From the archives of the Enforcement and Compliance Listserv for Hazardous Waste Generators

Nov. 30, 2010

Change to Used Oil Space Heater Guidance

The Sept. 23, 2008 Used Oil Space Heater Guidance is superceded. The following constitutes new guidance as of Nov. 30, 2010.

Used Oil Space Heaters

If you or your business are considering purchasing a used oil space heater, you will want to know if the space heater meets the requirements found in 40 CFR 279.23. This regulation allows generators of used oil in Missouri to burn their own used oil and/or used oil obtained from household do-it-yourselfers or farmers (who are exempt from the used oil regulations) in an on-site space heater without complying with the used oil burner regulations.

For used oil space heaters to meet the requirements in 40 CFR 279.23, the heater must be used for space heating, not for heating water or steam unless the heating of water is used exclusively for space heating. This eliminates anything that would be connected to water or steam pipes. Additionally, these regulations state that your unit must produce less than 0.5 million BTU per hour. Further, the combustion gases from the heater must be vented to ambient air. However, you could be a burner of used oil (40 CFR 279.60) with a unit producing less than 0.5 million BTU per hour if your heater does not meet the definitions of a space heater listed above. If so, you would need to follow all burner requirements of 40 CFR Part 279. Remember to review ALL the requirements found in our used oil generator guidance regarding used oil space heating before purchasing a unit.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never defined space heaters, except what is in 40 CFR Part 279 regulation language. The following links are EPA interpretations regarding the status of different types of used oil heaters.

If you are looking to heat your home, used oil produced by your household is exempt from hazardous waste regulations. Therefore, you can burn your own household oil and not have to comply with 40 CFR Part 279. The oil remains exempt unless it is managed in a manner that harms human health and the environment or creates a public nuisance as described in Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law. For more information, see August 13, 1987 letter from Marcia E. Williams, Director, Office of Solid Waste, U.S. EPA.

Sept. 23, 2008

Used Oil Space Heaters

I know it is difficult to think about heating your business while it is still hot outside, but winter is on its way. If you or your business are considering purchasing a used oil space heater, it is a good idea to know if the space heater meets the requirements found in 40 CFR 279.23. This regulation allows generators of used oil in Missouri to burn their own used oil and/or used oil obtained from household do-it-yourselfers or farmers (who are exempt from the used oil regulations) without complying with the used oil burner regulations.

For used oil space heaters to meet the requirements in 40 CFR 279.23, the heater must be used for space heating, not for heating water or steam unless the heating of water is used exclusively for space heating. This eliminates anything that would be connected to water or steam pipes. Additionally, these regulations state that your unit must produce less than 0.5 million BTU per hour. Further, the combustion gases from the heater must be vented to ambient air. However, you could be a burner of used oil (40 CFR 279.60) with a unit producing less than 0.5 million BTU per hour if your heater does not meet the definitions of a space heater listed above. If so, you would need to follow all burner requirements of 40 CFR Part 279. Remember to review ALL the requirements found in our used oil generator guidance regarding used oil space heating before purchasing a unit:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never defined space heaters, except what is in 40 CFR Part 279 regulation language, so below is the accepted departmental interpretation.

Definitions of "space heater":
From the Consumer Products Safety Commission: A space heater is a self-contained, free standing, air heating appliance intended for installation in the space being heated and not intended for duct connection.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: a self-contained heating appliance of either the convection type or the radiant type and intended primarily to heat only a limited space or area.

Oxford Pocket Dictionary (2008):
n. a self-contained appliance, usually electric, for heating an enclosed room.

Merriam Webster Dictionary: n. a usually portable appliance for heating a relatively small area.

So, the accepted definition of space heater seems to require that it be self-contained and potentially portable. A space heater should not be fed from a separate tank or tank system, and cannot be built-in (i.e. it is at least potentially portable or movable). If it needs a duct or piping connection, it would not be a space heater as addressed in the 40 CFR Part 279 used oil generator requirements.

The following links are EPA interpretations regarding the status of different types of used oil heaters.

If you are looking to heat your home, used oil produced by your household is exempt from hazardous waste regulations. Therefore you can burn your own household oil and not have to comply with 40 CFR Part 279. The oil remains exempt unless it is managed in a manner that harms human health and the environment or creates a public nuisance as described in Missouri Hazardous Waste Law.

