Guide Hazardous Waste Transportation & Transporters

Learn about the regulation of hazardous waste transportation in Massachusetts, as well as the licensing criteria, reporting requirements, and fees that apply to transporters operating within the state.

Selecting a Transporter

Hazardous waste transporters are companies that move hazardous waste from one location to another by road, rail, water, or air. They transfer waste from points of generation to recycling, treatment, storage and disposal facilities.

Under state and federal law, a facility that generates hazardous waste bears "cradle-to-grave" responsibility for the waste's creation, handling, transport, treatment and ultimate fate.

For this reason, it is important to select a licensed transporter that has the competence and ability to move your wastes safely, as well as the expertise and insurance to respond effectively and protect you from liability should anything go wrong.

In Massachusetts, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) carefully reviews the qualifications of every company that applies for a license.

See the lists of currently licensed hazardous waste and precious metals transporters in Additional Resources below.

Additional Resources for Selecting a Transporter

MassDEP Transporter Licensing

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) carefully reviews the qualifications of every company that applies for a license to transport hazardous waste. Before being licensed, each applicant needs to:

  • Have auto liability insurance coverage of at least $1 million per accident and meet the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) "endorsement for environmental restoration" (i.e. the applicant is responsible for cleaning up any spills that occur during waste transit).
  • Provide MassDEP with a Letter of Credit in the amount of $10,000 or be covered by a bond for that amount.
  • Train every employee in DOT labeling, packaging, placarding and shipping requirements; safe vehicle operations; and emergency handling procedures.
  • Be certified by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunication and Energy.
  • Have no outstanding environmental compliance or enforcement issues.

Each license is issued for five years and must be renewed thereafter. Licensed transporters are authorized to transport all categories of hazardous waste. Some also handle non-hazardous wastes, universal wastes, and precious metals.

Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements

PLEASE NOTE: EPA has moved the National Manifest Form to a new online system. Learn more about e-Manifest. See the EPA Fact Sheet for Hazardous Waste Transporters.

Under state and federal law, a facility that generates hazardous waste bears "cradle-to-grave" responsibility for the waste's creation, handling, transport, treatment and ultimate fate.

All Massachusetts waste generators and treatment facilities that initiate shipments of hazardous waste and/or waste oil must use manifests. Forms need to be completed with appropriate waste codes, including those for wastes regulated by Massachusetts only (e.g. MA01 for waste oil).

You may use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) e-Manifest system to complete, submit, and track manifests electronically. Here is all you need to do:

  1. Register as a RCRAInfo user (follow the link in Key Actions below).
  2. Wait for MassDEP to approve your electronic signature. 
  3. Login at RCRAInfo and access e-Manifest.
  4. Complete and submit manifest form(s) electronically.
  5. Track your hazardous waste shipment(s) online via RCRAInfo.

It takes only minutes to create a RCRAInfo account and between one (1) and seven (7) business days to begin using e-Manifest. See the FAQ in Additional Resources below to learn more.

Important Notes:

  • Although you may still use paper manifests, EPA and MassDEP strongly encourage you to use the e-Manifest system because it is an easier and less costly way to comply with the regulations.
  • You may still use existing MV plus phone number hazardous waste IDs (e.g. MV6170001111) on paper manifests, but will be unable to register as an e-Manifest user or track your shipments online until they are available on the public viewer after 90 days. MassDEP no longer accepts applications for new MV plus phone number IDs.

Key Actions for Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements

Additional Resources for Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements

Electronic Monthly Operating Reports (EMORs)

All licensed hazardous waste transporters are required to submit Electronic Monthly Operating Reports (EMORs) to MassDEP no later than the last day of the following month. These reports need to include:

  • Generator, transporter, and receiving facility information;
  • Manifest tracking numbers; and
  • Container, waste, and handling information.

EMORs need to be uploaded via the eDEP Online Filing system. Follow the link below and see Additional Resources for instructions and reporting templates.

Key Actions for Electronic Monthly Operating Reports (EMORs)

Additional Resources for Electronic Monthly Operating Reports (EMORs)

Transporter & VID Fees

MassDEP-licensed hazardous waste transporters are required to pay two types of fees to the agency:

  • The Transporter Fee is based on quarterly reporting of waste pick-ups and drop-offs within Massachusetts.
  • The Vehicle Identification Device (VID) Fee is based on calendar year totals of waste picked up and dropped off across the state.

Both fees support MassDEP oil and hazardous material emergency response activities.

Additional Resources for Transporter & VID Fees

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