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Used oil management
Every campus generates used oil from a variety of processes including vehicles, maintenance equipment and facilities management. Used oil includes motor oil, grease, cooling and heating media, brake, transmission and hydraulic fluid, electrical insulating oil, metalworking fluids and refrigeration oils. Used oil has value as a recycled commodity but can also pose substantial threat to the environment if not properly managed.
Used oil is regulated under the provisions of NR 679 . Provisions of Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) also apply. If you store used oil in an underground storage tank, the provisions of SPS 310 apply as well.
Although NR 679 has no specific requirements for training campus oil handlers, it is imperative they be trained in the provisions of the regulations and in proper spill response should a release occur. This training may be provided in-house or in part by attending the annual hazardous materials awareness training provided through the state hazardous waste contract. Initial and annual SPCC training applies to facilities covered under that rule.
Used oil generators and handlers must:
- Store used oil in containers or tanks that are in good condition and not leaking
- Label containers and tanks with the words "Used Oil". No other words are acceptable (e.g., Waste oil)
- Stop, contain and clean any spills. Properly manage used spill equipment. Repair or replace container or tank before return to service
- Use a licensed transporter who has an EPA ID number. A generator may self-transport only used oil generated on-site. The oil must be transported in a campus vehicle, in no more than 55 gallon shipments, to a collection center or aggregation point.
If used oil is mixed with hazardous waste the entire mixture may be regulated as hazardous waste. Used oil containing more than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) total halogens is presumed to be a hazardous waste because it has been mixed with listed halogenated hazardous waste. Used oil that is regulated as hazardous waste must be managed according to the hazardous waste rules in chs. NR 660 to 670; the ch. NR 679 used oil standards do not apply.
References and resources
This publication was prepared for environmental, health and safety staff at University of Wisconsin System campuses, to assist in finding resources and information for regulatory compliance. It is not intended to render legal advice.
(Read full legal disclaimer.)