Report
a hazardous waste complaint to the DNR
Contact information
For information about managing hazardous waste, contact:
Patricia Chabot
Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator
608-266-2111

Hazardous waste definitions

The hazardous waste program has its own unique terminology which might be confusing. We are supplying all of the common terms and definitions used in the discussion of hazardous waste.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | L | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W

A
Accumulation

A generator that does not store hazardous waste under an NR 670 interim or final operating license may accumulate hazardous waste for a short period of time before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. The waste must be accumulated in either above ground tanks or containers; it may not be accumulated in underground tanks, waste piles or surface impoundments.

Generators of more than 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) of hazardous waste per month may accumulate their waste for up to 90 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. Special accumulation provisions for persons generating F006 wastewater treatment sludge are defined in s. NR 662.034(7), Wis. Adm. Code.

Generators of 100 kg. (220 lbs.) to 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) of hazardous waste per month may accumulate their waste for up to 180 days before shipping it off-site or managing it on-site. If the nearest treatment, storage, disposal or recycling facility to which they can send their waste is more than 200 miles away, they may accumulate their waste for up to 270 days.

Activity/Production Index

The activity/production index is a measure of changes in production, activity, economics and/or other factors that affected the quantity of hazardous waste generated in the report year, compared to the previous year. The index is used to distinguish between inter-year hazardous waste generation quantity changes resulting from waste minimization activity, and changes that were attributable to production, activity, economics or other factors.

Acute Hazardous Waste

Acute hazardous waste is any hazardous waste with a waste code beginning with the letter "P," or any of the following "F" codes: F020, F021, F022, F023, F026 and F027. These wastes are subject to stringent quantity standards for accumulation and generation.

B
Byproduct Material

(1) any radioactive material (except special nuclear material) yielded in or made radioactive by exposure to the radiation incident to the process of production or utilizing special nuclear material; and

(2) the tailings or wastes produced by the extraction or concentration of uranium or thorium from any ore processed primarily for its source material content.

C
CFR

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains the detailed regulations, written by federal agencies, to implement the provisions of laws passed by Congress. Regulations in CFR have the force of federal law.

Characteristic Waste

A waste classified as hazardous because it is ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic is a characteristic waste. It has a waste code in the range "D001" to "D043." Each of these four characteristics is defined in s. NR 661.10, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR].

D
Delisted Wastes

Delisted wastes are site-specific wastes that are excluded from regulation under ss. NR 660.22 and NR 660.23, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR] may be excluded or delisted from the lists of hazardous waste in s. NR 661, Subchapter D, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR] by petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or DNR for a regulatory amendment.

Disposal

Disposal means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any hazardous waste into or on any land or water in a manner which may permit the hazardous waste or any hazardous constituent to be emitted into the air to be discharged into any waters of the state or otherwise to enter the environment. Disposal does not include the generation, transportation, storage or treatment of hazardous waste.

DNR

The State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Also known as WDNR.

E
EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also called U.S. EPA, for United States Environmental Protection Agency. Established in 1970 by presidential executive order, it brings together parts of various government agencies involved with the control of pollution.

EPA Identification Number

The EPA Identification (ID) number is a 12-character number assigned by the DNR to each generator; transporter; and treatment, storage or disposal facility. Very small quantity generators are not required to obtain an EPA ID number in most cases. Facilities that are not generators but anticipate possible generation activity may also apply for and receive an EPA ID number. The first two characters are alphabetical and stand for the state in which the site is physically located. The third character can be either alphabetical or numeric. The remaining nine characters are always numeric.

Excluded Wastes

A list of wastes that are excluded from regulation under s. NR 661.04, Wis. Adm. Code [PDF exit DNR].

