The Environmental Protection Agency has made changes to the regulations regarding importing and exporting hazardous materials into and out of the United States.
The changes were made in an effort to provide more protection to human health and the environment, to ensure the regulations were consistent with current import/export requirements for shipments between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and development, and to enable electronic submittal of all documents relating to the import/export of hazardous materials.
The final rule will be effective as of December 31, 2016.
EPA–HQ–RCRA–2015–0147; FRL–9947–74– OLEM
The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final rule regarding revisions to the hazardous waste generator regulatory program that was proposed by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 2015.
The approved revisions include reorganization to the hazardous waste generator regulations to make it more user friendly, providing a better understanding of how the program works, allowing greater flexibility for these generators to manage hazardous waste in a more cost effective manner, addressing gaps in current regulations in an effort to strengthen environmental protection, and removing obsolete references to programs that no longer exist.
The final rule will be effective as of May 30, 2017.
EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121; FRL 9947-26-OLEM
EPA may soon begin charging some users of the hazardous waste manifest a prescribed fee when submitting or using an electronic manifest. The fees are being implemented in order for EPA to recover some of the cost associated with the development and operation of the national e-manifest system. EPA is also proposing several amendments to the electronic hazardous waste manifest regulations.
Interested parties may submit comments until September 26, 2016.
EPA–HQ–OLEM–2016–0177; FRL–9940– 99–OLEM
OSHA recently revised the Hazard Communication Standard to ensure it conforms with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Manufacturers and importers of chemicals must ensure their products are classified and labeled according to the new standard and are required to create and distribute Safety Data Sheets.
In response to these revisions, EPA has made changes to the hazardous chemical reporting regulations and the hazard categories for hazardous chemical inventory forms.
The final rule will be effective on June 13, 2016 and has a compliance date of January 1, 2018.
EPA–HQ–SFUND–2010–0763; FRL 9945–07–OLEM
The comment period is being extended on the tentative denial of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrosivity Hazardous Waste Characteristic Regulation petition.
EPA feels the material that was submitted along with the petition and during the initial comment period did not adequately prove revisions are warranted.
EPA is now extending the comment period in an effort to allow additional time for supporting documentation to be submitted. Interested parties may submit comments until December 7, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency is tentatively denying a petition it received requesting changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act corrosivity hazardous waste characteristic regulation. The petition was seeking to alter the regulatory value for defining waste as corrosive from pH 12.5 to pH 11.5 and to adjust the corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous waste.
At this time, EPA is tentatively denying the requested changes stating the supporting materials submitted with the petition fail to demonstrate that the changes are warranted. Interested parties may submit comments until June 10, 2016
The comment period for the EPA’s proposed rule concerning the management and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals has been extended to December 24, 2015. In an effort to improve compliance and enhance the health of the public and the environment, the EPA is proposing several revisions to existing regulations. The revisions include tailoring regulations to focus on specific issues experienced by hospitals, pharmacies and other health care facilities, and clarifying the current regulation concerning the reverse distribution mechanism used for unused or expired pharmaceuticals.
Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–RCRA–2007–0932
The comment period for the EPA’s plans to make improvements to hazardous waste generator regulations has been extended to December 24, 2015. EPA is making the adjustments and changes in an effort to improve compliance and enhance protection of both the environment and public health. The revisions will include addressing current gaps in the regulations, allow more flexibility to hazardous waste generators in order to allow processing waste in a more cost effective manner, adjust the current regulations to make them easier to read and follow, and deleting those regulations that apply to programs that are no longer in effect.
Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–RCRA–2012–0121
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a proposed rule that would revise the import-export of hazardous waste regulations both to and from the United States. The goal of the proposed revisions is to provide more protection for the environment and human health as well as to create more efficient compliance monitoring for international shipments.
This rule will also improve tracking of import-export shipments, create one consolidated set of requirements for all imports and exports, create mandatory electronic reporting to the EPA, and link the consent to export and the exporter declaration that is submitted to U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection.
Docket Number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2015-0147
The EPA has released a new rule that updates the air pollution standards in regards to emissions from petroleum refineries in an effort to ensure a healthy environment for communities that are near such facilities.
