June 12, 2017

Generator Improvements Rule Now In Effect

EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule (GIR) became effective May 30, 2017 at the federal level. At this time, the new rule is effective only in the states of Alaska, Iowa, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (see EPA’s website showing where the new rule is effective). In the other 46 states, the new requirements do not take effect until the state adopts equivalent state requirements. The Part 271 requirements for authorization of state hazardous waste programs oblige these 46 states to modify their programs to incorporate many of the GIR provisions by July 1, 2018. [§271.21(e)(2)(ii)]

The November 28, 2016 GIR makes significant changes to the hazardous waste generator regulations. [81 FR 85732] One of the primary objectives of this rule is to consolidate most of the generator requirements into Part 262 to reduce cross-references to Parts 261 and 265. Other key issues addressed are discussed in McCoy’s detailed white paper, entitled “Changes to Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations.”

However, authorized states are required to modify their programs only when EPA promulgates federal regulations that are more stringent or broader in scope than the authorized state regulations. The following requirements in this rule are more stringent than earlier regulations [81 FR 85801]:

The rest of the final rule requirements are either 1) less stringent than the current hazardous waste regulations, or 2) neither more nor less stringent. Thus, authorized states may, but are not required to, adopt the rest of these changes (although EPA encourages all states to adopt all provisions to promote national consistency).


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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.