Hazardous waste regulations are a must-follow aspect of the manufacturing industry. No matter what you manufacture, it is important to understand the waste regulations laid down by the government.
These laws can at times be confusing. If overlooked this can lead to severe legal actions by government bodies. In extreme cases, it may also lead to a temporary halt of manufacturing activities. And we certainly don’t want to risk that.
These compliances include certifications, storage conditions, transportation rules, etc. We will discuss these rules here so you can see if you are covered.
Have any grievances?
Govt has also laid down a process as to how you can appeal your case legally. We also explain how you can move forward on that.
The bottom line, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Here are some important hazardous waste regulations a manufacturer must be aware of. These regulations have been laid down by Central Pollution Control Board under Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.
I have covered following section on laws related to toxic waste management –
Certifications Required for Hazardous Waste Storage
We all know how important it is to get your papers in order before any waste management activity. For storing hazardous waste because of the nature of waste this becomes even more crucial.
For hazardous waste storage govt requires you to obtain a state-authorized certificate from the State Pollution Control Board.
As per law, you would require this certificate if you are engaging in following activities –
Requirements for this certificate may vary from state to state. So you’ll need to contact your State Pollution Control Board to check for your eligibility. Once you’ve fulfilled the eligibility parameters State Pollution Control Board will provide you with the necessary papers.
Rules for Storage Of Hazardous Waste –
Now that you are certified to store hazardous waste there are regulations that you need to follow. These are needed for safe storage and must be duly followed.
As per govt regulations, the maximum storage period for hazardous waste is 90 days. During the storage period, there must be a proper record of the following –
Above mentioned records must be available for inspection at the hazardous waste storage area.
There should be boundary fencing around the parameter of the storage area along with proper signboards.
In case of an emergency, there should be proper emergency response equipment available at the onsite location.
Over a period of time, your storage containers can get damaged due to waste used for storing. This can be really harmful. Govt regulations strictly state that storage containers should not have leakage or deterioration. So make sure to do regular inspections and remove damaged containers.
Storage Period Extension Policy
While you should always try to avoid this from happening. Under certain circumstances, you may exceed the permitted time limit for hazardous waste storage. Govt does allow a limited extension in certain cases.
As per its discretion, State Pollution Control Board has the authority to extend the waste storage period in the below-mentioned cases –
- You do not have access to any treatment, storage, disposal facility in the concerned state.
- If the waste has to be specifically stored for the development of a process for its recycling, recovery, pre-processing, co-processing, or utilization.
- In case of any unforeseen, temporary, and uncontrollable circumstances, the regulatory authorities may grant an extension to 90-day or 180-day, or 270-days.
While utilization of hazardous waste is encouraged, it needs to be done as per the law.
Any kind of utilization of Hazardous waste can only be carried out after proper authorization from the State Pollution Control Board. This is given on basis of guidelines provided by the Central Pollution Control Board.
If standard operating procedures or guidelines are not available for the required utilization, you will need approval from Central Pollution Control Board. This approval is granted on basis of trial runs conducted and after that operating procedures will be prepared by Central Pollution Control Board.
Occupier Responsibilities In Legal Terms
The responsibility to contain contaminants, prevent accidents and limit their consequence on human beings and the environment would be on your shoulders. Not just morally but also as per the law.
Central Pollution Control Board states that you provide your employees with the following –
- Appropriate training on how to manage hazardous waste
- Safety and handling equipment that will be required
- Necessary information for handling waste.
Central Pollution Control Board states 6 steps for hazardous waste management that you must take –
- Prevention – Preventing Hazardous waste generation wherever possible.
- Minimization – Reducing the amount and toxicity of hazardous waste generated.
- Reuse – Reusing the hazardous waste generated.
- Recycling – Reclamation of hazardous waste in an environmentally sound manner.
- Recovery – Processing waste to generate a useful product wherever possible.
- Safe Disposal – Disposing of Hazardous waste as per government guidelines in designated locations.
Now that you have covered legal aspects of certifications, storage, utilization, and management of hazardous waste at your property. Let’s see what you should do before you can safely transport it to some other site.
Transporting hazardous waste must comply with the laws and regulations mentioned in Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
If you are transporting hazardous waste to the facility outside of the state where waste is generated you would require a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the State Pollution Control Board of both states.
Packaging And Labeling
It is your responsibility to ensure that Hazardous wastes are packaged properly. This is a very important step as improper packaging can lead to leakage or mixing of wastes resulting in dire consequences.
Packaging should be suitable for storage, safe handling, and transport as per the guidelines issued by Central Pollution Control Board.
Labeling of these packages should also be done as per Form 8.
The label must have the following characteristics –
- Non-washable materials
- Weather Proof
- Easily Visible
Records And Returns
Central Pollution Control Board makes it mandatory that you keep proper records of hazardous wastes being generated, stored, or transported from your facility.
Complete records on the handling of hazardous waste shall be maintained in accordance with Form 3.
Details mentioned in Form 4 need to be filled and sent to State Pollution Control Board by the 30th day of June every year.
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong – Murphy’s Law
Despite all the measures taken by you, there is always a possibility something might go wrong. In case of a Hazardous waste accident, Central Pollution Control Board lays down steps that you should follow.
In case an accident occurs during the management of hazardous waste State Pollution Control Board should be informed at the earliest through phone or email.
After reporting the accident you will be required to send a complete report in Form 11.
In a fair justice system, we all have the right to appeal, and since we are in a democracy Central Pollution Control Board has laid down your provisions for the same.
If you feel that an unfair order was passed, you have a right to appeal against the decision. Your appeal should be within a period of 30 days from the date order was passed.
The appeal should be made as per Form 12 to the appellate authority, namely, the Environment Secretary of the State
Your appeal can be considered after the 30 days period if you can provide a sufficient cause for the delay to the appellate authority.
A quick check if all of the above regulations are being implemented at your site could save you from a lot of headaches and fines that you can possibly incur.
If you find yourself falling short in any regulations it would be best to get them fixed at the earliest.
It is also important to note that these laws are for benefit of the society at large. Following them will not just make you a legally abiding citizen but also a contributor towards environmental conservation.
I will be writing more blogs on Regulations for Hazardous Waste Safety, so stay tuned to keep your checklist updated.