Used Oil Regulations In Texas

Many different types of Texas companies generate waste oil and are therefore subject to all relevant storage, transportation and disposal regulations for used oil.  Companies who fail to do this can face still environmental fines and penalties, and additional related liabilities.

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Used oil can be generated by a wide variety of businesses including manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, industrial services, construction, printing and many others.   There’s a common misconception that environmental and hazardous waste management regulations in Texas only apply to manufacturers, but that’s not the case.  These rules apply to all businesses that generate waste used oil.  These businesses are referred to as “generators” of waste oil.

Waste oil can be generated from a wide variety of processes, including vehicle and equipment maintenance and even manufacturing processes.

Below are the primary federal and state waste oil regulations that generators must follow, with added notes where applicable::

40 CFR 279.22 – Label containers with the words “USED OIL”.

  • Waste container considerations:
    • Make sure they are in good condition and not leaking.
    • Perform cleanup in case of a spill.
    • If shipping waste oil, ensure that the container container is DOT and UN approved for containing and shipping oil.

40 CFR 265.173 – Keep containers closed except when filling.

40 CFR 279.10(b), 30 TAC 335.2, 40 CFR 279.21 – Manage oil mixtures as a hazardous waste if any hazardous fluids mixed with the used oil (CESQG are exempt from this regulation).

  • Depending upon the added hazardous constituents, the overall waste may or may not actually be hazardous.
  • Testing may be required with an accredited 3rd party environmental testing lab.
  • Common contaminates include water, coolant, solvents and even paint.

30 TAC 324.4(2)(C), 40 CFR 279 – Use a TCEQ/EPA registered transporter to remove used oil (unnecessary if self transporting one 55-gallon drum or less to a generator aggregate point or an approved management facility).

  • Typically only small local oil recyclers will accept loads from non licensed transporters.  Larger recyclers and “TSDF” facilities will often refuse such shipments.

30 TAC 324.11  As a generator, avoid self-transporting more than one 55-gallon drum of used oil to an authorized disposal/recycling facility at any time.

In addition, used waste oil isn’t considered an industrial waste, and therefore doesn’t count towards generator waste status (i.e.: Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQ), Small and Large Quantity waste generators), so long as the waste oil is recycled by an approved and licensed oil recycler.  In these cases, waste oil can be shipped using a Bill of Lading (“BOL”) rather than on a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest form. (although this form can be used too).