Hazardous Waste Generator Newsletter: license renewal and fees, inspection outcomes, HWID updates and more

hazardous waste generator newsletter

2022 license renewal

The 2022 hazardous waste licensing process is now underway. The hazardous waste portal administrator for each location that is subject to annual licensing (generator size is LQG, SQG, or VSQG) was sent email notification in early November telling them that their 2022 management plan summary (MPS) is now available for review and revision. Operations that are currently licensed as minimal generators (MIG) are not subject to the annual license renewal process.

The portal administrator must ensure that someone representing the operation is reviewing all required fields on the electronic MPS form and making adjustments that accurately reflect your waste management practices and quantities generated during calendar year 2021. After all required fields have been reviewed and updated, the portal administrator is responsible for submitting the MPS on behalf of the operation, certifying that the information has been reviewed and updated as necessary. The portal administrator will be unable to submit the MPS if there are any required fields that have not been updated.

The due date for completion of the 2022 MPS is December 15, 2021. License fees for the 2022 license period will be calculated using the most current information that has been reported and approved by Hennepin County staff at the time of invoicing in February 2022.

Hennepin County has created an iCalendar feed to help you remember the generator licensing deadlines, including due dates for management plan summaries, license payments and printing/posting your new generator license.

You can subscribe here if you have calendar software that accepts the iCalendar format.

Use this link to access your calendar in any web browser.

Hazardous waste license fees

Hennepin County’s hazardous waste fee schedule is being revised for 2022. The current fee schedule has been in place since 2019. The public hearing on fees was held in conjunction with the Hennepin County Board’s Capital Budget Public Hearing and Capital Budgeting Task Force presentation on October 13, 2021. 

The revision calls for a 5% increase in the base fee and volume rate for hazardous waste generator operations as well as a 5% increase for hazardous waste facility operations. Email notification was sent to portal administrators for impacted operations one week prior to the board hearing along with instructions for how to participate in the hearing.

Inspection and enforcement outcomes

97 inspections without a violation

Hennepin County wants to recognize generators and facilities that have a hazardous waste program that is in full compliance with hazardous waste rules and regulations. 

Since May 2021, the county conducted 97 inspections where no violations were observed, and the operations were deemed to have been in full compliance. The listing below shows that it is possible for any size generator or facility to be in full compliance at the time of inspection and it also shows that this happens quite frequently.

Click here for a printable list (PDF) of the 97 generators without a violation. This list also identifies the operation size.


Enforcement outcomes

The following is a list of enforcement outcomes from recently resolved civil and criminal cases, including fines and penalties assessed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or Hennepin County. All of the cases involve hazardous waste generators, hazardous waste facilities or tank operators located in Hennepin County.

This list is intended to reinforce the importance of compliance with hazardous waste and tank regulations.

Graco Minnesota Inc. Technical Center, Minneapolis

  • Violation: Failure to label containers "Hazardous Waste" and a clear, descriptive name; Failure to conduct and document weekly container inspections; Failure to label and close used oil container
  • Generator size: LQG
  • Outcome: $1,028.00 and corrective actions

Life Time Fitness Inc., Eden Prairie

  • Violation: Failure to operate to prevent a release
  • Generator size: VSQG
  • Outcome: $828.00 and corrective actions

LMS Technologies Inc., Edina

  • Violation: Failure to label containers "Hazardous Waste" and a clear, descriptive name; Failure to conduct and document weekly container inspections
  • Generator size: VSQG
  • Outcome: $828.00 and corrective actions

Metro Mold & Design Medical, Brooklyn Park

  • Violation: Failure to label containers "Hazardous Waste" and a clear, descriptive name; Failure to conduct and document weekly container inspections; Failure to properly update license renewal application
  • Generator size: SQG
  • Outcome: $1,328.00 and corrective actions

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Minneapolis

  • Violation: Operating without a generator license; Failure to operate to prevent a release
  • Generator size: VSQG
  • Outcome: $1,328.00 and corrective actions

Travel Centers of America, Rogers

  • Violation: Failure to operate to prevent a release; Failure to clean up used oil spills
  • Generator size: VSQG
  • Outcome: $1,150.00 and corrective actions

Click here for a printable version (PDF) of these enforcement outcomes.

Hazardous waste ID (HWID) updates

Many of our larger hazardous waste generators (SQGs and LQGs) are aware of changes that were implemented nationally as part of the hazardous waste generator improvements rule that was published in late 2016. One provision in that rule calls for SQGs and LQGs to notify their primary regulator of their hazardous waste generator size status every four years. Because Minnesota hazardous waste regulations require SQGs and LQGs to report annually as part of their licensing process, they are already satisfying this federal requirement by completing their annual license application.

