The rule proposes consolidation of the regulations so that one set of protective requirements will apply to transboundary movements of hazardous waste. The proposal, when finalized, will affect the some 3,000 hazardous waste import shipments and 49,000 hazardous waste export shipments that largely occur within North America.
The hazardous waste proposal will also make electronic reporting to the EPA mandatory and will require linking the consent to export with the exporter declaration submitted to US Customs and Border Protection. The agency says these changes will provide for more efficient compliance monitoring and will enable increased sharing of hazardous waste import and export data with state programs, the general public, and individual hazardous waste exporters and importers.
The new proposal follows two other hazardous waste rules the EPA proposed less than a month ago. One of the proposed rules aims to protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of pharmaceuticals by healthcare workers. The EPA says the other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste.