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Section C. RCRA-Related Requirements

Law: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 (as amended in 1984) may have a direct regulatory impact on the electronics industry in three ways. First, RCRA sets up a cradle-to-grave system for tracking and regulating hazardous wastes. This system affects most segments of the electronics industry. Second, Subtitle I of RCRA sets up a system for regulating underground storage tanks (USTs) containing petroleum or other hazardous substances (other than hazardous wastes). A facility in the electronics industry would be affected by regulations issued under Subtitle I only if it owns an underground storage tank containing petroleum or hazardous substances. Third, Subtitle D of RCRA sets up a framework for regulating solid wastes that are not classified as hazardous wastes. In general, the impacts of Subtitle D on the industry are indirect, that is, they arise as a result of the industry's use of solid waste disposal facilities, including municipal solid waste disposal facilities. (Subtitle D requirements are not discussed further in this report because they will not directly impact most electronics industry facilities.)

EPA has issued regulations, found in 40 CFR Parts 260-299, which implement Subtitles C and I. These regulations are Federal requirements. Many RCRA requirements will be implemented through RCRA-authorized State laws, which may be more stringent than Federal requirements. There are also non-RCRA State laws that set out UST and hazardous waste management requirements. A facility should always check with the State when analyzing which requirements apply to their activities.

The Federal hazardous waste regulations are summarized in the 1990 edition of the RCRA Orientation Manual (#055-000-00364-5), copies of which are available from the Superintendent of Documents at the Government Printing Office (202-512-0000) for $16.00 (although for up-to-date information, the current regulations should be consulted).

C.1 HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT

The major factors that determine whether and to what extent RCRA requirements apply to a facility that generates hazardous waste are the types and kinds of hazardous wastes being produced, the volume of hazardous waste produced per month, and the length of time the hazardous waste remains on site. This section discusses (1) how to determine if particular wastes are hazardous; (2) which requirements apply to the generators of hazardous waste; and (3) what the facility's status is if a waste is determined to be hazardous. (Requirements applicable to facilities that treat or dispose of hazardous waste, or engage in long-term storage of hazardous waste on-site are not addressed here; however, Appendix I of 40 CFR 260 contains a valuable flow chart for determining what RCRA regulations may apply in given situations.)

C.1.1 Waste Classification

Part 261 of 40 CFR addresses the identification and listing of hazardous wastes. The generator has the responsibility for determining whether a waste is hazardous and what classification, if any, applies to the waste. The generator must examine the regulations and undertake any tests necessary to determine if the wastes generated are hazardous. In some cases, waste generators may use their own knowledge and familiarity with the waste to determine whether it is hazardous. (Generators may be subject to enforcement penalties for improperly determining that a waste is not hazardous.) Wastes can be classified as hazardous either because they are listed by EPA through regulations that appear in the CFR or because they exhibit certain characteristics. Listed hazardous wastes are specifically named, for example, discarded commercial toluene, spent non-halogenated solvents, and spent cyanide plating bath solutions from electroplating operations. Characteristic hazardous wastes are solid wastes that "fail" a characteristic test, such as the RCRA test for ignitability.

C.1.1.1 Listed Wastes

There are four separate lists of hazardous wastes in 40 CFR 261. Part 261.31 lists wastes from non-specific sources and includes wastes generated by industrial processes that may occur in several different industries; the codes for such wastes always begin with the letter "F." F001, F002, F003, and F004, which designate various types of spent solvent wastes, are examples of wastes from non-specific sources that may be generated by facilities in the electronics industry. The second category of listed wastes (40 CFR 261.32) includes hazardous wastes from specific sources; these wastes have codes that begin with the letter "K." Unless a facility engages in the production of chemicals on site, it is unlikely that any electronics manufacturing facility would have wastes falling into this category. The remaining lists (40 CFR 261.33) cover commercial chemical products that have been or are intended to be discarded; waste codes beginning with "P" are considered acutely hazardous, while those beginning with "U" are simply considered hazardous. Exhibits 52 - 55 show listed wastes that are commonly used in semi-conductor manufacturing, semiconductor packaging, printed wiring board manufacturing, and display manufacturing. (While these exhibits are intended to be as comprehensive as possible, individual facilities may generate other hazardous wastes and may wish to consult 40 CFR 261.31 - 261.33.)

In addition, most wastes that are (1) derived from a listed hazardous waste, or (2) are a mixture of a listed hazardous and non-hazardous waste are considered hazardous wastes. Environmental media (such as soil or ground water) that contain a listed hazardous waste may also be considered hazardous.

