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Generator Status - Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG)

VSQG previously called conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs), found at 40 CFR § 262.14 (previously found at 40 CFR § 261.5). This summary is designed to assist VSQGs in developing and assessing their processes and procedures to maintain compliance with the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (VHWMR). The information in this section does not apply to persons generating household hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR § 261.4(b)(1). VSQGs may never accumulate more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lbs) of hazardous waste (approximately five (5), 55-gallon drums equivalent to the weight of water) or 1 kg of acute hazardous waste (2.2 lbs) at any time. Exceeding this threshold will result in a generator having to comply with a much more rigorous set of requirements.


Identify: VSQGs must determine if they have generated a solid and hazardous waste in accordance with the regulations at 40 CFR § 261.2 (definition of solid waste), 40 CFR § 261.3 (definition of hazardous waste) and 40 CFR § 262.11 (hazardous waste determination). Generators may use knowledge of their waste to make a solid and hazardous waste determination, or have it tested if uncertain.

Count: 40 CFR § 262.13 (a) describes the process for how a generator must count regulated acute and non-acute hazardous wastes towards its generator category for a calendar month, while 40 CFR §262.13 (f) describes the implications of a VSQG mixing a solid waste with a hazardous waste resulting in a newly generated hazardous waste.


Hazardous waste managed in containers or tanks that are in good condition to prevent spills and releases to the environment that endangers human health. The accumulation tanks or containers are not specifically required to be marked with the words "Hazardous Waste" or dated like they must be for other Generator categories. However, identifying the contents of the container and also identifying the risks posed by the hazardous wastes in a container or tank using a DOT or OSHA label is strongly recommended as a good management practice.

VSQGs Flexibility Management of Hazardous Waste:

  • VSQGs experiencing an episodic event may generate and accumulate hazardous waste under streamlined requirements in accordance with 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart L. Visit DEQ's website for more information regarding Episodic Waste Generation
  • VSQGs may now be able to consolidate their hazardous waste at a large quantity generator under the control of the same person as defined at 40 CFR § 260.10. Visit DEQ's website for more information regarding VSQG Consolidation by LQG

On-Site Management: Hazardous waste may not be dumped on the ground, abandoned, burned, evaporated, or buried on-site. Approved disposal/treatment units would include an on-site Subtitle D permitted landfill only if the permit allows acceptance of VSQG hazardous waste, or a permitted wastewater pre-treatment system subject to Clean Water Act regulation (Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit or Publicly Owned Treatment Works. In addition, VSQGs may treat hazardous waste on-site in other permit exempt units such as elementary neutralization units or totally enclosed treatment units. All other on-site treatment by VSQGs must be covered under a hazardous waste permit.

Shipping and Delivering

VSQGs should be aware that the Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations do not allow the routine disposal of regulated hazardous waste, including liquid hazardous wastes, in a sanitary landfill as stated in 9 VAC 20-81-140.B.4.b  and is only allowed if specific approval is obtained from DEQ or the allowance is included in the solid waste management facility's permit (9 VAC 20-81-90.A.3.) Other types of chemical wastes that are not regulated as hazardous waste may also require written permission for disposal as a special solid waste (9 VAC 20-81-10.)

VSQGs may either treat or dispose of hazardous waste in an on-site facility, or deliver their waste to an approved facility, either of which, if located in the U.S., must be:

  • Permitted or interim status hazardous waste management facility;
  • Permitted, registered, or licensed municipal or industrial solid waste facility that is authorized to accept hazardous waste (of which there currently are none in Virginia); or
  • Facility which beneficially uses or reuses, or legitimately recycles or reclaims the waste; or
  • Facility which treats the waste prior to beneficial use or reuse, or legitimate recycling or reclamation; or
  • Universal wastes, a universal waste handler or a destination facility; or
  • Large Quantity Generator under the control of the same person as the very small quantity generator. Refer to 40 CFR § 262.14 (a)(5)(viii) for list of specific requirements.

Table - Very Small Quantity Generator Regulations

This table was designed to offer generators an overview of the VSQG regulations and do not include all applicable citations.

Regulation Citation
VSQG Definition 40 CFR § 260.10
VSQG Mixtures 40 CFR § 262.13(f)
Conditions for Exemption for a Very Small Quantity Generator 40 CFR § 262.14
VSQG Consolidation by LQGs Within the Same Company 40 CFR § 262.14(a)(5)(viii)
Landfill Ban for Liquids 40 CFR § 262.14(b)
Episodic Generation 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart L
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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