Hazardous Substances (Waste) Fee Guide

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers four hazardous waste fee programs in cooperation with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), pursuant to the requirements of the California Hazardous Substances Tax Law.

We created this guide to provide easily accessible information to assist you in understanding your obligations related to the hazardous substances programs.

**For hazardous substances programs previously administered by the CDTFA, please visit our Industry Topics page.

Hazardous Substance Programs

Disposal Fee

Persons who dispose of hazardous waste to land at an authorized hazardous waste disposal facility in California will pay a disposal fee directly to the disposal facility (Hazardous Waste Generator Fees can also apply; refer to the Hazardous Substances Taxes – Generator Fee Page for more information on this fee), and the disposal facility then submits the fee and a return to the CDTFA.

The fee varies and is determined by the waste category and the total tonnage of waste. Only the disposal facilities/operators are required to file returns with the CDTFA. (Health and Safety Code (HSC) section 25174.1, et seq.)

Environmental Fee

The Environmental Fee is a tax on businesses/organizations in industry groups that use, generate, or store hazardous materials or that conduct activities related to those materials. Activities related to hazardous materials may include the use of products such as ink, plastics, paint, etc., which were manufactured using hazardous materials. The tax applies to corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships that have 50 or more employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California during the prior calendar year. The tax is graduated based on the number of employees. (HSC section 25205.6.)

Facility Fee

The Facility Fee applies to an owner or operator of a site that is permitted by the DTSC to treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste in California. Facility fees are based on statutory provisions set forth in the Health and Safety Code, utilizing a tiered permitting program. Facility fees are classified into five tiers: Full Facility Permit, Standardized Permit, Permit-by-Rule, Conditional Authorization, and Conditional Exemption. The fees vary according to the permitted level. (HSC sections 25205.2 – 25205.4, and 25205.7.)

Generator Fee

The Generator Fee applies to every person who generates five or more tons of hazardous waste at a site in California within a calendar year. This includes recycled waste, treated wood waste, and waste sent outside California for disposal. The fee is determined by the total tonnage of waste generated per site. If the Facility Fee has been paid for a site, the Generator Fee does not apply. (HSC section 25205.5.)

How the Revenue is Used

The revenue collected by us for these fees is used by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to support hazardous waste management in California including the review and analysis of past, present, or potential environmental public health effects related to toxic substances.

How to Use This Guide

This guide contains important information relevant to each hazardous substance program. Each section includes a summary of the application of the fee, and lists resources related to registration, applicable fee rates, return filing, and payments.

The Industry Topics section contains specific topics important to the hazardous substances fees, including information about exemptions and refunds.

The Resources section provides links to useful information, including special notices, publications, and applicable statutes/regulations.

If You Need Help

If at any time you need assistance with topics included in this guide – or with topics not included – feel free to contact us by telephone or email. For contact information and hours of operation, please visit our How to Contact Us webpage.

If you have suggestions for improving this guide, please contact us by email.

Application of Fee

The hazardous waste disposal fee is imposed on persons who dispose of hazardous waste to land at an authorized hazardous waste disposal facility in California. The Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee is charged based on the total weight (measured in tons) and the type of hazardous waste. The disposal fee is paid directly to the disposal facility, and the disposal facility submits the fee and a return to the CDTFA.

Registration

There is no online registration for this program with the CDTFA.

Each disposal facility must obtain a hazardous waste ID number, a hazardous waste facility permit (HSC section 25205.2) or a grant of authorization from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). DTSC provides the CDTFA a list of permitted hazardous waste disposal facilities. We register each disposal facility based on the DTSC's list.

The facility must then collect the hazardous waste disposal fees from their customers and remit the hazardous waste disposal fee to us.

Fee Rates

Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25174.6). The rates are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Visit the Tax Rates - Special Taxes and Fees page to view current and historical hazardous waste disposal fee rates.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee rates are also listed on the Department of Toxic Substances Control's Fee Summary webpage.

Return and Payment

The Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee return and payment are due monthly on the last day of the third calendar month following the period for which the hazardous waste disposal fee is due. For example, the January 2021 return is due on or before April 30, 2021.

Returns

File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to file a return. Then select the File a Return link for the filing period you want to file and follow the prompts.

Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee return through our online services system.

Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return by mail using the return form listed below:

We will send a courtesy reminder, to the email address we have on file, prior to each filing due date. Returns must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Payments

Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to make a payment. Under the I Want To section, select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.

Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Feepayers with an estimated average monthly fee liability of $20,000 or more are required to pay amounts due by electronic funds transfer (EFT). We will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically. Please visit our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for payment methods and payment deadline information.

Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Penalty and Interest

The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.

Log into your account to submit an online request for an extension to file a return or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

Application of Fee

All businesses, unless otherwise exempted (see Industry Topics for exemptions), in certain industry groups as identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that have 50 or more employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California, during the prior calendar year, owe the hazardous waste environmental fee. The hazardous waste environmental fee increases based on the number of employees. (HSC section 25205.6.)

The DTSC has identified all but two industry codes (Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) major code 88- Private Households and 8361- Nonprofit Residential Care Facilities) as being subject to the hazardous waste environmental fee. The DTSC's Environmental Fee regulation (Cal. Code Regs, tit. 22, section 66269.1) has definitions and other detailed information regarding the hazardous waste environmental fee.

Registration

Register online with us for an Environmental Fee account by selecting “Register a New Business Activity.” Visit the Information Needed to Register for a Permit, License, or Account webpage for a list of information you may need to complete your registration.

Who is required to Register?

Effective January 1, 2007, most businesses/organizations identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) operating in California that have 50 or more employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California during the prior calendar year are required to register. These include:

  • General partnerships
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Sole proprietorships
  • All corporate entity types
  • Professional Employer Organizations (PEO)

The number of qualifying employees is determined by counting the number of employees who are employed in California more than 500 hours. This includes vacation, sick leave, and holidays for which an employee is paid during their employment.

If a person terminates employment, vacation, sick leave, holidays or other severance pay are not included when calculating the number of hours.

Fee Rates

The Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25205.6). The fees are adjusted annually and approved by the CDTFA to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of living as measured by the CPI issued by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Visit the Tax Rates - Special Taxes and Fees page to review current and historical hazardous waste environmental fee rates.

Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee rates are also listed on the Department of Toxic Substances Control Fee Summary webpage.

Return and Payment

The Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee return and payment are due annually on or before the last day of the second month following the end of the calendar year for which the hazardous waste environmental fee is due. For example, the 2020 return is due February 28, 2021.

Returns

File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to file a return. Then select the File a Return link for the filing period you want to file and follow the prompts.

Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Environmental Fee return through our online services system.

Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return by mail using the return form listed below:

We will send a courtesy reminder to the email address we have on file, prior to each filing due date. Returns must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Payments

Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to make a payment. Under the I Want To section, select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.

Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods.

Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Penalty & Interest

The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.

Log into your account to submit an online request for an extension to file a return or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

Application of Fee

The Hazardous Waste Facility Fee is imposed on the owner or operator of a facility that is permitted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste in California.

The Hazardous Waste Facility Fees are based on statutory provisions in the Health and Safety Code, which utilize a tiered permitting program. California has a five-tiered permitting program consisting of the following:

  • Full Permit Tier
  • Standardized Permit Tier
  • Permit by Rule (PBR) Tier
  • Conditional Authorization (CA) Tier
  • Conditional Exemption (CE) Tier

The Hazardous Waste Facility Fees vary according to the permitted level. Some fixed unit fees, authorized under the last three permit levels, are billed through the local jurisdictions, referred to as CUPAs (Certified Unified Program Agencies). However, the Transportable Treatment Units (TTU) or mobile equipment, authorized by the DTSC to perform onsite hazardous waste treatment, are billed by the CDTFA. TTU permits are authorized, and fees are due, per treatment unit and not per facility. (HSC section 25205.14.)

For more information, visit the DTSC's Managing Hazardous Waste or Facility Permit webpages.

Registration

There is no online registration for this program with the CDTFA.

Any facility that stores, treats or disposes of hazardous waste must obtain a hazardous waste ID number, obtain a hazardous waste facility permit (HSC section 25205.2) or a grant of authorization from the Department of Toxic Substances Control. The DTSC provides a list of permitted hazardous waste facilities to the CDTFA to be registered. The CDTFA registers each facility based on DTSC's list.

Fee Rates

The Hazardous Waste Facility Fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25205.4). The rates are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Visit the Tax Rates - Special Taxes and Fees page to review current and historical hazardous waste facility fee rates.

