EPA Proposes to Modify RCRA Regulations to Allow More Recycling

May 16, 2006
Client Alert Newsletter May 2007

On March 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") published a new proposal to modify the definition of solid waste in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA") regulations to exclude from the definition, and thus from regulation, certain hazardous secondary materials sent for recycling. The proposal, which replaces an initial October 2003 proposal, aims to de-regulate certain recyclable materials to encourage their recovery and reuse. The new proposal provides (1) an exclusion for hazardous secondary materials (i.e., spent materials, listed sludges, and listed by-products) that are legitimately reclaimed under the control of the generator; (2) a conditional exclusion for hazardous secondary materials transferred to another person for the purpose of reclamation; and (3) a petition process for case-specific non-waste determinations for certain hazardous secondary materials that are recycled. EPA has also modified its previously proposed regulatory framework for determining whether recycling is legitimate. The comment period on the new proposal ends on June 25. If you are interested in submitting comments, please contact our office.