Hazardous materials can harm humans, animals and the environment when improperly handled, stored or transported. In the United States, laws and regulationsare designed to limit interaction with dangerous agents, including chemical, biological or radiological materials.Containing hazardous spills and waste begins with clear objectives, training and accountability.
To adhere to chemical secondary containment requirements, facilities must follow specific guidelines, such as the use of high-quality tanks and storage units, as well as protective gear and tools to contain chemicals and hazardous waste. For example, a custom-built secondary containment system can offer the right spill protection for specific facility or material needs.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) defines hazardous waste under RCRA in Title 40 CFR 216. Hazardous waste is divided into two categories: characteristic wastes and listed wastes. There is no regularly updated list of hazardous wastes, as the secondary containment for hazardous waste determination process involves many steps. However, facilities can ask questions to classify waste:
As part of the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)promotes safe and healthy working conditions for Americans through standardized enforcement, training, community engagement, and education. Hazardous waste sites must comply with hazardous waste secondary containment requirements as determined by OSHA, including:
Facilities that handle hazardous waste must implement a secondary containment plan to contain and control accidental spilled material, as well as maintain employee safety. Traditional cleanup techniques include diatomaceous earth. However, modern options, such as secondary spill containment systems, provide first responders with more effective tools and methods for hazard reduction and cleanup. Some applications and devices for secondary containment for chemicals under OSHA include:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides volume requirements for secondary containment systems in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) found in Title 40 CFR 264.175(b).According to the RCRA act, secondary containment systems must be designed as follows:
The secondary containment system must have sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of containers or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater. Containers that do not contain free liquids need not be considered in this determination. Run-on into the containment system must be prevented unless the collection system has sufficient excess capacity to contain any run-on which might enter the system. Excess capacity must be in addition to the 10% of the volume of containers or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater.
States and municipalities must follow these federal volume requirements; however, many mandate stricter containment regulations.Explore your state and local regulations to ensure your facility is EPA compliant. For more information about Polystar secondary containment systems, browse our productsor contact us.
Learn more about hazardous waste secondary containment requirements with the additional resources below. Polystar Containment is an industry-leading long-term and temporary spill containment equipment provider.With our spill containment products and solutions, you can enhance your preparedness and response capabilities, minimizing the environmental risks associated with hazardous materials handling.
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