Hazardous waste facility fee rates are also listed on the Department of Toxic Substances Control's Fee Summary webpage.

Return, Prepayments, and Payment

Below is information regarding the filing of returns, prepayments and payments for the facility fee.

Returns

The Hazardous Waste Facility Fee return and payment are due annually on the last day of February following the end of the calendar year for which the hazardous waste facility fee is due. For example: the calendar year 2020 return is due February 28, 2021.

File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to file a return. Then select the File a Return link for the filing period you want to file and follow the prompts.

Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Hazardous Waste Facility Fee return through our online services system.

Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return by mail using the return form listed below:

  • CDTFA-501-HF, Hazardous Waste Facility Fee Return – Annual

Prepayments

All accounts are required to make two (2) prepayments which are due and payable on or before the last day of February and August of the current year and then file an annual final reconciliation return due on or before the last day of February of the following year.

  • Prepayment 1 – Due last day of February of the current year.
  • Prepayment 2 – Due the last day of August of the current year.
  • Final Reconciliation Return – Final reconciliation return (zero fee due) is due the last day of February of the following year.

Each prepayment must be calculated the following way:

  • An amount not less than 50% (0.50) of the applicable hazardous waste facility fee for the current year.

For example: Calendar year 2020 fee requires a 50% prepayment due on February 28, 2020 and a second prepayment is due August 31, 2020 for the calendar year 2020. A final reconciliation return (zero fee due) is due on or February 28, 2021.

(Please note: The 2021 first 50% prepayment is also due February 28, 2021. Therefore, the final return and the first prepayment are due on the same day.)

Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Hazardous Waste Facility Fee Prepayment through our online services system.

We will send a courtesy reminder, to the email address we have on file, prior to each return and prepayment due date. Returns and prepayments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns and or prepayments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Payments

Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to make a payment. Under the I Want To section, select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.

Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods for our tax and fee payers

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Feepayers with an estimated average monthly fee liability of $20,000 or more are required to pay amounts due by electronic funds transfer (EFT). We will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically. Please visit our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's); for payment methods and payment deadline information.

Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Penalty and Interest

The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment, including prepayments, is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.

Log into your account to submit an online request for an extension to file a return or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

Application of Fee

The hazardous waste generator fee is imposed on anyone who generates five or more tons of hazardous waste at a site in California within a calendar year. This includes recycled waste, treated wood waste and waste sent outside California for treatment or disposal.

Generator means any person, by site, whose act or process produces hazardous waste or causes hazardous waste to become subject to regulatory control by a government agency authorized to regulate hazardous waste.

The hazardous waste generator fee is charged based on the total weight (measured in tons) of hazardous waste generated (produced or caused to be managed) from each site per year. The hazardous waste generator fee is due regardless of the waste's final disposition (for example, even if it is recycled). You should have weight tickets to support the actual weight/quantity being reported. For more information, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) Manifest webpage or Fee Summary webpage.

The total tonnage reported on the hazardous waste generator fee return should include non-manifested treated wood waste. See the DTSC's website for more information on Requirements for Generators of Treated Wood Waste (TWW).

See Regulation 3000, Generator of Hazardous Waste, and DTSC's Hazardous Waste Generator Requirements Fact Sheet for more details on the hazardous waste generator fee.

** If the Facility Fee has been paid for a site, the Generator Fee does not apply. (HSC section 25205.5.)

Registration

Register online with us for a Generator Fee account by selecting “Register a New Business Activity.” Visit the Information Needed to Register for a Permit, License, or Account webpage for a list of information you may need to complete your registration.

Who is required to register?

Any person that generates (produces or causes to be managed) five tons or more of hazardous waste at a site located in California within a calendar year is required to register with us and pay a hazardous waste generator fee.

Fee Rates

The Hazardous Waste Generator Fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25205.5). The rates are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Visit the Tax Rates - Special Taxes and Fees page to review current and historical hazardous waste generator fee rates.

Hazardous Waste Generator Fee rates are also listed on the Department of Toxic Substance's Fee Summary webpage.

Return, Prepayments and Payment

Below is information regarding the filing of returns, prepayments and making payments for the generator fee.

Returns

The Hazardous Waste Generator Fee return and payment are due annually on the last day of February following the end of the calendar year for which the hazardous waste generator fee is due. For example, the calendar year 2020 return is due February 28, 2021.

File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to file a return. Then select the File a Return link for the filing period you want to file and follow the prompts.

Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Hazardous Waste Generator Fee return through our online services system.

Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return(s) by mail using the return forms listed below:

  • CDTFA-501-HG, Hazardous Waste Generator Fee ReturnAnnual

Prepayments

Some accounts will be notified they are also required to make one (1) prepayment. The prepayment is due and payable by the last day of August of the current year.

The prepayment must be calculated the following ways:

  • 100% of the hazardous waste generator fee due for the total volume of hazardous waste generated during January 1 through June 30 of the current calendar year, or
  • An amount equal to 50% of the hazardous waste generator fee paid to the CDTFA for the entire prior calendar year.

For example: A prepayment is due August 31, 2020 for the calendar year 2020. A final reconciliation return is due on or before February 28, 2021.

We will send a courtesy reminder to the email address we have on file prior to each return and prepayment due date. Returns and prepayments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns and or prepayments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Payments

Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to make a payment. Under the I Want To section, select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.

Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Feepayers with an estimated average monthly fee liability of $20,000 or more are required to pay amounts due by electronic funds transfer (EFT). We will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically. Please visit our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for payment methods and payment deadline information.

Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Penalty and Interest

The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment, including prepayment, is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.

Log into your account to submit an online request for an extension to file a return or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

Definitions

Below are definitions for the hazardous waste programs.

RCRA and non-RCRA Hazardous Waste

The Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) is a federal statute which regulates facilities that treat, store, and/or dispose of hazardous waste. All RCRA hazardous wastes are identified in Part 261 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Appendices.

Non-RCRA Hazardous Wastes are considered those wastes which are regulated in California, other than the federally regulated RCRA hazardous wastes.

Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest

A Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is the shipping document or bill of lading that travels with the hazardous waste from point of generation, through transportation, to the final treatment, storage, or disposal facility. It contains information about the type and quantity of hazardous waste and identifies the generator and location from where it was removed, the hazardous waste transporter, and the treatment, storage, and/or disposal facility. For more information on a hazardous waste manifest, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control website for additional information on manifests.

Required Registration with other Agencies

The following hazardous waste programs are required to register with other agencies:

  • Disposal
  • Generator
  • Facility Fee

Treatment, storage, and disposal facilities must obtain either a state or federal hazardous waste ID number as well as a hazardous waste facility permit (HSC section 25205.2) or a grant of authorization from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Additionally, anyone who generates, transports, offers for transport, treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste generally must have a hazardous waste ID number. A hazardous waste ID number is used to identify the hazardous waste generator, transporter, and facility that handles hazardous waste.

Visit the sites below for more information about other state, federal, and local taxing and licensing information:

  • The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit GO-Biz.
  • CalGold for help with permit and licensing requirements for other state, federal, and local authorities (for example, you may need to be registered with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department).
  • California Tax Service Center for additional tax information.

You may also want to consult with a tax professional for assistance on other agency requirements.

Visit the DTSC's website for more information on managing hazardous waste and manifesting.

Status of EPA ID

You may check the status of the issuance of your new hazardous waste ID number for the programs below:

  • Disposal Fee
  • Facility Fee
  • Generator Fee

To check the status, you can do so by going to DTSC's Hazardous Waste Tracking System and clicking on the Reports tab. You can search your business name or site address and the report will show if you have a hazardous waste ID number. You can also look up other facility and manifest information by searching by hazardous waste ID number, address, or business name.

Refunds

Submit a Claim for Refund – File your claim for refund through our online services system. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to claim a refund. Select the More link under the I Want To section then select the Submit a Claim for Refund link and follow the prompts.

Additional Return Filing Options - You may also file a claim for refund by filing either:

  • A form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or
  • An amended return(s) stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment.

Claims for refund must be in writing, state the reason for overpayment, specify the period for which you made the overpayment, and the amount of the refund requested. Additional refund details can be found on our Filing Claims for Refund - Special Taxes and Fees webpage.

You may email the claim form to the Refund Team or mail it to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033

Deadline to File a Claim for Refund

Be sure to file your claim for refund by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, we cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the surcharge. You must file a claim for refund by whichever of the following dates occurs last:

  • Three years after the due date of the return on which you overpaid the tax or fee.
  • Six months after the date you overpaid the tax or fee.
  • Six months after the date a determination (billing) became final.
  • Three years after the CDTFA collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien.

