Hazardous waste licensing
Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and units of government that generate most types of hazardous waste at sites in Minnesota are required to report that waste annually to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or their metropolitan county, pay a fee, and obtain a license for the subsequent year.
Map of Metro Area Counties
Hazardous waste generators in the metropolitan counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey and Washington are licensed by their counties instead of the MPCA. If your site is in one of the metropolitan counties, contact your county hazardous waste department for your local hazardous waste licensing procedure and requirements.
- Anoka: 763-422-7093
- Carver: 952-361-1800
- Dakota: 952-891-7557
- Hennepin: 612-348-3777
- Ramsey: 651-266-1199
- Scott: 952-496-8475
- Washington: 651-430-6655
- County websites: http://www.co.[county name].mn.us
The rest of this webpage provides hazardous waste licensing information for Minnesota sites outside of the metropolitan counties.
What kinds of hazardous waste are subject to reporting, fees and licensing?
Not all hazardous wastes in Minnesota are subject to reporting, fees or licensing, even if their generation, storage and disposal are regulated by the MPCA. See hazardous waste fact sheet #1.01, Step 1. Evaluate Waste; Determine Generator Size , for guidance.
How and when do I report my hazardous wastes?
First, ensure you have obtained a free Hazardous Waste Identification Number (HWID) for your site from the MPCA. This number is also commonly known as an “EPA ID Number." HWIDs are permanently assigned to your site, not to you as a business, so if your business moves, you must get a new HWID for the new site.
Check your HWID using the MPCA's Search the Hazardous Waste Identification Number database tool.
If you don't have an HWID, or need to obtain a new one, complete hazardous waste form #7.09, Notification of Regulated Waste Activity (PDF Version) , and submit the form to the MPCA. For more information on HWIDs and when they are required, see hazardous waste fact sheet #1.02, Step 2: Obtain a Hazardous Waste Identification Number .
Next, if you generate more than 100 pounds (about 10 gallons) of reportable hazardous waste a year, you will receive a Hazardous Waste Generator License Application from the MPCA every July. If you generate less than this, you will receive an application every three years in July. Complete the application and submit it to the MPCA by August 1 or the printed due date, whichever is later. Be sure to read and follow all instructions for the application.
If you generate more than 100 pounds of reportable hazardous waste during a year, but don't receive a license application from the MPCA, you are still responsible for submitting a completed application to the MPCA. You may contact the MPCA licensing staff to request an application with your site's identification information already filled in, or complete the Hazardous Waste License Application .
If you generate 100 pounds of reportable hazardous waste or less during a year, or certain types of recycled hazardous wastes which are not subject to annual fees, you will be sent a license application less often, currently every three years. Generators who meet this description are known as Minimal Quantity Generators (MiniQG). Complete and return your license application whenever you receive one, even if you believe you are a MiniQG. Your completed license application verifies your MiniQG status to the MPCA and ensures the MPCA's records are up to date and accurate.
How much will my license fees be?
Your annual hazardous waste fee is calculated from the amount of hazardous wastes you reported generating the previous calendar year and how those wastes were managed. All hazardous waste generators who require a license are assessed an annual base fee which varies from year to year according to goals set by the legislature, but has recently ranged between $400 and $450. If you are a Small Quantity Generator (SQG) or a Large Quantity Generator (LQG), you will also be assessed a volume fee which varies from year to year as well, but has recently ranged between 5 cents and 10 cents per pound.
If you are a MiniQG, you are exempt from annual license fees. Currently, the MPCA does not issue hazardous waste licenses to MiniQGs.
How and when do I pay my fee?
If you are required to pay a fee, you will be sent an invoice in the spring of the year after you submit your license application. You may pay the fee online by electronic withdrawal from a checking account (e-check), VisaTM or MasterCardTM through the MPCA Online Payments tool, or you may mail a check to the address printed on the invoice. Be sure to pay by the due date printed on the invoice, or you may be assessed late fees.
If you have difficulties using the online payment system or have questions about paying your fee, contact the MPCA fee staff.
How do I get my license?
After you pay your fee, your license will be automatically issued and available for printing through the MPCA's Hazardous Waste License Search tool. You are responsible for visiting this webpage and printing out your license. Please allow at least two weeks for the MPCA to receive and process your payment before you attempt to access and print your license.
Post your license in an area visible to the general public at the licensed site, such as a reception lobby, waiting room, or customer service counter. If your site has no areas open to the public, you may post your license in a common employee area.