The goal of these changes is to control the toxic and potentially carcinogenic air pollutants. This regulatory update aims to ensure petroleum refineries are using the most up to date and effective monitoring and control techniques so that in the event that standard levels of emissions are exceeded corrective action can be taken to protect these communities.
One of the most important changes is the requirement of fence-line monitoring. This is something that has never been done before and is being implemented not only to inform and provide better protection to the communities that are close to refineries but to also strengthen emission controls for flares, pressure relief devices, storage tanks and delayed coker operations. Continuous monitoring of benzene concentrations along the fence-line of petroleum refineries will insure the facilities are managing toxic emissions properly. The fence-line monitors are required to encircle the entire facility so that even low levels of benzene can be detected. The results of such monitoring will then be posted to the EPA website. Additionally, storage tanks and delayed coking units will be required to reduce emissions as well.
Once this rule is fully implemented the toxic air pollutants will be reduced by 5,200 tons per year and the volatile organic compounds will be reduced by 50,000 tons per year. It is important to note that the mandatory, but cost-effective, changes will have no effect on the cost of petroleum products.
EPA Updates Emissions Standards for Petroleum Refineries/First-ever fenceline monitoring requirements will protect nearby communities
The EPA is requesting revisions to the current hazardous materials regulations in an effort to improve compliance which would, in turn, enhance protection of the environment and public health. The proposed changes include revisions to certain components of the current hazardous waste generator regulatory program, addressing gaps in the regulations, reorganize the regulations so they are easier to read and more user friendly, increase the flexibility for hazardous waste generators in an effort to allow them to manage the hazardous waste in a more protective and cost effective manner, and remove references to discontinued programs.
Interested parties may submit comments on this proposal until November 24, 2015.
Federal Register / Vol. 80 / No. 186
The Environmental Protection Agency is inviting small businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations to participate in its Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) as Small Business Entity Representatives (SERs). The purpose of the panel is to focus on EPA’s development of a rule that proposes to modify the current Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation in order to reduce the possibility of accidental release of toxic and/or flammable substances at chemical facilities and improving emergency response when those releases do occur. The panel will consist of federal representatives from the SBA, OMB and EPA. The panel members will ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of either their company, community, or organization so the panel members can understand the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities.
EPA Seeks Input on Modernizing the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule
In February 2012 the Federal Register published final rules entitled National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) From Coal and Oil Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance (NSPS) for Fossil Fuel Fired Electric Utility, Industrial, Commercial, Institutional and Small Industrial, Commercial, Institutional Steam Generating Units. The US EPA recently provided notice that it has already responded to 23 petitions for reconsideration. The agency had granted reconsideration on several discrete issues in the past and then took final action on reconsideration in April 2013 and again in November 2014. On April 21, 2015 the Administrator denied the remaining reconsideration requests in separate letters to the petitioners. The agency did provide a full explanation of the rationale for each denial in the docket for the rules.
Reconsideration on the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS)
The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have issued a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands. The purpose of this proposed rule is to clear up the confusion that was caused by the Supreme Court's decisions from 2001 and 2006. The original proposed rule was posted in the Federal Register on April 21, 2014. Public comments will be accepted until October 20, 2014.
Read the original post in the Federal Register
For more information on the Clean Water Act click here
Exclusion of Benzotrifluoride
This direct final with parallel proposal would revise EPA’s definition of voltile organic compounds (VOC) for purposes of preparing state implementation plans (SIPs) to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. The action would add benzotrifluoride to the list of compounds excluded from the definition of VOC on the basis that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. VOC exemption petition submitted by Kowa American Corp. (Prior: OCC) on 7/29/12.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is adding some new data elements and revising some existing data elements on the Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms (Tier I and Tier II) under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). State and local implementing agencies requested that EPA add the new data elements since the additional information would be useful to develop or modify their community emergency response plans. EPA is also revising some existing data elements in the chemical reporting section of the Tier II inventory form to make reporting easier for facilities and make the form more user-friendly for state and local officials. This rule becomes effective on January 1, 2014.