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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C. Businesses and other facilities in Virginia are required to comply with hazardous waste regulations prescribed in the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, which closely follow federal standards established under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Facilities that store, treat, and dispose of hazardous wastes require a permit. For more information regarding hazardous waste permits, renewals, and permit modifications, please see "Hazardous Waste Management Facility Permit."

Aerosol Can Management:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Final Rule, Increasing Recycling: Adding Aerosol Cans to the Universal Waste Regulations, was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2019. The rule became effective at the federal level on February 7, 2020 and can be found at

Because Virginia is an EPA-authorized state, changes in regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) do not become effective in Virginia until they are approved by the Virginia Waste Management Board, incorporated into the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (VHWMR), advertised for public comment, and become effective on a designated date. In some cases, rules that are finalized by EPA are less stringent than existing regulations, and are not required to be adopted by states. The Aerosol Can Final Rule is a less stringent Final Rule, and it has not yet been determined if Virginia will adopt this rule as written.

Until the time at which the rule becomes effective in Virginia, generators of spent aerosol cans should continue to manage these cans as hazardous waste, properly manage them on site in accordance with the provisions in Part 262 of the VHWMR, and properly dispose of the cans at a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and/or disposal facility, or send them to a RCRA recycler. Please keep watching our web site for updates on the Aerosol Can Final Rule. To stay abreast of upcoming regulatory changes in Virginia, consider signing up for email notification of actions at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website at

New Hazardous Waste Regulations Adopted by Virginia

Hazardous Waste (HW) Pharmaceuticals Rule

EPA’s Hazardous Waste (HW) Pharmaceuticals Rule was published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2019. A portion of this rule will mandate that all healthcare facilities and reverse distributors must stop flushing down the drain or placing into any sewer system all hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and becomes effective August 21, 2019. The Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule becomes effective in Virginia August 23, 2019.

If you are a Hazardous Waste Generator and would like more information regarding the changes and how the HW Pharmaceuticals Rule will impact your business, please visit the Pharmaceuticals Rule page.

Training and Educational Webinar Opportunities

Please continue to check this page for current events and for future training opportunities please see the Hazardous Waste Training and Educational Webinars page or contact us with any suggestions for future training topics.

Topics of Interest in the RCRA Universe

Please use the website links below to access other areas of current interest in the RCRA universe. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. DEQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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