New EPA regulations on reclaimed hazardous wastes

Almost five years ago, EPA proposed to exclude certain hazardous wastes from the definition of solid wastes. On October 7, 2008, EPA finalized the exclusions. 

The scope of this exclusion includes: (1) recycling onsite at the generating facility; (2) off-site recycling within the same company; and (3) recycling through a “tolling” agreement. All materials under this exclusion must be reclaimed within the United States. Under this exclusion, notification to EPA or the authorized state would be required, speculative accumulation would not be allowed, and the hazardous secondary material must be legitimately reclaimed. All hazardous secondary materials must be contained when they are stored.

What this means is that if you have spent solvents on-site waiting to be recycled either at your own facility or elsewhere, you do not have to manage these spent solvents as hazardous wastes because they are no longer defined as “solid wastes”. Under RCRA regulations, only solid wastes can become hazardous wastes. 

This final rule was published in the Federal Reister on October 30, 2008 and will become effective December 29, 2008.

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