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Oregon Proposes Hazardous Waste Regulation Overhaul

Posted on 7/20/2021 by Lauren Scott

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently proposed to revise its state hazardous waste regulations to incorporate major changes made to the Federal RCRA program in recent years.

The proposed rule “Hazardous Waste Federal Rules Alignment 2021” will update Oregon’s state hazardous waste regulations in line with new and revised Federal RCRA mandates enacted since June 2015.

Major updates for facilities that generate hazardous waste include: 
  • Adoption of the RCRA Generator Improvements Rule
  • The addition of aerosol cans to the universal waste program; and
  • New management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (HWP).
The proposed rule includes the full list of revised RCRA rules that Oregon plans to adopt.

Also included are rules to:
  • Modernize the allowed test methods for ignitable liquids;  
  • Streamline disposal of recalled car airbags;
  • Standardize hazardous waste import export requirements; and
  • Support US EPA’s electronic hazardous waste Manifest (e-Manifest) system
Oregon DEQ announced the proposed rule on June 29, 2021.

Oregon DEQ Hazardous Waste Enforcement

To ensure DEQ issues fair and appropriate civil penalties for non-compliance of the adopted rules, DEQ is also including proposed changes to Division 12 enforcement rules with this rulemaking. When a penalty assessment is necessary, Division 12 provides a formula for DEQ to apply the facts and regulations to determine the appropriate amount of penalty for any given violation.

DEQ has scheduled two public hearings to discuss the proposed rule on August 4 and 5. Industry stakeholders can join the meeting online via Zoom or by phone. Public comments are also being accepted until August 13.

What's In the RCRA Generator Improvements Rule?

to the RCRA Generator Improvements rule complete re-organized the RCRA standards for generators. The Rule added stricter management requirements (and some new reliefs) for hazardous waste 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 large and small quantity generators; 
  • Stricter requirements for incompatible wastes in satellite areas; and
The GIR also clarified the recordkeeping requirements concerning hazardous waste determinations and added a new exclusion for episodic events that generate hazardous waste (such as lab clean outs or spills).

RCRA Pharma Rule and Aerosols as Universal Waste

Oregon DEQ's proposed rule will adopt two other recent updates to the hazardous waste regulations: EPA’s management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (HWP) and the addition of aerosol cans to the universal waste program. 

The new standards for HWP prohibited discharge of pharmaceuticals into public sewer systems and created streamlined, mandatory management standards for healthcare facilities and reverse distributors of pharmaceutical hazardous wastes. The restriction on sewer disposal is already in effect nationally.

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. For individual facilities, managing hazardous waste aerosol cans as universal waste could result in a change in generator status (from large to small or from small to very small).

Oregon DEQ last updated the state’s hazardous waste regulations in July 2017.

Update Your RCRA Expertise and Stay in Compliance

Keep your site up to speed with the latest changes to the RCRA hazardous waste rules, including new rules coming soon to Oregon. Lion's two day RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Webinar will help satisfy EPA’s initial RCRA training mandate for hazardous waste personnel (See 40 CFR 262.17).

Develop the expertise you need to manage your site’s hazardous waste from cradle-to-grave. You will leave with a stronger understanding of the RCRA rules and Lion’s updated resources to inform your decision making.

RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Webinar (2 Days) 
July 27–28
Aug. 10–11
Sep. 8–9
Sep. 28–29 

Sign up now.

Read more about the new RCRA rules Oregon plans to adopt: 

Tags: generator improvements, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, Oregon, RCRA

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