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Safeguarding Your Business: Lessons on Hazardous Waste Management

Do you have a thorough understanding of the rules that apply to the generation and storage of hazardous waste at your – or your customers’ – facilities? Are you and your team aware of what actions need to be taken in the event of a regulatory inspection? Does your business have a firm hold on how it manages and maintains the appropriate records?

All these questions and more were answered during our hour-long Hazardous Waste Refresher Webinar that took place earlier this year. In case you missed it, ACD members can log in to the members’ area of the website to access a recording of the session and view the slides.

Hosted by Pete Downing, President of consultancy Environment & Safety Solutions, Inc., and ACD strategic partner, the presentation provided an in-depth overview of the hazardous waste regulations, what’s included, and how to adhere to them.

As a starting point, Downing discussed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and how it helps to ensure the chemical waste that’s generated is properly handled, sorted, and disposed of in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

He highlighted a few of the many high profile hazardous waste issues that have hit the headlines over the years – the “triggering events” that have led to different regulatory programs, including RCRA.

Among these were incidents at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York, and Toms River in New Jersey – where the dumping of toxic chemicals had a profound effect on their local communities, severely impacting the health and wellness of residents.

It’s vitally important, Downing commented, that any business handling chemicals understands exactly how to manage their waste properly, from “cradle to grave”.

During the webinar, participants learned how to classify their waste as hazardous or non-hazardous; the characteristics of hazardous waste – in terms of its ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity; as well as how to identify the appropriate land disposal methods.

The webinar also touched on how to prepare for inspections, identify issues and make corrections, retain accurate records, and ensure personnel have the required training.

Once you’ve identified that you’re a waste generator, Downing  said, it’s necessary to classify the type of generator you are – very small, small, or large – and notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of your hazardous waste activity. The EPA is authorized to control hazardous waste from point of generation to disposal.

Businesses must have a comprehensive understanding of these various rules and requirements to stay compliant, he added. That means knowing all the relevant procedures regarding storage – segregating and separating product, as well as managing containers properly with appropriate labeling.

Preparedness, prevention, and contingency planning; testing and equipment maintenance; as well as communication with emergency responders are all essential considerations to keep you, your people, and communities safe, Downing said.

Don’t miss Pete’s next online training, DOT- Required Hazardous Materials Transportation Training. In this interactive training on the rules governing the transportation of hazardous materials, participants will receive general awareness, function-specific, and general security awareness training for shippers, as required in 49 CFR 172.700.

To find out more about upcoming presentations, visit


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