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Hazardous Waste

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In conjunction with site investigations and remediation activities, Eurofins Calscience performs thousands of hazardous waste determinations annually under both federal and state hazardous waste regulations. In California and other States, there are both Federal and State regulations governing hazardous waste determination. A waste is considered hazardous by exhibiting any of the characteristics: Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity or Toxicity.

In 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a rule to revise the existing toxicity characteristics which are used to identify wastes that are hazardous and thus subject to regulation under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This rule replaced the Extraction Procedure (EP) Toxicity Characteristic with a more comprehensive testing procedure known as the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) or EPA Method 1311, as mandated in the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). TCLP is designed to determine the mobility of both organic and inorganic analytes present in liquid, solid, and multiphase wastes.

While California enforces the Federal (TCLP) regulations concerning toxicity, it applies an additional set of leaching procedures, and a bioassay, as outlined in Titles 22 and 26 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). The leaching procedures, known as the Total Threshold Limit Concentration (TTLC) and Soluble Threshold Limit Concentration (STLC), are intended to simulate the conditions that may be present in a landfill where water may pass through the landfill waste and travel into the groundwater, carrying the soluble materials with it. The TTLC analysis determines the total concentration of each target analyte in a sample, and is generally performed first. When any target analyte exceeds the TTLC limits, the waste is classified as hazardous, and further testing is not required. If the TTLC limits are not exceeded, the results are used to determine whether the STLC (or Waste Extraction Test, WET) procedure is necessary. Eurofins Calscience also performs a fish bioassay procedure (acute aquatic 96-hour LC50) for hazardous waste determination.

View Federal and State Hazardous Waste Regulatory Limits (PDF)

Please visit the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) website for an excellent tutorial and additional information regarding hazardous waste regulations and determinations.

View Cal/EPA DTSC - California Hazardous Waste Classification Online Course

View Cal/EPA DTSC - TCLP and WET Test Method Comparison