C.1.1.2 Characteristic Wastes

EPA also considers a waste hazardous if it exhibits one or more of four characteristics. Three characteristics are determined by tests of the properties of the waste; these characteristics (and the section of the CFR defining the tests and applicable waste codes) are:

  • Ignitability (40 CFR 261.21, D001);
  • Corrosivity (40 CFR 261.22, D002); and
  • Reactivity (40 CFR 261.23, D003).
Several waste streams in the electronics industry may be characterized as hazardous because they exhibit one or more of these characteristics. For example, one of the definitions of corrosivity is any aqueous "solid" waste with a pH of less than or equal to 2 or more than or equal to 12.5. Examples from the printed wiring board industry include the ammoniacal etchant used in the strip/etch process, which is characterized as "corrosive" and falls within the D002 designation, and the waste oil product generated by all PWB manufacturers that must be manifested and managed as a D001 waste if it is destined for disposal.

EXHIBIT 52.
Some Examples of Listed Wastes Found in Semiconductor Manufacturing

Waste Code

Name or Description of Waste

F001

The following spent halogenated solvents used in degreasing: Tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, and chlorinated fluorocarbons; all spent solvent mixtures/blends used in degreasing containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those solvents listed in F002, F004, and F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F002

The following spent halogenated solvents: Tetrachloroethylene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chlorobenzene, 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane, ortho-dichlorobenzene, trichlorofluoromethane, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those listed in F001, F004, or F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F003

The following spent non-halogenated solvents: Xylene, acetone, ethyl acetate, ethyl benzene, ethyl ether, methyl isobutyl ketone, n-butyl alcohol, cyclohexanone, and methanol; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, only the above spent non-halogenated solvents; and all spent solvent mixtures/ blends containing, before use, one or more of the above non-halogenated solvents, and, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of those solvents listed in F001, F002, F004, and F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F005

The following spent non-halogenated solvents: Toluene, methyl ethyl ketone, carbon disulfide, isobutanol, pyridine, benzene, 2-ethoxyethanol, and 2-nitropropane; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above non-halogenated solvents or those solvents listed in F001, F002, or F004; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

P012

P056

Arsenic trioxide

Fluorine

P096

Phosphine

P098

Potassium cyanide

U002

Acetone

U112

Ethyl acetate

U113

Ethyl acrylate

U134

Hydrofluoric acid

U154

Methanol

U161

Methyl isobutyl ketone

U211

Carbon tetrachloride

U226

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

U228

Trichloroethylene

U239

Xylene

U359

Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether

EXHIBIT 53.
Some Examples of Listed Wastes Found in Semiconductor Packaging

Waste Code

Name or Description of Waste

F003

The following spent non-halogenated solvents: Xylene, acetone, ethyl acetate, ethyl benzene, ethyl ether, methyl isobutyl ketone, n-butyl alcohol, cyclohexanone, and methanol; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, only the above spent non-halogenated solvents; and all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, one or more of the above non-halogenated solvents, and, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of those solvents listed in F001, F002, F004, and F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F003

The following spent non-halogenated solvents: Toluene, methyl ethyl ketone, carbon disulfide, isobutanol, pyridine, benzene, 2-ethoxyethanol, and 2-nitropropane; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above non-halogenated solvents or those solvents listed in F001, F002, or F004; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

P098

Potassium cyanide

P099

Potassium silver cyanide

U002

Acetone

U080

Methylene chloride

U104

Silver cyanide

U112

Ethyl acetate

U134

Hydrofluoric acid

U154

Methanol

U161

Methyl isobutyl ketone

U226

1,1,1 Trichloroethane

U239

Xylene

U359

Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether

EXHIBIT 54.
Some Examples of Listed Wastes Found in Printed Wiring Board Manufacturing

Waste Code

Name or Description of Waste

F001

The following spent halogenated solvents used in degreasing: Tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, and chlorinated fluorocarbons; all spent solvent mixtures/blends used in degreasing containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those solvents listed in F002, F004, and F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F002

The following spent halogenated solvents: Tetrachloroethylene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chlorobenzene, 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane, ortho-dichlorobenzene, trichlorofluoromethane, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those listed in F001, F004, or F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F006

Wastewater treatment sludges from electroplating operations except from the following processes: (1) sulfuric acid anodizing of aluminum; (2) tin plating on carbon steel; (3) zinc plating (segregated basis) on carbon steel; (4) aluminum or zinc-aluminum plating on carbon steel; (5) cleaning/stripping associated with tin, zinc, and aluminum plating on carbon steel; and (6) chemical etching and milling of aluminum.

