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Auto Service and Repair Self Audit FAQs


1.  What is the best way to comply with federal and state regulations?

First, you should determine which of your waste streams   are classified  as  hazardous waste under  RCRA . You can use our regional  Free PDF reader available Auto Service and Repair Sector Self Audit Checklist .

Secondly, identify the volume of waste that is generated per month. Facilities that generate less than 100 Kg (220 lbs.) of hazardous was per month should check Definition of Hazardous Waste Exit EPA disclaimer. If you know your process then identify your waste disposal method . Hazardous Wastes - are a subset of solid wastes that pose substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and meet any of the following criteria identified in 40 CFR Part 260 and 261: are specifically listed as a hazardous waste by EPA  to identify if waste exhibits one or more of the characteristics of hazardous waste (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and/or toxicity); is generated by the treatment of hazardous waste; or is contained in a hazardous waste.

Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HWSA) - This 1984 Act amended RCRA and required phasing out land disposal of untreated hazardous waste by more stringent hazardous waste management standards (broken down into thirds with a time table for each third). Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA and a program requiring corrective action.

Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) - These restrictions were mandated by the 1984 HSWA amendments to RCRA. They prohibit the disposal of hazardous wastes into or on the land unless the waste meets treatability standards of lower toxicity.  
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2.  What is Waste Minimization?

Waste Minimization is reducing waste at its source, before it is even generated (called source reduction) and environmentally sound recycling. Even when hazardous wastes are stringently regulated and managed, they may sometimes pose environmental concerns. Accidents during handling and transportation of hazardous wastes can result in releases to the environment. EPA and the public devote billions of dollars annually to cleaning up contamination from past mismanagement of chemical wastes and properly managing wastes that are currently being generated. Better efforts to reduce chemical waste before it is even generated (i.e. ,Waste Minimization) would help lessen these concerns, as well as the need for these public and private expenditures on cleanups in the future.
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       a. What are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals?

Chemicals are..
Persistent, when they don't readily break down in the environment. Depending on the properties of these chemicals, they may be transferred among air, water, soils, and sediments.

Bioaccumulative, when they concentrate in animal and plant tissues as a result of uptake from the surrounding environment (e.g., from water, air), or as a result of one organism consuming another that's lower on the food chain (i.e., gets passed from one organism to another)

Toxic, when they are hazardous to human health and the environment. In certain forms, PBT chemicals may cause adverse effects, such as cancer, birth defects, and declines in specie populations 
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b.   Why reduce PBT chemicals, instead of waste quantities?

PBT chemicals are an environmental concern because they are potentially hazardous to humans and/or ecosystems, and there may be greater potential for exposures to them, since they tend to persist in the environment and move through (and concentrate in) food chains.

Reducing waste quantities may not necessarily equal reducing the risk that waste poses to human health or the environment. The EPA has been tasked with focusing more and more on reducing the toxicity of wastes rather than on waste quantities alone. Consequently, the Waste Minimization National Plan (WMNP) focuses on reducing chemicals in wastes rather than the quantity of waste as a whole. And, because persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity are three characteristics of chemicals that are considered to be important determinants of potential adverse effects to human health and the environment, the Plan focuses on reducing these types of chemicals
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3.  What benefits are provided to me under the Small Business Policy?

For information on the benefits read the Small Business Compliance Policy on OECA- Policy On Compliance Incentives for Small Businesses

For NEW requirements and benefits for small businesses  Compliance Incentives Policies

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4.  How should I start evaluating my operations?

Start by completing the Auto Service and Repair Sector Self Audit Checklist [PDF 44kb, 18pp].  
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5.  What types of waste are generated by Auto service operations?

  Specific wastes streams are: 

  • Multimedia pollution sources :  Air Pollution wastes, Air conditioning (CFC's), Painting-paint and thinners, filters, Parts cleaners, Catalytic converters (CC's)
  • Wastewater waste stream: Used oils,  Used anti-freeze, Used Solvents or gasoline, Batteries, Contaminated rags
  • Solid waste/Hazardous wastes: Batteries, Tires, Rags, Absorbents, used oil filters

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6. What types of waste are generated by Auto repair operations?

Auto body shop operations include; part replacement, (radiator, brakes, mufflers, transmissions, exhaust systems, tires retreading ) and repair services such as painting or diagnostic services where batteries and oil exchange are waste sources that could be classified as hazardous waste. For specific wastes see question 5 above.   

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 7. Who can provide me with information on the different media regulations?

To know if your auto service and repair operations comply with federal regulations you can complete our Free PDF reader available Auto Service and Repair Sector Self Audit Checklist.

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8. How can I audit my operations?

Complete our Free PDF reader available Auto Service and Repair Sector Self Audit Checklist , or  call  Region 2's Compliance Assistance Section at (212) 637-4050 to solicit an On Site Compliance Assistance visit.  

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Additional Questions on:
           Disposal /Hazardous Waste



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