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e-CFR data is current as of July 9, 2020

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter IPart 273 → Subpart B


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 273—STANDARDS FOR UNIVERSAL WASTE MANAGEMENT


Subpart B—Standards for Small Quantity Handlers of Universal Waste


Contents
§273.10   Applicability.
§273.11   Prohibitions.
§273.12   Notification.
§273.13   Waste management.
§273.14   Labeling/marking.
§273.15   Accumulation time limits.
§273.16   Employee training.
§273.17   Response to releases.
§273.18   Off-site shipments.
§273.19   Tracking universal waste shipments.
§273.20   Exports.

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§273.10   Applicability.

This subpart applies to small quantity handlers of universal waste (as defined in 40 CFR 273.9).

[64 FR 36489, July 6, 1999]

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§273.11   Prohibitions.

A small quantity handler of universal waste is:

(a) Prohibited from disposing of universal waste; and

(b) Prohibited from diluting or treating universal waste, except by responding to releases as provided in 40 CFR 273.17; or by managing specific wastes as provided in 40 CFR 273.13.

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§273.12   Notification.

A small quantity handler of universal waste is not required to notify EPA of universal waste handling activities.

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§273.13   Waste management.

(a) Universal waste batteries. A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage universal waste batteries in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:

(1) A small quantity handler of universal waste must contain any universal waste battery that shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions in a container. The container must be closed, structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the battery, and must lack evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.

(2) A small quantity handler of universal waste may conduct the following activities as long as the casing of each individual battery cell is not breached and remains intact and closed (except that cells may be opened to remove electrolyte but must be immediately closed after removal):

(i) Sorting batteries by type;

(ii) Mixing battery types in one container;

(iii) Discharging batteries so as to remove the electric charge;

(iv) Regenerating used batteries;

(v) Disassembling batteries or battery packs into individual batteries or cells;

(vi) Removing batteries from consumer products; or

(vii) Removing electrolyte from batteries.

(3) A small quantity handler of universal waste who removes electrolyte from batteries, or who generates other solid waste (e.g., battery pack materials, discarded consumer products) as a result of the activities listed above, must determine whether the electrolyte and/or other solid waste exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste identified in 40 CFR part 261, subpart C.

(i) If the electrolyte and/or other solid waste exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste, it is subject to all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272. The handler is considered the generator of the hazardous electrolyte and/or other waste and is subject to 40 CFR part 262.

(ii) If the electrolyte or other solid waste is not hazardous, the handler may manage the waste in any way that is in compliance with applicable federal, state or local solid waste regulations.

(b) Universal waste pesticides. A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage universal waste pesticides in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment. The universal waste pesticides must be contained in one or more of the following:

(1) A container that remains closed, structurally sound, compatible with the pesticide, and that lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions; or

(2) A container that does not meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this Section, provided that the unacceptable container is overpacked in a container that does meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this Section; or

(3) A tank that meets the requirements of 40 CFR part 265 subpart J, except for 40 CFR 265.197(c), 265.200, and 265.201; or

(4) A transport vehicle or vessel that is closed, structurally sound, compatible with the pesticide, and that lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.

(c) Mercury-containing equipment. A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage universal waste mercury-containing equipment in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:

(1) A small quantity handler of universal waste must place in a container any universal waste mercury-containing equipment with non-contained elemental mercury or that shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions. The container must be closed, structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the device, must lack evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions, and must be reasonably designed to prevent the escape of mercury into the environment by volatilization or any other means.

