Hazardous Substances (Waste) Fee Guide

New Information – Senate Bill 158 (Stats. 2021, ch.73) was signed by the Governor on July 12, 2021. This bill makes major fee reform changes and revises the hazardous waste facility, generator, environmental, and disposal fees administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Reforms include:

  • Changes to all fee rates starting January 1, 2022
  • Repeal of the disposal fee, effective June 30, 2022
  • Repeal of the generator fee and creation of the generation and handling fee at $49.25 per ton or each fraction of a ton of hazardous waste generated, effective January 1, 2022
  • Revisions to the environmental fee to apply to organizations with 100 or more qualifying employees, effective January 1, 2022
  • Revisions to the return and/or payment due dates for the generation and handling fee and the facility fee, effective January 1, 2022
  • Changing the facility fee reporting period to fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022
  • Removing certain exemptions for the facility fee and the generation and handling fee starting July 1, 2022

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 CDTFA such as the activity fee, 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, and the disposal facility then submits the fee and a return to CDTFA. The hazardous waste generation and handling fees may also apply; refer to the Generation and Handling Fee section for more information.

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.)

The hazardous waste disposal fee ends on June 30, 2022 (Senate Bill 158; Stats. 2021, ch.73).

Environmental Fee

The environmental fee is imposed on businesses/organizations in industry groups that use, generate, store, or conduct activities related to hazardous 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 fee applies to corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships that have the qualified number of employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California during the calendar year. The qualifying number of employees for the years prior to 2022 is 50 or more. Effective January 1, 2022, the qualifying number of employees is 100 or more. The fee 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 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.)

Generation and Handling Fee

The generator fee is repealed and replaced by a new generation and handling fee effective January 1, 2022 (Senate Bill 158; Stats. 2021, ch.73). The generation and handling fee applies to each generator of hazardous waste at each generation site that generates five or more tons of hazardous waste per calendar year or portion of the calendar year. This includes most recycled waste, treated wood waste, imported non-RCRA (Resource Conservation Recovery Act) waste, and waste sent outside California for disposal. The per ton fee is determined by the total tonnage of waste generated per site. The fee also applies to facility operators that generate five or more tons of hazardous waste who pay the facility fee. (HSC section 25205.5.)

Generator Fee

Prior to January 1, 2022, the hazardous waste generator fee was imposed on anyone who generated five or more tons of hazardous waste on a tiered category basis.

How the Revenue is Used

The revenue we collect for DTSC is used 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 CDTFA.

The hazardous waste disposal fee ends on June 30, 2022 (Senate Bill 158; Stats. 2021, ch.73).

Registration

There is no online registration for this program with 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 CDTFA a list of permitted hazardous waste disposal facilities. We register each disposal facility based on 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 DTSC'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 (FAQs) 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/organizations, unless otherwise exempted (see Industry Topics for exemptions), in certain industry groups as identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that have the qualified number of employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California, during the calendar year, owe the hazardous waste environmental fee. The hazardous waste environmental fee increases based on the number of employees. (HSC section 25205.6.)

  • For periods prior to 2022, the qualifying number of employees is 50 or more employees that have worked more than 500 hours during the calendar year.
  • Beginning January 1, 2022, the qualifying number of employees is 100 or more employees that have worked more than 500 hours during the calendar year.

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 is not included when calculating the number of hours.

The fee does not apply to a nonprofit corporation primarily engaged in the provision of residential social and personal care for children, the aged, and special categories of persons with some limits on their ability for self-care, as described in SIC Code 8361 of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual published by the United States Office of Management and Budget, 1987 edition or as described in Codes 623220, 623312, and 623990 of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) published by the United States Office of Management and Budget, 2017 edition. (HSC section 25205.6)

Registration

Register online with us for an environmental fee account by selecting “Register a New Business Activity.” Visit the Online Services 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 DTSC operating in California that have the number of qualifying employees who are each employed more than 500 hours in California during the 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)

Fee Rates

The hazardous waste environmental fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25205.6). The fees are adjusted annually by the Board of Environmental Safety.

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 DTSC's 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 2021 return is due February 28, 2022.

Returns

File a Return Online – You are required to file your CDTFA-501-EF, Environmental Fee Return electronically through our online services system. 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. If you don't already have a username and password in our system, you will need to create one. For assistance with creating a username and password, and filing online, please view our tutorials.

We will send a courtesy reminder to the email address we have on file, prior to each filing due date. Returns must be received 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 received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Payments

Make a Payment – You can make payments through our online services system. 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 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 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 and/or payment, 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) (HSC section 25205.2.).

