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car batteries

Hazardous Materials Recycling Rule Finalized

car batteriesThe EPA has finalized a hazardous materials recycling rule that requires, among other things, off-site recycling at a facility with a RCRA permit or verified recycler variance.

The agency says this will allow it and individual states to verify that a facility has the equipment and trained personnel to safely manage the material, adequate financial assurance, is prepared to respond in case of an emergency, and can demonstrate that the recycling is not disposal in the guise of recycling.

The new verified recycler exclusion also includes a public participation requirement for recyclers seeking variances, so that communities are notified prior to the start of recycling operations.

The Definition of Solid Waste final rule modifies the EPA’s 2008 DSW rule to protect human health and the environment from the mismanagement of hazardous secondary material, while promoting sustainability through the encouragement of safe and environmentally responsible recycling of such materials.

It includes several provisions that the EPA says result in both resource conservation and economic benefits by encouraging certain types of in-process recycling and remanufacturing.

The rule affirms the legitimacy of the pre-2008 DSW exclusions, such as the scrap metal exclusion, and does not change the regulatory status of material legitimately recycled under these long-standing exclusions.

The final rule includes a revised definition of legitimate recycling that re-affirms the legitimacy of in-process recycling and of commodity-grade recycled products, such as metal commodities. The rule retains the exclusion for recycling under the control of the generator, including recycling onsite, within the same company and through certain types of toll manufacturing agreements, which recognizes those generators who follow good business practices by taking responsibility for their recycling and maintaining control of their hazardous secondary materials.

Finally, the final rule includes a targeted remanufacturing exclusion for certain higher-value hazardous spent solvents, which are being remanufactured into commercial-grade products. This allows manufacturers to reduce the use of virgin solvents, resulting in both economic and environmental benefits, including energy conservation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo Credit: car batteries via American Spirit / Shutterstock.com


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