Review Articles

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

Generator category—state-to-state

Knowing your generator category is one of the most fundamental and critical parts of the RCRA program. Generator category determines which set of hazardous waste regulations apply to your activities. There are three generator categories in the federal RCRA program, but some RCRA-authorized states have a different set of generator categories. EPA has a useful website that allows you to quickly see if you live in one of those states. READ MORE

New RCRA guidance cache aired

RCRA’s air emission standards (Subparts AA, BB, and CC) are a common source of noncompliance at large quantity generators and TSD facilities. For years, these standards have been part of EPA’s list of national compliance initiatives. The agency has periodically published compliance assistance guidance, but it has been difficult to find. Last month, EPA put together a new website to compile this guidance and make it easier for companies to establish strategies for complying with these extensive regulations. READ MORE

Small business? Great guidance!

Even if your company is small and generates very little hazardous waste, you still have RCRA obligations. And if you’re a small business, chances are you do not have a dedicated staff of waste management professionals to ensure compliance. To help small businesses in their RCRA compliance efforts, EPA has just updated its “all-in-one” RCRA guide for small businesses, pointing out the pitfalls and compliance criteria to help avoid RCRA violations. READ MORE

Updated federal facilities compliance data

Ever wonder if a federal facility manages hazardous waste or if it is potentially subject to Superfund cleanup? EPA has recently updated its Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket. Here, you can determine whether the hundreds of military bases, national labs, federal housing complexes, etc. have RCRA permits and whether they have had a release triggering potential CERCLA cleanup. You can also read about how former federal properties are being transformed into neighborhoods and communities. It’s very possible that a site near you once made an appearance on this docket.

Attendees and raptors!

Our last seminar just concluded and we appreciate all those who made the trek to Denver. Team McCoy enjoyed providing your RCRA training--and the Food & Feathers event--in our hometown.

And a special thank you to those who shared your Wednesday evening with us. It was a magical time with the HawkQuest team and guest raptors: bald eagle, peregrine falcon, barn owl, and the amazing desert raptor, the Harris hawk. Who could forget the stories of Mr. Kin Quitugua, master falconer, hunter, and environmental educator, as he flew the Harris hawk down the hall lined with our attendees and team!

We’ll be adding photos here, so if you have some you’d like to share, please email them to hello@mccoyseminars.com.

Harris Hawk Flight
Photos of the birds

Solvent-contaminated wipe questions, answered

The McCoy team discusses solvent-contaminated wipes in nearly every seminar we hold. Afterward, there is usually a flurry of hands raised into the air requesting additional clarification on how to manage this ubiquitous waste stream. If it has been a while since you have been to one of our seminars, check out EPA’s FAQs database on the solvent-contaminated wipes rule. There might just be some tasty nuggets in there to help put your mind at ease. READ MORE

RCRA FAQ database at your fingertips

EPA guidance on RCRA issues comes from a variety of sources: RCRA Online, OSWER/OLEM directives, Federal Register preambles, policy assessments and more. That is a lot of different sources to navigate. Fortunately, many of the questions addressed in these documents are compiled into the Wastes – Frequent Questions database. One of the best functions of this database is the ability to submit your own question. We’ll show you how. READ MORE

Not all RCRA rules effective in all states

If only all RCRA regs took effect everywhere at the same time…. Since this isn’t the case, you’ll need to know which rules your state has adopted and which it has not. There have been a handful of significant rules promulgated in the past few years, and fortunately there is an easy way to keep track of their state adoption status. Come take a look at these maps to see which rules your facility will need to comply with. READ MORE

e-Manifest system: adapt and adopt

Adoption of the e-manifest system is still lagging, despite being “live” for over a year. Accessibility challenges and lack of functionality are just a couple of factors keeping end-users at bay. To address these concerns and provide solutions, the e-Manifest Advisory Board convened in June and has made their meeting minutes available. The Board thoroughly considered dozens of roadblocks, challenges, and changes, and we invite you to see what is on the table for consideration. READ MORE

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