Transportable Treatment Units (TTUs)

Transportable Treatment Units (TTUs) or mobile equipment, authorized by DTSC to perform onsite hazardous waste treatment, are billed annually on November 30 by CDTFA. TTU permits are authorized, and fees are due, per mobile treatment unit and not per facility. (HSC section 25205.2(j).)

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

Registration

There is no online registration for this program with 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 DTSC. CDTFA registers facilities based on a list of permitted hazardous waste facilities provided by DTSC.

Fee Rates

The hazardous waste facility fee rates are set by statute (HSC section 25205.2). The rates are adjusted annually by the Board of Environmental Safety.

Visit our 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 DTSC's Fee Summary webpage.

Return, Prepayments, and Payment

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

Returns

Beginning July 1, 2022, the return reporting basis for all hazardous waste facility fee accounts, with full or standardized permits from DTSC, changes from a calendar year basis to a fiscal year basis. The hazardous waste facility fee return is now due for each fiscal year on the last day of February of the same fiscal year. For example: the fiscal year 2022-2023 return is due February 28, 2023.

Please note: You should continue to make your 2022 prepayment which is due by February 28, 2022 and file a 6-month return for the transitional period from January 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022. The due date for the transitional return is August 31, 2022.

File a Return Online – You are required to file your hazardous waste facility fee return electronically through our online services system. 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. If you don't already have a username and password in our system, you will need to create one. For assistance with creating a username and password, and filing online, please view our tutorials.

Prepayments

Beginning July 1, 2022, all facility fee accounts, with full or standardized permits from DTSC, are required to make one prepayment which is due and payable on or before the last day of November of the current year and then file a fiscal year return and final payment due on or before the last day of February of the same fiscal year.

  • Prepayment – Due last day of November of the current year.
  • Final Payment with a Fiscal Annual Return – Due last day of February of the same fiscal year.

Your prepayment must be equal to 50 percent of the applicable hazardous waste facility fee for the current year.

For example: Fiscal year 2022-2023 fee requires a 50 percent prepayment due on November 30, 2022. A final payment with your 2022-23 fiscal year return is due on February 28, 2023.

Visit our Tutorials page for instructions on 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 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 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 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 (FAQs); 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

As of January 1, 2022, the hazardous waste generator fee has been repealed and replaced with a new generation and handling fee (Senate Bill 158; Stats. 2021, ch.73).

Prior to January 1, 2022, the hazardous waste generator fee was imposed on a tiered category basis.

Effective January 1, 2022, the hazardous waste generation and handling fee is imposed as a flat rate per ton or fraction of a ton on generators of hazardous waste for each generator site that generates five or more tons of hazardous waste at a site in California within a calendar year. This generally includes recycled waste, non-manifested treated wood waste, non-manifested universal waste, imported waste, and waste sent outside California for disposal.

A generator is 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 generation and handling fee is calculated 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 generation and handling fee is generally due regardless of the waste's final disposition. Weight tickets should be maintained to support the actual weight/quantity being reported. For more information, please visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) Manifest webpage or Fee Summary webpage.

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

Please note: Facility operators who pay the facility fee are now subject to the generation and handling fee. (HSC section 25205.5.)

Registration

Register online with us for a Generation and Handling Fee account by selecting “Register a New Business Activity” and follow the prompts to complete your registration. Visit the Online Services 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 generation and handling fee. This includes facility operators who pay a facility fee.

Fee Rates

The hazardous waste generation and handling fee rates are set by statute (HSC sections 25205.5 and 25205.5.01). Visit our Tax Rates – Special Taxes and Fees page to review current and historical hazardous waste generation and handling fee or generator fee rates. The rates are adjusted annually by the Board of Environmental Safety.

Hazardous waste generation and handling fee rates are also listed on DTSC's Fee Summary webpage.

Prepayments, Returns, and Payments

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

We will send a courtesy reminder to the email address we have on file prior to each prepayment and final payment and return due date. Prepayments and 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 and or prepayments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Prepayments

Beginning January 1, 2022, all generation and handling fee accounts are required to make one prepayment which is due and payable on or before November 30th each year.

  • Prepayment – Due on November 30th of each year.
  • Final Payment with Return – Due on February 28th of each year.

Your prepayment must be equal to 50 percent of the total amount due for the hazardous waste generation and handling fee for the entire prior calendar year.

