Hazardous Waste Notification

A waste is any solid, liquid or contained gaseous material that your business no longer uses and must either recycle, store, or dispose. A waste is considered hazardous if it causes injury, illness, or death; or pollutes the land, air, or water.

Does your business ever discharge into the sewer anything other than human waste or food material? This includes such items as:

  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Landscaping/yard care chemicals
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Ignitable materials
  • Corrosive materials
  • Reactive chemicals
  • Toxic materials
  • Anything considered hazardous

If you can answer “no” to all of the above, you do not have a reporting requirement for hazardous waste.

If your answer is “yes”, or if you are unsure, you may have a reporting requirement. Please click on the links below for more information. If you have questions, call Source Control at 503.681.5175.

What are the Federal requirements for hazardous waste notification?

On July 24, 1990, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated in the Federal Register changes to the general pretreatment regulations (cf., 55 FR 30082). The changes affected both publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) and industrial users (IUs) of POTWs. "Industrial users" or "IUs" includes nondomestic users such as commercial users and businesses. One of the changes requires IUs to submit a notification of hazardous wastes discharged to POTW sewerage collection systems. It is a pretreatment program Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) reporting requirement. This pretreatment program requirement is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR 403.12(p).(PDF, 17KB)

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the pretreatment program Approval Authority for Oregon. The DEQ and federal regulations (cf., 40 CFR 403.8(f)(2)(iii) PDF, 13KB), require us to notify you of this RCRA reporting requirement. It is one of the requirements of our approved pretreatment program.

Who Must Notify

All non-domestic users of the Clean Water Services sewerage collection and treatment facilities that discharge listed or characteristic RCRA hazardous waste to any of the POTWs we operate (except as described below) must notify Clean Water Services and other regulatory agencies. RCRA listed and characteristic wastes are described in 40 CFR Part 261.

Notification Must be Sent to:

  • Clean Water Services
  • The EPA Regional Waste Management Division Director, and
  • State of Oregon Hazardous Waste Authority.

Download the Sewered Waste Reporting Form (PDF, 40KB) for the addresses above.

This notification must be submitted in writing, for any discharge into the Clean Water Services sanitary sewer system, of any substance, which, if otherwise disposed of, would be a hazardous waste under 40 CFR Part 261.

Wastes Covered by the Notification

  1. Any discharge to the POTW of > 15 kilograms (kg) (33 lb.) per calendar month of a RCRA hazardous waste, or a discharge of any quantity of an acutely hazardous waste identified in 40 CFR 261.30(d) (PDF, 15KB) and 261.33(e) (PDF, 11.5KB), must be reported as a one-time notification.
  2. A discharge to the POTW of < 15 kg (33 lb.) per calendar month of a RCRA hazardous waste need not be reported, except for acutely hazardous waste identified in 40 CFR 261.30(d) (PDF, 15KB) and 261.33(e) (PDF, 11.5KB).
  3. A subsequent discharge of > 15 kg (33 lb.) per calendar month, or of any quantity of an acutely hazardous waste, must be reported as a one-time notification.

If you are already permitted under the industrial pretreatment program with Clean Water Services, pollutants already reported under the reporting requirements for categorical industrial users in base line monitoring, final and periodic compliance reports are not subject to this notification requirement.

Notification Must Include:

  • Name of the hazardous waste as set forth in 40 CFR Part 261;
  • EPA hazardous waste number;
  • Type of discharge to the sewer (continuous, batch, or other);
  • A certification that you have in place a program to reduce the volume and toxicity of hazardous wastes generated to the degree you have determined to be economically practical.

If you discharge more than 100 kilograms (220 lb.) of hazardous waste per calendar month to the POTW, the one-time notification shall also contain the following information to the extent such information is known or readily available:

  • An identification of the hazardous constituents contained in the wastes;
  • An estimation of the mass and concentration of such constituents in the wastestream discharged during the calendar month in which the one-time report is made;
  • An estimation of the mass of constituents in the waste stream expected to be discharged during the twelve months following the notification.

When the Notification Must be Submitted

If you commenced discharging such wastes before August 23, 1990, you were required to have submitted this notification by no later than February 23, 1991. If you fall into that category and have not yet submitted the notification, do so right away. If you commence discharging after August 23, 1990, you must submit the notification no later than 180 days after the discharge of the listed or characteristic hazardous waste.