If you are unable to download your license from the MPCA's website, contact the MPCA licensing staff to request a copy of your license be sent to you.
How can I make sure the MPCA has my correct waste information?
Use the MPCA's Hazardous Waste Generator License Application Database tool to verify the information you report. Please allow several weeks for MPCA staff to enter the information from your application into the database.
Common hazardous waste licensing "What if...?" questions
What if my business is closed?
If your site closed during the last calendar year or after, you must still complete and submit your license application to report any hazardous waste generated during that year. You will be assessed fees for that waste.
To ensure that you are not held responsible for any hazardous waste generated in the future at that site, be sure to also complete and submit hazardous waste form #7.09 to inactivate your HWID.
What if my business moved?
Remember that HWIDs are permanently assigned to sites. If you moved to a new site during the last calendar year or after, first obtain a new HWID for the new site. Complete and submit hazardous waste form #7.09 to request the new HWID.
After you have received your new HWID, submit a license application for the new site. You may contact the MPCA licensing staff to request an application with your site's identification information already filled in, or complete the Hazardous Waste License Application . Do not complete and submit your license application until you have the new HWID.
Finally, inactivate your old site's HWID by submitting a separate hazardous waste form #7.09, Notification of Regulated Waste Activity (PDF Version) . Follow the instructions on the form for inactivating the old site's HWID.
What if I didn't generate any hazardous waste at my site during the last calendar year?
First, review hazardous waste fact sheet #1.01, Step 1. Evaluate Waste; Determine Generator Size , to confirm that you did not generate any reportable hazardous wastes at your site. Complete and submit the license application to verify to the MPCA that you did not generate any reportable hazardous waste at your site.
If you did not generate any hazardous waste during the last calendar year, but you may again, enter a '0' in the right-hand white column for the applicable waste line on the license application. You will be sent another license application next year.
If you permanently ceased generating any hazardous waste, strike out the information in the left-hand shaded column on the license application and leave the right-hand white column blank. Also strike out any inventory numbers for used oil and used oil-related wastes that you recycled. You will only have to verify your information to the MPCA every three years.
What if I can't find or never received my license application?
Please note that hazardous waste license applications are now being sent out in July rather than January. Completed applications are due in August.
What if my generator size increases because of a spill or clean-out?
Your hazardous waste generator license does not restrict you to any specific generator size. Report all hazardous waste you generated during the last calendar year, including spill debris and clean-outs, on your license application.
You do not need to notify the MPCA if your generator size increases, though you may request “resizing” down to your normal generator size following a spill or clean-out if you choose. See hazardous waste fact sheet #1.01, Step 1. Evaluate Waste; Determine Generator Size for instructions to request resizing.
Remember that if your generator size increases due to an unusual event, you must meet all the requirements for the larger generator size for the months you overgenerated, even if your facility is eligible for resizing.
What if I recycle my hazardous waste, such as parts washer solvent, instead of disposing of it?
Many recycled hazardous wastes are eligible for exemptions from the full hazardous waste requirements, sometimes including reporting, if you document that your recycled wastes met the eligibility conditions for each specific exemption. For guidance determining exactly how your recycled hazardous waste is regulated and how to report and document it, see hazardous waste fact sheet #2.42, Recycling Hazardous Waste .
If you reclaim and reuse certain hazardous wastes on-site, such as with a recycling parts washer, you must still report that waste, though you are eligible for reductions in the amount of the waste you must count and report. To qualify for these reductions, complete and submit hazardous waste form #7.12, Recycled Hazardous Waste Report (PDF Version) , with your license application. An electronically fillable version of this form is also available.
What if I think the amount of my fee is wrong?
You may appeal the amount of your assessed fee. You must first pay the full invoiced amount by the due date, then send a written explanation of why you think the fee was incorrect to the MPCA at the address on your license application or send an email to the MPCA licensing staff. The MPCA will review your case and refund the fee if appropriate.
What if I don't pay my fee?
If you don't pay your fee by the due date, late fees and interest will be added. Your fee will then be sent to a collections agency, which may take any legal steps to recover the debt. The MPCA will not be able to issue you a new license, and if you continue to generate hazardous waste, you may be cited for generating a hazardous waste without a required license.
Contact the MPCA for questions on your application, fees, or License.
- TTY/TDD 651-282-5332
- Licensing questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fee amount questions: email@example.com
- Fee payment questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on identifying and managing hazardous waste in Minnesota, see the MPCA's Hazardous Waste Publications web page.