Fact Sheet for Massachusetts
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The following fact sheet was prepared by the ECAR Center staff. Once prepared, each ECAR Center fact sheet undergoes a review process with the applicable state environmental agency(ies). You can check on the status of the review process here. Please read the disclaimer on the status page. While we have tried to present a summary of the essential information on this topic, you should be aware that other items, such as local regulations, may apply to you.
What You Need to Know
Used antifreeze, through contact with a car's cooling system, may contain traces of lead and benzene, making it a possible hazardous waste. If not properly managed and stored, these pollutants can seep into soil and groundwater harming people and the environment.
This fact sheet will tell you:
Waste Classification. Antifreeze is made up using some regulated chemicals including ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. During use, antifreeze can become contaminated with traces of benzene and lead. Used antifreeze should never be disposed of down storm drains or surface waters. It is illegal and dangerous to discharge antifreeze to septic tanks, dry wells or to the outdoors.
Due to its composition, used antifreeze can be considered a hazardous waste. Unlike most states, the State of Massachusetts has not adopted the federal regulations that apply to used antifreeze management. Massachusetts' requirements for antifreeze are stricter than the federal rules and more complicated. Under state law, even if it is recycled, antifreeze is designated as a listed hazardous waste and there are extensive requirements for classifying recyclable materials and recycling facility permits. All aspects of hazardous waste recycling, including transportation, are regulated.
See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for details about storing, handling, and shipping of hazardous wastes.
Generator Status. Since Massachusetts considers waste oil to be a hazardous waste, you must determine your generator status. Click on the ECAR Hazardous Waste Fact Sheet to understand more about determining your generator status.
Storage and Labeling. Store antifreeze in closed containers on an impermeable concrete surface with spill controls. Consider keeping antifreeze in two separate, closed containers: one for antifreeze that cannot be reused marked “Waste Antifreeze Only-Hazardous Waste.”
Spills. Clean up all spills right away. Keep spill control equipment in a central location, accessible to all employees. All chemical spills that occur within the State of Georgia must be reported to the 24-Hour Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Emergency Response hotline at 617-556-1133 or 888-304-1133.
Filter Management. Waste antifreeze filters and particulate generated from recycling antifreeze also must be managed as hazardous waste. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for additional information.
Record Keeping. Contract with a licensed transporter to pick up your waste oil for recycling or disposal. Save your shipping records for at least three years.
Links to the Regulations. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to used antifreeze management.
When an inspector comes to your facility, there are certain things he or she checks to see if you are in compliance with environmental regulations. It makes good sense for you to perform a "self-audit" and catch and correct problems before they result in penalties. Also, there are some compliance incentives associated with self-audits (see Audit Policy Page).
Use the following list to audit your antifreeze storage areas and management procedures.
Most regulations tell you what you have to do to be in compliance, but they don’t explain how to do it. That’s where "best management practices" come into play. BMPs are proven methods that help you to get into compliance and stay there. The following BMPs are recommended for used antifreeze storage areas and management procedures.