In the case of any new regulations under Section 3001 of RCRA identifying additional characteristics of hazardous waste or listing any additional substance as a hazardous waste, you must notify Clean Water Services, EPA and the State of Oregon of the discharge of such substance within 90 days of the effective date of such regulations.

The notification need be submitted only once for each hazardous waste discharged, except when there will be a substantial change in the volume or character of the hazardous waste discharged (generally because of a planned change in your facility operations). In this case, you must notify Clean Water Services in advance.

How to Count the Volume of Hazardous Waste Discharged

If a hazardous waste is mixed with a non-hazardous process or non-process waste stream and the entire mixture is then discharged to the sewer, the volume of the entire waste stream containing hazardous waste is considered hazardous according to the RCRA "mixture rule" in 40 CFR 261.3(a)(2)(iv) (PDF, 47.6KB). The effect of this rule is summarized as follows:

Characteristic Wastes

These wastes are classified as hazardous because they exhibit one of the hazardous characteristics identified in 40 CFR 261.20 - 40 CFR 261.24 (PDF, 26.7KB) (i.e., they are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic). If these wastes are mixed with non-hazardous materials and the mixture is then discharged to the sewer, the notification must be submitted only if the entire mixture actually discharged is > 15 kg (33 lb.) per calendar month and if the entire mixture discharged still exhibits the characteristic(s).

Listed Wastes

These are wastes that are classified as hazardous pursuant to being listed in 40 CFR 261.30 - 40 CFR 261.33 (PDF, 170KB). If these listed wastes are mixed with non-hazardous materials and then discharged to the sewer, the entire waste stream is considered hazardous and a notification must be submitted. Thus, only if the entire waste stream containing the hazardous waste amounted to < 15 kg

(33 lb.) per calendar month, would the above exemption apply.

Questionable Wastes

If you have any doubt about whether a mixture discharged to the sewer is hazardous, or if you do not wish to perform any calculations which may be necessary under the mixture rule (cf., 40 CFR 261.3(a)(2)(iii) (PDF, 15KB) you should submit the one-time notification.

What is a hazardous waste?

A waste is any solid, liquid or contained gaseous material that your business no longer uses and must either recycle, store, or dispose. A waste is considered hazardous if it causes injury, illness, or death; or pollutes the land, air, or water. For regulatory purposes, there are two categories of hazardous waste: “listed” and “characteristic” hazardous wastes.

EPA guidance on hazardous waste identification

Listed Hazardous Wastes

Listed hazardous wastes are substances that already have been determined to be hazardous and are listed as such in Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. There are more than 400 listed hazardous wastes. The most common listed hazardous wastes can be identified through the links located on this website. 40CFR Part 261.30 (PDF, 16KB), Part 261.31 (PDF, 46KB), Part 261.32 (PDF, 55KB), Part 261.33 (PDF, 88KB)

Characteristic Hazardous Wastes

Characteristic hazardous wastes have certain properties that make them harmful to human health and/or the environment. There are four properties of characteristic hazardous wastes.


A liquid is considered ignitable if it has a “flash point” below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Examples are paint thinners, degreasers or solvents. A solid is considered hazardous if it can spontaneously catch fire through friction, absorption of moisture or spontaneous chemical change. One example is shop rags saturated with solvents. 40 CFR Part 261.21 (PDF, 14KB)


Any water-based waste that is a strong acid (pH equal to or less than 2.0), such as battery acid, or a strong caustic (pH equal to or greater than 12.5), such as drain cleaner, is considered corrosive (“pH” is the unit used to describe the strength of an acid or caustic substance.) 40 CFR Part 261.22 (PDF, 13KB)


Unstable or explosive wastes or wastes that react violently when brought in contact with water are reactive. Wastes that release toxic vapors, such as hydrogen cyanide or hydrogen sulfide, also are reactive. One example is cyanide plating waste. 40 CFR Part 261.23 (PDF, 14KB)


Wastes that release certain amounts of toxic metals, solvents or other materials when subjected to a specific laboratory procedure are known as toxicity characteristic (TC) wastes. 40 CFR Part 261.24 the “D” list (PDF, 18KB)

Other Ways to Characterize Hazardous Waste

In addition to being “listed” or “hazardous,” a waste also may be designated “acute hazardous waste.”