If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711) weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time (except state holidays).

Update Account Information

You may update your business information with the CDTFA for the following Hazardous Waste accounts:

  • Generator Fee
  • Environmental Fee

Update Business Information Online – Update your business information through our online services homepage. Login using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to update. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the option you are requesting to update under Account Maintenance.

Additional Business Update Options – You may also notify us of any changes by:

  • Using form, CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Special Taxes and Fees Accounts,
  • Contacting our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711) and select the option for "Special Taxes and Fees," or
  • Sending a message through our website at Email Your Tax Questions.

Account information for the Disposal Fee and Facility Fee is maintained by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). To make changes to your Disposal or Facility Fee account information, please contact the DTSC at 1-916-445-1664.

Record Keeping

Records must be retained for at least four years from the time the hazardous waste fee is due unless we authorize you in writing to destroy them sooner.

For additional information regarding record retention, please view Regulation 4901.

General Exemptions

The DTSC is the agency that regulates hazardous waste in California and has the authority to determine if any waste meets the below listed exemptions. Below is a summary of exemptions for the hazardous waste programs.

Disposal Fee

Hazardous waste disposal fees do not apply to any of the following:

  • Hazardous waste that results when a government agency, or its contractor, removes or remedies a release of hazardous waste in the state caused by another person.
  • Hazardous waste generated or disposed of by a public agency operating a household hazardous waste collection facility in the state pursuant to HSC, Division 20, Chapter 6.5, Article 10.8, commencing with Section 25218, including, hazardous waste received from conditionally exempt small quantity commercial generators.
  • Hazardous waste generated or disposed of by local vector control agencies that have entered into a cooperative agreement pursuant to HSC section 116180 or by county agricultural commissioners, if the hazardous waste resulted from their control or regulatory activities and if they comply with the requirements of this chapter and regulations adopted.
  • Hazardous waste disposed of, or submitted for disposal or treatment, which is discovered and separated from solid waste as part of a load checking program.
  • Hazardous waste disposed of by any person who acquires land for the sole purpose of owner-occupied single-family residential use, and who acquires that land without actual or constructive notice or knowledge that there is a tank containing hazardous waste on or under that property, if the waste is disposed in connection with the removal of the tank.

Environmental Fee

Businesses/organizations with less than 50 qualifying employees are not subject to the Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee. The following organizations are also exempt:

  • Private households (Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code major group 88).
  • Nonprofit residential care facilities SIC code 8361 or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 623312, 62322, and 62399.
  • Insurance companies that pay a tax on gross premiums in lieu of all other California taxes and licenses.
  • Banks that pay a tax on net income in lieu of all other California taxes and licenses.
  • Non-profit credit unions.
  • U.S. Government agencies and instrumentalities.

Facility Fee

Hazardous waste facility fees do not apply to the following:

  • Facilities operating under a standardized permit, permit-by-rule, or conditional exemption.
  • Facilities authorized by the DTSC to clean and recycle excavated underground storage tanks.
  • Facilities issued a variance by the DTSC.
  • Facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste, prior to July 1, 1986, and have not paid the hazardous waste facility fee.
  • Treatment of waste exclusively to comply with U.S. EPA orders.
  • Any household hazardous waste collection facility.
  • Any facility operated by a local government agency, or by any person operating a hazardous waste collection program under an agreement with a public agency.
  • The portion of a solid waste facility used for segregation, handling, and storage of hazardous waste separated from solid waste loads received by the facility.
  • A facility used solely for processing or storage of hazardous waste where a public agency or contractor remedies a release of hazardous waste caused by another person.
  • A facility that has been issued a permit for the purpose of storing hazardous waste onsite, and whose permit has expired, if all of the following has occurred:
    • The facility has received no waste from offsite since the permit expired.
    • The owner or operator gave the DTSC timely notification of intent to close the facility, pursuant to regulations adopted by the DTSC.
    • At least 90 days have elapsed since the owner or operator gave the DTSC that notification.
    • The DTSC did not complete its review of the closure plan within 90 days of receiving the notification.
  • An operator who is operating in such a manner that a permit or a grant of interim status is required, but who does not hold a permit or a grant of interim status.