(2) A small quantity handler of universal waste may remove mercury-containing ampules from universal waste mercury-containing equipment provided the handler:

(i) Removes and manages the ampules in a manner designed to prevent breakage of the ampules;

(ii) Removes the ampules only over or in a containment device (e.g., tray or pan sufficient to collect and contain any mercury released from an ampule in case of breakage);

(iii) Ensures that a mercury clean-up system is readily available to immediately transfer any mercury resulting from spills or leaks from broken ampules from that containment device to a container that is subject to all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272;

(iv) Immediately transfers any mercury resulting from spills or leaks from broken ampules from the containment device to a container that is subject to all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272;

(v) Ensures that the area in which ampules are removed is well ventilated and monitored to ensure compliance with applicable OSHA exposure levels for mercury;

(vi) Ensures that employees removing ampules are thoroughly familiar with proper waste mercury handling and emergency procedures, including transfer of mercury from containment devices to appropriate containers;

(vii) Stores removed ampules in closed, non-leaking containers that are in good condition;

(viii) Packs removed ampules in the container with packing materials adequate to prevent breakage during storage, handling, and transportation;

(3) A small quantity handler of universal waste mercury-containing equipment that does not contain an ampule may remove the open original housing holding the mercury from universal waste mercury-containing equipment provided the handler:

(i) Immediately seals the original housing holding the mercury with an air-tight seal to prevent the release of any mercury to the environment; and

(ii) Follows all requirements for removing ampules and managing removed ampules under paragraph (c)(2) of this section; and

(4) (i) A small quantity handler of universal waste who removes mercury-containing ampules from mercury-containing equipment or seals mercury from mercury-containing equipment in its original housing must determine whether the following exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste identified in 40 CFR part 261, subpart C:

(A) Mercury or clean-up residues resulting from spills or leaks and/or

(B) Other solid waste generated as a result of the removal of mercury-containing ampules or housings (e.g., the remaining mercury-containing device).

(ii) If the mercury, residues, and/or other solid waste exhibits a characteristic of hazardous waste, it must be managed in compliance with all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272. The handler is considered the generator of the mercury, residues, and/or other waste and must manage it in compliance with 40 CFR part 262.

(iii) If the mercury, residues, and/or other solid waste is not hazardous, the handler may manage the waste in any way that is in compliance with applicable federal, state or local solid waste regulations.

(d) Lamps. A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage lamps in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:

(1) A small quantity handler of universal waste must contain any lamp in containers or packages that are structurally sound, adequate to prevent breakage, and compatible with the contents of the lamps. Such containers and packages must remain closed and must lack evidence of leakage, spillage or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.

(2) A small quantity handler of universal waste must immediately clean up and place in a container any lamp that is broken and must place in a container any lamp that shows evidence of breakage, leakage, or damage that could cause the release of mercury or other hazardous constituents to the environment. Containers must be closed, structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the lamps and must lack evidence of leakage, spillage or damage that could cause leakage or releases of mercury or other hazardous constituents to the environment under reasonably foreseeable conditions.

(e) Aerosol cans. A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage universal waste aerosol cans in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:

(1) Universal waste aerosol cans must be accumulated in a container that is structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the aerosol cans, lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions, and is protected from sources of heat.

(2) Universal waste aerosol cans that show evidence of leakage must be packaged in a separate closed container or overpacked with absorbents, or immediately punctured and drained in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

(3) A small quantity handler of universal waste may conduct the following activities as long as each individual aerosol can is not breached and remains intact:

(i) Sorting aerosol cans by type;

(ii) Mixing intact cans in one container; and

(iii) Removing actuators to reduce the risk of accidental release; and

(4) A small quantity handler of universal waste who punctures and drains their aerosol cans must recycle the empty punctured aerosol cans and meet the following requirements while puncturing and draining universal waste aerosol cans:

(i) Conduct puncturing and draining activities using a device specifically designed to safely puncture aerosol cans and effectively contain the residual contents and any emissions thereof.

(ii) Establish and follow a written procedure detailing how to safely puncture and drain the universal waste aerosol can (including proper assembly, operation and maintenance of the unit, segregation of incompatible wastes, and proper waste management practices to prevent fires or releases); maintain a copy of the manufacturer's specification and instruction on site; and ensure employees operating the device are trained in the proper procedures.

(iii) Ensure that puncturing of the can is done in a manner designed to prevent fires and to prevent the release of any component of universal waste to the environment. This manner includes, but is not limited to, locating the equipment on a solid, flat surface in a well-ventilated area.

