What Is the Hazardous Waste Derived-from Rule and How Does It Work?
The “derived-from” rule—found at 40 CFR 262.3(c)(2)(i)—states that, unless excluded, a waste generated from the treatment, storage, or disposal of a listed hazardous waste is also a hazardous waste.
The derived-from rule intends to prevent hazarodus wastes from falling through the cracks of regulation.
Incinerator AshFor example, the incineration residue (ash) of an F004 spent nitrobenzene will continue to carry the F004 waste code.
Generators must test the ash (which was derived from the incinerated nitrobenzene) to ensure it is below the stated levels on the 40 CFR 268.40 treatment standard table before disposal.
Get reliable, up-to-date RCRA training when Lion presents the RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshop in a city near you. In May, catch the workshop in Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati.
If your site has a wastewater treatment unit regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) that receives hazardous waste, the treated effluent will be excluded as a solid waste. [See 40 CFR 261.4(a)(1) and (2).]
Effluent and Sludges from Wastewater Treatment Units
When it’s time to clean out the unit, the cleanout residue, or “sludge,” will carry the original listed waste code(s) of any hazardous waste that was introduced into the unit.
The derived-from rule can even apply to hazardous wastes in a landfill. Due to natural decomposition, pressure, and the elements, a landfilled hazardous waste may create a leachate.
That leachate—which is often collected and pumped to the surface—will carry the same listed waste code as a waste that was:
- Listed for “T” (toxic);
- Listed for “H” (acutely toxic); or
- Listed because it exhibited one or more hazardous waste characteristic (40 CFR 261, Subpart C) and still exhibits the characteristic(s).
The upshot here is that anything “derived from” a listed hazardous waste must still meet the land disposal treatment and recordkeeping requirements at 40 CFR 268 for the original waste code(s) before disposal.
There are some specific, limited exceptions to the “derived-from” rule:
Exceptions to the Derived-from Rule
- Pickle liquor sludge;
- Slag from high-temperature metal recovery (F006, K061, K062); and
- Biological treatment sludge (K156, K157).
In addition, if either a characteristic or a listed hazardous waste is treated to recover a usable component, the reclaimed material is excepted from the “derived-from” rule as long as it is not burned or used in or on the land. The EPA considers the recovered materials to be products, not wastes [40 CFR 261.2(c)(3)].
By understanding the derived-from rule, generators can ensure they properly manage, treat, and dispose of all facility waste—even those wastes that come from other wastes.
The Advanced RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshop brings together experienced environmental professionals to explore methods to minimize waste, control pollution, and find relief from burdensome RCRA requirements. Join your peers to discover new ways to cut costs without running afoul of the hazardous waste regulations and limit your exposure to liability under programs like CERCLA.
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