Managing Hazardous Wastes Generated at School, Achademic and Educational Labs

Managing Hazardous Wastes Generated at School Labs, College, Educational Labs & Academic Laboratories

Subpart K is an optional, alternative set of regulations that allow eligible academic entities the flexibility to make hazardous waste determinations. The rule is applicable to eligible academic entities, such as, colleges and universities, and teaching hospitals and nonprofit research institutes that are either owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university.

The full text of the rule itself is found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Part 262.

What does the rule do?

The rule establishes an optional, alternative set of regulations that allow eligible academic entities the flexibility to make hazardous waste determinations: 

  • in the laboratory;
  • at an on-site central accumulation area; or
  • at an on-site treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF).

What are typical lab wastes? Click here to see a desciption.

Goal of this rule

This rule also provides incentives for eligible academic entities to clean-out old and expired chemicals that may pose unnecessary risk. Further, this rule requires eligible academic entities that choose to manage their hazardous waste according to the rule to develop a Laboratory Management Plan. This is expected to result in safer laboratory practices and increased awareness of hazardous waste management.

Eligible academic entities may also choose not to follow the standards in this rule and remain subject to the pre-existing hazardous waste generator requirements.

Who is eligible

Eligible Academic Entities are

  •  Colleges and universities
  •  Teaching hospitals owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university
  •  Non-profit research institutes owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university

Subpart K applies to teaching, research, and some diagnostic laboratories, art studios, chemical stockrooms, and other laboratories owned by eligible academic entities. It does not apply to non-laboratory areas at eligible academic entities.

Subpart K is an optional rule.

States may choose whether to adopt Subpart K. Once a state adopts Subpart K, eligible academic entities in that state may opt into the Subpart K regulation or remain subject to the pre-existing generator standards (i.e., the satellite accumulation area regulations, 40 CFR 262.34(c)).

Requirements (general)

  • Training of Laboratory Personnel
  • EHS or Vendor Makes the hazardous waste determinations
  • Move wastes out in a timely manner at predetermined frequencies
  • Unwanted materials must be consolidated on-site
  • Labs must cleanout periodically
  • Requires development of a Lab Management Plan (LMP)

You can see the full rule here, 40 CFR Part 262, Subpart K.

For a page about the steps to comply with this rule, click here.

Benefits of using this rule.

In the EPA's eyes, here is a comparison of the new requirements:

  • Greater awareness in laboratory
  •  Safer laboratories ?
  • Better compliance
  • More accurate HW determinations since it is done closest to where it was created.
  •  Options of where and when to make the HW determination allows the institution to tailor rule to its labs
  •  Encourages better planning ?
  • Improves lab safety because HW must be removed on a routine basis
  • Fewer partially full containers reduces costs ?
  • Vendors spending less time on-site reduces costs
  • Safer laboratories through reduced stockpile of legacy chemicals stored in laboratories ?
  • Opportunity to maintain normal generator status instead of becoming an LQG for the month ?
  •  Reduced costs to eligible academic entity
  • Provides flexibility for how to comply with the performance based standards of the rule

Where is the rule in effect?

The chart below the map lists the state or U.S. territory, a link to the state's regulations if applicable, and whether the state has adopted or been authorized for the rule.

US States Map of Academic Labs Rule
State or Territory Link to State Regulations Adopted the Rule Authorized for the Rule
Federal Tribes (uses Federal Regulations ) Administered by appropriate EPA Region
Alabama Alabama Regulations (PDF) (1072 pp, 337 MB) Yes No
Alaska (uses Federal Regulations) Administered by EPA Region 10
American Samoa (uses Federal Regulations ) Administered by EPA Region 9
Arizona Arizona Regulations Yes No
Arkansas Arkansas Regulations (PDF) (827 pp, 30 MB) Yes Yes
California   No No
Colorado   No No
Connecticut   No No
Delaware   No No
District of Columbia   No No
Florida Florida Regulations  (20 pp, 956 K) Yes Yes
Georgia Georgia Regulations Yes Yes
Guam   No No
Hawaii   No No
Idaho Idaho Regulations (PDF) (12 pp, 113 K) Yes Yes
Illinois Illinois Regulations  Yes No
Indiana Indiana Regulations (PDF) (2 pp, 12 K) Yes Yes
Iowa (uses Federal Regulations ) Administered by EPA Region 7
Kansas   No No
Kentucky   No No
Louisiana   No No
Maine   No No
Maryland   No No
Massachusetts   No No
Michigan Michigan Regulations (258 pp, 605 K) Yes Yes
Minnesota    No No
Mississippi Mississippi Regulations  Yes No
Missouri   Yes No
Montana Montana Regulations Yes No
Nebraska   No No
Nevada   No No
New Hampshire   No No
New Jersey New Jersey Regulations (PDF) (161 pp, 684 K) Yes No
New Mexico    No No
New York   No No
North Carolina North Carolina Regulations Yes Yes
North Dakota  North Dakota Regulations Yes No
Northern Mariana Islands (uses Federal Regulations ) Administered by EPA Region 9
Ohio  Ohio Regulations  Yes No
Oklahoma Oklahoma Regulations (PDF) (28 pp, 74 K) Yes Yes
Oregon   No No
Pennsylvania  Pennsylvania Regulations  Yes No
Puerto Rico (uses Federal Regulations  and Puerto Rico Regulations) No No
Rhode Island   No No
South Carolina  South Carolina Regulations Yes No
South Dakota South Dakota Regulations  Yes Yes
Tennessee    Yes No
Texas  Texas Regulations Yes Yes
U.S. Virgin Islands (uses Federal Regulations ) Administered by EPA Region 2
Utah Utah Regulations  Yes No
Vermont  Vermont Regulations (PDF) (27 pp, 88 K)
see Section 7-109(b)(4) on page 1-24
Yes Yes
Virginia Virginia Regulations  Yes Yes
Washington Washington Regulations Yes No
West Virginia West Virginia Regulations  Yes No
Wisconsin    No No
Wyoming  Wyoming Regulations  Yes No

Notes About Table:

  • Adoptions and authorization status listed above are as of April 15, 2013. 


Lab pack wastes