(iv) Immediately transfer the contents from the waste aerosol can or puncturing device, if applicable, to a container or tank that meets the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 262.14, 262.15, 262.16, or 262.17.

(v) Conduct a hazardous waste determination on the contents of the emptied aerosol can per 40 CFR 262.11. Any hazardous waste generated as a result of puncturing and draining the aerosol can is subject to all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272. The handler is considered the generator of the hazardous waste and is subject to 40 CFR part 262.

(vi) If the contents are determined to be nonhazardous, the handler may manage the waste in any way that is in compliance with applicable Federal, state, or local solid waste regulations.

(vii) A written procedure must be in place in the event of a spill or leak and a spill clean-up kit must be provided. All spills or leaks of the contents of the aerosol cans must be cleaned up promptly.

[60 FR 25542, May 11, 1995, as amended at 64 FR 36489, July 6, 1999; 70 FR 45521, Aug. 5, 2005; 71 FR 40280, July 14, 2006; 84 FR 67218, Dec. 9, 2019]

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§273.14   Labeling/marking.

A small quantity handler of universal waste must label or mark the universal waste to identify the type of universal waste as specified below:

(a) Universal waste batteries (i.e., each battery), or a container in which the batteries are contained, must be labeled or marked clearly with any one of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—Battery(ies),” or “Waste Battery(ies),” or “Used Battery(ies);”

(b) A container, (or multiple container package unit), tank, transport vehicle or vessel in which recalled universal waste pesticides as described in 40 CFR 273.3(a)(1) are contained must be labeled or marked clearly with:

(1) The label that was on or accompanied the product as sold or distributed; and

(2) The words “Universal Waste-Pesticide(s)” or “Waste-Pesticide(s);”

(c) A container, tank, or transport vehicle or vessel in which unused pesticide products as described in 40 CFR 273.3(a)(2) are contained must be labeled or marked clearly with:

(1)(i) The label that was on the product when purchased, if still legible;

(ii) If using the labels described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section is not feasible, the appropriate label as required under the Department of Transportation regulation 49 CFR part 172;

(iii) If using the labels described in paragraphs (c)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section is not feasible, another label prescribed or designated by the waste pesticide collection program administered or recognized by a state; and

(2) The words “Universal Waste-Pesticide(s)” or “Waste-Pesticide(s).”

(d)(1) Universal waste mercury-containing equipment (i.e., each device), or a container in which the equipment is contained, must be labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—Mercury Containing Equipment,” “Waste Mercury-Containing Equipment,” or “Used Mercury-Containing Equipment.”

(2) A universal waste mercury-containing thermostat or container containing only universal waste mercury-containing thermostats may be labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—Mercury Thermostat(s),” “Waste Mercury Thermostat(s),” or “Used Mercury Thermostat(s).”

(e) Each lamp or a container or package in which such lamps are contained must be labeled or marked clearly with one of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—Lamp(s),” or “Waste Lamp(s),” or “Used Lamp(s)”.

(f) Universal waste aerosol cans (i.e., each aerosol can), or a container in which the aerosol cans are contained, must be labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—Aerosol Can(s),” “Waste Aerosol Can(s),” or “Used Aerosol Can(s)”.

[60 FR 25542, May 11, 1995, as amended at 64 FR 36489, July 6, 1999; 70 FR 45521, Aug. 5, 2005; 71 FR 40280, July 14, 2006; 84 FR 67219, Dec. 9, 2019]

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§273.15   Accumulation time limits.

(a) A small quantity handler of universal waste may accumulate universal waste for no longer than one year from the date the universal waste is generated, or received from another handler, unless the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are met.

(b) A small quantity handler of universal waste may accumulate universal waste for longer than one year from the date the universal waste is generated, or received from another handler, if such activity is solely for the purpose of accumulation of such quantities of universal waste as necessary to facilitate proper recovery, treatment, or disposal. However, the handler bears the burden of proving that such activity is solely for the purpose of accumulation of such quantities of universal waste as necessary to facilitate proper recovery, treatment, or disposal.

