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Environment

EPA Plans To Repeal Hazardous Waste Rule

by Cheryl Hogue
August 31, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 35

EPA is planning to withdraw a controversial, industry-backed deregulation of hazardous waste instituted by the Bush Administration because of concerns raised that it does not sufficiently protect health or the environment. At issue is an EPA rule allowing companies to burn certain hazardous waste as fuel in industrial boilers. It applies if emissions from burning energy-rich hazardous waste are comparable with air pollution released from burning fuel oil in the boiler. Before the rule took effect in January, the material had to be disposed of in hazardous waste incinerators, which are more tightly regulated than industrial boilers. The American Chemistry Council, which is a chemical industry trade group, and the National Association of Manufacturers sought the deregulation, which is expected to benefit a number of chemical production facilities (C&EN, Dec. 3, 2007, page 13). EPA says the withdrawal proposal is expected to be made public by November.

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