EPA Hazardous Waste Office Changes Name

Posted on 12/16/2015 by Roger Marks

The US EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) has a new name. The office—which is responsible for implementing a number of EPA’s environmental programs—will from here on out be known as the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). Among the responsibilities of this office is the development of hazardous waste standards and regulations.

In a Final Rule in the December 15 Federal Register, EPA states that the office changed names to better reflect the work it does, which expands beyond the Agency’s solid and hazardous waste regulations. The Final Rule does not constitute a substantive change to any environmental requirements.

What Does the Office of Land and Emergency Management Do?

The newly renamed EPA office sets policies and provides guidance and direction for the Agency’s solid and hazardous waste and emergency response programs. Among the specific environmental laws and regulations under the purview of OLEM (formerly OSWER) are:
  • Solid and hazardous waste management under RCRA—the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act;
  • Release reporting and contaminated site cleanup under CERCLA, aka “Superfund” or SARA—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; and
  • Emergency preparedness and reporting requirements under EPCRA—the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Others include the Oil Pollution Act, Section 311 of the Clean Water Act, and the Mercury-containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act.

More information on the name change is available in the Federal Register.

RCRA Hazardous Waste Workshops

The name of the office isn’t the only thing that’s changing as 2016 approaches. Make sure you’re up to speed with the latest RCRA hazardous waste requirements that affect your facility, including EPA’s 2015 Definition of Solid Waste, at the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop. This interactive, expert-led two-day RCRA workshop has been trusted by industry nationwide since 1978 and will help you identify and properly manage the solid and hazardous waste at your site. What you don’t know can hurt you—fines for noncompliance are as high as $37,500 per day per violation.
For a walk-through of two other RCRA rule changes coming our way in 2016, view the free on-demand webinars below:

EPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Proposed Rule
EPA Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Proposed Rule

Tags: CERCLA, EPA, EPCRA, hazardous waste, RCRA

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