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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Glossary

This is the waste designation decision matrix provided by the Small Business and Local Government Assistance Program to aid businesses in deciding how certain wastes must be handled.

For users' convenience, this list contains brief explanations of abbreviations and terms that are used in this guidance document and/or by federal and state regulators. Nothing in this glossary takes the place of any full, official definitions in laws, rules, or regulations.

Acutely hazardous wastes: A subset of listed hazardous wastes that carry the "H" code; they are considered very harmful to human health and the environment.

CESQG: Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generator. A facility that is exempt from some provisions of waste regulations because of the relatively small amounts of hazardous waste that it generates.

CFR Exit the TCEQ: Code of Federal Regulations

Characteristically hazardous waste: Any waste that exhibits the characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and/or toxicity as defined by the EPA in 40 CFR Part 261 Subpart C. These are often referred to as the "D" wastes.

Class 1 waste: Any waste or mixture of waste that, because of its concentration or physical or chemical characteristics is toxic; corrosive; flammable; a strong sensitizer or irritant; a generator of sudden pressure by decomposition, heat, or other means; or may pose a substantial present or potential danger to human health or the environment when improperly processed, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Class 2 waste: Any individual waste or combination of waste that cannot be described as hazardous waste or as nonhazardous Class 1 or Class 3 waste.

Class 3 waste: Waste that is inert and essentially insoluble (determined through various testing methods), usually including but not limited to materials such as rock, brick, glass, dirt, certain plastics, rubber, and similar materials that are not readily decomposable.

Classification code: This last digit of the Texas waste code represents the classification of the waste stream. The letter H represents hazardous wastes; and the number 1, 2, or 3 represents nonhazardous industrial waste Class 1, 2, or 3.

Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generator: Generators of less than 100 kg (220 lbs) per month of hazardous waste, or less than 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per month of acutely hazardous waste. Designated facility: see TSDF

EPA Exit the TCEQ: the federal Environmental Protection Agency

EPA I. D. number: a number issued by the EPA to identify a facility that generates wastes regulated by that agency.

EPA registration requirement: see EPA I. D. Number

Form code: This code describes the general type of waste stream. It consists of three numbers, the 5th, 6th, and 7th digits in the Texas waste code. More than one form code may apply to a particular waste stream.

Generator I.D. number: see Texas Solid Waste Registration Number

Hazardous waste: The EPA defines a waste as hazardous if it exhibits one or more of four hazardous "characteristics," or if it is a "listed" waste (see 40 CFR Part 261 Subpart D). Hazardous waste determination: An evaluation of a waste to determine whether it meets the RCRA definition of a hazardous waste.

Industrial CESQG: A Conditionally Exempt Small-Quantity Generator whose facility would be categorized "industrial" as distinguished from "nonindustrial." For details see Appendix A of this booklet, "What Is an Industrial Facility?"

Inert: Inertness refers to the chemical inactivity of an element, compound, or waste. Ingredients added to mixtures chiefly for the purposes of bulk and/or weight are normally considered inert.

Land ban: Generally, a prohibition against land disposal of certain wastes unless they meet certain conditions.

Land ban documentation: Written supporting evidence that a waste can be land-disposed—for example, because it has received some form of treatment.

Listed hazardous wastes: Specific wastes that have been identified by the EPA as hazardous. These are often referred to as the "F" wastes (waste from nonspecific sources); "K" wastes (wastes from specific sources); "P" wastes (acutely hazardous off-specification materials, container residues, and spill residues of these materials); and "U" wastes (toxic, hazardous off-specification materials, container residues, and spill residues). A waste is considered hazardous if (a) it is listed in 40 CFR Part 261 Subpart D, or (b) is mixed with or derived from a waste listed there, and (c) has not been provided a particular exclusion from the definition of hazardous as provided in 40 CFR Sections 261.3–.4.

NOR: see Notice of Registration

Notice of Registration (NOR): TCEQ term for the information it collects in its database on each hazardous or industrial waste handler: generators; transporters; and operators of treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDF). The NOR includes the facility's physical and mailing addresses, owner and operator information, information on waste streams that are generated or handled at the site, a list of individual units at the facility where wastes are managed, and other information. It also contains the state facility identification number, issued by the TCEQ, and the EPA facility number. The term also refers to a printout of information that is sent to a facility when it makes some change in its registration information. An important purpose of sending this printout is to obtain feedback on whether the TCEQ has current and accurate information.

Quantitation limits: in general, the limits of a test's accuracy in measuring the amount of a pollutant.

RCRA Exit the TCEQ: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act). Primarily designed to regulate five types of disposal activities: hazardous waste, solid waste, underground storage tanks, oil waste, and medical waste. In this guidance document, any mention of "RCRA" refers to RCRA Subtitle C, which applies to all handlers of hazardous waste, including generators; transporters; and operators of treatment, storage, and disposal (TSDF) facilities. (RCRA, a federal law, covers only whether a solid waste is either hazardous or nonhazardous. Texas regulations further subdivide nonhazardous waste into Classes 1, 2, and 3.)

Registration number: see Texas Solid Waste Registration Number

Sequence number: The first 4 digits of the Texas waste code (actually these four characters may be numbers, letters, or a combination of the two). The sequence number is used as an internal numbering system determined by each generator. The number of a waste may range from 0001 to 9999, and can only be used once.

Solid waste: Any discarded material such as garbage; refuse; sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility; or other material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, municipal, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations. Solid wastes include any material that is abandoned by being disposed of; burned or incinerated; or accumulated, stored, or treated before or in lieu of these activities. Certain recycled materials are also considered wastes. Solid wastes are often referred to simply as "wastes."

Solid waste registration number: see Texas Solid Waste Registration Number

Special waste: Wastes that require special handling, specially trained people, and/or special disposal methods. These special requirements often arise from the sheer size of the waste itself, lack of knowledge about the process that generated it, and/or the physical characteristics of the waste.

State I.D. number: see Texas Solid Waste Registration Number

State solid waste number: see Texas Solid Waste Registration Number

STEERS: State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System. Enables online reporting of waste management information to the TCEQ by regulated businesses, industries, and other organizations.

TAC Exit the TCEQ: Texas Administrative Code. Title 30 of TAC contains TCEQ rules on industrial solid waste and municipal hazardous waste, among other subjects.

Texas Solid Waste Registration Number: a number, issued by the TCEQ for the purpose of, identifying a facility that generates wastes regulated by the state of Texas; also referred to in a variety of ways: generator I.D. number, generator number, state I.D. number, state solid waste number, Texas registration number, Texas solid waste registration number, registration, registration number.

TRI: Toxics Release Inventory—requires certain companies to report air emissions, waste disposal, and wastewater discharges.

TSDF: Treatment, storage, and disposal facility; also called designated facility.

Waste: Unwanted, discarded, or abandoned materials left over from a manufacturing process; refuse from places of human or animal habitation.

Waste code: Also referred to as Texas waste code. This 8-digit code identifies a waste stream. The first 4 digits are the sequence number, the next 3 digits are the form code, and the last digit is the waste's classification (sequence number + form code + classification code = waste code). (Some of the "digits" referred to here actually may be letters or a combination of letters and numbers.)

Waste stream: The total flow of solid waste from homes, businesses, institutions, and manufacturing plants that is recycled, burned, or disposed of in landfills; or segments of that total flow, such as the "residential waste stream" or the "recyclable waste stream." (It should be noted that the terms "waste stream," "solid waste," and "waste" are often used interchangeably by federal and state regulators as well as many members of the regulated community).

WRPA: Waste Reduction Policy Act—requires that certain facilities prepare a Source Reduction and Waste Minimization plan.