Who Manages Used Oil?

The following lists who manages and how they manage used oil.

Generators

Virtually everyone who performs maintenance on their personal vehicle or machinery is a used oil generator. Used oil generators fall into two categories — unregulated and regulated.

Unregulated

Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers)1 are unregulated used oil generators and exempt from regulatory provisions that apply to regulated used oil generators, with the exception of:

  • Rules about prohibited practices
  • Rules about where to take used oil

Unregulated generators are required to take used oil to either a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) collection center, a household hazardous waste collection center, a used oil collection center, a used oil marketer, a used oil processor or a re-refiner.2

Regulated

All other used oil generators are regulated and subject to the regulatory provisions for used oil management.3

Regulated used oil generators include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  • Automotive maintenance facilities
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Electric generating stations
  • Mining/smelter operations
  • Air conditioning repair facilities
  • Private organizations
  • School maintenance facilities
  • Municipal maintenance facilities

Transporters

Anyone who collects or accepts used oil from regulated handlers of used oil (e.g., generators, other transporters, processors/re-refiners and burners) and transports that used oil to another facility is a used oil transporter or transfer facility and subject to regulation under statute. The following are not subject to used oil transporter requirements:

  • Regulated generators that self-transport up to 55 gallons of self-generated used oil to an off-site facility
  • On-site transportation by a regulated generator

Processors

Anyone who processes used oil by chemical or physical operations designed to make the used oil more amenable for production of fuel oils, lubricants or other used oil-derived products, is a used oil processor/re-refiner and subject to regulation under statute.

Marketers

Anyone who markets used oil, or first claims that used oil meets the used oil fuel specifications, is a used oil marketer and subject to regulation under statute.

Burners

Anyone who burns used oil for energy recovery (e.g., an asphalt hot plant) is a used oil burner and subject to regulation under statute. Generators who burn self-generated used oil, or used oil from DIYers, in an on-site oil-fired space heater may be exempt from the used oil regulations provided:

  • They only burn used oil from household do-it-yourself used oil generators,
  • Their heater has a maximum capacity of not more than 0.5 million BTU per hour, and
  • The combustion gases from the heater are vented to the ambient air.

Note: While they may not be subject to used oil regulations, generators may still be subject to air quality permitting requirements.