EPA's estimates of the hazardous waste volume generated annually in the United States appear to be dramatically undercounting the actual hazardous waste universe, according to a recent report by Environmental Information Ltd. (www.envirobiz.com).

Submitted generator reports indicate that at least 470 million tons are generated annually, while reports submitted separately by commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities confirm the acceptance of about 7.5 million tons, the report said.

"The biggest gap in the data appears to be with generator reporting," EI president Cary Perket told Environmental Business Journal. "Large-quantity-generator reports are missing or under-reported for about 34 percent of the shipments reported by the commercial hazardous waste facilities. If this same reporting gap holds true for the overall universe of large-quantity generators, the generation of hazardous waste and wastewater may be hundreds of million of tons higher than is being reported."