Mar 20, 2018

What Is The USEPA Revised Hazardous Waste Generator Rule And How It Affects You

Hazardous Waste Dates: Rule effective May 30, 2017 for EPA administered areas. Becomes effective in a RCRA authorized states when adopted by the state. What Happened The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued the November 2016 final rule that revised the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's (RCRA) hazardous waste generator regulatory program. According to USEPA, the revisions reorganized the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly, address gaps in the existing regulations and, provide greater flexibility for hazardous waste generators to manage their hazardous waste. The final rule is effective initially in states where EPA runs the RCRA hazardous waste program. 

In a RCRA authorized state, the rule will become effective when the state adopts the federal requirements in its own state regulations. States generally have one to two years to adopt federal requirements (expected in most states in 2018). In addition, states can choose to customize the federal requirements to suit their needs by making them more stringent or not adopt them if less stringent than previously. To find out if the rule is effective in your state, check with your state environmental age agency and this web page: 

Impact When the rule becomes effective, the changes in the Federal rules will affect all hazardous waste generators. The extent of impact will depend on the site's generator category and how their state chooses to adopt the rule. Table 1 highlights the rule changes and impacts in more detail. Table 2 summarizes the updated regulatory requirements by generator type. 

Suggested Action
Find out when the rule will become effective in your state. 
Evaluate impacts, prepare for, and implement necessary changes. 
Evaluate whether you can take advantage of certain flexibilities allowed by the revised rule. For example, consolidation of waste generated at other sites at Large Quantity Generator site under common control, use Episodic Generation notification to maintain or downsize lower Generator status. 
Also, evaluate if any the hazardous wastes are eligible to be managed as universal waste in your state rules. States are authorized to add to EPA's lists of universal wastes. If you can reclassify a waste as universal waste, it's possible you can downsize your hazardous waste generator status in addition to using less burdensome requirements. 

Courtesy of: Prokopis Christou, PE, CHMM , March 19, 2018