Pennsylvania's Consolidation of the Municipal and Residual Waste Regulations is Moving Forward

May 8, 2009
Client Alert Newsletter May 2009

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's ("PADEP") effort to merge and rewrite the municipal and residual waste regulations has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. On March 19, 2009, PADEP's Solid Waste Advisory Committee ("SWAC") voted to forward the package of regulatory amendments to the Environmental Quality Board for proposed rulemaking. This regulatory consolidation has been in the works for several years and is intended to address the areas of overlap between the two sets of regulations and to promote recycling and waste reduction activities while maintaining the Solid Waste Management Act's municipal and residual waste distinction.

PADEP's planned regulatory amendments affect virtually all aspects of the municipal and residual waste regulations and will have important ramifications for Pennsylvania’s regulated community. Key changes to the existing regulation that are proposed in the draft package include several modifications to existing definitions (e.g., a unified definition of waste), a number of new definitions, modifications to the residual waste generator requirements, recycling and beneficial use provisions and permitting requirements. The proposed rules are anticipated to be issued later this year and significant public comment is anticipated.