Used Crankcase Oil Disposed of by Do-It-Yourselfers

May 28, 2008

Common Questions Regarding Used Oil Burners and the Management of Used Oil

What is a Used Oil Burner?
A used oil burner is a facility where used oil not meeting the specification requirements (outlined below) is burned for energy recovery in an industrial furnace, boiler, or hazardous waste incinerator. A used oil burner must notify the department of their status and obtain a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) generator identification number. The federal regulations are located in 40 CFR 279.60, Subpart G: Standards for Used Oil Burners Who Burn Off-Specification Used Oil for Energy Recovery.  The applicable state regulations are located in 10 CSR 25-11(2)(G)

So what are the used oil specification requirements?
If your used oil exceeds any of the following allowable levels for the corresponding materials or properties then your oil is considered off specification or off-spec. If your used oil meets the allowable levels then your used oil is considered on specification or on-spec. To make the determination that the oil is on-spec or off-spec, you must use the Used Oil Marketer regulations located in 40 CFR 279.70, Subpart H

Used oil specifications from 40 CFR 279.11

Material/Properties Allowable Level

  • Arsenic 5 parts per million maximum
  • Cadmium 2 ppm maximum
  • Chromium 10 ppm maximum
  • Lead 100 ppm maximum
  • Flash Point 100 degrees Fahrenheit (F) minimum
  • Total halogens 4,000 ppm maximum

Is everyone who burns used oil considered a Used Oil Burner?
No, you are NOT considered a used oil burner if:

  • You are a generator of used oil and you burn the used oil in an on-site space heater that has a maximum capacity of 0.5 million British Thermal Units, or BTUs, and the gases from the heater are vented to the open air.
  • You are a processor or re-refiner of used oil who, for purposes of processing the used oil, must burn the oil as part of the process.
  • You are burning used oil that is considered on-spec used oil.

What types of furnaces can burn off-spec used oil?

1. Industrial Furnaces including: cement kilns; lime kilns; aggregate kilns; phosphate kilns; coke ovens; blast furnaces; smelting, melting, and refining furnaces; titanium dioxide chloride process oxidation reactors; methane reforming furnaces; pulping liquor recovery furnaces; combustion devices used to recover sulfur values; halogen acid furnaces; and any device that the department decides meets one or more of the following requirements. The use of the device is:

  • To recover material products. For example, distilling spent solvents.
  • To reduce raw materials into a material product. For example, heating lime and gypsum to make concrete.
  • To burn or reduce secondary materials as substitutes for raw materials, in processes using raw materials as principle feedstock. For example, melting aluminum cans, these become a substitute for the original raw material, aluminum ore.
  • To burn or reduce secondary materials as ingredients in an industrial process. For example, melting recycled plastic to produce plastic products.
  • Common in industry and produces a material product. For example, glass production.
  • Other factors that the department determines are appropriate.

2. Boilers including:

  • Industrial boilers where materials are made into new products by chemical or mechanical processes.
  • Utility boilers that produce electric power, steam, hot and cool air, or other gases or fluids for sale.
  • Used oil-fire space heaters that have a maximum capacity of .5 million British Thermal Unit, or BTU, and the gases from the heater are vented to the open air.

3. Hazardous Waste Incinerators as defined by law.

How should I store my used oil?
First, used oil burners must follow all the applicable Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures located in 40 CFR Part 112 . Also, if the used oil is being stored in underground storage tanks, regardless of whether the oil exhibits any hazardous waste characteristics or not, you must follow all applicable Underground Storage Tank regulations located in 40 CFR Part 280

You can only store used oil in tanks, containers, or units that comply with the management standards outlined in 40 CFR Parts 264 or 265. The containers must be in good condition, not leaking, and labeled with the words, 'Used Oil'. Any containers that are exposed to rainfall must be closed at all times except when adding or removing the used oil.

Secondary containment is an important part of your used oil storage practices.

Your secondary containment must, at a minimum, meet the following requirements:

  • consist of dikes, berms, or retaining walls;
  • consist of a floor that covers the entire area within the dike, berm, or retaining wall;
  • be without leaks and prevent used oil from moving into the soil, groundwater, or surface water;
  • have a capacity equal to or greater than 10 percent of the containerized waste volume or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater.

You must label or mark all containers, aboveground tanks that store used oil, and fill pipes that transfer used oil into underground storage tanks with the words 'Used Oil'.

If a spill occurs at your used oil burner facility you must stop and contain the release, clean up and properly manage the spilled used oil, and, if necessary, replace or repair the containers or tanks before using them to store used oil again.