  • Agriculture, Irrigation - Solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows.
  • Cement Kiln Dust - Cement kiln dust waste.
  • Chromium, Leather Tanning, etc. - Wastes that: (1) are not listed in s. NR 661.30, Wis. Adm. Code or 40 CFR 261, Subpart D (PDF, 449KB) and only have the characteristic of toxicity for chromium; or (2) are listed in s. NR 661.30, Wis. Adm. Code or 40 CFR 261, Subpart D for only chromium and do not have any characteristics other than toxicity for chromium. These wastes must also meet the additional criteria for the exclusion listed in s. NR 661.04(2)(f), Wis. Adm. Code.
  • Drilling Fluids - Drilling fluids, produced waters or other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of crude oil, natural gas or geothermal energy.
  • Emission Control Waste - Fly ash waste, bottom ash waste, slag waste and flue gas emission control waste generated primarily from the combustion of coal or other fossil fuels.
  • Fertilizers - Solid wastes generated by the growing and harvesting of agriculture crops or the raising of animals, including animal manure, and are returned to the soils as fertilizers.
  • Household - Household waste, including waste that has been collected, transported, stored, treated, disposed of, recovered or reused, except if the hazardous waste in this type is separated for management at a collection facility regulated under subch. HH of ch. NR 666, Wis. Adm. Code. "Household waste" means any material (including garbage, trash and sanitary wastes in septic tanks) derived from households (including single and multiple residences; hotels/motels, bunkhouses, ranger stations, crew quarters, campgrounds, picnic grounds; and day use recreation areas).
  • Mining, Metallic - Metallic mining resulting from a mining operation, except generators of metallic mining wastes are required to comply with s. NR 662.011, Wis. Adm. Code, to determine whether their wastes are hazardous or nonhazardous. Metallic mining wastes are regulated under ch. NR 182, Wis. Adm. Code.
  • Nuclear - Source, special nuclear or by-product material as defined by 42 USC 2011 to 2114, the atomic energy act of 1954.
  • Petroleum-Contaminated Media and Debris - Petroleum-contaminated media and debris that fail the test for the toxicity characteristic in 40 CFR 261.24 (PDF, 39KB) (Hazardous waste codes D018 through D043 only) and are subject to the corrective action regulations in 40 CFR 280.
  • Sewage, Domestic - Solids or dissolved material in domestic sewage.
  • Wastewater, Industrial - Solid or dissolved materials in industrial wastewater discharges that are point source discharges subject to permits under ch. 147, Wis. Stats.
  • Wood, Wood Products - Discarded wood or wood products which fail the test for the toxicity characteristic given in s. NR 661.20, Wis. Adm. Code, solely for arsenic, and are not a hazardous waste for any other reasons, if the waste is generated by persons who utilize the arsenical-treated wood and wood products for the intended end use of these materials.
F
Facility

A facility is a site which manages hazardous wastes on-site. Facilities are also called "TSDs" or "TSDRs." An entity (a business, an operation, a governmental unit, a property owner, etc.) at a location currently or formerly involved in hazardous waste activities regulated by the DNR and U.S. EPA.

Form 8700-12

EPA Form 8700-12 is the Site Identification Form. (See Generator Notification Form).

Form Code

Physical or chemical state of the hazardous waste.

Form R

Form R is also called the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) Report Form. This form is required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986), Public Law 99-499. Submittal of this form is required annually. Section 166.20, Wis. Stats. requires that an additional copy of this report be submitted to the DNR.

G
Generator

A generator is a site or mobile source whose actions or processes produce hazardous waste.

Generator Notification-hazardous waste

Every site that generates, treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste must inform the DNR of its hazardous waste activity by filing EPA Form 8700-12, Site Identification Form. After receiving the Site ID form, DNR assigns an identification number (EPA ID) to the site. * Note: very small quantity generators of hazardous waste are not required to obtain an EPA ID number, unless they use a hazardous waste manifest for their waste shipments.

H
Hazardous Waste Facility License

To obtain a hazardous waste facility license, a site must go through a lengthy process of providing DNR with information about the hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal activities that will be at the site. The annual report respondent should know whether or not the site has obtained a hazardous waste facility license.

Hazardous Waste

By-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. It is a solid waste that possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity), or appears on special DNR or EPA lists. The regulatory definition of hazardous waste is found in s. NR 661, Wis. Adm. Code.

L
Listed Wastes

Those wastes specifically named in ch. NR 661, Subchapter D, Wis. Adm. Code and 40 CFR 261, Subpart D. These wastes are listed as hazardous because the dangers they present are considered self-evident. They bear waste codes beginning with the letters F, K, P or U.

Long Report Year

For odd-numbered report years (e.g. 2011, 2013, etc.), all sites are required to provide the minimal site activity information collected on the reporting requirements screen, for both the report year and the current year. Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDs) also complete the Identification (IC) Form, the Fee Worksheet (FW) Form and the Waste Generation and Management (GM) Form. In addition, facilities that received hazardous waste during the report year must complete the Waste Received from Off-site (WR) Form. Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) complete the IC Form and the FW Form in addition to the reporting requirements screen.

In any year, if a site generated hazardous waste amounts less than the small quantity generator level or did not generate any hazardous waste at all, the Web reporting system will direct them to complete and submit the Exemption Form. DNR regional staff will evaluate the request and remove them from future annual report mailings if appropriate (it's not automatic).

