Review Articles

Another non-waste fuel identified

An additional fuel has received a non-waste regulatory determination from EPA under Part 241. [RO 14911] The agency determined the nonhazardous secondary material (NHSM) known as “BDF” (biomass-derived fuel) from a particular vendor is a non-waste fuel when burned under certain conditions. For additional background on non-waste fuel determinations, see our previous article.

Cooperative federalism policy finalized

After considering public comment, EPA has finalized their policy on joint planning of compliance assurance and civil enforcement between federal and state governments. [84 FR 34887] The final policy is nearly identical to the draft proposal except for some minor verbiage changes. If you are interested in a quick summary of the draft policy, then read our article from earlier this year.

e-Manifest fees doubling

User fees for submittals to the e-manifest system are set to increase from 60 to 115 percent for the next two years. Taking effect October 1, 2019, the increases are the result of a biennial recalculation of fees considering system costs and use. Based on the 2018 e-manifest fee rule, the two main drivers for the price increase are slower than expected adoption of the e-manifest system and higher than expected operating costs. READ MORE

Weighing solvent wipe options

In some instances, solvent-contaminated wipes may not be managed under the excluded wipes rule. In new guidance, EPA addresses how a facility may use the “under the control of the generator” exclusion (part of the DSW rule) to reclaim solvent-contaminated wipes, even if they are unable to meet all of the provisions of the excluded solvent-contaminated wipes rule. Depending on whether your state has adopted one or both of these rules, you may be able to reduce the volume of hazardous waste generated at your facility. READ MORE

Latest List of Lists

Chemical names are confusing. Often, there are a dozen or more names for a single chemical. If you are used to referring to a certain chemical by one name over another, how would you know you are not missing certain regulatory requirements? Fortunately, EPA has combined chemical names, CAS numbers, and regulatory reporting thresholds in a single, easy to use document—the List of Lists. Find out how to get the latest update in our article. READ MORE

e-Manifest developers: August 26

An in-person developers workshop will be held on Monday, August 26, 2019 in Chicago, IL. The e-manifest development team is looking to engage with industry IT developers in a technical talk on implementing a full-electronic workflow. The event is extremely IT-focused, but all interested generators, transporters, brokers, and receiving facilities are encouraged to attend. READ MORE

A new season of regulations

Just in time for summer, the 2019 spring regulatory agenda has been released. EPA has been busy, and if the schedule can be maintained, there will be some interesting rule changes happening soon. Continuing actions addressing coal combustion residues, and new efforts to promote cleanup of PFAS chemicals, are in the hopper. READ MORE

NCIs extend RCRA air initiative

A new batch of national compliance initiatives reflects EPA’s focus for the next few years. There are four main goals: improving air quality, ensuring safe drinking water, reducing the risk of hazardous chemical releases, and addressing childhood exposure to lead. A summary and explanation of the RCRA air emphasis are included in our article. READ MORE

Chute! Concrete truck washout complications

Approximately 65,000 ready mixed concrete trucks are currently operating in the United States. What are the RCRA implications of managing the washout from one of these trucks? Are we turning a blind eye to a potential problem? READ MORE

Dollars and RCRA sense

If a broker buys a used material from an industrial facility, is it automatically a product that can be managed outside of RCRA? Does the monetary value of a material determine its RCRA status? These are tough questions to which EPA has historically and recently answered “No.” READ MORE

Lithium batteries—the fireworks are over!

Most of us have seen pictures or videos of fires caused from improper packaging of lithium batteries during transportation. DOT and EPA have teamed up to train people on new regulatory requirements to prevent this dangerous situation. They will be offering four free workshops on lithium battery transportation during the next several weeks. READ MORE

More non-waste fuels get a nod

When is a nonhazardous secondary material burned as a fuel considered a waste, and when is it considered a non-waste fuel? Part 241 sets out requirements for identifying non-waste fuels that are not subject to the solid waste regulations. In three new guidance documents, EPA gave three nods to some new non-waste fuels. READ MORE

Cooperative federalism meets draft policy

EPA has provided a copy of their draft policy on joint planning of compliance assurance and civil enforcement. The policy incorporates EPA’s “cooperative federalism” approach in establishing best practices that will allow the agency and states to share accountability in the implementation of federal environmental programs. Although the comment period on this draft policy has ended, the regulated community will still be able to see how EPA plans to work with states on compliance efforts. READ MORE

Use the e-manifest system…please?

