April 14, 2014

Adoption Status of the New Wipes Rule

The new wipes rule establishes conditional exclusions for the disposal [§261.4(b)(18)]or laundering [§261.4(a)(26)] of solvent-contaminated wipes. [78 FR 46448] The rule went into effect January 31, 2014, but only in the EPA-administered states of Alaska and Iowa. Since the effective date, 5 additional states have adopted the new rule: Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. How will we know when the rule has been adopted in our state(s)? EPA has made it easy with a new website that shows the status of the new wipes rule in each state and U.S. territory, along with a link to the applicable regulations.

In most cases, this rule includes requirements and conditions that are less stringent than those required under the base RCRA program. Thus, states, except as described below, are not required to adopt the conditional exclusions (although EPA encourages such adoption to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and maximize national consistency). Some requirements in the final rule may be more stringent than certain existing state programs. Authorized states whose programs include requirements that are less stringent than the final rule are required to modify their programs to maintain consistency with the federal program. We expect most states to adopt the rule or a modified version within the next 2 years.


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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.