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Final Rule Alert: EPA Exempts Recalled Airbags from RCRA Hazardous Waste Rules

Posted on 11/30/2018 by Roger Marks

US EPA published its Interim final rule Safe Management of Recalled Airbags to the Federal Register on Friday, November 30.

The rule creates a conditional exemption at 40 CFR 261.4(j) from the RCRA hazardous waste management requirements for all airbag waste (i.e., airbag modules and airbag inflators) collected from auto dealers or other “airbag waste handlers” for the purpose of safe disposal.

Built for dealerships and auto parts shippers affected by the Takata recall, the Shipping Auto Airbags and Other Safety Devices Online Course covers the DOT regulations you must know to package, mark, label, and offer airbags for ground transport. Meet DOT’s hazmat training mandate for employees and avoid fines for training violations recently increased to $481 per day, per employee. 

The new conditional exemption will apply to both Takata and non-Takata airbag waste. Takata airbags are likely to make up a bulk of the airbag waste managed under this new RCRA hazardous waste exemption, as the recall effort covers an estimated 50 million safety devices from makers including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. An estimated 50 million defective airbag inflators are now under recall. More recalls may be issued in the future.

See the Interim Final Rule here.  


How to Manage and Ship Recalled Airbag Inflators and Airbag Modules (Conditions for Exemption)


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In order to qualify for the exemption from the RCRA hazardous waste management regualtions, facilities must manage airbag waste according to specific criteria outlined in EPA's rule, i.e., accumulation time limits, rules for containers, and marking requirements. The management standards closely mirror DOT's requirements set forth in an existing Preservation Order for recalled airbags. 

While these airbag inflators and modules will be exempt from the RCRA hazardous waste management requirements while on site, US DOT’s 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) do apply for airbag wastes shipped off-site. This includes hazmat training required for employees involved in packaging, marking, labeling, and handling these shipments.

Note: As of last week, US DOT PHMSA will now fine employers up to $481 per day, per employee for failure to provide hazmat training required under 49 CFR 172.704.  

Read about the expanding Takata airbag recall here.

Get expert hazmat training for auto parts shippers to safely ship recalled airbag inflators, airbag modules, and other safety devices in compliance with US DOT’s hazmat regulations.  
 

Tags: airbag, DOT, hazardous, hazmat, management, new, rules, Takata, training, waste

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