked everything off your Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) checklist and you’re ready for the waste to be out of your hair. Unfortunately, you are probably not done.
Many hazardous waste generators are not aware that in addition to RCRA regulations under the EPA, they have obligations under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazardous materials regulations (HMRs) if they meet the definition of an “offeror” of hazardous materials. And, most likely, they do. A small Connecticut manufacturer was fined thousands of dollars for not going the extra step as required of an offeror (person who offers). They were unaware of their obligations, and were caught when their waste was transported through a state that uncovered HMR violations during a random check.
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Offeror. Under the HMRs, an “offeror” of hazardous materials for transportation in commerce means any person who performs or is responsible for performing any pretransportation function required by the HMRs or who tenders or makes the hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation in commerce. An offeror is responsible only for the specific pretransportation functions that he or she performs or is required to perform. If you meet the definition of offeror, that means you are responsible for complying with all the DOT HMRs (except manifests and spill response, which are covered under RCRA) including training and security plan requirements as applicable.
How can you tell if you’re a hazmat offeror?
If you are a hazardous waste generator you are most likely considered a hazmat offeror under the DOT HMRs. This is true even if you hire a transporter to prepare and pick up your waste.
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Problem # 2: Are you paying too much for hauling fees?
You’ve worked hard to reduce the generation of waste at your facility, but have you considered looking into reducing your hazardous waste transporter fees?
The EPA advises that you review your hauling service periodically to see if you are getting the service you need at the best price.
Tips when rebidding your hauling contract include:
- Let potential contractors review your options before bidding.
- Send bid solicitations to three to five companies, including your current hauler.
- Require a cap on yearly increases during the contract term.
- Ensure the ability to change the type and size of disposal container, the number of pickups, and the time of pickups without penalty.
- Don’t get tied into a contract with automatic renewal. Make sure you have the option to renew with similar terms.
Adjusting hauling services to reflect reduced volumes of waste can add up to tremendous savings through decreased hauler fees, avoided disposal costs, and lower equipment maintenance costs.