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RCRA Update: Latest on Generator Improvements Adoption

Posted on November 18, 2020 by Roger Marks

Update 11/18/20: As of October 2, 2020, Arkansas has adopted five recent RCRA rule updates, including the Generator Improvements Rule, into state Regulation 23. The state's Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) notified stakeholders of the rulemaking by e-mail this week. 

Join an expert Lion instructor for the two-day RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Webinar on December 9 & 10 and get up to speed on the latest RCRA hazardous waste standards to stay in compliance in 2021.

Which States Have Adopted the Generator Improvements Rule (GIR)?

As of October 5, 2020, the states shown on the map below in blue have adopted (at least) the required changes from EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule:
*Map updated on 11/18/2020

Update 10/05/20: Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin have all incorporated the RCRA Generator Improvements Rule into their state hazardous waste regulations.

Effective dates: 

Michigan: August 3, 2020 (Details)
Wisconsin: September 1, 2020 (Details)
Ohio: October 5, 2020 (Details)

Update 7/28/20: In July 2020, Louisiana and North Dakota each adopted the updates in EPA's Generator Improvements Rule. 
Update 5/19/20: Indiana and Wyoming are the two states to most recently adopt EPA's Generator Improvements Rule. That means half the country (25 states) have now adopted the more stringent RCRA requirements. 

As of October 5, 2020, the RCRA Generator Improvements Rule is in effect in 31 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. (Bold entries are new since last update.)

Add to that list Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Federal Tribal territories, all of which use the Federal RCRA regulations.

The effective date for US EPA’s landmark Generator Improvements Rule (GIR) was May 30, 2017.

States with approved RCRA programs (i.e., all states other than Alaska and Iowa) were required to adopt at least the more-stringent regulations within one year of the Final Rule’s effective date. If a state needs to change its state law to accommodate changes to its hazardous waste program, the state gets two years to adopt the Generator Improvements Rule.

Both the one-year and two-year deadlines have now passed. Still, not all states have adopted the mandatory elements of the Generator Improvements Rule.

New RCRA Rules Under Construction…

In the states that have not yet adopted the GIR, regulatory authorities are discussing their options internally, drafting rules, and collecting public input. Here are some updates from around the country: 

California’s DTSC laid out a plan to adopt elements of the Generator Improvements Rule and reorganize their Title 22 regulations.  
New York is considering revisions to its hazardous waste rules to incorporate changes made to Federal hazardous waste regulations in EPA's Generator Improvements Rule, Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals (HWP) Rule, Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule, and relaxed management standards for airbags. The working title for New York's rulemaking-in-progress is "FedReg6."

Maryland is drafting a proposal to incorporate the major RCRA revisions into COMAR 26.13.03, with a target effective date of January 2021. [Updated 10/6/2020]

Kansas is drafting a rule to adopt the RCRA revisions as well. In the meantime, a state policy allows generators to use some of the new reliefs in the rule while they wait for the state to officially adopt.

Did we miss your state? Know something we should add to the next update?
Email and we’ll take a look!

If Your State Has Adopted the GIR... 

If your state is pictured in blue on the map above, check your state regulations to see if they adopted the GIR in its entirety. States are not required to adopt anything that is less stringent then their current regulations.
The following four changes are examples of new RCRA rules that are less stringent:
  1. Allowing a hazardous waste generator to avoid increased burden of a higher generator status when generating episodic waste provided the episodic waste is properly managed
  2. Allowing a very small quantity generator (VSQG) to send its hazardous waste to a large quantity generator under control of the same person
  3. Venting containers at satellite areas for certain conditions
  4. Removing the need for the home address of Emergency Coordinators
To check your updated state regulations, click here and scroll to your state for the link: Links to Generator Improvements State Regulations.

What if My State Did Not Adopt the GIR Yet?

If your state is shown in orange on the map above, it is technically out of compliance! Lion Technology recommends you adhere to more stringent regulations in anticipation of their adoption.

In the US, hazardous waste regulation is a joint effort between Federal and state agencies. When US EPA makes changes to the Federal program, states must adopt any updates that make the rules more stringent. States that fail to maintain hazardous waste regulations that are at least as stringent as the Federal RCRA program risk losing their authorization to run a state program.

The following are examples (not all-inclusive) of more stringent requirements from EPA's Generator Improvements Rule:

Waste Determinations

  1. The recordkeeping and retention requirements for hazardous waste determinations previously found at 40 CFR section 262.40(c) were moved into section 262.11(f), with clarifications on what records must be kept;
  2. Small and Large quantity generators must indicate waste codes on containers before shipping hazardous waste off site to a RCRA permitted treatment, storage, and disposal facility in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR section 262.32; and
  3. Any generator managing a potentially hazardous waste should manage it in accordance with the generator regulations until such time that the generator is sure that the waste is not hazardous (e.g. while awaiting the results of analysis).

Marking and Labeling

The final rule added a provision for generators to mark hazardous waste containers with an indication of the hazards of the contents.

Emergency Preparedness and Prevention

The GIR added a requirement that the generator must keep documentation of the fact that it has made arrangements with local emergency responders.

LQG’s written contingency plan must include satellite accumulation areas and have a “quick reference guide.”


There are new closure reporting requirements for a large quantity generator’s 90-day central storage area.


Small quantity generators will be required to re-notify starting in 2021 and every four years thereafter using EPA Form 8700-12. This re-notification must be submitted by September 1st of each year in which re-notifications are required.

Watch your State Registers for official notification of when the GIR has been adopted in your state, keep an eye on Lion News for more updates in the future, or visit the EPA website for a list of state adoption activities.

Get RCRA Training—When You Want, Where You Want

US EPA requires hazardous waste professionals to complete annual training on the RCRA requirements. Lion makes it easy to meet your RCRA training mandate in a variety of formats—nationwide public workshops, convenient online courses, live webinars, and on-site training.

Browse RCRA training options here to find the course that fits your needs, your schedule, and your learning style.