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When hazardous waste is disposed of in a landfill, a small amount of the toxic constituents in the waste may “leach out” into the soil and groundwater. To mitigate the risks posed by chemicals seeping out of buried waste, US EPA requires generators to prove that the volume of hazardous substances that will “leach out” into the environmental is below thresholds set by US EPA.
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In 1995, US EPA passed the Universal Waste Rule, which created relaxed standards for managing common hazardous wastes like light bulbs, batteries, mercury-containing equipment, and more. While universal wastes are subject to less stringent regulations than “fully-regulated” hazardous wastes, there are still rules to follow to manage them properly. Use this guide to spot and correct common universal waste errors before they result in a notice of violation during a Federal or State inspection.