California Hazardous Waste ID Verification and Fee Structure Changes
APTIM assists numerous clients with managing their hazardous material and waste programs, including reviewing fee invoices to ensure statute compliance.
California has been making changes to its hazardous material and waste electronic systems, as well as several regulations, which affect both regulatory fees owed by generators and EPA Identification Number (EPA ID #) verification. This year is the last year that EPA ID # and hazardous waste manifest verification, with associated fees, will be completed in the California Electronic Verification System (eVQ).
Starting August 29, 2022, California EPA has linked to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Hazardous Waste Tracking System so that EPA ID #s can be communicated from the DTSC system to the new California Environmental Reporting System (CERS NextGen) version. A one-time validation of the EPA ID # for each facility, based on the facility name and address, will become required in the system by Spring 2023 but will be available when you next initiate your Hazardous Materials Business Plan (HMBP) in CERS starting next week. No action will be required if your EPA ID # validates.
However, if your EPA ID # (only permanent ones) has not been active in the last four calendar years, it will not be available for validation and may need to be re-activated. Manual validation will be necessary if you get a warning message that your EPA ID # does not match but will not prohibit the submittal of the HMBP until validation becomes mandatory in 2023. APTIM can assist you with your EPA ID # validation errors by re-activating numbers and/or working directly with the Certified Unified Program Agencies to resolve issues. The state did indicate that contiguous properties under the same owner/operator may share an EPA ID # in CERS.
California’s changes to fees have resulted in the discontinuation of some fees, the addition of other fees, and increases in some remaining fees. A comprehensive summary of the changes can be found in the Annual and Fiscal Year Summary (dated March 9, 2022).
As you may have seen in the CA eVQ system, the EPA ID Verification Fee was eliminated, effective January 1, 2022. Environmental fees, paid to California Department of Tax Fee Administration (CDTFA), which are charged based on business size (i.e., number of employees), now have an exemption for businesses that have less than 100 employees, but other categories increased with 500–1,000 employee businesses going from $4,768 to $16,000, and 1,000 employee businesses now have to pay $54,100 versus last year’s fee of $16,177.
In addition to the environmental fee, the hazardous waste generator and handling fee, previously called the hazardous waste generator fee, will be paid electronically to CDTFA in their electronic system. This fee is based on the amount of hazardous waste generated in the previous calendar year. For the fiscal year 2022-2023, instead of the previously tiered fee structure, the charge will be a flat rate of $49.25 for each ton generated if a facility generates greater than or equal to 5 tons. The prepayment of this fee is due by November 30, 2022, with the balance due by February 28, 2023.
There will be additional changes to the fee amounts starting mid-2023. The fees do not apply to used oil collected from the public by certified used oil collection centers but will now apply to used oil generated at a facility. This change for used oil may significantly increase the fees a generator pays in California, depending on their operations. Some of these fees may be offset if used oil is recycled by applying for Used Oil Recycling Incentives on a quarterly basis through the CalRecycle Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery.
Although the manifest user fees were eliminated effective January 1, 2022, the state has maintained the authority to collect a $20 reprocessing fee for each incomplete or improperly completed paper manifest that they identify as incorrect to the vendor.
APTIM assists numerous clients with managing their hazardous material and waste programs, including reviewing their fee invoices to ensure compliance with statutes and changes such as these. We regularly work with agency regulators and are closely monitoring the changing regulatory landscape for our customers, making us an ideal partner for your hazardous material and waste program needs.
Client Management Specialist, Permitting and Compliance
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