HW Proposed Rule Changes

Public hearing notice (January 12, 2018)


The State of Hawaii Department of Health will hold a public hearing for the proposed amendment of Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11 chapters 260.1 to 279.1. The proposed amendments update rules regulating businesses that generate or handle hazardous wastes and used oil in Hawaii to align state regulations with updates to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s federal hazardous waste management program.

The proposed amendments can be viewed at 2827 Waimano Home Rd SHWB Bldg., Pearl City, Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm (except state holidays) and are posted online at health.hawaii.gov/shwb/hazwaste.  Copies will be mailed on request and payment of a 5 cent/page copy fee and postage; call 808-586-4226 to request.

The public hearing will be at 9am on February 16, 2018 at 2827 Waimano Home Rd SHWB Bldg., Pearl City. All interested parties may attend to present relevant information and individual opinion. Anyone unable to attend may send written testimony to Attn: HW Rules 2827 Waimano Home Rd Pearl City, HI 96782 or noa.klein@doh.hawaii.gov. Testimony must be received by February 23, 2018. To request an auxiliary aid or service (e.g. ASL interpreter, large print) for the hearing, call 808-586-4226 (voice/TDD) or e-mail noa.klein@doh.hawaii.gov by February 9.


Proposed Amendments


Description and rationale for proposed rule changes


Hawaii is an authorized state for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s national hazardous waste program implementing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Subtitle C. In order to maintain authorization and EPA funding for this program, Hawaii is required by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40 Part 271 (40 CFR 271) to adopt state rules equivalent to and at least as stringent as the program’s federal regulations, which are found in 40 CFR parts 124 and 260 to 279.

The proposed amendments to chapters 11-260.1 to 11-279.1, HAR, are in response to changes made by EPA to the federal rules. The department proposes to adopt rules equivalent to two new EPA rules by amending the incorporation by reference of the federal regulations in chapters 11-260.1 to 11-279.1 from the July 1, 2016 version of the CFR to the July 1, 2017 version.

The contents of the two new federal rules to be adopted are as follows:

(1) Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste

This rule amends existing regulations regarding the export and import of hazardous wastes from and into the United States. EPA is making these changes to provide greater protection to human health and the environment by making existing export and import related requirements more consistent with the current import-export requirements for shipments between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); enable electronic submittal to EPA of all export and import-related documents (e.g., export notices, export annual reports); and enable electronic validation of consent in the Automated Export System (AES) for export shipments subject to RCRA export consent requirements prior to exit.

(2) Hazardous Waste Generator Rule Improvements

This rule amends the existing hazardous waste generator regulatory program by reorganizing the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly and thus improve their usability by the regulated community; providing a better understanding of how the RCRA hazardous waste generator regulatory program works; addressing gaps in the existing regulations to strengthen environmental protection; providing greater flexibility for hazardous waste generators to manage their hazardous waste in a cost-effective and protective manner; and making technical corrections and conforming changes to address inadvertent errors and remove obsolete references to programs that no longer exist.

New requirements to improve environmental protection:

  • Small Quantity Generators (SQGs)
    • Re-notify every four years beginning in 2021
  • Large Quantity Generators (LQGs)
    • Notify of container storage area or facility closure; clean closure performance standards
    • Submit quick reference guide with contingency plan
    • Additional precautions for containers holding ignitable and reactive wastes (including “no smoking” signs)
  • SQGs and LQGs
    • Document compliance with accumulation time limits for tanks using logs, monitoring equipment, or other records
    • Label containers with hazardous waste numbers (or bar codes carrying this information) before transport
    • Follow labeling and incompatible waste requirements in satellite accumulation areas (same as central accumulation areas)
    • Document hazardous waste determinations
    • Document arrangements (or attempts to make arrangements) with local emergency responders
  • SQGs, LQGs, and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)
    • Label containers and tanks “hazardous waste” and an indication of the hazards of the contents
  • Facilities recycling hazardous waste (without prior storage)
    • Biennial hazardous waste report

Provisions to increase flexibility:

  • Allow very small quantity generators (VSQGs; currently known as “conditionally exempt small quantity generators” or CESQGs) to send hazardous waste to an LQG owned by the same company. The LQG consolidates the waste and manages it under more protective requirements (the same requirements as if the waste were generated by the LQG).
  • Allow VSQGs and SQGs to maintain their existing generator category in the case of a one-time event (such as a clean out of old chemicals) where they generate more hazardous waste than usual. Generators that satisfy the listed conditions would not have to comply with the more stringent generator category standards when their generation temporarily increases.
  • Allow LQGs to apply to local fire departments to receive a waiver allowing storage of ignitable or reactive waste within 50 feet of facility boundary if appropriate and safe.