When US EPA promulgated changes to its definition of solid waste (DSW) on January 13, 2015
, the Agency created a few new exclusions for certain hazardous secondary material reclamation. Today, we continue our examination of these new reliefs by focusing on the new RCRA “verified recycler” exclusion. If you haven’t yet, check out our previous posts about new RCRA hazardous waste recycling exclusions at the links below: New RCRA Exclusions: Generator-controlled Reclamation (Feb. 28, 2017)
New RCRA Exclusions: On-site Reclamation (March 27, 2018)
Traditional RCRA Recycling Limits
In its definition of solid waste at 40 CFR 261.2(c), EPA discusses whether secondary materials being reclaimed are regulated as solid and perhaps hazardous waste, or whether they can be excluded from the RCRA Subtitle C regulations.
According to Table 1, listed by-products, listed sludges, and all spent materials are solid waste when reclaimed. So, if your secondary material is a hazardous waste, you must comply with the RCRA Subtitle C regulations (e.g., accumulation, manifesting, LDRs). Here’s where the new “verified recycler” exclusions may come in handy.
What Is a Verified Recycler Under RCRA?
Hazardous secondary materials can be excluded from the definition of solid waste at 40 CFR 261.4(a)(24) if the hazardous secondary material is reclaimed by a “verified recycler.”
The RCRA regulations define a verified recycler as a facility that has either:
- Obtained a RCRA Part B hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF) permit; or
- Has received a variance from the Agency per 40 CFR 260.31(d).
[40 CFR 261.4(a)(24)(v)(B)]
How to Use the RCRA Verified Recycler Exclusion
In order to capitalize on the new exclusion for verified recycler reclamation, generators must still meet some basic requirements. Notification—
The generator of the excluded hazardous secondary material must notify the EPA (using EPA Form 8700-12) before taking advantage of the exclusion and then by March 1 of every even-numbered year. [40 CFR 260.42] Recordkeeping
—The generator must also maintain records consistent with 40 CFR 260.43 to demonstrate that the hazardous secondary materials are being legitimately reclaimed and not speculatively accumulated. [40 CFR 260.43 and 261.1(c)(8)] Containment—
Since the hazardous secondary material is excluded from the definition of solid waste, it would not be subject to the hazardous waste accumulation standards. However, EPA does require the generator to store the material in devices that are:
- Compatible with the hazardous secondary material.
- In good shape and not leaking.
- Marked with words that identify the contents and the accumulation start date.
- Comply with the emergency preparedness and planning requirements at 40 CFR 261, Subpart M.
[40 CFR 260.10, definition of “contained”]
No hazardous waste manifest is required, but the generator must keep records of the shipment to the verified recycler for at least three years. Part of the shipping documentation includes confirmations of receipt from the verified recycler as well as any verified interim facilities the hazardous secondary material was delivered to initially.
The verified recycler exclusion is still fairly new, so generators will have to wait for their state to adopt this exclusion before taking advantage of the relief. Have questions about recycling your RCRA waste? The new RCRA Recycling Reliefs Online Course will guide you through the latest RCRA hazardous waste recycling rules—including the 2015 changes to EPA’s definition of solid waste. Only $99!
Final Countdown to the Generator Improvements Rule!
This is it! Historic updates to the RCRA hazardous waste requirements for large, small, and conditionally exempt (very small) generators take effect on May 30. The updated rules will have a major impact on the way your site manages hazardous waste.
If you’re not yet up to speed on all of the changes coming on May 30, now is the time to prepare. Lion instructors will be covering many of these changes and providing resources to help you maintain compliance at this month’s RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshops
in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, and Detroit.
Can’t attend the workshop? Join a full-time Lion instructor for one of the final
two Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements
webinars before the new rules take effect. In 90 minutes, we cover the RCRA update you need to know and help you ensure seamless, ongoing RCRA compliance. Only 2 sessions remain before the May 30 deadline: April 26 and May 23. Sign up here.