Generator Fee

The hazardous waste generator fee does not apply to:

  • Used motor oil removed from a motor vehicle that is recycled by a recycler permitted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control. (HSC section 25250.24(b).)
  • Waste that is generated, recycled, and reused onsite and is not transferred offsite at any time. (HSC section 25205.5(f)(1).)
  • Aqueous waste treated in a treatment unit operating, or which subsequently operates, pursuant to a permit-by-rule, or pursuant to HSC section 25200.3 or 5. However, hazardous waste generated by a treatment unit treating waste pursuant to a permit-by-rule, by a unit which subsequently obtains a permit-by-rule, or other authorization pursuant to HSC section 25200.3 or 25201.5 is hazardous waste for purposes of this section and is subject to the hazardous waste generator fee. (HSC section 25205.5(f)(2).)
  • Hazardous waste that results when a government agency, or its contractor, removes or remedies a release of hazardous waste in the state caused by another person. (HSC section 25174.7(a)(1).)
  • Hazardous waste generated or disposed of by a public agency or by any person under an agreement with a public agency, operating a household hazardous waste collection facility in the state pursuant to HSC sections 25100-25258.2, including hazardous waste received from conditionally exempt small quantity commercial generators. (HSC section 25174.7(a)(2).)
  • Hazardous waste generated or disposed of by local vector control agencies that have entered into a cooperative agreement pursuant to HSC section 116180 or by county agricultural commissioners, if the hazardous wastes result from their control or regulatory activities and if they comply with the requirements of the HSC and regulations adopted. (HSC section 25174.7(a)(3).)
  • Hazardous waste disposed of, or submitted for disposal or treatment, which is discovered and separated from solid waste as part of a load checking program. (HSC section 25174.7(a)(4).)
  • Any person who acquires land for the sole purpose of owner-occupied single-family residential use, and who acquires that land without actual or constructive notice or knowledge that there is a tank containing hazardous waste on or under that property, is exempt from the fees imposed pursuant to HSC section 25174.1, 5, and 25345, in connection with the removal of the tank. (HSC section 25174.7(c).)
  • Hazardous waste generated in a natural disaster HSC section 25205.5.1;.

Activity Fee

Effective September 13, 2016, the DTSC is responsible for assessing and billing the Hazardous Waste Activity Fees (Senate Bill 839).

Activity fees are assessed for permit applications, permit modifications, renewals of permits, requests for variance or site mitigation assessments or other activities, as notified by the DTSC.

Environmental Fee Topics

Below are industry topics for the Environmental Fee Program.

Parent Corporations/Organization Requirements

Parent corporations/organizations should contact their wholly-owned subsidiaries to find out if they are registered with the CDTFA. All parent and subsidiary corporations must separately register and file returns for the Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee.

Professional Employment Organizations (PEO) are Employers

Both the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Employment Development Department recognize Professional Employment Organizations (PEOs) as employers. PEOs, such a temporary employment agency, are responsible for paying the Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee for any employees reported under their EDD number.

Payroll Agencies

Payroll Agencies must separately apply for third party access to each of their client's accounts in order to report and pay the Environmental Fee on behalf of their clients. Access may be requested through our online services system.

Visit our Tutorials page for How to Create a Username and Password For a Third Party and Request Access to an Account, through our online services system.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes have been established by the U.S. Department of Labor and are used to designate the activities of business operations. Only organizations in specific SIC codes are exempt from the hazardous waste environmental fee (HSC section 25205.6).

Determining number of employees

The number of qualifying employees is determined by counting the number of employees who are employed in California more than 500 hours. This includes vacation, sick leave, and holidays for which an employee is paid during their employment.

If a person terminates employment, vacation, sick leave, holidays or other severance pay are not included when calculating the number of hours.

Paid Travel Time

An employee's paid travel time should be included in the calculation of the 500-hour threshold that an employee is employed.

For example, travel time on an airplane should be included in the calculation of hours paid if the employee is paid for that time.

No prorating for hours worked in-state and out-of-state

If the organization reports employees to the EDD in California, the hours worked in California should be calculated based on the total number of hours paid by the organization, regardless of the number of hours the employee works in California or out-of-state. The number of hours should not be prorated between in-state and out-of-state to determine hours worked.

If an employee is reported to another state's EDD, that person is not considered employed in California regardless of the number of hours the employee actually works in this state.

Generator Fee Topics

Below are industry topics for the Generator Fee Program.

Facility fee paid for a site not responsible for generator fee

Hazardous waste generators who have paid a hazardous waste facility fee pursuant to HSC section 25205.2 or received a credit under HSC section 25205.2(i) are exempt from the hazardous waste generator fee (HSC section 25205.5).

