Plan for Dangerous Waste Emergencies
Emergency Plan Requirement Depends on Generator Status
Facilities that generate 220 pounds of dangerous waste or more (medium- or
large-quantity generators) are required to follow emergency-planning procedures.
Small-quantity generators are not required to follow these procedures, but it is
a good idea.
Recordkeeping and Reporting
for Small-quantity Generators discusses what small-quantity generators
should keep on hand. At a minimum, post emergency numbers and have
procedures and equipment available to deal with spills.
Medium- and large-quantity generators must appoint an emergency
coordinator. There must be at least one employee on the premises or on call who
is responsible for coordinating all emergency-response measures. It’s also
important to have at least one back-up emergency coordinator.
Emergency coordinators should be familiar with:
- Operations and activities at your site.
- Location and hazardous properties of all the wastes and products you
- Location of all records.
- Layout of your facility (inside and outside).
- Agreements you have made with state or local authorities.
- Outside emergency response contractors who can assist.
You must train your employees in proper waste handling and emergency procedures
relevant to their job responsibilities.
Large-quantity Generators and Waste-management Facilities Write Contingency
Plan for Emergencies—Written Contingency
describes how to write an appropriate contingency plan. Large-quantity
generators and hazardous-waste-management facilities must write emergency
contingency plans addressing sudden or non-sudden releases that might
threaten human health and the environment. A contingency plan is designed to
lessen the impact on public health and the environment if there is an
emergency such as a fire or explosion.
Medium Quantity Generators Plan for Contingencies
Medium-quantity generators don't need a full written contingency plan, but
they must meet the following requirements.
Special accumulation standards contains medium-quantity-generator
planning requirements at WAC 173-303-201(2)(c) of the Dangerous Waste
- Designate someone as the Emergency Coordinator. That person must be
on-site or on-call, and is responsible for responding to emergencies and
coordinating emergency response measures.
- Ensure that all employees are thoroughly familiar with
waste-handling and emergency procedures during both normal operating
hours and after hours.
- Post information next to all phones, two-way radios, etc.,
- The name and telephone number (office and home) of the emergency
coordinator and his or her backups.
- A description and location of emergency equipment, such as fire
extinguishers, spill control materials and alarm systems.
- The telephone number of the fire department, unless there is a direct
Emergency Information Poster can be printed off, filled in and used to
meet posting requirements.
Small-quantity generators are not required to prepare contingency plans, but
Ecology recommends planning for emergencies. Planning can help prevent a small spill
from turning into a dangerous and expensive contamination problem.
Contingency plan and emergency procedures are at WAC 173-303-350 of the
Dangerous Waste Regulations.
Step 6 of 10 - Plan for
Emergencies is a Department of Ecology publication from the Step-by-step
Fact Sheet for Hazardous Waste Generators that explains how and why to plan
for emergencies as they relate to hazardous waste.
Written Contingency Plan