U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations establish the requirements for hazardous waste management from the point of generation to final disposal. These rules can be enforced either by the EPA or the State in which the waste is managed. All Federal agencies in GSA-controlled space are individually and jointly responsible for complying with the more stringent Hazardous and Universal Wastes requirements.
Certain generators of hazardous waste are required to obtain an EPA Identification (ID) Number, which is used to track hazardous wastes from generation to disposal. Requirements for an EPA ID Numbers vary by jurisdiction, whereby one jurisdiction may require each agency (GSA and its tenants) generating hazardous waste within the same building to have a separate EPA ID number. And other jurisdiction may authorize only one EPA ID Number for the building, regardless of the number of agencies generating hazardous waste within the building.
In accordance with Federal environmental laws and regulations, GSA policies, procedures, and contracts require proper hazardous waste management to minimize potential risks to human health and to the environment. These wastes may be generated through routine activities, such as cleaning, operating, and maintaining a building, and through small and large construction projects including certain common hazardous wastes such as batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment and light bulbs. GSA's Public Buildings Service (PBS) and tenant Federal agencies work collaboratively to identify, manage, and reduce the risks posed by hazardous waste in government-owned and leased facilities.
To reduce the introduction of hazardous material into GSA space, the GSA's Green Purchasing Plan requires GSA to buy products that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment. In particular, the Plan gives preference to the procurement of products that do not contain toxic chemicals and hazardous substances, which helps to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated.
To learn more about green purchasing to minimize hazardous waste, visit GSA's Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) site.