LQG

A large quantity generator (LQG), is defined by the following criteria:

  • (a) the site generated in one or more months during the calendar year, 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) or more of hazardous waste, or more than 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) of acute hazardous waste, or more than 100 kg. (220 lbs.) of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; or
  • (b) the site accumulated at any time during the calendar year more than 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) of acute hazardous waste, or 100 kg. (220 lbs.) of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; and
  • (c) the site accumulated hazardous waste in above ground tanks or containers during the calendar year for 90 days or less.
N
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code

NAICS industries are identified by a 6-digit code, in contrast to the 4-digit Source Industrial Classification (SIC) code. The longer code accommodates the larger number of sectors and allows more flexibility in designating subsectors. It also provides for additional detail not necessarily appropriate for all three NAICS countries (United States, Canada and Mexico). The international NAICS agreement fixes only the first five digits of the code. The sixth digit, where used, identifies subdivisions of NAICS industries that accommodate user needs in individual countries. Thus, 6-digit U.S. codes may differ from counterparts in Canada or Mexico, but at the 5-digit level they are standardized.

For more information, visist NAICS [exit DNR].

NR 660-679, Wis. Adm. Code

Chs. NR 660-679, Wis. Adm. Code, (NR 600) is titled "Hazardous Waste Management" and regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste. NR 600 is adopted pursuant to the "Hazardous Waste Management Act" in sections 291.001 to 291.97, Wis. Stats.

NR 670 Hazardous Waste Facility License

A license issued under ch. NR 670, Wis. Adm. Code, that allows hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities to operate.

NR 670 Regulated Units

NR 670 regulated units are units that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste and are subject to regulation (i.e., required to have, or be covered by, a license). Excluded are containers and above ground tanks used exclusively for short-term accumulation exempted under ss. NR 662.192 and 662.034(1), Wis. Adm. Code.

O
Operator

An operator is the person responsible for the overall operation of the site in question.

Opportunity Assessment

An opportunity assessment is a procedure that identifies practices that can be implemented to reduce the generation of hazardous waste (source reduction) or the quantity that must subsequently be treated, stored, disposed of or recycled.

P
Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)

Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) is a municipal sewage or liquid industrial waste treatment device or system owned by the state or a municipality.

R
RCRA

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the federal statute that regulates the generation, treatment, storage, disposal or recycling of solid and hazardous waste.

RCRA Equivalent License

The combination of an NR 680 final operating license issued by the DNR and a permit issued by EPA that addresses hazardous waste requirements for which the DNR is not authorized.

Recycling

The beneficial use, reuse or legitimate recovery or reclamation of a hazardous waste. Recycling also includes the recovery of energy from hazardous waste. As used in this report, recycling implies performing these activities either on-site or off-site, after the waste has been generated.

Residual

Amount of a pollutant remaining in the environment after a natural or technological process has taken place, e.g., the sludge remaining after initial wastewater treatment, or particulates remaining in air after the air passes through a scrubbing process.

Respondent

A site that must complete at least one particular form is a respondent.

S
Sanitary Sewer

A channel or conduit that carries household, commercial and industrial wastewater from the source to a treatment plant.

Short Report Year

For even-numbered report years (e.g. 2010, 2012, etc.), all sites are required to provide the minimal site activity information collected on the reporting requirements screen, for both the report year and the current year. Large Quantity Generators (LQGs), Small Quantity Generators (SQGs), Permanent Collection Facilities and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDs) also complete the Identification (IC) Form and the Fee Worksheet (FW) Form. Publicly owned (wastewater) treatment works (POTWs) complete only the IC Form in addition to the reporting requirements screen.

In any year, if a site generated hazardous waste amounts less than the small quantity generator level or did not generate any hazardous waste at all, the Web reporting system will direct them to complete and submit the Exemption Form. DNR regional staff will evaluate the request and remove them from future annual report mailings if appropriate (it's not automatic).

Site

Site refers to any holder of an EPA Identification (ID) Number. A site may be "generator," a "facility" (or "TSDR facility"), or both, or a non-regulated facility which has conservatively requested and received an EPA ID number.

Sludge

Any solid, semi-solid or liquid waste generated from a municipal, commercial or industrial wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility, exclusive of any of the treated effluent from a wastewater treatment plant.

Solid Waste

Solid waste is any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility and other discarded or salvageable materials, including solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous materials resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations, and from community activities. Wastes excluded from this definition are solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges which are point sources subject to permits under ch. 283, Wis. Stats., or source, special nuclear or by-products material as defined under s. 254.31, Wis. Stats.