F007

Spent cyanide plating bath solutions from electroplating operations.

F008

Plating bath residues from the bottom of plating baths from electroplating operations where cyanides are used in the process.

P098

Potassium cyanide

U002

Acetone

U080

Methylene chloride

U122

Formaldehyde

U134

Hydrofluoric acid

U226

1,1,1 Trichloroethane

U359

Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether

EXHIBIT 55.
Some Examples of Listed Wastes Found in Display Manufacturing

Waste Code

Name or Description of Waste

F001

The following spent halogenated solvents used in degreasing: Tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, and chlorinated fluorocarbons; all spent solvent mixtures/blends used in degreasing containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those solvents listed in F002, F004, and F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

F002

The following spent halogenated solvents: Tetrachloroethylene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chlorobenzene, 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane, ortho-dichlorobenzene, trichlorofluoromethane, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane; all spent solvent mixtures/blends containing, before use, a total of ten percent or more (by volume) of one or more of the above halogenated solvents or those listed in F001, F004, or F005; and still bottoms from the recovery of these spent solvents and spent solvent mixtures.

U228

Trichloroethylene

The fourth characteristic is toxicity. The toxicity characteristic applies to a list of 40 substances, including metals, non-metals, pesticides, and other organic chemicals. If a waste leachate (derived from putting the waste through a test called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, or TCLP) contains any one of these 40 constituents at levels above the level of regulatory concern, the waste is considered a hazardous waste. Exhibits 56 - 59 list some of the toxicity characteristic substances that are likely to be constituents of electronics-industry wastes. Individual facilities may generate waste containing other constituents that exhibit the toxicity characteristic.

EXHIBIT 56.
EPA Toxic Characteristic Contaminants That May be Found in Semiconductor Manufacturing Waste

Waste Code Contaminant
D004 Arsenic
D007 Chromium
D011 Silver
D019 Carbon tetrachloride
D040 Trichloroethylene

EXHIBIT 57. EPA Toxic Characteristic Contaminants That May be Found in Semiconductor Packaging Waste

Waste Code Contaminant
D008 Lead
D011 Silver

EXHIBIT 58.
EPA Toxic Characteristic Contaminants That May be Found in Printed Wiring Board Manufacturing Waste

Waste Code Contaminant
D008 Lead

EXHIBIT 59.
EPA Toxic Characteristic Contaminants That May be Found in Display Manufacturing Waste

Waste Code Contaminant
D040 Trichloroethylene

C.1.2 Categories of Hazardous Waste Generators

C.1.2.1 Distinction Between Large and Small Quantity Generators

The application of some RCRA requirements is dependent on whether a hazardous waste generator is classified as a large or small quantity or conditionally exempt generator. Small quantity generators are generators who produce more than 100 but less than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste at a site per month (and accumulate less than 6,000 kilograms at any one time). All generators who do not meet these requirements or those for conditionally exempt small quantity generators are classified as large quantity generators. (40 CFR 261.5(d) provides guidance concerning how to measure the quantity of hazardous waste generated and stored.)

C.1.2.2 Conditionally Exempt Hazardous Waste Generators

Only a few hazardous waste regulations apply to firms that qualify as "conditionally exempt small quantity generators." A facility qualifies for this category if it:

  • Generates less than 100 kg per month of hazardous waste;

  • Generates less than 1 kilogram per month of acutely hazardous waste (for special limitations that apply to materials contaminated by a spill of acutely hazardous waste, see 40 CFR 261.5(e)(2)); and

  • Never has more than 1,000 kilograms of accumulated hazardous waste or 1 kilogram of acutely hazardous waste on site at any one time (see 40 CFR 261.5(f)(2)).

C.1.2.3 Determination of When a Generator Becomes a Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Facility

Any generator (except some conditionally exempt small quantity generators (see 40 CFR 261.5(g)), no matter what monthly waste output, who disposes of waste on-site is classified as a treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF). A small quantity generator who stores waste on-site for more than 180 days (without seeking an extension) is also classified as a hazardous waste storage facility, as is any large generator who stores waste on-site for more than 90 days (without seeking an extension). Extensions are granted only under very limited circumstances. Every hazardous waste TSDF must comply with 40 CFR 264 through 267 and 40 CFR 270, including requirements to apply for a permit and meet certain technical and financial responsibility requirements.

