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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

California Hazardous Waste Permit (18-CA-b)

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a federal statute that regulates facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste. RCRA gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to control hazardous waste from its generation to its disposal. All RCRA hazardous wastes are listed in 40 CFR § 261. The California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) enforces RCRA in California and requires any person who generates, stores, treats, or disposes of hazardous waste to obtain a permit or grant of authorization. 22 CCR § 66270.1 Hazardous waste is defined in 22 CCR § 66261.30. California lists four characteristics that identify a hazardous waste: ignitable, reactive, corrosive, and toxic. In addition to these characteristics, if a waste is listed as hazardous in the state or federal regulations, then the DTSC recognizes the waste as hazardous.

California employs a five-tier permitting program which imposes regulatory requirements matching the degree of risk posed by the level of hazardous waste:

  • The Full Permit Tier includes all facilities requiring a RCRA permit as well as selected non-RCRA activities under Title 22 California Code of Regulations.
  • The Standardized Permit Tier includes facilities that manage waste not regulated by RCRA, but regulated as hazardous waste in California.
  • Onsite Treatment Permits (3-Tiered) includes onsite treatment of non-RCRA waste regulated in California and is managed by a permit by rule process.
42 U.S.C. § 6901

Hazardous Waste Permit Process

18-CA-b.1 – Does the Facility Require a Full RCRA Equivalent or Standardized Permit?

A developer must obtain a full RCRA equivalent permit from the DTSC if the proposed facility will store, treat, or dispose of hazardous waste regulated by RCRA. The full RCRA equivalent permit includes all facilities requiring a RCRA permit and selected non-RCRA activities pursuant to 22 CCR § 66264.1 et seq. If the facility requires a full RCRA equivalent permit, the developer must fill out a two part application. Part A and Part B of the application process involve considerable document preparation and review, substantial fees, and various other requirements. A developer applying for a full RCRA equivalent permit is encouraged to meet with the DTSC permitting staff before preparing an application. Full Permit Application Handbook

22 CCR § 66270.10

A standardized permit is required for most treatment and storage activities that require a permit in California, but do not require a RCRA permit. A facility applying for a standardized permit must comply with most of the requirements necessary to obtain a full permit, but the permit application process has been simplified, and the application and annual fees are lower. Standardized Permit Guidance

22 CCR § 66270.69.2

18-CA-b.2 to 18-CA-b.4– Is the Facility Eligible to Treat Waste under Permit by Rule?

The permit by rule tier allows onsite treatment of non-RCRA and RCRA exempt hazardous waste. A developer may apply to treat waste under this tier if both the developer’s waste streams and treatment processes are listed in 22 CCR § 67450.11. Generally the developer may only treat waste that is generated onsite and treatment must occur in tanks and containers. The developer may not treat waste that is reactive, extremely hazardous, or waste requiring a federal hazardous waste treatment permit. The developer may also not treat waste in landfills, surface impoundments, injection wells, waste piles, land treatment units, or thermal destruction units.

Permit by Rule Guide

18-CA-b.5 - Provide Public Notice

At least 30 days prior to the required pre-application public meeting, the developer is required to advertise the meeting in the newspaper, through a broadcast announcement, and on a sign posted at or near the property.

Full Permit Application Handbook

18-CA-b.6 - Attend Pre-Application Public Meeting

An informal pre-application public meeting is required for all new developers applying for a new RCRA permit. The pre-application public meeting allows the community to interact with and provide input to a developer prior to the developer submitting the hazardous waste facility permit application.

Full Permit Application Handbook

18-CA-b.7 - Hazardous Waste Facility Permit Application

The developer submits a hazardous waste facility permit application, including a description of the hazardous waste and the process by which the facility plans on treating, storing, and disposing of the hazardous waste. The application has two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A consists of a standardized form that the developer must fill out. Part B of the application is submitted in a narrative form. The general content requirements for Part A of the permit application are listed in 22 CCR § 66270.13, while the general requirements for Part B of the permit application are listed in 22 CCR § 66270.14.

22 CCR § 66270.1

18-CA-b.8 - Provide Public Notice of Receipt of Application

Soon after receiving the hazardous waste facility permit application, the DTSC publishes a public notice and notifies the appropriate state and local agencies of the receipt of the application.

Full Permit Application Handbook

18-CA-b.9 to 18-CA-b.11 - Review Application Material for Completeness

Within 30 days of the DTSC receiving a developer’s application, the DTSC makes a completeness determination for the application. If the DTSC finds that the application is incomplete, it issues a notice of deficiency. The notice requires the developer to resubmit a completed application. If the DTSC determines the application is complete, the department notifies the developer in writing.

22 CCR § 66271.2

18-CA-b.12 to 18-CA-b.13- Initiate Technical Review

After the DTSC determines the application is complete, it begins a detailed technical review. The technical review evaluates the facility operation for compliance with applicable technical standards. A full permit decision is subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The appropriate CEQA analysis must be done before the DTSC can begin the public comment period. The CEQA process is detailed in:

State Environmental Review Process:

Full Permit Application Handbook

18-CA-b.13 to 18-CA-b.14 - Review Technical Review Materials

The technical review often results in DTSC requesting additional information from the developer and amendments to the application or resubmitting the application to meet the technical standards. When the DTSC accepts the application as technically complete the DTSC will notify the developer in writing.

Full Permit Application Handbook

18-CA-b.15 to 18-CA-b.16 - Draft Hazardous Waste Facility Permit

The DTSC prepares a draft hazardous waste facility permit for review. All draft permits must include a statement of bases or a fact sheet and must be based on the administrative record. The draft permit is made available for public comment and constitutes public notice.

22 CCR § 66271.5

18-CA-b.17 - Hold Public Hearing

After the DTSC creates the draft permit, the DTSC provides public notice and allows for a 45 day public comment period on the draft hazardous waste facility permit and will hold a public hearing. Public notice of the public hearing must be given by the DTSC at least 30 days before the hearing is held.

22 CCR § 66271.9

18-CA-b.18 – Final Permit Decision

After the DTSC completes the public hearings, the DTSC prepares a final permit decision. The final permit decision explains the DTSC’s decision and addresses all comments made during the public hearings.

22 CCR § 66271.16

18-CA-b.19 to 18-CA-b.22 - Does the Developer or Public Appeal the Decision?

Once the DTSC issues a final permit decision issued, the developer or any person who filed comments or participated in the public hearings may petition the DTSC to review the decision within 30 days. The petition for review is limited to changes made from the draft hazardous waste facility permit that are reflected in the final permit decision.

22 CCR § 66271.18

18-CA-b.23 to 18-CA-b.24 - Does the DTSC Accept Appeal?

The DTSC may either accept or deny a petition for review. If the DTSC grants the petition for review, the DTSC must issue a public notice and send an appeals schedule to the developer and all interested parties. If the DTSC denies the petition for review the DTSC will only send notice to inform the filing party of the decision to deny. 22 CCR § 66271.18

18-CA-b.25 - Does the DTSC Approve the Permit on Appeal?

After hearing the developer or member of the public's appeal, the DTSC either grants a hazardous waste facility permit or affirms its decision to deny the permit. If the DTSC affirms its decision to deny the permit, the developer may not proceed with the proposed project.

Hazardous Waste Facility Permit Fact Sheet

18-CA-b.26 - Hazardous Waste Facility Permit

If DTSC approves the permit application or overturns its decision to deny the permit on appeal, the developer receives a hazardous waste facility permit.

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Edit California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control
Office of Emergency Services- Inventory Release Plan
(916) 845-8732

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