Texas to Start Adopting RCRA Generator Improvements This Summer

Posted on 6/28/2018 by Roger Marks

In Summer 2018, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Office of Industrial and Hazardous Waste (I&HW) will begin the internal process of adopting EPA’s “Generator Improvements” into Texas’ I&HW regulations.

The announcement appeared on page 3 of the TCEQ I&HW Quarterly Highlights update for Spring 2018. TCEQ estimates a rulemaking to adopt some or all of the provisions of EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule will take between 12 and 18 months to complete.

What, Exactly, Is Texas Going to Adopt?

States authorized to oversee their own hazardous waste compliance and enforcement programs—including Texas and most other states—must maintain regulations that are at least as stringent as the Federal RCRA requirements.

Given that requirement, Texas must adopt the elements of the new EPA rules that are more stringent than the current 30 TAC State hazardous waste rules.

More-stringent elements include:
  • Re-notification requirement for small quantity generators.
  • New labeling requirements for hazardous waste containers.
  • Expanded contingency planning requirements.
Less-stringent elements of the new EPA RCRA hazardous waste rules, i.e., rules that have bene relaxed and which Texas may choose to adopt or not, include:
  • The option to consolidate waste from very small quantity generators (VSQGs).
  • New reliefs for episodic hazardous waste generation (lab cleanout, spills, etc.).
  • Streamlined process for waivers to the 50-foot rule for ignitable wastes.

Read more about the updates in EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule here.

State Adoption of the Generator Improvements Rule

Texas will join a growing list of states now adopting these updated RCRA hazardous waste requirements. Most recently, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia adopted the new rules into their State regulatory codes. The adoption of the more-stringent provisions is not optional—all US states (save for Alaska and Iowa, whose programs are overseen by US EPA) must incorporate them into their State programs.
States have one to two years from the effective date (May 30, 2017) to adopt the RCRA updates. In addition to the three states named above, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, and Idaho have also adopted the new rules.

In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, meanwhile, the state hazardous waste code is written in a way that “automatically” adopts revisions to the Federal program meaning that the Generator Improvements Rule is already in effect in those states as well.

Tags: hazardous, industrial waste, management, new rules, TCEQ, Texas, waste

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