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ECAR Fact Sheet for Texas
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. This fact sheet will outline the rules for you, and will provide some suggestions for how to handle and store waste fuel


Waste Classification. Waste fuel is contaminated gasoline or diesel that cannot be used in vehicles. Under most circumstances, waste fuel is a hazardous waste because it is ignitable. Hazardous wastes must be managed on-site and disposed of by following specific rules. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for more details about handling hazardous wastes.

If fuel is reusable, it should be stored in appropriate containers (properly grounded and closed on an impermeable surface) and clearly labeled "Reusable Gasoline" or "Reusable Diesel." Reusable fuel may be used in facility or employee vehicles.

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 storage containers must be located within your property limits, at least 50 feet from your property boundaries. Do not accumulate waste fuel on-site for longer than 180 days.

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

Labeling. You must follow specific rules for labeling hazardous waste storage containers. See the ECAR Hazardous Waste fact sheet for labeling instructions.

Spill Control. 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 TCEQ Spill Hotline by calling 1-800-832-8224.

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.

Fuel Filters. Fuel filters should be handled as hazardous waste and disposed of accordingly. Some landfills will take used fuel filters if they are punctured and drained for 24 hours. Check with your local landfill for information.

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

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Rules on Industrial Hazardous Waste

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, tanks 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 requirements.
  3. 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? All ignitable waste storage containers must be located on your property and at least 50 feet from your property boundary.
  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.
  6. Is waste fuel transported by an approved transporter to an approved disposal facility? Check your records and verify that all shipments of waste fuel were removed from your property by a state certified transporter and taken to a state approved disposal facility. You can check on your transporter's and disposal facility's certification by contacting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

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 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.
  • Drain excess fuel from filters into a proper fuel container.
  • Accumulate used fuel filters in a separate, fireproof container marked "Used Fuel Filters Only."


  1. For general questions, contact the TCEQ Regional Office nearest you.
  2. To report a spill/release or other pollution emergencies, contact the Emergency 24-hour Hotline at 1-800-832-8224.
  3. To report an environmental incident or complaint, contact 1-888-777-3186.

Related ECAR Fact Sheets

  1. Hazardous Wastes

Other Relevant Resources



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