Texas: Major RCRA Updates In Effect Now

Posted on 2/1/2022 by Roger Marks and Roseanne Bottone

A Final Rule to significantly revise the Texas state hazardous and industrial waste regulations takes effect on February 3, 2022. 

For generators in Texas, key updates adopted from the Federal RCRA regulations include:
  • EPA’s RCRA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (GIR),
  • Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) and recycling provisions changes,
  • New management standards for Pharmaceutical Hazardous Waste,
  • The addition of aerosol cans to the universal waste program; and
  • The Electronic Hazardous Waste Manifest (e-Manifest) Fee Rule.
TCEQ also adopted an exclusion for spent foundry sands from the iron and steel casting industry.

View the full text of the Final Rule online.
Texas RCRA training in Houston and Dallas

RCRA Generator Improvements in Texas

Effective February 3, Texas adopted stricter management requirements for generators, including but not limited to:
  • Expanded contingency plan and emergency preparedness requirements;
  • New marking/labeling requirements for hazardous waste containers and tanks;
  • A re-notification requirement for small quantity generators; and
  • Stricter requirements for incompatible wastes in satellite areas.
The Generator Improvements Rule clarifies the recordkeeping requirements concerning hazardous waste determinations.

It also adds a new exclusion for episodic events that generate hazardous waste (such as lab clean outs or spills), which TCEQ adopted. The GIR re-organized the Federal RCRA generator standards in 40 CFR Part 262; Texas will make conforming changes to the state regulations in Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC).

Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

US EPA finalized new, mandatory standards for managing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (HWP) on August 21, 2019. The Rule prohibited discharge of pharmaceuticals into public sewer systems and created streamlined, management standards for healthcare facilities and reverse distributors of pharmaceutical hazardous wastes.

The restriction on sewer disposal was already in effect nationally. 

More details: New RCRA Rules for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals 

RCRA Definition of Solid Waste (DSW)

The RCRA Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) impacts recycling provisions for hazardous wastes. EPA updated the definition in 2018 following legal challenges to a previous revision of the DSW.

In short, the previous revision (made in 2015) created new criteria for determining whether a substance is a waste and strengthened some of the emergency preparedness provisions. A circuit court later invalidated parts of the 2015 rule but upheld new containment and contingency planning requirements.

Lion News covered the DSW revisions in more detail in June 2018.

Aerosols as Universal Waste

Texas will also add hazardous waste aerosol cans to the state universal waste program. US EPA added aerosol cans as universal waste (under the Federal RCRA regulations) in February of 2020.

Aerosols join mercury-containing equipment, lamps, certain pesticides, and batteries as RCRA universal wastes. In Texas, generators may manage paint and paint-related material as universal waste as well. 

e-Manifests for Texas Generators

EPA will charge user fees to treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) and state-only waste receiving facilities to fund the administration of the Electronic Hazardous Wastes Manifest (e-Manifest) system.

Use of the e-manifest system is currently optional for hazardous waste generators.

Live Webinar Training for Texas Generators 

Can't attend the Houston RCRA and industrial waste workshops in summer 2022? You can still catch instructor-led webinar training to help satisfy US EPA and TCEQ training mandates.

Join a live, instructor-led webinar for comprehensive training to navigate and apply new and changing regulations for managing your site's hazardous and industrial waste, preparing for emergencies, and meeting your reporting and recordkeeping responsibilities. 

Upcoming Webinars:
RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Webinar
Texas Hazardous & Industrial Waste Management Webinar  

Tags: aerosols, generator improvements rule, hazardous waste management, Texas, universal waste

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