What is the rebuttable presumption for used oil?

To better understand the rebuttable presumption for used oil and the risks your company faces in complying with US EPA regulations, it’s important to first understand the definition of used oil found in 40CFR Part 279.1.

Without understanding the definition of used oil, you might not adequately protect your company from the potential risks of improperly characterizing or managing used oil and inadvertently violating the hazardous waste regulations. 

Understanding the definition of Used Oil 

40CFR Part 279.1. Used oil means any oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil, that has been used and as a result of the use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. This means that wastes like oily water and machining coolants containing any oil meeting the definition of used oil, and regardless of their water content, are used oil wastes.

The Risks of Used Oil

Under 40CFR, Used Oil is Presumed to be a Hazardous Waste unless it is proven by the Generator not to be. Any failure to properly characterize, ship or handle hazardous waste can lead to environmental damage, fines and penalties, and civil or criminal charges for generators, transporters, and processors.

The Regulation

To help companies prove that their used oil is not a hazardous waste, the EPA developed the Rebuttable Presumption for Used Oil (40 CFR § 279).  

To prove that used oil is not a hazardous waste, The Rebuttable Presumption requires a generator to

1.) Demonstrate that the used oil is <1000ppm in total halogens, in which case the used oil is presumed to be non hazardous or

2.) Demonstrate that used oil containing > 1000ppm total halogens is non hazardous by testing the used oil for the presence of halogenated volatile organic compounds.

EPA allows the generator to demonstrate proof by either testing the used oil or by certifying by intimate knowledge of the material and the process that the used oil is non-hazardous.

How Advanced Waste eliminates client risks of recycling used oil

1) All wastes meeting the definition of used oil (40CFR Part 279.1), regardless of water content, be profiled and managed as Used Oil and in accordance with the Used Oil Regulations.

2)  All Used Oil wastes will be tested to comply with the Rebuttable Presumption requirements prior to being accepted for transportation, treatment and/or processing at any AWS facility.

Testing will include Halogenated VOC (HVOC) and PCB by a certified laboratory following EPA methods 8021/8260 and 8082, respectively. In addition, used oil generators will certify that the used oil is not a hazardous waste and has not been mixed with a hazardous waste.

3) All Used Oil test results will be electronically stored with the Used Oil Profile in our database system and available to clients through our secure on line data access.

Shipping, transporting or processing an improperly characterized Used Oil can lead to significant civil and/or criminal consequences.

The AWS Used Oil Management Policy [pdf]  will give clients, and us, the proof needed to demonstrate that a Used Oil is not a hazardous waste.

Our AWS team is dedicated to helping you eliminate waste and risk of all kinds. If you have any questions about this process, or would like additional information or assistance in dealing with your Used Oil or any other process waste please contact us online or 800-842-9792.


One thought on “What is the rebuttable presumption for used oil?

  1. Pingback: Sludge Removal from Ballast Tanks | Advanced Waste Blog

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