For example:

Reporting Period Prepayment Due Date Return & Final Payment Due Date Report Based on  Hazardous Waste Generated in Prior Reporting Period
Calendar Year 2022 November 30, 2022 February 28, 2023 Calendar Year 2021
Calendar Year 2023 November 30, 2023 February 28, 2024 Calendar Year 2022
Calendar Year 2024 November 30, 2024 February 28, 2025 Calendar Year 2023

Returns

The hazardous waste generation and handling fee return and payment are due by February 28 each year. (RTC 43152.7) The fee is calculated based on waste generated in the prior calendar year. (HSC 25205.5)

For example:

Reporting Period Prepayment Due Date Return & Final Payment Due Date Report Based on Hazardous Waste Generated in Prior Reporting Period
Calendar Year 2022 November 30, 2022 February 28, 2023 Calendar Year 2021
Calendar Year 2023 November 30, 2023 February 28, 2024 Calendar Year 2022
Calendar Year 2024 November 30, 2024 February 28, 2025 Calendar Year 2023

File a Return Online – You are required to file your generation and handling fee return electronically 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. If you do not already have a username and password in our system, you will need to create one.

Visit our Tutorials page for how to create your username and password or file your Hazardous Waste Generation and Handling Fee return through our online services system.

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 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 (FAQs) 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 and/or payment, or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

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 hazardous waste manifests, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control website.

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

  • Disposal Fee
  • Generation and Handling Fee
  • 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:

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

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

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

  • Disposal Fee
  • Facility Fee
  • Generation and Handling 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.

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:

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 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 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time (except state holidays).

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

  • Generation and Handling 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:

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

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.

Department of Toxic Substances Control (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 and exclusions for the various hazardous waste programs.

Disposal Fee

The hazardous waste disposal fee ended on June 30, 2022 (Senate Bill 158; Stats. 2021, ch.73).

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 Health and Safety Code (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 or organizations with less than the number of qualifying employees who have worked in California are not subject to the Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee. For periods prior to 2022, the qualifying number of employees is 50 or more employees that have worked more than 500 hours during the calendar year. Starting January 1, 2022, the qualifying number of employees is 100 or more employees that have worked more than 500 hours during the calendar year. The following organizations are also exempt:

  • Private households (Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code major group 88).
  • Nonprofit residential care facilities SIC code 8361 and starting January 1, 2022, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 623220, 623312, and 623990.
  • 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 issued a variance by DTSC from the requirement of obtaining a hazardous waste facilities permit or grant of interim status. (HSC section 25205.2).
  • Treatment facilities engaging in treatment exclusively to accomplish a removal, or remedial action or a corrective action, in accordance with an order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or an order issued by DTSC pursuant to HSC section 25187 (order for corrective action) if the facility was put in operation solely for the purposes of complying with the order. (HSC section 25205.2)
  • Metal shredding facilities paying an annual fee. (HSC section 25150.84)
  • After July 1, 2022, generators conducting a treatment activity that is eligible for operation under a permit-by-rule pursuant to DTSC's regulations, a grant of conditional authorization, or a grant of conditional exemption, and who meet the criteria in HSC section 25204.7(b). However, generators are subject to the local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA) fees, please check with your local CUPA. (HSC section 25204.7)
  • Eligible participants who submit banned, unregistered, or outdated agricultural wastes for collection in a qualifying program. (HSC section 25207.12)

The following exemption was repealed on January 1, 2022:

  • Facilities authorized by DTSC to clean and recycle excavated underground storage tanks. (HSC section 25205.12)

Facilities authorized under Permit by Rule, Conditional Authorization, or Conditional Exemption by the local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA) and have paid the local CUPA fees, are exempt from the facility fee administered by CDTFA and imposed under HSC section 25205.2. (HSC section 25404.5)

On and after July 1, 2022, the following facilities are subject to permitting under their local CUPA and are exempt from facility fee administered by CDTFA and imposed under HSC section 25205.2. (HSC section 25205.3 inoperative 7/1/22)

  • 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 DTSC timely notification of intent to close the facility, pursuant to regulations adopted by DTSC.
    • At least 90 days have elapsed since the owner or operator gave DTSC that notification.
    • DTSC did not complete its review of the closure plan within 90 days of receiving the notification.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Any household hazardous waste collection facility.

