HAZWOPER covers three categories of work operations. First, paragraphs (b)-(o) of the standard regulate those operations where employees are engaged in the cleanup of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. These operations include those hazardous substance operations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 as amended (CERCLA), including initial investigations at CERCLA sites before the presence or absence of hazardous substances has 6 been determined. Examples of types of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that would be covered by HAZWOPER include those:
- Listed or proposed for listing on the National Priority List (NPL),
- Listed or proposed for listing on a State priority list,
- Identified or listed by a governmental agency as an uncontrolled hazardous waste site (Note: this includes voluntary cleanup operations), and
- Regulated as a corrective action covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The second category of work operation is covered by paragraph (p) and includes those employees engaged in operations involving hazardous waste TSD facilities regulated under 40 CFR Parts 264 and 265 pursuant to the RCRA. There are certain types of employers who are exempted from paragraph (p) and these are addressed in the section covering provisions for TSD facilities.
The third and final work operation category is covered by paragraph (q) and includes those employees engaged in emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances without regard to the location of the hazard. Paragraph (q) also includes provisions for post-emergency response operations, such as performing any necessary cleanup activity.