Hazardous waste generator fee paid to local agencies (CUPA)

Any hazardous waste generator fee paid to your local agency (city or county), as part of the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA), is a separate fee from the state hazardous waste generator fee. If you generate hazardous waste in an area that has a CUPA fee, you are responsible for and must pay both hazardous waste generator fees. For more information, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control's CUPA webpage.

Surplus funds available for refund to generators for payments to local agencies

Health and Safety Code sections 25205.5(h) and 25205.5(i) provide potential for two different types of refunds for hazardous waste generators under certain circumstances:

  • Generators who paid hazardous waste generator fees to the CDTFA and in the same year also paid generator inspection fees to a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA)(local agency). In addition, the generator must also have received a state hazardous waste generator fee credit for local fees paid in 1996.
  • Generators who submitted hazardous waste to a permitted offsite facility for recycling. For this purpose, recycling does not include hazardous waste that is burned in a boiler, industrial furnace, or incinerator; disposed of; or used to produce products applied to land.

Other specific requirements apply to each of the two potential types of refunds. Separate applications for each type of refund must be submitted to the CDTFA by September 30 of each year for the prior calendar year.

As required by HSC section 25205.9, the Department of Toxic Substances Control must annually determine and notify the CDTFA, on or before June 30th of each year, whether or not there are surplus funds within the meaning of HSC section 25174(k) available to issue hazardous waste generator fee refunds specified in HSC sections 25205.5 and 25205.9.

For information regarding refunds and the application process, visit the CDTFA's Hazardous waste generator fee Surplus Funds webpage or contact the DTSC's Fee Unit at 1-916-445-1664.

Consolidated manifesting (Milk Run) haulers and transporters

Consolidated manifesting, formerly known as modified manifesting or milk running, allows certain registered hazardous waste transporters to combine specified wastes from multiple eligible generators on a single manifest, rather than using a separate manifest from each generator. To use the procedures, the transporter must notify the DTSC and limit consolidation to the hazardous wastes specified in HSC section 25160.2(c). The generators using the consolidated manifesting procedure are exempt from filling out a hazardous waste manifest. The consolidated transporter completes both the generator and the transporter section of the manifest. Consolidated manifesting does not authorize a hazardous waste transporter to commingle different types of hazardous wastes into the same tank or container. For more information, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control's website.

Hazardous waste identification numbers (EPA ID numbers)

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issues state EPA ID Numbers for generators, transporters, and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities that handle hazardous wastes not regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). For more information on state EPA ID numbers or federal EPA ID numbers see DTSC's website on Applying for a Hazardous Waste Identification Number or call 1-800-618-6942 for more information.

Laws and Regulations

Publications

Special Notices

Related Websites

Other Helpful Resources

  • Contact Us – A listing of CDTFA contacts for your questions and concerns.
  • CDTFA Online Services – Learn about the online services CDTFA offers, including online registration for seller's permits and other accounts.
  • Sign Up for CDTFA Updates – Subscribe to our email lists and receive the latest news, newsletters, tax and fee updates, public meeting agendas and other announcements.
  • Videos and How-To Guides – These resources will help you avoid common mistakes, file your tax returns online, and more.
  • CDTFA Offices – A comprehensive listing of all CDTFA offices and contact information.
  • Get It In Writing! – Tax and fee laws can be complex, and you are encouraged to put your tax questions in writing.
  • News Releases – CDTFA News Releases cover a broad range of topics, including updates to tax laws and to resources for taxpayers.
  • Taxpayers' Rights Advocate (TRA) – The TRA Office helps taxpayers when they are unable to resolve a matter through normal channels, such as speaking to a supervisor, or when there are apparent rights violations.
  • Verify a Permit or License – You can use this search feature to verify a seller's permit, cigarette and tobacco products retailer's license, eWaste account, manufacturer battery fee account, or underground storage tank maintenance fee account.
  • GO-Biz – The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit their website.
  • CalGold – For information with permit and licensing requirements on the other state, federal, and local authorities. For example, you may need to register with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department. You may also want to consult with a tax professional or your local city and county authorities for assistance regarding other agencies' requirements or restrictions.
  • California's Tax Service Center – A one-stop tax help and resource website that guides taxpayers to forms and services they need.