Facts and FAQ about the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Proposed Rule
Expected to be finalized by the end of 2016, the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule Proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is primarily a flexibility, safety enhancement, and clarification update.
The rule proposes an update in order to:
- Make the rules easier for generators to use and understand
- Clarify provisions to improve compliance
- Provide greater flexibility to generators in the management of their hazardous waste
- Strengthen environmental protection by closing important gaps where necessary.
According to the EPA, the two key provisions where it is proposing flexibility are:
- Allowing a hazardous waste generator to avoid increased burden of a higher generator status when generating episodic waste provided the episodic waste is properly managed and
- Allowing a conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG) to send its hazardous waste to a large quantity generator under control of the same person.
In addition, the rule will improve the safety of employees, facilities, and the general public by modernizing the rule and improving communication. Furthermore, the EPA is proposing many clarifications including reorganizing the regulations to get all of the generator regulations into one place.
Q: Why is this rule being proposed by the EPA?
A: All impacted parties now have over 35 years of experience implementing the hazardous waste program. That experience has led leaders and policy makers to seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. Also, the new proposal is in response to feedback received from the 2012 hazardous waste determination program evaluation as well EPA’s Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations under Executive Order 13563.
Q: What are some of the benefits of the new rule?
A: The proposed rule has both environmental and economic benefits. For example, the proposed rule provides flexibility to conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQG) to ship their waste to a large quantity generator (LQG) under the control of the same company. This change has the potential to:
- Reduce operating costs to the company
- Reduce environmental liability
- Increase recycling
- Reduce the amount of CESQG hazardous waste being sent to municipal solid waste landfills
Q: How and why will the proposed hazardous waste generator regulations be reorganized?
A: The proposed regulations will be reorganized so that, for the most part, the hazardous waste generator regulations will be found in one place in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
For more questions and answers concerning the proposed hazardous waste generator regulations, check out the FAQ found on the EPA website.