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2020 Preview: 3 RCRA Hazardous Waste Rules to Watch

Posted on 12/3/2019 by Roger Marks

Before Thanksgiving, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) released the Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Updated twice per year, the Unified Agenda gives industry stakeholders and the public a view into rulemaking activities in progress within Federal agencies.

Below we review two RCRA hazardous waste rulemakings that are planned for 2020, and one additional rule that’s already been finalized.

Rule 1: Adding Aerosol Cans to the Universal Waste Regulations

aerosol cans universal waste rule RCRAEPA has finalized a rulemaking to establish streamlined management standards for hazardous waste aerosol cans. A pre-publication version of the Final Rule is available now. 

We expect the Final Rule to appear in the Federal Register before the end of the year (and as soon as this week). 

Adding aerosol cans to the universal waste program offers potential cost savings and will simplify things for generators, who currently manage aerosols under a patchwork of State-level laws, regulations, policies, and guidance documents. As with all new Federal environmental reliefs, though, authorized States may choose to adopt the new universal waste rules into their State programs (or not).

Lion will present live webinar training on EPA’s New Aerosol Universal Waste Rule on January 23, February 6, and February 19. See the full schedule.

Rule 2: Modernizing Ignitability Determinations

This rule, which EPA expects to finalize in March 2020, will update the flash point test methods for characteristically ignitable hazardous waste. The rule will also codify guidance related to ignitable liquids and mixtures. 
 
As proposed, this rule will:

  • Incorporate modern consensus standards into the RCRA regulations.
  • Give generators flexibility to use non-mercury thermometers to characterize wastes and stack emissions.
  • Narrow the exclusion for aqueous solutions.
  • Clarify the requirements for testing multiphase materials.
Read more about EPA’s proposal to modernize ignitable liquid determinations here.

Rule 3: Safe Management of Recalled Airbags 

EPA developed an Interim Final Rule on November 30, 2018 to establish streamlined hazardous waste management requirements for auto dealers and scrap yards handling recalled Takata airbag inflators. The recall started in 2013 and expanded earlier this year to cover the airbags in more than 1 million vehicles.

To qualify for exemption under the proposal, dealerships, parts suppliers, and service shops that generate airbag waste must comply with accumulation time limits, container management standards, and container marking requirements. EPA is planning to adopt a Final Rule in April 2020.

If you are concerned about your own vehicle’s airbags, check the National Highway Traffic Administration’s (NHSTA) resources regarding the airbag inflator recall:

Takata Recall Spotlight
VIN Lookup for Recalled Vehicles

2020 RCRA Training Workshops Start January 6

Join Lion for annually-required RCRA training in January. Get up to date on the latest requirements for sites that generate and store hazardous waste, including major changes in EPA's Generator Improvements Rule.

The most impactful RCRA updates include expanded contingency plan requirements, new labeling/marking rules for containers and tanks, a completely re-organized 40 CFR Part 262, and new reliefs for “episodic events” that could affect your generator status.
RCRA hazardous waste training
Save your seat now! 
 
Cleveland, OH January 6–7
Mobile, AL January 6–7
Cincinnati, OH January 9–10
Memphis, TN January 9–10
Chicago, IL January 13–14
Nashville, TN January 13–14
St. Louis, MO January 16–17
Charlotte, NC January 16–17
Atlanta, GA January 21–22
Orlando, FL January 22–23
Indianapolis, IN January 27–28
Charleston, SC January 27–28
Detroit, MI January 30–31
Richmond, VA  January 30–31

See the complete 2020 RCRA training schedule here. 

Tags: aerosols, airbags, hazardous waste management, RCRA, RCRA Training

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