April 17, 2020

New Guidance on EPA’s Objections to Hazardous Waste Imports

EPA’s RO 14923 provides a look at how the agency accepts or objects to hazardous waste imports. The agency’s hazardous waste import/export notice and consent program is responsible for processing notices of intent to import (NOIs) hazardous waste from foreign countries. NOIs are required for any hazardous waste imported from countries with which the United States has a relevant international agreement, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) council decision for the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico. The agency maintains websites providing information to hazardous waste importers and exporters, including a list of import/export FAQs. RCRA’s import/export regulations are found in Part 262, Subpart H.

EPA reviews the NOI to determine if the U.S. receiving facility can properly and safely manage the imported hazardous waste. The agency may object to an NOI based on criteria included in RO 14923 or, if EPA consented to the import but additional evidence triggers the criteria for objection, the agency may withdraw its consent to the NOI. Objection criteria include:

 


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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.