Massachusetts Proposes Hazardous Waste Regulation Updates

Posted on 1/16/2023 by Roger Marks

On January 4, 2023, Massachusetts DEP proposed to adopt several new or revised requirements into its state hazardous waste regulations (310 CMR 30.000).

Included: Adding hazardous waste aerosol cans to the state’s list of universal wastes.

Other proposed additions that directly impact generators include EPA’s Electronic Manifest regulations, a change related to obtaining an EPA ID number, and new exclusions for airbag waste and smoking cessation products with nicotine in them. 

The full list of provisions proposed for adopting in Massachusetts is below. A detailed description of each proposed change is included in the documentation posted to the web by Mass DEP, available here: 

Proposed Amendments to 310 CMR 30.000 Hazardous Waste 

Mass DEP will accept public comments on the proposed revisions until February 27, 2023.

A series of virtual public hearings will be held from January 30 to February 3 (Details).

Big Ticket RCRA Items

The “major” updates in this proposed rule include:

  • Adding aerosol cans to the list of universal waste;  
  • Incorporating export shipments into the E-Manifest regulations;
  • Adding the RCRA exclusion for waste airbags;
  • Adding the RCRA exclusion for smoking cessation products containing nicotine;

A change to RCRA related to confidentiality of hazardous waste import/export documents is also part of Mass DEP’s proposed rule.

One Big RCRA Rule Missing

One major RCRA rulemaking from recent years is not mentioned in Mass DEP's proposed rule: US EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule. Massachusetts remains one of eleven states waiting for revised rules and (in some states) new reliefs to take effect.  

Massachusetts Proposes Hazardous Waste Regulation Updates

Also in Mass DEP's Proposed Rule

Mass DEP is also proposing to add or revised provisions for hazardous waste generators related to:

  • Obtaining an EPA ID number (to reflect the phase-out of state-specific MV ID numbers);
  • Updates to the rules for hazardous waste in academic labs;
  • Technical corrections concerning wood preservatives (30.160); and
  • Correcting the waste oil regulations in 310 CMR 253(5)(a) and (b).

In addition, the rule would allow for Mass DEP to hold virtual hearings regarding permit and licensing modifications and make a minor edit to reflect a sub-agency's new name (BWP).

The proposed rule also clarifies that the sponsor or transporter for a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event must provide an EPA ID number to Mass DEP and sign the Manifest.

Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Training

On top of the regulations that Massachusetts DEP is required to enforce under the Federal RCRA program, the state imposes additional, unique restrictions for hazardous waste identification, management, storage, transportation, and disposal. 

The Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Management Online Course covers what generator personnel in MA need to know to maintain compliance with the stringent Federal and State requirements for managing hazardous waste. Unique state rules range from state-only waste ID criteria and waste codes, the state Recyclable Materials program, and fewer exclusions that generators may use. 

Tags: hazardous waste management, Massachusetts, RCRA, state rules

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