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Exclusions, Exemptions, and Reduced or Different Regulations for Hazardous Wastes

Some waste streams may meet applicable exclusion and exemption criteria and not be fully regulated as a hazardous waste. These exclusions and exemptions can be found at 40 CFR 261. Indiana has adopted most of these by reference under 329 IAC 3.1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has an informational page which defines solid waste and frames cases for solid waste and hazardous waste exclusion. Note that solid waste excluded by the federal regulations may be regulated in Indiana under the state rules.

Indiana adopted the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule [PDF] as amended by the U.S. EPA on January 13, 2015 by reference effective November 5, 2016. IDEM is evaluating the impact of this ruling to hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. It appears that it currently affects a very small number of facilities. On July 7, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled on challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory DSW as amended in 2015. The court ruling [PDF] addressed two major components of the DSW rule: the verified recycler exclusion was vacated, except for its emergency preparedness provisions and its expanded containment requirements, and the legitimacy criteria dubbed “factor 4” was vacated. The current federal regulations remain in effect until the Court issues a final mandate. Parties to the court case have been given until October 21, 2017 to file motions regarding the ruling. Additional information on the DSW rule can be found at the U.S. EPA’s website which also shows where the DSW rule is in effect.

Hazardous Waste Exemptions

There are some specific types of waste with qualities that would result in them being labeled as hazardous, but are regulated separately under rules specifically tailored to those waste to encourage proper collection and recycling. Certain toxic wastes are regulated by EPA under a different set of regulations rather than as hazardous waste.

Universal Waste

Batteries, pesticides, mercury equipment, lamps, and aerosol cans are considered universal wastes. These common wastes are hazardous, but the regulations for them are reduced to encourage more recycling and less disposal.

Used Oil

Petroleum-based oils, not vegetable/animal oils destined for recycling or energy recovery under Used Oil Rule (329 IAC 13). Used oils may be regulated under the hazardous waste rules when disposed.

Household Hazardous Waste

The wastes around our homes are regulated by solid waste, not hazardous waste, because they come in such small amounts. Household hazardous wastes still need to be disposed of properly, otherwise they could cause public health and environmental hazards and are subject to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act  (CERCLA).

Toxic Substances Control Act

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) waste: industrial wastes from a source with concentration of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) 50 mg/L or greater, regulated under Toxic Substances Control Act.