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Hazardous Waste Section
The Hazardous Waste Section ensures the safe management of hazardous waste in North Carolina. We apply the adopted federal rules that incorporate the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requirements and additional state rules.The Hazardous Waste Section has two branches, the Facility Managment Branch and the Compliance Branch. In addition the Section has an administrative support unit, the Financial and Information Management Unit.
The Facility Management Branch issues operating and post-closure permits and provides oversight for facilities that must investigate and clean up hazardous waste releases to the environment. We review facility applications, plans and reports to ensure the facility meets regulatory and technical standards. Continual facility compliance is ensured through technical assistance and permit maintenance. We also recommend to the section chief whether to issue or deny operating and post-closure permits. Research, Development & Demonstration permits, in addition to emergency permits, are issued as needed.
The Compliance Branch oversees three major programs, Mercury Switch Program, Resident Inspector Program and Financial Assurance Program. The primary purpose of the Compliance Branch is to protect and safeguard public health and the environment by ensuring industry compliance with North Carolina’s Hazardous Waste Management Rules. Services offered include comprehensive evaluation of on-site waste streams, hazardous waste management practices including waste minimization and recordkeeping for all generators, transporters and treatment, storage and disposal facilities. We also perform case development audits at non-notifier sites and make technical assistance visits to provide regulatory support for a particular initiative, regulation or waste stream. Our education program provides the facilities with the knowledge and ability to appropriately manage their hazardous waste. Generator education courses and associated seminars are conducted annually. Our enforcement program ranges from Notice of Deficiencies to Administrative Orders with penalties. We also provide direction and technical support during emergency response situations and respond to hazardous waste complaints arising from manufacturing practices, criminal activity and/or accidental releases by businesses and homeowners. Additionally upon request, our Enforcement Unit provides clarification of both state and federal statutes, rules and polices regarding hazardous waste.
The Financial and Information Management Unit assists the Section with overall regulatory program performance, prepares rules and regulations, provides customers with regulatory assistance, manages the flow of information for the hazardous waste program while maintaining integrity of data in the state's legacy system and EPA’s RCRAInfo database. We are responsible for invoicing and collecting revenue for annual hazardous waste fees applicable to generators, transporters, storage, treatment, and disposal facilities as codified by North Carolina State Laws. In addition, we maintain recordkeeping of all hazardous waste notifications, biennial reports and collections from enforcement penalties and I/I (inspection/investigative) costs. We provide direction, establish and maintain operating guidelines, assess and administer system training, monitor hazardous waste data and enforce the federal requirement for large quantity generators, treaters, storers and disposers to report their hazardous waste management efforts on a biennial timeframe.