Review Articles

Concern not fear

Our mission as a training provider is to bring a broader viewpoint along with accurate and clear information. That’s why we want to provide coronavirus facts—not fear. Of course, we are deeply concerned about the wellbeing of our attendees, friends, family, and world, and we are seeking a responsible balance in all we do. We will provide ongoing updates as information changes. With resoluteness and concern, we will get through this challenging time together. READ MORE

New ways to sign e-manifest?

On April 14–16, 2020, the e-manifest advisory board will hold a virtual public meeting online to discuss proposals for increasing the use of the e-manifest system. [85 FR 9763] Up for consideration are additional methods for generators and transporters to sign electronically, including clicking links accessible via text message or email and using digitized signature pads. Further information on oral comments, webcast, etc. may be found on EPA’s website.

CCR permit program proposal published

Coal combustion residues (CCR) have been under intense scrutiny over the last few years. EPA has put out new proposals and guidance on CCR unit standards, beneficial use, and, now, permitting. If you’re interested, there is still time to submit comments or register to speak during the upcoming public hearing. To help you get ready, we provide a breakdown of some of the key components discussed in the new proposal. READ MORE

Corrective action gets a (website) facelift

Anyone involved in EPA’s corrective action (CA) program knows an affected site may spend decades, and hundreds of millions of dollars, in the cleanup process. It’s quite the undertaking. Thousands of sites are impacted by CA, and the agency’s upgraded CA website gives interested parties a way to keep track of which facilities are meeting their CA goals and which still have some work to do. READ MORE

Speaking of corrective action, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) will host a RCRA Corrective Action Conference in Lexington, KY from June 3–5, 2020. The agenda looks very interesting!

Import/export guidance makes waves

A new RCRA Online guidance document (RO 14922) is available discussing hazardous waste imports/exports. Consistent with the 2016 revisions to these regulations [81 FR 85696], international ocean carriers in territorial waters importing/exporting hazardous waste do not need an EPA ID number or a uniform hazardous waste manifest, but they do still have certain movement document and contractual requirements. These include having contracts or equivalent arrangements in place that: 1) name all transporters that will have physical custody of the hazardous waste, 2) require the transporter to inform authorities if shipments cannot be managed as described in the notification of intent to export, and 3) require compliance with the applicable movement document contents and signature requirements.

New structure for EPA inspections

A facility should conduct its operations in a manner so it is always prepared for an inspection. On March 2, 2020, EPA promulgated a rule setting procedures for onsite civil inspections. This rule codifies what actions an inspector will take and, in turn, provides guidance on what inspected facilities can expect. If you have never gone through an EPA inspection, or maybe it’s been a while, a quick review of this rule can help you plan accordingly. READ MORE

Bombshell report on treating explosive wastes

The latest in hazardous waste treatment technology revolves around explosive wastes. As an alternative to open burning/open detonation, new methods for treating high-energy hazardous wastes are being developed that are safer and more environmentally friendly. A new report from EPA provides a summary of numerous technologies for treating these wastes, which typically are unusable military munitions. READ MORE

Yearly tradition—RCRA civil penalties increase

EPA is required by law to annually adjust the maximum RCRA civil penalties to account for inflation. The 2020 adjustments were made in January, and some penalties are now in excess of $100,000 per day. See how much it can cost to be in RCRA noncompliance. READ MORE

Phantastic pharma guidance on waste codes

If you’re at a healthcare facility operating in a state that has adopted EPA’s pharmaceutical rule, then you may be enjoying the tailored management requirements for your hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. But are you, your state, and your TSD facility on the same page with pharmaceutical waste codes? EPA’s new guidance allows a new “PHRM” code when completing manifest Item 13. READ MORE

Pesticide contamination subject to RCRA corrective action

Though a few years old, guidance was recently made available to provide clarity on a unique and potentially significant corrective action issue. In this guidance, EPA states that although pesticides may have been applied to soil or buildings for their intended use, pesticide-contaminated soil/buildings may become discarded at some point in time even if not excavated/demolished. A discarded material is a solid waste and subject to corrective action authority at RCRA-permitted facilities. READ MORE

