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ECAR Fact Sheet for Michigan
Waste Fuel

Self-Audit Checklist
Best Management Practices
Related ECAR Fact Sheets
Other Relevant Resources


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

Because waste fuel (gasoline or diesel) is flammable, it is classified as a hazardous waste if it is sent for disposal, and you need to manage it according to the hazardous waste rules. Waste fuel is not considered a hazardous waste if it is recycled or burned as a fuel but in Michigan it would need to be managed as liquid industrial waste. This fact sheet will outline the rules for you, and will provide some suggestions for how to handle and store waste fuel in containers.


Waste Classification. Waste fuel is contaminated gasoline or diesel that cannot be used in vehicles. Under most circumstances, waste fuel being disposed of is a hazardous waste because it is ignitable. If the waste fuel is used as a fuel at another facility like a cement kiln, it meets a hazardous waste recycling exemption but it would have to be handled as liquid industrial waste. Hazardous wastes and liquid industrial waste must be managed on-site and disposed of by following specific regulations. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for more details about handling hazardous wastes.

If fuel is reusable, keep records where it went, when, etc. so there is documentation that it wasn't being improperly disposed of. Meet the local fire code and MIOSHA Flammable and Combustible Liquids standard for storage and handling. Specific requirements for storage cabinets and storage areas will depend on the amount of fuel being stored. It should be stored in appropriate containers (properly grounded and closed on an impermeable surface) and clearly labeled "Reusable Gasoline" or "Reusable Diesel Fuel."

Reusable fuel may be used in facility or employee vehicles or sold. The Department of Agriculture Laboratory Division has potential involvement regarding this practice under their REGULATION NO. 564. AUTOMOTIVE GASOLINE PURITY, ADDITIVES, AND GRADING and there could be some limitations under those regulations. The gasoline would need to be from the same season (gasoline formulations change 4 times a year and there's differences depending on the area sold) and speciality blends would need to be considered on individual basis. Contact Celeste Bennett at 517-655-8202 ext 314 for more information.

Storage of Waste Fuel. Waste fuel must be stored in containers meeting DOT specifications performance criteria and must be in good condition. This means:

  • No severe rusting;
  • No bulging or major dents; and
  • No visible leaks.

Waste fuel aboveground storage containers must be located at least 50 feet from your property boundaries. In Michigan, if you can not meet that isolation distance, get approval in writing signed by the local fire department authority that the containers are stored in compliance with the fire prevention code.

Time limits allowed for accumulation of hazardous waste on-site depends on generator status (large quantity, small quantity or conditionally exempt small quantity generator of hazardous waste).

Do not mix waste fuel with any other waste streams, without written permission from your waste hauler.

If waste fuel is being stored in aboveground storage tanks or underground storage tanks, contact the Waste and Hazardous Materials Division, Storage Tank Program for additional requirements that are not covered in this fact sheet.

Labeling. You must follow specific rules for labeling hazardous waste storage containers when waste fuel is going to be disposed of. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for labeling instructions. When being handled as liquid industrial waste for recycling, have it clearly labeled so employees know what is in container. For example, "Waste Gas for Off-site Use" or "Waste Diesel Fuel for Off-site Use" Meet US DOT labeling requirements when shipping off-site.

Spill Control. See Used Oil publication for information about emergency or spill prevention planning requirements.

If a spill occurs, you must perform the following cleanup steps:

  1. Stop the release;
  2. Contain the released waste fuel;
  3. Clean up and properly manage the released waste fuel and other materials; and
  4. If necessary, repair or replace any leaking waste fuel storage containers or tanks prior to returning them to service.
  5. Notify the DEQ immediately by calling 1-800-292-4706.

Record Keeping. You must follow specific rules for keeping records of hazardous waste accumulated on-site and shipped for disposal. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for record keeping instructions. Liquid industrial waste regulations require waste characterization and manifests to be kept 3 years.

Links to the Regulations. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to waste fuel storage and management.

Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Act 451), Part 111 regarding Hazardous Waste Management and administrative rules

Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Act 451), Part 121 regarding Liquid Industrial Waste

MIOSHA Flammable and Combustible Liquids Standard 75

Federal EPA Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste

Self-Audit Checklist

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 waste fuel storage areas and management procedures.

  1. Is used waste fuel stored in drums or other containers that are in good condition? Open containers, and rusting or leaking containers cannot be used for waste fuel storage.
  2. Are waste fuel storage containers properly labeled? Every waste fuel storage container must be properly labeled according to hazardous waste and US DOT requirements.
  3. Are outside of containers clean of residue and is the area around the waste fuel storage containers free of releases? Releases must be stopped and the released material cleaned up and managed properly.
  4. Are waste fuel storage containers located on your property and 50 feet from your property boundary. If not possible, do you have local fire department written approval for storage? All ignitable waste storage containers must be located on your property and at least 50 feet from your property boundary unless you have meet local fire prevention code and have documentation.
  5. Is waste fuel mixed with used other wastes such as used oil? Verify that there are separate, clearly labeled containers for each type of material, and that waste fuel is not mixed with used oil or other materials without the written consent of your waste hauler and recycler.
  6. Is waste fuel transported by an registered transporter to an approved disposal facility or recycler? Check your records and verify that all shipments of waste fuel were removed from your property by a state registered transporter and taken to a recycling facility or licensed disposal facility. You can check on your transporter's and disposal facility's certification by contacting DEQ.
  7. Have you checked with your insurance company for any special requirements they may have? Some insurance companies have requirements for storing flammable and combustible liquids.
  8. Have you checked with fire department to ensure compliance with local codes?

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

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.

  • Remove fuel tanks as soon as possible after the vehicle enters the facility and drain.
  • Determine if the fuel is reusable or waste fuel.
  • Reusable fuel can be used in employee vehicles. Store it in closed leak-proof containers labeled, "Reusable Fuel." Use secondary containment.
  • Waste fuel is fuel that can no longer be used because it is old or contaminated with dirt, water or other wastes. Store it in closed leak-proof containers labeled "Waste Gasoline", or "Waste Diesel Fuel"
  • Always keep reusable or waste fuel containers closed with funnels removed after use.
  • Never mix reusable fuel or waste fuel with other wastes.
  • Never store fuel tanks that contain fuel. They should always be fully drained and vented.
  • Keep ignition sources away and have "No Smoking" signs posted where fuel is handled or stored.


  1. For more information, contact MDEQ's Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278.
  2. For MIOSHA requirements for storing flammable and combustible liquids, contact the Consulation Education and Training Division at 517-322-1809.
  3. For reporting spills/releases and pollution emergencies, contact: 1-800-292-4706.

Related ECAR Fact Sheets

  1. Hazardous Wastes

Other Relevant Resources

  1. Michigan Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility Directory


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