The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is addressing the next steps on two hazardous waste rules — Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) and the Emission Comparable Fuels (ECF). In response to concerns raised by stakeholders that these rules are bad for the environment, the EPA may revise the DSW rule, which went into effect on December 29, 2008, and withdraw the ECF rule, which went into effect on January 20, 2009.
The EPA plans to hold a public meeting in June to discuss possible revisions to the DSW rule. The DSW rule modified the regulations for recycling hazardous secondary materials to encourage the recycling of certain materials to help conserve resources, and includes conditions designed to ensure that the recycling of the materials is protective of human health and the environment, according to the EPA.
However, since publication of the DSW rule, the Sierra Club has raised concerns about the effectiveness and protectiveness of the rule and has requested EPA stay the rule in an administrative petition.
The EPA also plans to propose a rule to withdraw the ECF rule, which removed regulatory costs by reclassifying certain manufacturing byproducts as non-wastes. ECF is fuel that is produced from a hazardous waste, but it generates emissions when burned in an industrial boiler that are comparable to emissions from burning fuel oil.