EPA Proposes New Hazardous Waste Export/Import Rule
On September 24, US EPA signed a proposed rule to update the requirements for import and export shipments of hazardous waste. A pre-publication version of the proposed hazardous waste rulemaking can be found here. According to the pre-publication version of the rule, the new standards aim to:
- Harmonize hazardous waste import-export requirements with rules for shipping between OECD nations;
- Enable electronic submittal of export- and import-related documents; and
- Enable electronic validation of consent in the Automated Export System (AES) for RCRA consent requirements.
The rule will affect businesses that ship RCRA-regulated hazardous wastes, universal wastes, and special wastes such as batteries to a different country for recycling, reclamation, or disposal.
Current RCRA Export Rules
To export hazardous waste under the current requirements, the exporter must:
- Submit an export notice to EPA;
- Receive EPA’s Acknowledgement of Consent (AOC) letter documenting consent by the country of import and any countries of transit;
- Meet RCRA manifest-related requirements for export shipments; and
- Meet unique reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
The OECD, for its part, has revised its hazardous waste trans-boundary shipping standards many times since 1992. Some of these revisions have been adopted by US EPA into the RCRA hazardous waste requirements in the past.
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