Frequenty Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


RCRA stands for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. It is federal legislation requiring that hazardous waste be tracked from "cradle (generation) to grave" (disposal).

A generator is any person or site whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in 40 CFR Part 261 or whost act first causes a hazardous waste to become subject to the hazardous waste rules.

The following links reference the state regulations, statutes, and federal regulations:

State and federal hazardous waste regulations classify hazardous waste generators into three categories based on the amount of hazardous waste (HW) they produce (generate) each month or have in storage on-site. Conditionally Exempt Generators (CEGs), the least regulated category, generate less than 220 pound of hazardous waste in a month and have less than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste in storage. Large Quantity Generators (LQGs), the most regulated category, generate more than 13,200 pounds of hazardous waste in a month or have more than 13,200 pounds of hazardous waste in storage. Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) fall between these two categories (see table below). There is an exception to the general rules for CEG and SQG status. When a generator generates more than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous wastes (P-listed), this automatically places one in the Large Quantity Generator category.

Amount of HW Drum Equivalends Generated/Month Stored On-Site
Up to 220 pounds Half a 55 gallon drum VSG Conditionally Exempt Generator
Up to 2,200 pounds Five 55 gallon drums Small Quantity Generator Conditionally Exempt Generator
Up to 13,200 pounds Thirty 55 gallon drums Large Quantity Generator Small Quantity Generator
Over 13,200 pounds Over thirty 55 gallon drums Large Quantity Generator Large Quantity Generator

For practical purposes, most businesses use their normal high generation rate months to determine their generator status and set up their hazardous waste management programs accordingly. However, should you wish to switch your generator category as it changes, please see Episodic Generation Regulatory Requirements page.

The hazardous waste manifest program is a key element in controlling hazardous waste. Using a set of forms, reports and procedures, the manifest program tracks hazardous waste from the time it leaves the generator facility where it is produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility that will store, treat, or dispose of the hazardous waste. This cradle-to-grave tracking system ensures that the hazardous waste is transported from the place of generation to the place of ultimate disposal without being tampered with, dumped, or otherwise illegally disposed of along the way.

First, a complete evaluation of all products purchased that end up as hazardous wastes should be completed. Are these products necessary? Are there non-hazardous alternatives? Second, good housekeeping practices can often reduce hazardous waste generation. If your facility is using large quantities of absorbents for spills, actions should be taken to reduce the occurrence of spills to both reduce hazardous waste generation and to achieve a safer, cleaner work environment. Third, seek assistance. Generator assistance can be obtained from DEP by contacting by calling 304-926-0499 extension 1130 or your local inspector. For a link to your local hazardous waste inspector, please refer to our Hazardous Waste Staff Contacts page.

Contact Us

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0495

See Also