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03/22/2016

Universal Waste Rules: Not So Universal

As is the case with most environmental requirements, the EPA encourages each US state to develop and run its own hazardous waste management program. Each authorized state may create unique hazardous waste regulations that are more stringent than the US EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements, but may not have rules that are less stringent than RCRA’s. For a prime example of how Federal and State hazardous waste rules may differ, we can turn to California and the unique rules for managing universal waste that its Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has created...

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12/31/2015

California DTSC Rescinds Universal Waste Guidance

The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) has officially rescinded hazardous waste guidance which had required facilities to count Universal Waste toward monthly generator status. The move follows new legislation in the California Health & Safety Code (HSC) which allows generators to exclude Universal Waste when calculating the volume of waste generated in a given month.  

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12/16/2015

Hazardous Waste ID Mistakes Lead to $26M Fine for Cable Provider

The Attorney General of California has issued a decision to fine a major cable company nearly $26 million for violating Federal and State hazardous waste regulations. The company manages many wastes regulated as hazardous under the State Health and Safety Code (HSC)—from electronic equipment like cable boxes, modems, and remote controls to batteries, lamps, and scrap metal; as well as products like adhesives, paints, lighter fluid, and lubricants. 

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10/16/2015

New Universal Waste Bill Signed in California

On October 2, 2015, the Governor of California approved legislation to amend the California Health & Safety Code (HSC). Among the amendments is a very important development for hazardous waste generators in the state...

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09/04/2015

What’s in the Newly Proposed RCRA Subpart P?

On August 31, 2015, US EPA proposed new management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals at healthcare facilities. Click the link above for an overview of the proposed regulations, including important definitions, basic requirements, and how “creditable” and “non-creditable” pharmaceutical hazardous wastes will be treated differently... 

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03/24/2015

State Differences for Universal Wastes

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), each US state may develop and enforce its own hazardous waste management program in lieu of the Federal EPA program. Every state has done so, except for Alaska and Iowa...

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06/24/2014

Crushing Mercury Lamps: When Is It Acceptable?

The fluorescent lamps in offices and facilities across the US use mercury vapor for illumination. Under the US EPA’s RCRA regulations, wastes that contain elevated levels of leachable mercury compounds are hazardous waste. [40 CFR 261.24] When you discard the bulb from a tube or compact fluorescent lamp, you are discarding hazardous waste. Because nearly every office and business in the country generates this kind of waste...

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04/29/2014

Managing Universal Waste-State and Federal Rules

In 1976, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a law authorizing the US EPA to regulate the management of hazardous waste from the point of generation to disposal, or “cradle to grave.” Under RCRA, states can create and administer their own hazardous waste programs, provided the State program is no less protective than the Federal standard. ..

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05/28/2013

4 Ways to Treat Hazardous Waste Without a Permit

In the hazardous waste regulations, U.S. EPA defines “treatment” as “any method, technique, or process, including neutralization, designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize such waste, or so as to recover energy or material resources from the waste, or so as to render...

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09/25/2012

RCRA Options for Recycling Waste Lead-acid Batteries

Although lead-acid batteries generally exhibit the hazardous waste characteristic of toxicity for lead (D008) and would be subject to significant restrictions when discarded, the EPA encourages their recycling by providing two alternative management standards. Lead-acid batteries may be managed as “universal waste” under 40 CFR Part 273 or under the specific alternative standards of...

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