Should I be tracking the used oil I receive?
You must record used oil shipments on Missouri’s Transporter’s Used Oil Shipment Record with the following information:

  • The name, address, and EPA generator identification number of the transporter who delivered the used oil.
  • The name, address, and EPA generator identification number of the generator or processor/re-refiner, if the used oil received at your facility was from a processor/re-refiner.
  • The quantity of used oil accepted.
  • The date you accepted the used oil.

These used oil shipment records must be kept on file for a period of three years and kept in a place where they are available to department inspectors during regular business hours. If you are involved in an enforcement action, you will need to keep these records beyond the three year mark, until any enforcement action is closed.

Can used oil burners also process used oil?
Used oil burners may only process used oil if they comply with the used oil processors and re-refiners regulations found in 40 CFR 279.50.

If you mix off-spec used oil with virgin oil and/or on-spec oil to burn - it must be burned as off-spec oil. You may not mix off-spec oil with virgin oil or on-spec oil for purposes of producing on-spec used oil.

How do I use the rebuttable presumption in regards to burning used oil?
See our recent listserv below regarding the rebuttable presumption.

April 29, 2008

What is a used oil rebuttable presumption?

Before processing, transporting or burning used oil you must determine if your used oil meets the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s definition of used oil or if your used oil is in fact considered a hazardous waste. To figure this out you must determine the total halogen content of the used oil by either testing the used oil or using knowledge of the halogen content in regards to the way the used oil was originally used and processed. If the used oil’s halogen content has already been determined by a previous handler of the used oil (marketer, processor/rerefiner, transporter, or burner) then you can use the information provided by them.

Note: Halogen content is a measurement of the chemicals in your used oil that have a halogen atom. There are inorganic halogens (like table salt!) that are not normally considered hazardous and organic halogens that also have a carbon atom and are considered hazardous constituents. This is why EPA decided to measure the halogen content, because it provided a good measuring tool of determining if the oil was mixed with hazardous constituents. The measure of total halogens includes both inorganic and organic halogens.

If the used oil contains equal to or greater than 1,000 parts per million total halogens, then the material is considered a hazardous waste because it is presumed that it has been mixed with a listed hazardous waste such as solvents: 40 CFR 261 Subpart D .  At this point you can treat the used oil as a hazardous waste and dispose of it accordingly. If you believe that your used oil does not have any hazardous waste mixed in it even though it has equal to or above 1,000 ppm halogen content you can rebut this presumption, in other words make an argument, that the used oil is not a hazardous waste. How can you demonstrate this?

1. Generator materials and processes used:
The generator can provide information about the generation process of the used oil, the composition of the used oil and any other materials that were involved. The generator can also provide evidence that the used oil was not mixed with a listed waste. A good way to show that the used oil is not a hazardous waste is performing analytical testing and providing the results in support of your argument.

2. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs):
An MSDS sheet could provide evidence that an ingredient in question was present in the original oil formula and not present because of mixing hazardous waste into the oil. Also, MSDS sheets could demonstrate that the halogen content is high because of lubricant additives and again, not from mixing hazardous waste into the used oil.

3. Inorganic total halogen concentration:
Since halogen tests measure both organic and inorganic halogen content, and most halogenated hazardous constituents are organic compounds, you could test the content of organic compounds. If the concentration of inorganic compounds is significantly higher, this could be a valid argument that the material is not a hazardous waste because remember; inorganic halogens are not usually hazardous.

4. Product additive information:
Your oil may contain lubricant additives that may have high halogen contents but are not listed as a hazardous waste. If there is evidence that the halogen content is high primarily because of this additive, this could be a valid argument that your material should be managed as used oil and not hazardous waste.

5. Show that the used oil is mismanaged PCB-containing oils:
If you can show the halogen content is 1,000 ppm or more and the halogen content is present because of the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, you can manage the material under the used oil regulations as long as the PCB content itself is less than 50 parts per million.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Even if your used oil contains equal to or greater than 1,000 parts per million total halogens, if you meet the following exclusions you can manage the material as RCRA used oil without using the rebuttable presumption:

1. Metalworking oils/fluids/ containing chlorinated paraffins where the used oil will be recycled in any other manner, or disposed.

2. Used oil contaminated with chlorofluorocarbons that have been mixed with used oil from other sources.

3. If the total halogen content exceeds 1,000 ppm only because the used oil was mixed with PCB waste, then the oil falls back into the used oil regulations and is regulated as such in conjunction with the Toxic Substance Control Act as long as the PCB concentration is less than 50 ppm.