(c) A small quantity handler of universal waste who accumulates universal waste must be able to demonstrate the length of time that the universal waste has been accumulated from the date it becomes a waste or is received. The handler may make this demonstration by:

(1) Placing the universal waste in a container and marking or labeling the container with the earliest date that any universal waste in the container became a waste or was received;

(2) Marking or labeling each individual item of universal waste (e.g., each battery or thermostat) with the date it became a waste or was received;

(3) Maintaining an inventory system on-site that identifies the date each universal waste became a waste or was received;

(4) Maintaining an inventory system on-site that identifies the earliest date that any universal waste in a group of universal waste items or a group of containers of universal waste became a waste or was received;

(5) Placing the universal waste in a specific accumulation area and identifying the earliest date that any universal waste in the area became a waste or was received; or

(6) Any other method which clearly demonstrates the length of time that the universal waste has been accumulated from the date it becomes a waste or is received.

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§273.16   Employee training.

A small quantity handler of universal waste must inform all employees who handle or have responsibility for managing universal waste. The information must describe proper handling and emergency procedures appropriate to the type(s) of universal waste handled at the facility.

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§273.17   Response to releases.

(a) A small quantity handler of universal waste must immediately contain all releases of universal wastes and other residues from universal wastes.

(b) A small quantity handler of universal waste must determine whether any material resulting from the release is hazardous waste, and if so, must manage the hazardous waste in compliance with all applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 272. The handler is considered the generator of the material resulting from the release, and must manage it in compliance with 40 CFR part 262.

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§273.18   Off-site shipments.

(a) A small quantity handler of universal waste is prohibited from sending or taking universal waste to a place other than another universal waste handler, a destination facility, or a foreign destination.

(b) If a small quantity handler of universal waste self-transports universal waste off-site, the handler becomes a universal waste transporter for those self-transportation activities and must comply with the transporter requirements of subpart D of this part while transporting the universal waste.

(c) If a universal waste being offered for off-site transportation meets the definition of hazardous materials under 49 CFR parts 171 through 180, a small quantity handler of universal waste must package, label, mark and placard the shipment, and prepare the proper shipping papers in accordance with the applicable Department of Transportation regulations under 49 CFR parts 172 through 180;

(d) Prior to sending a shipment of universal waste to another universal waste handler, the originating handler must ensure that the receiving handler agrees to receive the shipment.

(e) If a small quantity handler of universal waste sends a shipment of universal waste to another handler or to a destination facility and the shipment is rejected by the receiving handler or destination facility, the originating handler must either:

(1) Receive the waste back when notified that the shipment has been rejected, or

(2) Agree with the receiving handler on a destination facility to which the shipment will be sent.

(f) A small quantity handler of universal waste may reject a shipment containing universal waste, or a portion of a shipment containing universal waste that he has received from another handler. If a handler rejects a shipment or a portion of a shipment, he must contact the originating handler to notify him of the rejection and to discuss reshipment of the load. The handler must:

(1) Send the shipment back to the originating handler, or

(2) If agreed to by both the originating and receiving handler, send the shipment to a destination facility.

(g) If a small quantity handler of universal waste receives a shipment containing hazardous waste that is not a universal waste, the handler must immediately notify the appropriate regional EPA office of the illegal shipment, and provide the name, address, and phone number of the originating shipper. The EPA regional office will provide instructions for managing the hazardous waste.

(h) If a small quantity handler of universal waste receives a shipment of non-hazardous, non-universal waste, the handler may manage the waste in any way that is in compliance with applicable federal, state or local solid waste regulations.

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§273.19   Tracking universal waste shipments.

A small quantity handler of universal waste is not required to keep records of shipments of universal waste.

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§273.20   Exports.

A small quantity handler of universal waste who sends universal waste to a foreign destination is subject to the requirements of 40 CFR part 262, subpart H.

[81 FR 85729, Nov. 28, 2016]

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