Acute Hazardous Wastes

Some wastes are so dangerous in small amounts that they are regulated the same as large amounts of other hazardous wastes. The following are acute hazardous wastes: Aldicarb, Aldrin, Arsenic Pentoxide, Arsenic Trioxide, Cyanides, Dieldrin, Dinitrocresol, Dinoseb, Disulfoton,

Endosulfan, Endrin, Famphur, Heptachlor, Methyl Parathion, Nicotine, Parathion, Phorate, Strychnine, Thallium Sulfate, and Toxaphene.

Exempted Wastes

Some wastes are exempted from hazardous waste regulatory compliance, even though they possess hazardous waste characteristics. The exemption depends on the type of material and how the wastes are managed.

Common wastes that are not excluded from regulation but are exempted from many hazardous waste requirements include:

  • Universal Wastes
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Lead-acid batteries that are intact and destined for off-site recycling
  • Used oil that has not been mixed with a hazardous waste and is recycled properly
  • Household sewage
  • Residue in empty containers
  • Materials recycled on-site in a closed loop process

Universal Wastes

Universal wastes are a special category of hazardous waste for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed special handling procedures that reduce administrative requirements. These methods are referred to as ‘Alternative Management Standards’ and encourage collection and recycling programs. Alternative management standards include consolidation and segregation of materials for the purpose of recycling and/or proper reclamation.

The EPA has identified four categories of universal waste: batteries, mercury-containing thermostats, agriculture pesticides (banned from use, recalled, or managed under a collection program), and lamps that would meet the definition of hazardous waste.

Among the items that would qualify for as a universal waste are fluorescent light tubes, light bulbs with mercury, rechargeable batteries—which are usually any batteries with a mineral such as Nickel-Cadmium, Lithium ion batteries, lead acid batteries, i.e., car batteries and computer backup batteries, commonly referred to as uninterrupted power supply (UPS) batteries

Special Wastes

These wastes are non-hazardous wastes that require special handling. Oil, antifreeze, non-flammable/water based paints (latex paint) and stains, non-flammable sealers and adhesives, fall into this category. These materials do not count towards your hazardous waste total, and may be excluded; however you should have a proper recycling or disposal process for them.

What hazardous waste does your business generate?

Hazardous waste is generated by many businesses and organizations, from small print shops, service stations, and dry cleaners to large, international chemical companies. To help you determine if your business generates a hazardous waste, review the list below for common business types.

Type of BusinessCommon Hazardous Wastes
Building, Cleaning Maintenance Acids/bases, solvents
Construction Acids/bases (cleaners, etching waste), ignitables (paint and paint sludge), solvents (degreasers, thinners).
Dry Cleaners, Laundries Solvents (filtration residues, filter cartridges, cleaning solvents)
Educational and Vocational Shops Acids/bases (cleaning solutions, lab waste), ignitables (cleaning solutions), reactives (lab waste), and solvents (degreasers, paint solvents)
Equipment Repair Acids/bases (cleaners), heavy metals (anti-freeze, oils), ignitables (paint sludges, thinners), solvents (degreasers, cleaners)
Funeral Services Solvents and formaldehyde
Furniture Refinishing Ignitables (paint, thinners, strippers), solvents (cleaners), acid/bases (stripper dip tanks)
Landscaping Heavy metals, pesticides, solvents
Home Improvement, Painting Contractors Ignitables (paint, thinners, strippers), solvents (cleaners), acids/bases
Laboratories Solvents (chloroform, formaldehyde), acids/bases, oxidizers and corrosives
Leather manufacturing Heavy metals, inorganics, and solvents
Metal manufacturing Acids/bases (pickling baths, etching solutions), cyanide waste, heavy metals (plating baths, rinse waters), ignitable waste, solvents
Photo-finishing Heavy metals, solvents, ignitables
Printing Acids/bases (plate etching solutions), heavy metals (waste inks, sludges, plating waste), solvents (cleaning solutions, fountain solutions, blanket washes)
Vehicle maintenance, Auto body work Acids/bases (hot tank waste), lead-acid batteries, heavy metals (hot tank waste), antifreeze, solvents (degreasers, cleaners), ignitables

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