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.
Guide Hazardous Waste Transportation & Transporters
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) is responsible 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.
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
For "cradle-to-grave" tracking purposes, all Massachusetts waste generators and treatment facilities that initiate shipments of hazardous waste and/or waste oil must use the six-part National Manifest form required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The form needs to be completed and the various copies distributed according to the instructions. The appropriate waste codes, including those for wastes that are regulated by Massachusetts only (e.g. MA01 for waste oil), also need to be used.
A generator of hazardous waste and/or waste oil:
- Does not have to submit a copy of the manifest to MassDEP if the shipment goes directly to a Massachusetts hazardous waste facility.
- Does have to submit a fully executed photocopy of Copy 3 of the manifest to MassDEP within 30 days of receiving it if the shipment goes directly to an out-of-state hazardous waste facility. Copy 3 should be mailed to:
MassDEP Bureau of Air & Waste
One Winter Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
See Additional Resources below for more information about the National Manifest System and EPA-approved manifest form printers.
Please note that EPA will be moving the National Manifest Form to a new online platform in the near future. Learn more about eManifest.
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.
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.