Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan

This web page provides basic information on the hazardous waste contingency plan requirements. Large quantity generators (LQGs) are required to prepare such plans. The requirements for hazardous waste contingency plans are found in Section 22a-449(c)-102(a)(1) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies ("RCSA") , incorporating the federal hazardous waste regulations at 40 CFR 262.34(a)(4) and 40 CFR 265.51 through 265.56.

This web page is not intended to supersede the applicable regulations. You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for specific regulatory language.  It is your responsibility to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

What Is a Contingency Plan?

A contingency plan is a written emergency procedures plan which describes what actions must be taken to minimize hazards from fires, explosions or unplanned releases of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents to air, soil or water. The plan may be combined with other emergency plans at the facility. For example, if the generator already has a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures ("SPCC") Plan, the generator need only amend it to incorporate hazardous waste management provisions so that the combined plan will comply with the hazardous waste regulations. The provisions of the contingency plan must be carried out immediately whenever fires, explosions or releases occur which could threaten human health or the environment.

Additional spill reporting and clean-up requirements are set forth in the Connecticut General Statutes ("CGS"). CGS Section 22a-452c defines a "spill.” CGS Section 22a-450 requires that all spills must be reported to the state immediately and CGS Section 22a-451 requires the responsible party and/or property owner to clean up the spill.

Who Must Have a Contingency Plan?

Each LQG must have a contingency plan for the facility, and must keep it on file at the facility. In addition, copies of the plan must be submitted to all local police and fire departments, hospitals, and state and local emergency response teams that may become involved in the event of an emergency. Generators should document that they have sent their contingency plan to these local authorities (i.e. registered mail receipts, cover letters).

What Must a Contingency Plan Include?

A contingency plan must contain the following:

  1. A description of the emergency procedures to be followed by facility personnel in response to fires, explosions, or any unplanned sudden or non-sudden release of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents to the air, soil or water. Note:  hazardous waste personnel training requirements forLQGs require that facility employees that will be involved in responding to emergencies be familiar with the types of chemicals and hazards that may be encountered on-site;
  2. A description of arrangements agreed to by local police departments, fire departments, hospitals, contractors, and state and local emergency response teams, pursuant to 40 CFR 265.37;    
  3. An up-to-date list of names, addresses and phone numbers (office and home) of all persons qualified to act as emergency coordinator. When more than one person is listed, one must be designated as primary emergency coordinator and the others must be listed in the order in which they will assume responsibility as alternates;
  4. An up-to-date list of all emergency equipment at the facility, including the location and physical description of each item, along with a brief outline of its capabilities. Examples of emergency equipment include, but are not limited to, fire extinguishing systems, communications and alarm systems, personnel protective equipment, spill containment or clean-up equipment, and decontamination equipment; and,
  5. An evacuation plan for facility personnel. It must describe the signal(s) to be used to begin an evacuation, evacuation routes, and alternate evacuation routes (should the primary route be blocked). It is recommended that you include a site diagram indicating all evacuation routes, emergency equipment locations and rally points.

When Must the Contingency Plan be Amended?

A contingency plan must be amended whenever:

  1. Applicable regulations are revised;
  2. The plan fails in an emergency;
  3. The facility changes in its design, construction, operation, maintenance or other circumstances, and such changes increase the potential for fires, explosions, or releases of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents;
  4. The list of emergency coordinators changes; or
  5. The list of emergency equipment changes.

What is an Emergency Coordinator?

An emergency coordinator is someone who is responsible for responding to emergencies involving hazardous waste.  At all times, there must be at least one employee either on the facility premises or on call (i.e. available to reach the facility within a short period of time) with the responsibility for coordinating all emergency response measures.  This person must be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the facility’s contingency plan, all operations and activities at the facility, the location and characteristics of wastes handled at the facility, the locations of all records within the facility, and the facility layout. In addition, this person must have the authority to commit the resources needed to carry out the contingency plan.

What are the Responsibilities of the Emergency Coordinator?

Whenever there is an imminent or actual emergency, the emergency coordinator (or the coordinator’s designee) must immediately:

  1. Activate internal facility alarms or communication systems (if the facility has them);
  2. Notify appropriate state or local emergency response agencies if their help is needed;
  3. Identify the character, exact source, amount and extent of released material(s);
  4. Assess possible hazards to human health and the environment that may result from the release, fire or explosion. This assessment must consider both the direct and indirect effects of the release;
  5. If the emergency coordinator has determined that the release could threaten human health or the environment outside the facility, the coordinator must make the following notification and/or reports:
    • If the emergency coordinator’s assessment indicates that evacuation of local areas may be advisable, the coordinator must immediately notify appropriate local authorities. The coordinator must be available to help officials decide whether evacuations are necessary, and
    • The emergency coordinator must immediately notify the DEEP using the 24-hour spill response number (1-866-DEP-SPILL), or the National Response Center at their 24-hour toll free phone number (1-800-424-8802), and provide the following information:
      • The name and phone number of the reporter;
      • The name and address of the facility;
      • The time and type of incident (e.g. release, fire, etc.);
      • The name and quantity of material(s) involved, to the extent known;
      • The extent of injuries, if any; and Any possible hazards to human health or the environment outside the facility;
  6. During an emergency, take all reasonable measures necessary to ensure that fires, explosions, and releases do not occur, recur, or spread to other hazardous waste at the facility. These measures must include, where applicable, stopping processes and operations, collecting and containing released material(s), and removing or isolating containers;
  7. If the facility stops operations in response to the fire, explosion or release, he must monitor for leaks, pressure buildup, gas generation, or ruptures in valves, pipes or other equipment, wherever this is appropriate; and
  8. After an emergency, he must provide for treating, storing, or disposing of recovered waste, contaminated soil or surface water, or any other material that results from a release, fire or explosion. He must ensure that no potentially incompatible waste(s) can react with the released material(s). He must also ensure that all affected emergency equipment is cleaned and fit for its intended use before operations are resumed.

What are the Responsibilities of the Owner or Operator of the Facility?

The owner or operator must notify the EPA Regional Administrator and appropriate state and local authorities that the facility is in compliance with item 8 in the previous section before operations are resumed in the affected area(s) of the facility. The owner or operator must also record the time, date and details of any incident that required implementing the contingency plan. And, within 15 days after the incident, the owner or operator must submit a written report on the incident to the EPA Regional Administrator, which must include:

  1. The name, address and telephone number of the owner or operator;
  2. The name, address and telephone number of the facility;
  3. The date, time and type of incident (e.g. spill, fire, release, etc.);
  4. The name and quantity of material(s) involved;
  5. The extent of injuries, if any;
  6. An assessment of actual or potential hazards to human health or the environment; and
  7. The estimated quantity and disposition of recovered material that resulted from the incident.

For further information, please contact the DEEP’s toll-free Compliance Assistance (COMPASS) hotline at 1-888-242-4193, or send us an email.

Content Last Updated January 29, 2020