More CCR changes on the horizon

Three more changes to EPA’s coal combustion residues (CCR) rule have been proposed. As a result of the USWAG court decision (see our November 2018 write-up), revisions are being considered for clay-lined impoundments, closure deadlines, and alternative closure options. Some of the newly proposed deadlines are less than a year away, so take a look at how these regulations may be changing once more. READ MORE

Multiple methods given the green light

Newly available RO 14918 clarifies EPA’s position on the concurrent use of multiple test methods found in SW–846. At heart is whether one method can be used in conjunction with a second if the first method is not specifically mentioned in the method description for the second. EPA explains that barring any state restrictions, using multiple methods concurrently is a standard part of environmental testing, based on the objectives of the analysis. For example, one could test for metals concentration using SW–846 Method 6010D, after first preparing a sample using Method 1311 (the TCLP), even though Method 1311 is not mentioned in the description of Method 6010D.

2020 biennial report prep begins

The new (even-numbered) year brings with it an extra reporting requirement—the biennial report. If you were an LQG or TSD facility in 2019, you will need to file EPA Form 8700-13A/B, or your state equivalent, by March 1. This report allows regulators to see how much of each hazardous waste is being generated at a given site and how the site owner is minimizing waste generation. EPA has also updated their report instructions and form to reflect changes over the last two years. READ MORE

New year, new agenda

Barely squeaking in, the 2019 fall regulatory agenda was announced in the December 26, 2019 Federal Register and is now available. EPA’s big efforts under RCRA/CERCLA are focused on coal combustion residue management units, regulating PFAS under CERCLA, clarifying how D001 is defined, and improvements to the e-manifest system. READ MORE

Proposal revamps permit appeals

EPA has proposed a set of rules to change how the Environmental Appeals Board operates, particularly regarding permit appeals. Whether it is a RCRA, NPDES, SDWA, or CAA permit, the proposed changes will impact the way industry, regulators, and other interested parties appeal permitting decisions. The proposal may affect industry’s permitting strategies as well as the legal standing of citizen groups inclined to file suit. READ MORE

Pharma wastes and reverse distribution/logistics

EPA has reaffirmed its position on reverse distribution versus reverse logistics, which was developed in the agency’s February 2019 hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule. Prescription hazardous waste pharmaceuticals undergoing reverse distribution are solid wastes, but nonprescription pharmaceuticals and other unsold retail items sent through reverse logistics are not solid waste if they have a reasonable expectation of being legitimately used/reused or reclaimed. READ MORE

New non-waste fuel determination

EPA has approved another non-waste fuel determination for a material under Part 241. [RO 14916] This time, the nonhazardous secondary material (NHSM) is “Btu Boost,” which is not considered a waste when burned as a fuel. Non-waste fuel determinations are often issued to individual companies for a specific material. You can read our previous article for more information on this unique concept.

Pharma rule LTCF definition clarified

In other guidance providing interpretation of the 2019 pharmaceuticals rule, RO 14917 addresses the status of certain intermediate care facilities that provide care to individuals with intellectual disabilities. EPA was asked whether these facilities would be included in the definition of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in the 2019 rule. While both entities provide care to their residents, LTCFs are typically regulated under Part 266, Subpart P, while wastes generated from intermediate care facilities enjoy the household hazardous waste exclusion. READ MORE

Aerosol cans now universal waste

On December 9, 2019, EPA published a final rule adding hazardous waste aerosol cans to the universal waste program in Part 273. In general, the requirements for universal waste aerosol cans are the same as those for other universal wastes: handlers may accumulate waste aerosol cans onsite for up to one year and do not have to use a manifest for offsite shipments. Handlers who puncture universal waste aerosol cans must recycle the empty punctured cans and meet certain requirements. READ MORE

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