Hazardous and Solid Waste

What to Expect in the World of Waste for 2012

In November 2011, EPA closed public comment on a rule concerning the disposal of coal combustion residuals from electricity-producing facilities, first proposed in 2010. EPA is considering two possible options for the management of coal ash. Under the first proposal, EPA would list these residuals as special wastes subject to regulation under Subtitle C of RCRA , when destined for disposal in landfills or surface impoundments . Under the second proposal, EPA would regulate coal ash under Subtitle D of RCRA, the section for nonhazardous wastes.

In 2011, EPA proposed the revision of certain exclusions from the definition of solid waste for hazardous secondary materials intended for reclamation that would otherwise be regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA. The proposal modifies EPA’s 2008 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule, which revised hazardous waste regulations to encourage recycling of hazardous secondary materials. Under a settlement agreement with the Sierra Club that has been filed with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, EPA has committed to take final action on this proposed rulemaking on or before December 31, 2012.
In addition, EPA has proposed to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the Universal Waste Rule in order to provide a system for disposing hazardous pharmaceutical wastes that is protective of public health and the environment.

However, although EPA does not have a projected date for the finalization of the rulemaking to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the federal universal waste program, it may occur in 2012.