What is California RCRA?


We get a lot of questions from people wondering what is California RCRA? – It is a long and complicated law with many nuanced facets that are easier discussed in person. However, the short answer is it is the Resource Conservation Recovery Act.

The DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substances Control) got authorization via the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to implement the Resources Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Subtitle C requirements and the associated regulations.

Basically, in the quick explanation, the DTSC was given the authority to implement and enforce hazardous waste removal, treatment, storage and disposal.

The other type of waste is classified as Non-RCRA waste or Non Hazardous waste, which means, it is not hazardous by Federal Code. However, if your waste includes the following, the waste liquid or solid must be profiled and reclassified:

  • Listed (M list)
  • Corrosive solid
  • Toxic for anything except for federal toxicity (TCLP) [Title 22 CCR §66261.24(a)(1)]
  • Excluded under 40 CFR 261.4 and exhibit any of the Article 3 criteria
  • Containers that are “RCRA empty” but not “California empty”

The state of California has requirements that include rules for not just generators, but also transporters, hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities along with specific guidelines for treatment and disposal practices. Also, the state regulates more wastes as hazardous wastes than the Federal Rules (among other rules); meaning it may not be deemed hazardous by Federal Codes, but may be considered hazardous by state or local municipal code or ordinances.

If you are wondering whether your waste is hazardous or not, it is important to understand the process in dealing with waste correctly and compliantly. Feel free to give us a call and allow a professional to determine the best-valued cost effective solution for removal, treatment, storage, and disposal of your waste materials.