Issue Date: May 11, 2009
EPA Revisits Hazardous Waste Exemptions
EPA is closely scrutinizing two Bush Administration rules on hazardous waste that the chemical industry sought. Both regulations relaxed controls on hazardous waste and were intended to save companies money. The agency announced last week that it is planning to revoke one rule that affects the kinds of materials that companies can burn in industrial boilers. The rule, which took effect on Jan. 20, removed some by-products of manufacturing from the agency's category of hazardous wastes. The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association, supported this rule, saying it promotes energy recovery from valuable, fuel-like secondary materials. The other rule under EPA scrutiny allows chemical manufacturers and other businesses to sell or recycle some materials that they formerly had to dispose of as hazardous waste. The agency had said that the rule, which took effect on Dec. 29, 2008, increases recycling of solvents and of metals in spent catalysts (C&EN, Oct. 13, 2008, page 11).
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