Solvent

Substance (usually liquid) capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances. These include, but are not limited to, the spent materials listed in waste codes F001 through F005.

Source Code

The source code describes the production or service process associated with generation of waste.

Source Reduction

Source reduction is the reduction or elimination of waste at the source, usually within a process. Source reduction measures include process modification; feedstock substitutions; improvements in feedstock purity; housekeeping and management practices; increases in the efficiency of machinery; and recycling within a process. Source reduction implies any action that reduces the amount of waste exiting a process.

SQG

A small quantity generator (SQG) is defined by the following criteria:

  • (a) in every single month during the calendar year, the site generated less than 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) of hazardous waste, and 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste, and 100 kg. (220 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material;
  • (b) the site accumulated at any time during the calendar year 6,000 kg. (13,230 lbs.) or less of hazardous waste, and 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste, and 100 kg. (220 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; and
  • (c) the site accumulated its waste in aboveground tanks or containers during the calendar year for 180 or 270 days (depends on the distance waste is transported) or less.
Storage

Temporary holding of waste pending treatment or disposal. Storage methods include containers, tanks, waste piles and surface impoundments.

System

A system contains one or more processes used together to treat, recycle or dispose of a hazardous waste.

T
TDR

TDR means treatment, disposal or recycling.

Totally Enclosed Treatment Facility

A treatment facility that is directly connected to a production process and is constructed and operated in a manner that prevents the discharge of any hazardous waste or constituent thereof into the environment during treatment.

Transporter

An owner or operator of a service engaged in the off-site transportation of hazardous waste by air, rail, road or water.

Treatment

Treatment means any method, technique or process, including neutralization, which follows generation and which is designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize the hazardous waste or so as to recover energy or material resources from the waste, or so as to render the waste nonhazardous for transport amenable for recovery, amenable for storage or reduced in volume. Treatment includes incineration.

TRI

TRI stands for Toxic Chemical Release Inventory, a data collection system for toxic chemical releases under the federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, Title III, Section 313.

The DNR no longer has an active TRI program. TRI data is collected by U.S. EPA. For more information, visit EPA TRI [exit DNR].

TRI Constituent

TRI constituent is the specific toxic chemical(s), identified by a CAS number, which was reported on the TRI report (Form R[s]).

TSDR

TSDR means treatment, storage, disposal or recycling.

U
UIC

Underground Injection Control (UIC), is the program under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act that regulated the use of wells to pump fluids into the ground. Materials pumped into the ground include chemical containing wastes. A well involved in this program is identified by a unique identification number. Section NR 665.0430, Wis. Adm. Code, prohibits the underground injection of any hazardous waste through a well located in Wisconsin.

Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest

The shipping document (EPA forms 8700-22 or 8700-22a) that pertains to hazardous waste and that originates with and is signed by the generator.

V
VSQG

A very small quantity generator, VSQG, is defined by the following criteria:

  • (a) In every single month during the calendar year, the site generated less than 100 kg. (220 lbs.) of hazardous waste, and 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste, and 100 kg. (220 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material; and
  • (b) the site accumulated at any time during the calendar year 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) or less of hazardous waste, and 1 kg. (2.2 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste, and 100 kg. (220 lbs.) or less of acute hazardous waste spill cleanup material.
W
Waste Codes

Waste codes are identifiers that consist of one letter (D, F, K, P, and U) and three numbers. Pull-down menus are available where the waste code is needed.

Waste Minimization

Waste minimization means the reduction, to the extent feasible, of hazardous waste that is generated and subsequently treated, stored or disposed of. It includes any source reduction or recycling activity undertaken by a generator that results in: (1) the reduction of total volume or quantity of hazardous waste; (2) the reduction of toxicity of hazardous waste; or (3) both, as long as the reduction is consistent with the goal of minimizing present and future threats to human health and the environment.

Waste Min.

Waste min. is a common abbreviation for waste minimization.

Wastewater Treatment Unit

A device that:

  • (a) is part of a wastewater treatment facility with a discharge that is subject to state pretreatment requirements or WPDES permitting;
  • (b) receives and treats or stores an influent wastewater that is a hazardous waste, generates and accumulates a wastewater treatment sludge that is a hazardous waste, or treats or stores a wastewater treatment sludge that is a hazardous waste; and
  • (c) is stationary, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste, and is constructed primarily of non-earthen materials that provide structural support.
WDNR

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

WPDES

Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) is a provision of ch. 283, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR] which prohibits discharge of pollutants into waters of the state unless a special permit is issued by the DNR or EPA.

Last revised: Monday March 12 2012