Generation and Handling Fee

The hazardous waste generation and handling fee does not apply to:

  • Waste that is generated, recycled, and reused onsite and is not transferred offsite. (HSC section 25205.5(b)(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 25201.5. 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 generation and handling fee. (HSC section 25205.5(b)(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. (25174.8(a)(1)(A).) However, a person responsible for a release of hazardous waste that has been removed or remedied by a governmental agency, or its contractor, shall pay the fee.
  • Hazardous waste generated or disposed of by a public agency operating a household hazardous waste collection facility in California pursuant to HSC sections 25100-25258.2, including, but not limited to, hazardous waste received from conditionally exempt small quantity commercial generators. The fee exemption applies even if the waste is transferred, consolidated, or bulked and subsequently included on a manifest along with other nonexempt hazardous wastes. (HSC sections 25174.8(a)(2)&(b).)
  • 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 25174.8(a)(3).)
  • Hazardous waste that is used oil collected from the public and generated by a used oil collection center certified by CalRecycle (Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery). The fee exemption applies even if the waste is transferred, consolidated, or bulked and subsequently included on a manifest along with other nonexempt hazardous wastes. (HSC sections 25174.8(a)(4)&(b).)
  • Hazardous waste generated in a natural disaster HSC section 25205.5.1;.

The following exemptions/exclusions to the generator fee were repealed on January 1, 2022:

  • Used motor oil removed from a motor vehicle that is recycled by a recycler permitted by DTSC. (HSC section 25250.24(b).)
  • 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).)
  • 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, and 25205.5, in connection with the removal of the tank. (HSC section 25174.7(c).)
  • Facility operators who generate five or more tons of hazardous waste at any site during a calendar year and 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)

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 CDTFA. All parent and subsidiary organizations must separately register and file returns for the Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee.

Professional Employment Organizations (PEO) are Employers

Both DTSC and the Employment Development Department (EDD) recognize Professional Employment Organizations (PEOs) as employers. PEOs, such as 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 to view the video tutorial How to Create a Username and Password For a Third Party and Request Access to an Account.

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 during a calendar year. 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 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.

Below is industry topic for the Facility Fee Program.

Household hazardous waste collection facilities

The exclusion for household hazardous waste collection facility was made inoperative on July 1, 2022. However, household hazardous waste collection facilities that are authorized under Permit by Rule, Conditional Authorization, or Conditional Exemption by the local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA), are not subject to the facility fee if they paid the local CUPA fees.

Below are industry topics for the Generation and Handling Fee Program.

Facility operators are responsible for the generation and handling fee

Starting January 1, 2022, facility operators who generate five or more tons of hazardous waste at any site during a calendar year are subject to the hazardous waste generation and handling fee, even if they have paid a hazardous waste facility fee pursuant to HSC section 25205.2 or received a credit under HSC section 25205.2(i). (HSC section 25205.5)

However, a facility operator that is issued a hazardous waste facility permit from DTSC and that pays the annual facility fee, as specified in HSC section 25205.2, may deduct, from the amount of hazardous waste subject to the generation and handling fee, the amount of waste that is stored, bulked, or transferred from that facility to another authorized facility for management according to HSC section 25205.5(a)(4).

Prior to January 1, 2022, facility operators who generated five or more tons of hazardous waste at any site during a calendar year and who had paid a hazardous waste facility fee prior to January 1, 2022, were exempt from the hazardous waste generator fee.

Imported Waste into California

From January 1, 1996 through December 31, 2021, any person transporting, importing, or receiving non-RCRA hazardous waste imported into California for purposes of treatment, recycling, or disposal is exempt from the payment of the generator fee imposed pursuant to HSC section 25205.5.

On and after January 1, 2022, for hazardous waste imported into California for purposes of treatment, recycling, or disposal, the operator of the facility receiving the imported hazardous waste shall register for a generation and handling fee account (in addition to a facility fee account) and pay the applicable generation and handling fee. Please see HSC section 25205.22 for details.

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 or the generation and handling fee. If you generate hazardous waste in an area that has a CUPA fee, you are responsible for and must pay both the local hazardous waste generator fee and the state hazardous waste generator fee/generation and handling fee. For more information, visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control's CUPA webpage.

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. For more information on consolidated manifesting, please see HSC section 25160.2(c) and 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.

Treated wood waste (TWW)

Treated wood waste (TWW) is considered to be hazardous waste for the proposes of the hazardous waste generation and handling fee and should be included in the calculation of total tonnage of waste subject to the fee, regardless of whether the waste is shipped using a hazardous waste manifest or other shipping document.

All TWW handlers and generators that generate more than 10,000 pounds (5 tons) in any calendar year shall obtain an EPA number from DTSC and register with CDTFA for a generation and handling fee account. Please see DTSC's website for more information on TWW.

Effective September 13, 2016, 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 DTSC.

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 about 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.