Missouri regulations: Hazardous waste

Many businesses use hazardous materials and generate hazardous waste in a solid, liquid or gas form as part of their operations. Because of the potential for harm people or the environment, businesses that generate hazardous wastes are required to know and abide by the regulation governing the handling and disposal of these wastes. Missouri hazardous wastes regulations are based on the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and enforced by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

Missouri regulations require that hazardous waste generators:

  • Determine whether any material generated by them is hazardous by using knowledge or testing;
  • Keep records that accurately identify the quantities of hazardous waste generated, the hazardous constituents of the waste and the disposition of hazardous waste and storage;
  • Label any container used for the storage, transport or disposal of hazardous waste;
  • Use appropriate containers for hazardous waste;
  • Furnish information on the general chemical composition of hazardous waste to persons transporting, treating, storing or disposing of hazardous wastes;
  • Comply with rules relating to use of a manifest system;
  • Submit all reports required under state statutes;
  • Comply with rules relating to (waste generation) notification and storage; and,
  • Arrange to have all their hazardous wastes transported, treated, stored or disposed of at licensed facilities.

Businesses can determine whether a waste is hazardous using two sets of guidelines:

  1. A waste is considered hazardous if it appears on one of four lists published in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 261). The lists contain more than 500 wastes known to be harmful to human health and the environment. Even when managed properly, some listed wastes are so dangerous that they are called acutely hazardous wastes.
    Listed wastes include spent halogenated solvents, distillation bottoms, chemical products and chemical manufacturing intermediates that are hazardous under some or all circumstances.
  2. If a waste does not appear on one of the hazardous waste lists, it still might be considered hazardous if it demonstrates one or more of the following characteristics:
    • Ignitability — waste catches fire under certain conditions (examples: solvents and degreasers)
    • Corrosivity — waste has a very high or low pH and can corrode metal or damage skin on contact (examples: rust removers, acids, cleaning fluids, battery acid)
    • Reactivity — waste is unstable and explodes or produces toxic fumes, gases, and vapors when exposed to water, other materials, heat or pressure (examples: certain cyanides or sulfide-bearing wastes)
    • Toxicity — waste is harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed, or leaches toxic chemicals into the soil or ground water when disposed of on land (examples: cadmium, lead or mercury)

Who should register as a generator?

  1. Is the business involved in any activity that includes the generation, transportation, burial, treatment or storage of any type of liquid waste, industrial waste or wastewater treatment plant sludge?
  2. Is the business involved in any activity that includes the generation, of wastes that might be corrosive, flammable reactive or toxic?
  3. Is the business using any chemicals in the manufacture of a product or in providing a service to the consumer?
  4. Will there be any underground storage tanks on the business property?

A “YES” answer to any of these questions may indicate that the business is required to obtain a permit from the MDNR. Contact the Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176 or your MDNR Regional Office.


For more information on hazardous waste permit requirements, see MDNR’s Environmental Permits and How to Obtain Them.