Oil-Filled Equipment, Electrical Devices and Transformers

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Departments that operate, maintain, remove from service, or dispose of transformers and other oil-filled electrical devices are required to comply with federal and state laws with regard to PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) contamination.

These departments must have records for all electrical equipment indicating whether each is PCB-containing or non-PCB-containing. If this status is unknown, a determination shall be made using either a PCB-contamination level determination, or the date of manufacture (devices manufactured after July 2, 1979 may be assumed to be non-PCB-containing). When any oil-filled equipment or electrical device is removed from service and records for that device do not exist, then the oil in that device must be sampled for PCB’s. The results of this test must be known before the oil is removed from the device. The device may not be disposed of until the results of this test are known, as well.

PCB-containing devices must be labeled with the date removed from service; departments have 30 days to dispose of the devices once they are removed from service.

Oil spilled from transformers or oil-filled electrical devices must be assumed to be PCB-containing unless it is known otherwise.

Disposal of oil-filled devices and oils will depend on the concentration of PCB’s. Contact EH&S for specific guidance.