Used Oil

A Summary of Regulatory Requirements

January 2005

Title V of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (Act) establishes statutory requirements to ensure that solid waste will be handled in a safe and responsible manner. The requirements found in the Act and the Board's regulations are intended to reduce the occupational and environmental health risks that occur during storage, treatment, transport, transfer and disposal of solid waste.

The information presented in this fact sheet does not eliminate any person's responsibility to fulfill any legal obligation under the Act or regulations promulgated thereunder.

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide some of the solid waste requirements, found in both the Act and the Board's regulations. For the complete requirements, please see Title V of the Act and 35 Illinois Administrative Code (IAC): Subtitle G.

For additional information on solid waste regulations in Illinois, please contact the Disposal Alternatives Unit at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Bureau of Land; 1021 North Grand Avenue East; P. O. Box 19276; Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276 or call (217) 524-3300.

What is used oil?

"Used Oil" means any oil that has been refined from crude oil, used and, as a result of such use, is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. Used oil is a special, non-hazardous waste. Special waste requires transportation by a permitted special waste hauler and shipment under a manifest.

This fact sheet only pertains to non-hazardous used oil. Used oil is a hazardous waste when the following occurs:

  1. The used oil contains more than 1,000 ppm total halogens;
  2. Mixtures of used oil and hazardous waste that exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic;
  3. Mixtures of used oil and a listed hazardous waste.

Where does used oil come from?

Used oil can be generated from activities conducted by home owners (do-it-yourselfers), farmers, gas stations, oil/lubricating dealers, and various commercial facilities.

What are the standards for used oil generators?

Generators of used oil do not need a permit to store the used oil on-site (on-site storage shall not exceed one year). Generators are prohibited from storing used oil in units other than tanks, containers, or RCRA permitted units. If an underground tank is used, you must comply with 35 Ill. Adm. Code 731. Tanks and containers used to store used oil must be in good condition (no severe rusting, apparent structural defects or deterioration) and not leaking.

Any generator may treat his used oil on-site without a permit issued by the Agency.

On-site burning in space heaters:
Generators may burn used oil in used oil-fired space heaters provided that:

  1. The heater burns only used oil that the owner or operator generates or used oil received from a do-it-yourselfer;
  2. The heater is designed to have a maximum capacity of not more than 0.5 million Btu per hour; and
  3. The combustion gases from the heater are vented to the ambient air.

Can used oil be placed in a landfill?

Used oil cannot be disposed of in an Illinois landfill.

Used oil generated by a do-it-yourselfer may be disposed with his municipal waste until July 1, 1996. After that date liquid used oil may not be mixed with any municipal waste that is intended for collection and disposal at a landfill, and no owner or operator of a sanitary landfill may accept liquid used oil for final disposal.

Who can accept used oil?

Used oil may be accepted by Used oil Collection Centers, Transfer facilities, Processors, Marketers and Burners that operating according to the used oil regulations at 35 Illinois Administrative Code 739, including the applicable registration requirements.

Exemptions:

  1. Facilities that burn on-specification used oil for energy recovery;
  2. Facilities that burn off-specification used oil for energy recovery in an industrial furnace or boiler, have notified USEPA of their used oil management activities, and have obtained a USEPA identification number;

Off-specification used oil:
Used oil exceeding any specification level indicated below is off-specification used oil and is subject to regulation when burned for energy recovery. Used oil not exceeding these levels is considered to be on-specification used oil.

Constituent/propertyAllowable level
Arsenic5 ppm maximum
Cadmium2 ppm maximum
Chromium10 ppm maximum
Lead100 ppm maximum

Used Oil generated by a do-it-yourselfer:
The following facilities may accept used oil generated by a do-it-yourselfer:

  1. A facility that burns used oil in a used oil-fired space heater that is designed to have a maximum capacity of not more than 0.5 million Btu per hour and that has its combustion gases vented to the air;
  2. A do-it-yourselfer used oil collection center. A do-it-yourselfer used oil collection center is any site or facility that accepts or aggregates, and stores used oil collected only from do-it-yourselfers;
  3. Used oil collection centers. A used oil collection center is any site or facility that accepts or aggregates and stores used oil collected from used oil generators who bring used oil to the collection center in shipments of no more than 55 gallons. A used oil collection center must be permitted by the state government to manage used oil; and
  4. Used oil aggregation point is any site or facility that accepts, aggregates, or stores used oil collected only from other used oil generation sites owned or operated by the owner or operator of the aggregation point.

What are the standards for used oil burners?

A used oil generator may initiate a shipment of off-specification used oil only to a used oil burner who has a USEPA identification number and who burns the used oil in an industrial furnace or boiler. Such generators are subject to the following requirements:

  1. Analysis showing the used oil is non-hazardous;
  2. Notify USEPA of the generator’s used oil management activities and obtain a USEPA identification number; and
  3. Keep a copy of each manifest for three years from the date the manifest is received or prepared.

Exemption:
Generators of on-specification used oil need only comply with the following requirements:

  1. Analysis showing the used oil is on-specification; and
  2. A record of the facility receiving the used oil and the quantity of used oil shipped.

What are the permit requirements for a transfer facility?

Used oil transfer facilities are transportation related facilities including loading docks, parking areas, storage areas, and other areas where shipments of used oil are held for more than 24 hours during the normal course of transportation and not longer than 35 days. Storage of used oil for greater than 35 days requires a permit issued by the Agency.

Who can transport oil?

No person shall haul or transport any used oil within Illinois or any special waste to be stored or treated within Illinois without a current, valid waste hauling permit issued by the IEPA.

Exemptions:

  1. Any person who generates less than 220 pounds of special waste in a calendar month;
  2. Any person who hauls only special waste generated by a person who generates less than 220 pounds of special waste in a calendar month; or
  3. On-specification used oil being shipped directly to a used oil burner, provided the transporter complies with the recordkeeping requirements of 35 Ill. Adm. Code 739.146.

No person shall transport used oil without obtaining a USEPA identification number.

Exemptions:

  1. Used oil transported and generated by a do-it-yourselfer;
  2. Generators who transport shipments of used oil totaling 55 gallons or less from the generator to a used oil collection center or to a used oil aggregation point owned or operated by the same generator; or
  3. The used oil is reclaimed under a contractual agreement pursuant to which reclaimed oil is returned by the processor/re-refiner to the generator for use as a lubricant, cutting oil, or coolant.

What are the manifest and record keeping requirements for used oil?

Any person who delivers used oil to a permitted special waste hauler shall complete a manifest to accompany the used oil from initial delivery to the final destination of the used oil. The generator must also submit an annual report to the IEPA.

Exemptions:

  1. The generator generates less than 220 pounds of special waste in a calendar month.
  2. On-specification used oil being shipped directly to a used oil burner.

Must I submit an annual report?

A generator of non-hazardous special waste who generates more than 220 pounds in a calendar month must submit an annual special waste report to the Agency by February 1 if the generator sends any non-hazardous special waste out of state.

A generator of hazardous waste who generates 2200 pounds or more in any month must submit an annual hazardous waste report to the Agency by March 1.