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New RCRA Exclusions: On-site Reclamation

Posted on 3/27/2017 by Scott Dunsmore

When the EPA promulgated changes to its definition of solid waste on January 13, 2015, the Agency created a few new exclusions for certain hazardous secondary material reclamation. By capitalizing on the new reliefs for hazardous secondary material reclamation, hazardous waste generators may be able to lower their generator status and reduce the number or cost of off-site hazardous waste shipments.

Last month, we wrote about the exclusion for reclaiming secondary materials at an off-site facility “under the control of the generator.” Today, we examine the second of three new exclusions for reclamation—reclaiming secondary materials on site.

Traditional RCRA Recycling Limits

Hazardous waste recycling reliefsAs we discussed in a 2015 Lion News post, listed by-products, listed sludges, and all spent materials are solid waste when reclaimed. [40 CFR 261.2(c), Table 1] So, if the secondary material is a hazardous waste, the generators must comply with the RCRA Subtitle C regulations (e.g., accumulation, manifesting, LDRs).

New Options Under RCRA—On-site Reclamation

However, 40 CFR 271.4(a)(23) excludes these hazardous secondary materials from the definition of solid waste if generators perform the reclamation themselves.

To capitalize on the exclusion for reclaimed hazardous secondary materials, generators must meet some basic requirements in four categories.

1. Notification

The generator must notify the EPA before taking advantage of the exclusion. [40 CFR 260.42] The notification must be made on EPA Form 8700-12. The generator must re-notify the Agency by March 1 of every even-numbered year.

2. Recordkeeping

The generator must also maintain records consistent with 40 CFR 260.43 to demonstrate that the hazardous secondary materials are being legitimately reclaimed and not speculatively accumulated. [40 CFR 260.43 and 261.1(c)(8)]

3. Containment

The hazardous secondary material is not subject to the hazardous waste accumulation standards. However, while the generator is storing the material prior to reclaiming it, the material must be stored in devices that are:
  • Compatible with the hazardous secondary material.
  • In good shape and not leaking.
  • Marked with words that identify the contents and the accumulation start date.

[40 CFR 260.10, definition of “contained”]

4. Emergency Planning

The generator must also comply with the emergency preparedness and planning requirements at 40 CFR 261, Subpart M.

Not So Fast!

Because the 2015 definition of solid waste rule is still relatively new, generators must wait until their state adopts these new exclusions. EPA keeps a running list of states which have adopted all or part of the 2015 Definition of Solid Waste here. 

For more about State adoption, read New RCRA DSW Rule Coming to Your State.

New! RCRA Recycling Reliefs Online Course

Expand on your RCRA hazardous waste expertise and master the complex exceptions, exclusions, and reliefs you can use to save your facility time and money. Only $99 per student. Learn more about the new RCRA Recycling Reliefs online course here. 

Ready for your annual RCRA training? In April and May, Lion’s nationally trusted RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Workshop comes to Grand Rapids, Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Detroit, and more. Reserve your seat now or see the full schedule here.

Tags: hazardous, new rules, RCRA, recycling, waste

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