If you determine that there are updates that you need to make to your HWID (formerly EPA ID), those should be done through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s e-Services portal. Using the MPCA’S e-Services notification for hazardous waste activities (PDF).

Safer degreasing products

1200lb/year VOC reduction, 520lb/year HAP reduction

Service and repair on vehicles usually require the use of an engine degreaser or brake cleaner to remove grease and grime to identify issues. Unfortunately, most brake cleaners contain chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment and identifying economical safer products can be challenging. Check out MnTAP’s case study (PDF) on safer degreasing that resulted in 13 sites replacing hazardous automotive degreasers with safer alternatives.

Changes in pharmaceutical waste management

over-the-counter medications


Pharmaceutical waste in Minnesota includes any prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic drugs, dietary supplements, vaping liquids, inhalers, medicated patches, medicated gums and lozenges, and equipment and containers contaminated with these wastes. Changes to existing pharmaceutical waste management requirements in Minnesota started in 2019. To give businesses and government agencies time to adjust to changing requirements, the MPCA is phasing-in these changes over several years. However, the most critical change for most generators is the ban on sewering federally regulated pharmaceutical hazardous wastes that became effective in 2019. 

Review what’s currently in effect and the changes coming in 2022 from the MPCA (PDF).

Dental clinics using stain and tartar remover

Many dental clinics use stain and tartar remover to clean dentures and mouthguards, but staff may not be aware of the hazards of these products or the proper management of the waste. Stain and tartar removers can have a very low or very high pH making them a hazardous waste after they are used. We have discovered on recent inspections that some clinics have been sewering this waste directly down the sink without treatment; or the waste has been discharged to their amalgam separator which can affect the system’s ability to properly treat amalgam contaminated wastewater. Look at your safety data sheets and check the pH of your products. When used, solutions that have a pH of 2 or less or 12.5 or greater are hazardous and will require treatment to a neutral pH before sewering. These wastes must also be accounted for on the license by adding a new waste in the hazardous waste portal and including a hazardous waste code of D002.

For questions on this topic please email HWGSupport@hennepin.us or call 612-348-3777 and ask for the Environmental Protection Specialist on call.

Nationwide capacity issues for hazardous waste incineration

Over the past 18 months, a combination of factors, including our nation’s response to COVID-19, scheduled outages at cement kiln facilities, severe weather incidents, power grid failure in Texas, wildfires, etc., have resulted in the hazardous waste management industry experiencing some capacity issues with respect to incineration. As a result, some generators are encountering issues getting wastes shipped off-site within their accumulation time limits. The waste disposal system will ultimately “normalize” but that may not happen until Q1 or Q2 of 2022. 

Hennepin County may grant 30-day extensions to generators that have requested extensions and have provided the required documentation to show what efforts they’ve taken to get their waste shipped on time. Here is a fact sheet that explains the process for seeking an accumulation time extension (PDF).

2021 MnTAP intern project symposium

2021 MNTap interns smile at camera


This year’s MnTAP Intern Symposium, held and broadcast virtually on August 18, featured 14 projects at companies around the state. The interns highlighted the opportunities they have identified for saving water, energy, and waste during their 3-month internships.

View recordings and the intern’s ten-minute summaries of their projects here.

Your business may be able to address waste reduction and energy efficiency projects sooner and faster with the help of a MnTAP intern. Learn more on the MnTAP website.

Grants for waste reduction, prevention, and reuse

Business waste prevention grants from Hennepin County

Bottles on conveyer belt


Hennepin County has created a grant program to fund projects that prevent waste in the business sector. Areas of focus include replacing disposables with reusables, food waste prevention and innovative projects around research and development (to prevent waste). This year $300,000 is available for business waste prevention grants.

Grant applications for the current grant round are due by Friday, November 12, 2021. Learn more and apply.


Environmental Assistance grants from the MPCA

Repairing furniture

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is offering Environmental Assistance (EA) grants for projects working to expand waste reduction and reuse, rental, and repair efforts around the state. These strategies have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, reduce the demand for resource extraction, and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. By extending the useful life of existing materials and strengthening trained skillsets in repair, reuse also supports the local economy and increases access to products and services.   

Grant applications are due by Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Learn more and apply.

Contact us 

612-348-3777, ask for the environmentalist on call



Hennepin County hazardous waste licensing portal

Hennepin County hazardous waste training and resources

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