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ECAR Fact Sheet for Iowa
Hazardous Wastes

The intent of the hazardous waste program is to provide a cradle-to-grave management system for hazardous wastes to ensure that these wastes are not mismanaged in a way that will impact human health or the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 7 office administers and enforces federal hazardous waste management requirements (40 CFR Parts 260-279) in Iowa. In addition, Iowa has implemented state-specific hazardous waste management requirements in connection with fees and used oil collection centers.

To comply with Iowa's hazardous waste requirements, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Determine whether any hazardous waste is generated.
  2. Determine your facility's generator status.
  3. Determine which regulations must be complied with depending upon your facility's generator status, and comply with those requirements.


Definition of Solid Waste. In order for a waste to be considered a hazardous waste, it must first meet the definition of solid waste. The term "solid waste" can be somewhat misleading. The word "solid" does not refer to the physical state of the waste. Solid waste can be a solid, liquid, or contained gas. Under the hazardous waste rules, a solid waste is any material that will no longer be used for its original intended purpose, or a material that must be reclaimed before reuse. You will need to look at each of the waste streams generated (e.g., antifreeze, used oil, solvents, etc.) and determine whether it is a solid waste. Note that not all solid wastes are considered hazardous wastes. Certain solid wastes, such as used oil destined for recycling, are excluded from the hazardous waste rules.

Hazardous Waste Determination.  It is the responsibility of all solid waste generators to determine whether their waste is hazardous. The procedure for this is called a "hazardous waste determination."  You may assume a waste is hazardous based on its characteristics or on past laboratory analysis provided there is no change in how the waste was generated. In some cases, you may use your knowledge of a waste to make a determination as to whether the waste is a characteristic hazardous waste. If you use such information to classify a waste as nonhazardous, you must maintain documentation supporting this determination. If you are not sure, have the waste tested. Keep in mind that a non-hazardous waste may become hazardous if contaminated or mixed with other materials and re-testing would be needed.

Wastes can be hazardous if they are either "listed" or "characteristic", or if they are a mixture of a listed hazardous waste and other wastes.

A. Listed wastes. Waste is considered hazardous if it is found on any one of four "lists". These "lists" are called the "F", "K", "P" and "U" lists.

B. Characteristic wastes. Once a facility has reviewed the F, K, P and U lists, and determined whether generated wastes are found on any of the lists, a determination will need to be made to see if these wastes are "characteristic" hazardous wastes. There are four different characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.

  • IGNITABLE - combustible under certain conditions
  • CORROSIVE - highly acidic, basic and/or capable of corroding metal
  • REACTIVE - unstable under normal conditions and capable of creating explosions and/or toxic fumes, gases, and vapors when mixed with water
  • TOXICITY - wastes contain dangerous amounts of metals, pesticides, herbicides, and organic chemicals that could be released to the groundwater.

C. Mixtures of listed wastes and other wastes.  A mixture containing a non-hazardous solid waste and any amount of a listed hazardous waste is considered a hazardous waste. For example, if a pint of spent solvent such a toluene or benzene (an F005 listed hazardous waste) is mixed with a 55 gallon drum of waste antifreeze, the entire mixture (e.g., 55 gallons plus one pint) is considered a hazardous waste (as opposed to only one pint being a hazardous waste had the two wastes not been mixed). Hence, it is very important to keep wastes segregated. Not only is it better for the environment, but it will reduce disposal costs (it's more expensive to dispose of hazardous waste than it is solid waste).

D. Universal Wastes.  Universal wastes have fewer waste management rules that apply to them. For more information about the generation, storage, transportation, disposal and recycling of universal wastes, refer to the federal universal waste requirements.

Generator Status.  If you manage hazardous waste, you must determine your generator status. Your facility will fall under one of these three classifications.

  • Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG). You are considered a CESQG in a calendar month if you generate no more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous waste per month.
  • Small Quantity Generator (SQG). You are considered an SQG if you generate greater than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) but less than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
  • Large Quantity Generator (LQG). You are considered an LQG if you generate 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) or more of hazardous waste in a calendar month. You also are considered an LQG if you generate during a calendar month, or accumulate at any time, more than one kilogram of acutely hazardous waste, or more than a total of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of any residue, contaminated soil, waste, or debris from cleaning up a spill of any acutely hazardous waste onto land or into water.

Complying with Hazardous Waste Rules. Once you have determined whether you generate hazardous waste and your generator status, you can determine which requirements apply to you.

Generator Fees.

  • If you are a LQG with an EPA ID number, you must pay a fee of $250 by April 15 of each year for the prior calendar year. If you are a SQG or a CESQG with an EPA ID number, you must pay an annual fee of $25.
  • You are required to pay $10 for each ton of hazardous waste transported off-site. Water content in the waste is not counted in the transport fee if the waste is being transported to another generator-owned facility for recycling or treatment.
  • You are required to pay $40 for each ton of hazardous waste placed, deposited, dumped, or disposed of in Iowa land disposal facilities.
  • You must pay $2 per ton of hazardous waste destroyed or treated at your site to make the waste nonhazardous. Resulting residues are also subject to applicable fees.

Generator Waste Fee Exemptions. Fee exemptions exist for wastes that are recycled, become nonhazardous, are retrieved from hazardous waste sites, are being transported through Iowa from out-of-state, or wastewater going to a treatment facility as regulated under state law.

Recordkeeping Requirements. Generators are required to submit an annual "Form 179" containing hazardous waste management fees for the previous calendar year. This form must be kept on file for at least three years.

Links to the Regulations. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to hazardous waste management.

Iowa Hazardous Waste Fee Requirements

Federal EPA Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste Listings

  1. For more information, contact the Region 7 Environmental Protection Agency at 913-551-7020, or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 515-281-8941.
  2. To report a spill or leak, call the Iowa hotline at 515-281-8694 as soon as possible but not later than 6 hours after the onset or discovery of the spill or leak. If the release involves EPA-regulated material and the amount released is above EPA reportable quantities, it must also be reported to the National Response Center at 800-424-8802 within 15 minutes.
  3. To report an environmental incident or complaint, contact the Iowa DNR.


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