From June 18-20, 2019, EPA is convening a public meeting in Arlington, VA to consult the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System Advisory Board on ways to increase the adoption of the e-manifest. [84 FR 20626] Recent data indicates that while more than 1.5 million manifests have been submitted to the e-manifest system, less than 1 percent of them are fully utilizing the system. Additional information on oral comments, webcast, etc. may be found on EPA’s website.

Turn over a new LEAF

EPA has finalized the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF), which consists of four new SW–846 test methods and a how-to guide. The LEAF methods are not RCRA regulatory tests, but they may be used to evaluate the leaching potential of inorganic constituents from solid materials under varying conditions. This could be useful in evaluating conditions at cleanup sites or other locations. READ MORE

New prescription for HW pharma

EPA issued a new set of regulations in February under which hazardous waste pharmaceuticals are to be managed. One provision, the sewering ban, takes effect nationwide on August 21, 2019. As for the rest, because the new Part 266, Subpart P regulations are considered more-stringent, authorized states will be required to adopt regulations that are at least as stringent over the next two years. To find out if the new HW pharma rule will affect your operations, have a look at our new white paper.

EPA reaffirms stance on inherently waste-like materials

What is so toxic that it is inherently a waste no matter how it is recycled? How about halogenated organic compounds burned to produce hydrochloric acid. Recent EPA guidance (RO 14900) reinforces the agency’s previous determination that, due to the dangers of recycling inherently waste-like materials, solid waste exclusions do not apply. READ MORE

“Owner/operator” clarification

Two recent RCRA Online guidance documents, RO 14897 and 14899, provide clarification of the terms “owner” and “operator,” defined in §260.10, and “owner or operator,” defined in §270.2. EPA does its best to provide general interpretations based on a specific list of facts for a hypothetical Company, but the agency ends the discussion with a lateral to the states: “states authorized to implement the RCRA program may have more stringent requirements that may impact the Company’s status under RCRA.” RO 14908 confirms EPA's stance that authorized states should determine which facilities are owners or operators subject to RCRA permitting.

Proactive planning for natural disaster debris

Last year, EPA released a pre-incident planning poster and brochure to help communities plan for wastes generated in the wake of a natural disaster. Last month, EPA published a full-blown update to their guidance on Planning for Natural Disaster Debris. [84 FR 17160] Incorporating lessons learned from natural disasters over the past decade, the guidance stresses a proactive approach to dealing with wastes generated during these events. Essential steps include identifying debris types and forecasted amounts, evaluating debris management options, and establishing temporary debris management sites. A review of this latest guidance can help waste professionals, emergency coordinators, and community leaders improve their emergency response capabilities during these difficult events.

E&P wastes get another look

Per a December 2016 consent decree, EPA has just released its 2019 review of the management of wastes generated during the exploration and production (E&P) of oil and natural gas. These wastes are currently excluded from RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste regulation, but the agency was required to review whether their regulation under RCRA Subtitle D is warranted (similarly to the regulation of coal combustion residues in Part 257, Subpart D). EPA concluded that an existing network of state regulations and best management practices are sufficient to ensure that these wastes are managed in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment. Therefore, “revisions to the federal regulations for the management of E&P wastes under Subtitle D of RCRA are not necessary at this time.” READ MORE

More e-manifest functionality forthcoming

A recording of the April 2019 e-manifest webinar has been released detailing upcoming functionality in the e-manifest system. EPA is working on a third e-manifest rule that will integrate export manifests, exception reporting, and discrepancy reports into the existing system. Also discussed in the webinar were some of the most common errors that the agency has observed to date in uploading/entering data to the e-manifest system, including missing signatures, illegibility, and no management codes. An updated demonstration is also provided to get you e-registered if you have not already done so.

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