C.1.3 Requirements that Apply to Conditionally Exempt Hazardous Waste Generators

Conditionally exempt small quantity generators need meet only the following requirements:

  • They must evaluate the waste to determine whether it is a hazardous waste;

  • They may not accumulate more than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste or 1 kilogram of acutely hazardous waste at any time; and

  • They must treat or dispose of the waste on site or ensure delivery to a:
    • Permitted or interim status treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF), or
    • State approved municipal or industrial solid waste facility, or
    • Legitimate recycling facility.

C.1.4 Requirements for All Generators Other Than Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators

Hazardous waste generators that do not meet the conditions for conditionally exempt small quantity generators must (among other requirements such as record keeping and reporting):

  • Obtain a generator identification number;

  • Store and ship hazardous waste in suitable containers or tanks (for storage only);

  • Manifest the waste properly;

  • Maintain copies of the manifest (a shipment log covering all hazardous waste shipments) and test records;

  • Comply with applicable land disposal restriction requirements; and

  • Report releases or threats of releases of hazardous waste.

These requirements are discussed below.

C.1.4.1 Waste Containers

Both large and small quantity generators must ensure that hazardous wastes to be shipped off-site are kept in areas that meet basic safety requirements. The wastes must be properly stored to prevent leaks and must be labeled as hazardous waste. Specific requirements include:

    (1)40 CFR Part 262.34 requires that containers maintained on-site be labeled with the words "HAZARDOUS WASTE."

    (2)40 CFR Parts 262.31 and 262.32 require that containers be labeled with the name of the waste and that labels and placards be used in accordance with applicable EPA (40 CFR 262.32 and 262.33) and Department of Transportation (49 CFR Part 172 Subpart F) requirements.

    (3)40 CFR Part 262.34 requires that the date on which accumulation begins be shown on the container.

    (4)40 CFR 265 Subpart I requires that, except when adding or removing waste, hazardous waste be stored in a closed container that is in good condition, be inspected at least weekly (40 CFR 265.174), and be compatible with the waste to be stored. This subpart also explains special requirements for ignitable (40 CFR 265.176) and incompatible wastes (40 CFR 265.177).

Wastes stored in tanks or tank systems and waste generators that use drip pads are subject to more extensive requirements (see 40 CFR 265 Subparts J and W, respectively).

C.1.4.2 Hazardous Waste Shipments

Hazardous wastes being shipped off-site must go to a RCRA-permitted facility. Large and small quantity generators must complete a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest (40 CFR Part 262.20), which can usually be obtained from State environmental agencies. (Small quantity generators who have a contractual agreement with a reclaimer that specifies the waste types and frequency of shipments and states that the reclaimer provides the vehicle used to transport the waste do not need to manifest these wastes if they maintain a copy of the agreement in their files. See 40 CFR 262.20 for details.) The manifest must have enough copies to provide the generator,each transporter, and the owner or operator of the designated facility with one copy each for their records, and another copy to be returned to the generator by the owner or operator of the facility. Many states also require a copy of the manifest.

C.1.4.3 Document Retention Period

Large and small quantity generators must maintain copies of each manifest, exception report (described below in section C.1.5.3), test result, and waste analysis, for at least three years (40 CFR Part 262.40). Large quantity generators must maintain copies of their biennial report for the same period of time. This time period is automatically extended during the course of an unresolved EPA enforcement action regarding the regulated activity, or as requested by the Administrator.

The generator must keep a copy of each land disposal restriction notification form for at least 5 years (40 CFR Part 268.7).

C.1.4.4 Land Disposal Restriction Notification

Hazardous wastes must be treated in accordance with EPA treatment standards (40 CFR 268) before being land disposed. 40 CFR Part 268.7 requires that a written land disposal restriction notification be transmitted to the destination facility with each shipment of hazardous waste.

    (1)The notification must be signed by the generator and must include the following:

    • EPA hazardous waste number (e.g., F002);
    • The corresponding treatment standard(s) (see 40 CFR 268.7(a)(1)(ii) for details);
    • The manifest number associated with the shipment of waste; and
    • Waste analysis data, where available.
    (2)A copy of the written notification and certification statement must be filed with the associated manifest copies.

Most electronics industry hazardous wastes are covered by the land disposal restrictions. For example, spent solvents that are hazardous wastes are banned from land disposal unless treated to appropriate levels. Many other wastes also must be treated prior to land disposal. For example, glass cullet from the manufacture of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) usually qualifies as hazardous debris because it commonly fails the toxicity characteristic for lead. After May 8, 1994, such wastes will have to be treated to remove their lead or must undergo either micro- or macro-encapsulation prior to land disposal; any treatment capacity available before that date will have to be utilized.

