WAP Information and Tips to Help Your Business Remain EPA-Compliant
A Waste Analysis Plan (WAP) is a crucial tool for businesses dealing with hazardous waste. It serves as a step-by-step guide, outlining the procedures for treating, storing, and disposing of various hazardous waste materials: Whether it’s corrosives, flammables, explosives, gasses, poisons, or any other hazardous material. Companies need to have a WAP in place to guide crew members on how to safely handle those materials. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires certain businesses and industries to use them.
Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDF)
For Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs), the EPA mandates the implementation of a WAP. Meaning, if your company deals with hazardous waste cleanup you must have a WAP in place to remain EPA-compliant. You can read more about the specific requirements for TSDFs in the EPA’s Guidance Manual. It’s important for companies to follow the EPA’s guidelines to prevent fines, lawsuits, forced closure and employee injury.
Other Instances When a WAP Is Required
A WAP is not exclusive to TSDFs; there are several other instances when a WAP is required. The following list provides a brief overview of when WAPs should be used:
- Generate – If your company generates hazardous waste, you must have a WAP in place.
- Treat – Does you company treat hazardous waste? If so, a WAP is required to maintain a safe, EPA-compliant environment.
- Dispose – Disposing of hazardous waste and material also requires a WAP.
- Store – Lastly, storing hazardous waste calls for a WAP to guide workers on the proper procedure.
Tips for Effectively Implementing and Using a WAP
A WAP’s effectiveness relies on proper training and awareness among employees. After establishing a WAP for your company, conduct a comprehensive training program to ensure that workers understand and follow its protocols. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for companies to set up a WAP only to have it disregarded in their everyday operations. Prevent this from happening by empowering your employees with the knowledge they need to follow steps the WAP outlines.
The first step in setting up a WAP is to identify the hazardous material and waste in your workplace. If you haven’t done so already, perform a thorough analysis of your work environment to identify the type, amount, and location of hazardous material. Using this information, you can then create a set of detailed instructions guiding workers on the correct method for handling such hazardous material.
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This is a revision to a blog post with an original publication date of September 26, 2013.