Automotive Waste Compliance

Mobile Fleet Service Challenges: Compliance

With the flexibility of nimble, efficient, and on-demand maintenance available from mobile fleet service providers – the days of fleet operations being tied to physical locations to have their vehicles serviced are coming to an end. The concept of mobile fleet service providers is a business model that is catching on with fleet owners, which raises new challenges as companies spread out across state lines. Even though mobile fleet service providers aren’t tied to a physical location to service their customer’s vehicles, they ARE tied to the local, state, and federal waste regulations that come along with handling hazardous waste. Failing to meet these regulations can mean big fines for your business, so navigating them becomes a unique challenge for any mobile fleet service company.

Roadmap to Compliance

Often times when regulations are concerned, the wording of the regulations can be the murkiest part of the equation.  The complexities of maintaining compliance when it comes to federal regulations can often times boil down to the specific definitions within the regulation.

For instance, a “used oil generator” that transports less than 55 gallons of oil at a time doesn’t have to have an EPA ID#. As a service provider, you might consider yourself to be the “generator” since you are the one changing the oil. In reality, the “generator” is actually the customer because they are the ones that have classified the oil as “used” by requesting it to be changed. As a service provider, if you had assumed you were the generator and didn’t need an EPA ID#, you would be subject to a per vehicle fine.  

To complicate things, if your company operates across different states, you have to consider the fact that different states designate the same materials in different ways. For instance, in California antifreeze is considered hazardous waste, has to be labeled as such, and cannot be stored more than 180 days. The exact same antifreeze in Connecticut is considered “state regulated waste”, must be labeled as such, and can be stored without a time limit. In Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin it is considered “universal waste”, must be labeled as such, and as long as you have less than 5,000kg – you don’t need an EPA ID# for it.  When it comes to used motor oil, in California it is a state regulated hazardous waste, must be labeled, and cannot be stored for more than 180 days. While in Florida, used motor oil is federally regulated, must be labeled, AND requires an annual fee. BUT, Just across the state line, in Georgia, used motor oil is federally regulated but DOESN’T require an annual fee…

These are just broad examples of how state and federal regulations can affect your business. Maintaining these compliances is not a “one-size-fits-all” process and requires a vigorous attention to detail.

The Quest Guide to Compliance

Unless you just so happen to have an environmental regulations expert on staff in your office, chances are you’re at risk of violating a policy somewhere. At Quest, we have a team of environmental regulations experts who are constantly reviewing workflows and changes to environmental laws to ensure that you maintain compliance with any applicable regulations you might face. Every situation is different, and the minute details are what make the difference between being complaint and being fined.

Contact Quest today and make sure that your business is up to par with all the regulations that affect your workflows.