The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast District held a free workshop Thursday, bringing in 32 hazardous waste operators from 17 local facilities to help them understand the state’s stringent environmental regulations. The workshop focused on the handling of commercial hazardous waste and the storage of used oil. Agenda items included hazardous waste identification, large quantity generator hazardous waste regulations, used oil and used oil filter management standards, and universal waste regulations.
“This one-day, free workshop provided participants with an opportunity to learn how to safely and appropriately manage wastes generated at their facilities,” said the Department’s Northeast District Director Greg Strong. “Our workshop is part of an on-going DEP effort to provide a higher level of compliance assistance to environmental professionals across a wide range of businesses and industries throughout Florida.”
This training was well attended and is another example of the Department’s efforts to work directly with the community in an effort to drive higher environmental compliance rates. This free workshop provided a cost savings to participants of $195 in personnel training costs for each of 32 workshop participants, for a total cost savings of $6,240.
Hazardous waste is a discarded substance that, because of its concentration, physical, or chemical characteristics, may pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, disposed, or transported. Common regulated wastes include used oil and filters, anti-freeze, solvents, rags, paint wastes, lead-acid batteries, dental amalgams, fluorescent tubes and high intensity light bulbs containing mercury.
All hazardous waste must be properly containerized as soon as it is generated. For disposal, facilities must ensure delivery of the hazardous waste to a permitted treatment, storage or disposal facility. Hazardous wastes must be handled in ways that prevent them from reaching the environment. They need to be kept out of the soil, ground water, surface water and air. Exposure to them can cause adverse health effects. In Florida, because of our shallow aquifers, even small amounts of hazardous waste can seep into the groundwater and contaminate our drinking water supply.
For more information, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/northeast/waste/hw.htm.