Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule
U.S. EPA’s final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule was published in the Federal Register (FR) on November 28, 2016. This final rule became effective at the federal level on May 30, 2017.
For those states and territories that are not authorized for the RCRA program (Alaska, Iowa, and the Indian Nations, and the territories Puerto Rico, American Samoa, N. Mariana and US Virgin Islands), the rule went into effect May 30, 2017.
IDEM has been authorized by the U.S. EPA to implement the majority of the federal RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste management program in Indiana. Indiana's hazardous waste management rules are codified at 329 IAC 3.1 [PDF].
Indiana as an authorized state is required to adopt those provisions in the new rule that are more stringent than the current RCRA generator regulations in order to retain their authorized status. These provisions of the rule will not become effective in states authorized for the RCRA program until states have adopted the rule and become authorized for the new provisions. Indiana has not yet adopted the new hazardous waste improvement rule. The federal rule changes that were published in the FR November 28, 2016, are not currently recognized in Indiana.
The rules that were in place in Indiana prior to the November federal adoption of the hazardous waste generator improvement rule are still in effect and will remain in effect unless specifically changed by, or replaced by the adoption of the new federal hazardous waste generator improvement rule by Indiana. Indiana’s first public notice regarding the adoption of the new rule is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2018.
The U.S. EPA Frequent Questions page about the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule provides additional information.
Opportunity for Small Entities to provide input on the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.”
The U.S. EPA, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Army (the agencies), will hold 11 sessions to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide recommendations on a revised definition of “waters of the United States.” The agencies will hold nine two-hour long teleconferences that will be tailored for specific sectors, plus one that will be open to the general public. The agencies propose holding a webinar for small entities on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Time (ET), and an in-person meeting on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM ET at the U.S. EPA’s Headquarters. The meetings will be part of a longer series of pre-proposal stakeholder outreach the agencies will conduct in the Fall of 2017.
Stakeholder Sessions Schedule
- September 19, 2017: small entities (small businesses, small organizations and small governmental jurisdictions)
- September 26, 2017: environment and public advocacy
- October 3, 2017: conservation, e.g., hunters and anglers
- October 10, 2017: construction and transportation
- October 17, 2017: agriculture
- October 24, 2017: industry
- October 31, 2017: mining
- November 7, 2017: scientific organizations and academia
- November 14, 2017: stormwater, wastewater management and drinking water agencies
- November 21, 2017: general public
Extension of Comment Period for the Definition of “Waters of the United States” – Recodification of Pre-existing Rules
U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army have extended the comment period by 30 days for the proposed first step of the review of the definition of "waters of the United States" to provide additional time for stakeholders to weigh in. On August 16, 2017, the U.S. EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Michael Shapiro, along with Mr. Douglas Lamont, senior official performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, signed the Federal Register notice extending the public comment period, which published on August 22, 2017. The comment period, as now extended, will close on September 27, 2017. The proposed rule was signed by the Administrator and Mr. Douglas Lamont, senior official performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, and posted to the U.S. EPA website on June 27, 2017, and published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2017. When finalized, the proposed rule would replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with the regulations that were in effect immediately preceding the 2015 rule. The public can submit comments, identified by Docket ID EPA-HQ-2017-0203, at the regulations.gov website.
Common Violations for Underground Storage Tank (UST) Facilities:
The most common violations for petroleum Underground Storage Tank (UST) facilities in 2016, involved: failure to provide leak detection for USTs, failure to have and provide proof of financial responsibility, failure to submit notification for USTs to IDEM, and failure to maintain proper release detection methods for piping. In addition, an owner of an under groundunderground storage tank, or an operator needs to maintain accurate and current records and be able to produce these records upon IDEM request. Following are Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) citations for each requirement and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) recommendations for avoiding these and other common environmental violations.
New Definition of Solid Waste (DSW):
The U.S. EPA published a final rule that went into effect July 13, 2015, which revises several recycling-related provisions associated with the definition of solid waste (DSW), which is used to determine hazardous waste regulation under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
Note: IDEM adopted this new DSW rule language by reference in its entirety. A pending DC Court of Appeals ruling regarding portions of the EPA’s 2015 Definition of Solid Waste may affect the new requirements for Indiana’s regulated community differently than outlined below.
IDEM Trainings and Certifications:
IDEM offers information on a variety of trainings and certifications to assist businesses in sustaining compliance, including:
Solvents in the Workplace
The U.S. EPA has released a new guidance document, entitled, Solvents in the Workplace – How to Determine If They Are Hazardous Waste [PDF].
Solvents are used in the workplace for many different purposes and once they are spent or left unused and destined to be disposed, making hazardous waste determinations can sometimes be a challenging task. This e-enterprise user-friendly guidance walks through a series of questions and answers that will help a facility determine if it may have generated a hazardous waste solvent. The guidance provides information to assist a facility in recycling or reusing its solvents which could reduce its waste management costs and the nation’s need for virgin materials. Also, at the end of the document, there are a number of questions the U.S. EPA has answered through the years involving hazardous waste solvents.