C.1.4.5 Release or Threat of Release Reporting (40 CFR Part 262.34)

In case of fire, explosion, or other release of hazardous material to the environment, the generator must immediately contact the National Response Center at 800-424-8802 and be prepared to supply the following information:

  • Generator name, address, and EPA Identification Number;
  • Date, time, and type of incident;
  • Quantity and type of hazardous waste(s) involved;
  • Extent of injuries, if any;
  • Estimated quantity and disposition of recovered material, if any; and
  • For large quantity generators, an assessment of the actual or potential hazards to human health and the environment.

C.1.5 Requirements That Apply to All Hazardous Waste Generators But Vary In Accordance With the Volume of Waste Generated

This section discusses requirements that vary according to whether a generator is classified as a small or large quantity generator.

C.1.5.1 Biennial Reporting (40 CFR Part 262.41)

Large quantity generators must submit a biennial report of their hazardous waste generation and management activity by March 1 of every even-numbered year. In the report, the generator must identify each waste transporter and each TSDF used throughout the year. The generator also must describe the hazardous waste generated and shipped, efforts made to reduce the volume and toxicity of the waste, and changes made in the volume and toxicity of the waste compared with those achieved in previous years. For generators who treat, store, or dispose of wastes on-site, additional reporting is required on methods of treatment, storage, or disposal (because they are TSDFs).

C.1.5.2 Training, Preparedness, and Emergency Procedures (40 CFR Part 262.34(a)(4), (d)(5)(iii))

These sections, respectively, apply only to large or small quantity generators who store on-site for up to 90/180/220 days. The requirements in these sections state that, among other things, personnel must be familiar with emergency procedures to be followed in the event of spills, fires, or other releases of hazardous waste. Large quantity generators must establish an appropriate hazardous waste handling training program for their employees. Small quantity generators must ensure that employees handling hazardous wastes are thoroughly familiar with proper waste handling procedures and that there is always a person on call or at the premises with responsibility for coordinating all response measures in the event of an emergency. Large quantity generators also must prepare for each facility a contingency plan designed to minimize hazards to human health or the environment from fires, explosions, or any unplanned release of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents.

C.1.5.3 Exception Reporting (40 CFR 262.42)

If a signed manifest copy has not been received from the designated facility within 35 days of shipment, large quantity generators must contact the transporter and/or the designated facility to determine the status of the hazardous waste. If the manifest copy has still not been received after 45 days, an exception report must be submitted to EPA. (Exception reports are sent to the Regional Administrator of the appropriate EPA Regional Office.) This exception report must include:

  • A legible copy of the manifest, and
  • A cover letter signed by the generator explaining efforts taken to locate the waste and the results of those efforts.
Small quantity generators must submit a legible copy of the manifest with an indication that the generator has not yet received confirmation of delivery to the appropriate Regional Administrator if they do not receive a signed copy of the manifest within 60 days of shipment. (States may impose more stringent requirements for exception reporting.)

C.2 UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK MANAGEMENT

Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (as amended) establishes a program to prevent and clean up leaks from underground storage tanks. Subtitle I covers underground storage tanks containing petroleum products and hazardous substances as defined by Superfund, except for hazardous waste storage tanks, which are regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA. A storage tank is defined as underground if 10 percent or more of the volume, including the volume of underground pipes, is beneath the surface of the ground. Thus, a tank that is 90 percent aboveground is classified as an underground storage tank. Some types of underground storage tanks are not covered by Subtitle I. For example, in the electronics industry, the following Subtitle I exceptions may be important: underground storage tanks storing heating oil used on the premises, septic tanks and other tanks for collecting waste water and storm water, flow-through process tanks, and emergency spill tanks that are emptied immediately after use.

If a facility in the electronics industry owns or operates an underground storage tank that is not covered by any of the allowed exemptions, the facility must comply with the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 280 or, if the facility is located in a State authorized to carry out the Underground Storage Tank program, with the requirements of the approved State program. These generally include requirements for:

  • Design, construction, installation, and notification;
  • General operations;
  • Release detection;
  • Release reporting, investigation, and confirmation;
  • Release response and corrective action;
  • Closure of underground storage tanks; and
  • Financial assurance (for petroleum underground storage tanks).


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