September 12, 2013

F003 Cannot Be Diluted With Water to Render it Nonhazardous

EPA has always been uneasy about allowing hazardous wastes to be diluted prior to disposal. This is a valid concern because one of the easiest ways to meet a concentration-based treatment standard would be to simply dilute the waste. Therefore, within the land disposal restrictions (LDR) program, EPA prohibits dilution as a substitute for adequate treatment. [§268.3]

With the dilution prohibition in mind, EPA was recently asked whether or not water could be added to an F003 waste to render it nonhazardous and, if not, what could be used as a diluent for such treatment. Noting the Part 268 LDR program would continue to apply to the nonhazardous waste produced from this dilution per §261.3(g)(3), the questioner asked EPA to concur that as long as an LDR notification was provided, this mixing should not be prohibited.

The agency replied that “water or any other nonhazardous diluent that removes the characteristic of ignitability from F003 wastes allowing the generator to claim the 40 CFR Section 261.3(g)(3) exclusion cannot be used in a manner that constitutes impermissible dilution under Section 268.3. That is, F003 wastes may not be simply diluted as a substitute for adequate treatment.” [RO 14836]


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