4. Mixtures of used oil and hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators.

5. Mixtures of used oil and residues from empty containers as long as there are not other sources of halogens for this used oil and/or the used oil did not contain over 1,000 ppm halogens before storage in a RCRA empty container.

You should keep this rebuttal information on file in case you are inspected. If you want a concurrence on your rebuttal, contact the department and we will evaluate your assessment. For more in depth information on using the rebuttable presumption for your used oil see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Guidance and Summary Regarding the RCRA Used Oil Rebuttable Presumption.

This section focuses on the rebuttable presumption, but if you plan on burning used oil for energy recovery or otherwise using the used oil, you would also need to assure that you look at the used oil specifications in Table 1, 40 CFR 279.11 to determine if your used oil exceeds any of the allowable levels indicated in the table.

Oct. 2, 2007

Used Oil Transportation

The "Transporters Used Oil Shipment Record" is now available online for your convenience at www.dnr.mo.gov/forms/780-1449.pdf. This record is used in lieu of a manifest for shipping, due to the fact that used oil that is destined for recycling is not considered a hazardous waste in Missouri. In cases where used oil is not intended for recycling or it cannot be recycled because it is contaminated, it retains the D098 designation. Low concentration polychlorinated biphenyl used oil that is destined for disposal retains the D096 designation. Shipments of D098 or D096 waste must be accompanied by a uniform hazardous waste manifest and must be counted towards your generator status.

Transporters of used oil must meet the following standards:

  • Obtain a Missouri Hazardous Waste Transporters License by contacting Missouri Department of Transportation at 866-831-6277. 
  • Obtain an EPA generator identification number and notify the department of used oil activities by filling out this form, Notification of Regulated Waste Activity, Form--MO 780-1164, for more information contact the department at 573-751-3204;
  • Determine total halogen content of used oil being transported or stored at a transfer facility and maintain records of determination;
  • Keep tanks and containers that are exposed to rain closed except when adding or removing used oil;
  • Process and store used oil in areas with oil-impervious floors;
  • Provide secondary containment equal to or greater than 10 percent of the containerized used oil volume or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater;
  • Clean up used oil spills or leaks to the environment and notify proper authorities;
  • Comply with applicable U.S. Department of Transportation requirements;
  • Deliver used oil to a used oil transporter, a processor or re-refiner, an off-specification used oil burner, or an on-specification used oil burner;
  • Maintain an inventory log to assure that storage at transfer facilities is limited to 35 days;
  • Track incoming and out-going used oil shipments, using the Transporter's Used Oil Shipment Record (you can purchase the four part form from the Department by calling 573-751-2032 or use the electronic version noted above);
  • Properly manage residues from used oil storage or transport;
  • Remove and properly dispose of hazardous waste and hazardous residues at closure of the storage area;
  • Report annually to the Hazardous Waste Program Director, on the Transporter's Used Oil Annual Report, available at   www.dnr.mo.gov/forms/780-1555.pdf.
  • If you need assistance completing the Hazardous Waste Transporter License application or have any questions regarding the transportation of Used Oil or Hazardous Waste please contact Jennifer Johnson of the Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-7560.

June 1, 2006

Used Oil Management

As gasoline prices go up, the value of used oil tends to rise. Proper management of used oil prevents pollution and helps retain the value of this vital resource. In Missouri, management standards for used oil generators are relatively easy to follow.

You must

  • Keep containers, tanks or drums in good condition,
  • Always label containers, tanks or drums with the words Used Oil, and
  • Clean up any spills or leaks to the environment.
  • If your used oil is stored outside or exposed to rainfall, keep containers closed except when adding or removing used oil.
  • If you do not self-transport your used oil, use only a transporter with a Missouri Hazardous Waste Transporter License and an EPA Generator identification number.

Although not required for used oil stored inside, it is a good idea to keep all used oil containers closed to prevent accidents. Used oil generators may self-transport up to 55 gallons of their own used oil to either an approved collection center or an aggregation point owned by their own business. If you choose to self-transport, you may only transport the used oil in a company owned vehicle or an employee's privately owned vehicle. For information on used oil burners, collection centers, clean-up, and more, visit Used Oil.

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If you need further assistance, please email or contact the Department of Natural Resources' Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-7560 or 800-361-4827.

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