Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about hazardous waste (hazmat) transport. Please don't hesitate to contact a sales representative for further explanation or to discuss your upcoming project.
Q: With all of the liability that generators now face, how can we protect ourselves from environmental companies that do not handle, transport or dispose of our waste properly?
A: With so many environmental service companies currently in the industry it is extremely important for all generators to ensure their waste and environmental projects are handled properly and in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations. Generators should check the longevity of the company they are planning on hiring and also the amount of coverage of liability insurance the environmental company maintains. This will indicate how concerned they are in all aspects of handling your waste and environmental needs. The Department of Toxic Substances Control will also have their inspection record for the facility in which your hazardous waste will be stored until disposal. You may also inquire with the California Highway Patrol for the transporter's transportation history and vehicle inspection record. All of the above information is a great way to investigate the company you are thinking about using as your hazardous materials contractor, however, you can also check with other companies that are using the same contractor to confirm the level of service they are receiving. A satisfied and happy customer will always be the best indicator of how well an environmental service company is doing.
Q: What are the different types of disposal options for hazardous waste?
A: Generators of hazardous waste should be aware of the options there are to properly and cost-effectively dispose of various types of hazardous waste. Options for disposing of hazardous waste material differ greatly. Often direct landfill is likely be the most cost-effective way to dispose of hazardous waste, but this option is limited to the less harmful (to the environment) types of hazardous waste. Also, this landfill option does not alleviate the future liability of the generator and this may not be the option your company requires. Recycling and incineration of the hazardous material will alleviate the future liability of your company from the hazardous waste because it has either changed from a waste to a new product or has been eliminated by total incineration. Some recycling and incineration options are more widely used than the landfill method, but also are more costly. United Pumping Service will investigate all appropriate options that best suit your project while always keeping your liability and budget concerns in mind so that you can make an informed decision.
Q: Who is responsible for required generator forms and documents and ensuring they are completed properly and legally?
A: Regulations state that generators of the hazardous waste are responsible for making sure that all forms and documents pertaining to the shipment are correct. The customer service department at United Pumping Service will assist you with all paperwork required for the shipment of your waste. All manifesting, profiling, Land Disposal Restriction Forms, Bill of Ladings and all attachments required for transportation will be provided by our company for proper disposal of your hazardous waste. However, it is always important for the generator to select the disposal site and review the necessary forms.
Q: If an accident should occur once my hazardous waste is being transported to a transfer facility or a disposal facility, is our company not liable? And is the transporter responsible?
A: The Cradle to Grave law for hazardous waste makes the generator liable for the waste material always unless the material is recycled, reused or incinerated. For this reason it is imperative that your company be certain that the hazardous waste handling company operates legally and is responsible for all of its operations. United Pumping Service has and maintains several fully staffed and equipped Emergency Response Teams available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. If a shipment of hazardous materials is involved in an incident with one of our vehicles our Emergency Response Team will properly remediate any release and repackage and transport it to the proper disposal facility. We will inform the generator of the incident and we will handle all requirements for remediation.
Q: If an incident occurs at my facility can I legally remediate the area on my own?
A: There are several federal, state, and local laws in place that dictate the remediation of a hazardous materials release. All personnel must have the 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operation (HAZWOPER) training or less as required by the company, depending upon the material, exposure to the material and the level of remediation. Different types of material and the quantity of the material may require a notification by the responsible party to the local authorities, and the authorities notified will dictate the extent of the remediation required. There are also several hazardous materials which may seem simple to remove, yet may have a chemical reaction to other types of material stored nearby, or might even be incompatible with the material used to remove the waste. Some may require industrial cleaning equipment and confirmation of a remediated site by soil, liquid or wipe samples. United Pumping Service deals with these occurrences on a daily basis and maintains a good working relationship with all local authorities for site remediation. We also maintain several resources to ensure a turnkey remediation process. All of our employees are 40-hour HAZWOPER certified, as well as confined space entry trained, CPR-certified, blood-borne pathogen trained, and receive an annual 8-hour refresher course as required by law. Some employees also receive further specialized training.