Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status

May 30, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes in the Federal Register periodic updates to the Federal Hazardous Waste regulations (40 CFR 260 - 273). If regulations are considered by the EPA to be more stringent than existing regulations, DHEC is required to adopt them. If the EPA determines that new regulations or revisions to existing regulations are less stringent than existing regulations, DHEC is not required to adopt them, but generally does to remain consistent with federal regulations. 

The administrative process for adopting regulations is described here .

Below is a summary of recent or planned revisions to the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

The EPA published the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85732). This rule reorganizes the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly. It also provides greater flexibility to the regulated community and makes conforming changes to the regulations to address errors.

The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule went into effect in S.C. upon publication in the S.C. State Register May 24, 2019. Please follow this link to the State Register for a copy of the changes made to the hazardous waste management regulations.

Questions about this rule should be directed to the Solid and Hazardous Waste Compliance Section at 803-898-0456.

Definition of Solid Waste Rule

EPA published the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule in the Federal Register on January 13, 2015 (80 FR 1694). This rule includes portions that were mandatory for DHEC to adopt because they were more stringent than existing rules. It also includes portions that are considered less stringent than current rules and are therefore optional for DHEC to adopt.

The mandatory portions of the DSW rule became effective in S.C. on May 27, 2016 upon publication in the State Register. The mandatory portions include changes affecting non-waste determinations and variances, legitimacy-related provisions, including those for prohibition of sham recycling, definition of legitimacy, and definition of contained, and finally for speculative accumulation.

Portions of the DSW Rule were changed by a U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruling in March 2018 (see American Petroleum Inst. v. Environmental Prot. Agency, 883 F.3d 918, D.C. Cir. 2018). As a result of this ruling, DHEC is required to make changes to the portions of the rule that have already been adopted. Therefore, a Notice of Proposed Regulation was published in the State Register on May 24, 2019 for a 30-day public comment period. The changes to the DSW rule are scheduled to be considered by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. If the Board approves the changes, they will be published in the State Register on November 22, 2019 and will become effective in S.C.

DHEC also intends to adopt the remaining, optional portions of the DSW. The remaining provisions include requirements for proper management of hazardous waste being recycled (referred to as “hazardous secondary material”), as well as financial assurance for proper management of hazardous secondary material, and the Remanufacturing Exclusion, which encourages recycling of certain high-value solvents. A Notice of Proposed Regulation for the optional portions of the DSW rule was published in the State Register for on May 24, 2019 for a 30-day public comment period. These portions of the DSW rule will be considered by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. If approved by the Board, these rules will be submitted for Legislative review in January 2020.

Confidentiality Determinations for Hazardous Waste Export and Import Documents

EPA published this rule in the Federal Register on December 26, 2017 (82 FR 60894). This rule amends regulations regarding the export and import of hazardous waste into and out of the U.S. Specifically, this rule prevents a claim of confidentiality for documents related to the export, import, and transit of hazardous waste and export of excluded cathode ray tubes (CRTs). EPA is making these changes to apply a consistent approach in addressing confidentiality claims for export and import documentation.

This rule became effective nationally on June 26, 2018 and is implemented by EPA as a matter of foreign policy. It does not require Legislative review.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Regulation for this rule in the May 24, 2019 State Register for a 30-day public comment period. The rule is scheduled to be considered by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. If approved by the Board, the rule will be published in the November 22, 2019 State Register at which point it will be formally adopted into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System User Fee: Final Rule

The EPA published the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System User Fee Rule in the Federal Register on January 3, 2018 (83 FR 420). This rule establishes the methodology the EPA will use to determine and revise user fees applicable to electronic and paper manifests to be submitted to the national electronic manifest system (e-Manifest system). EPA implements the national e-Manifest system.

This rule became effective nationally on June 30, 2018 and is implemented by EPA. It does not require Legislative review.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Regulation for this rule in the May 24, 2019 State Register for a 30-day public comment period. The rule is scheduled to be considered by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. If approved by the Board, the rule will be published in the November 22, 2019 State Register at which point it will be formally adopted into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

For More Information

EPA maintains a web site which includes information on these and other rules that DHEC uses during the adoption process. The EPA web site includes checklists for use by States when adopting rules, copies of Federal Register notices, etc.

For additional information on adoption of hazardous waste regulations, please email us at hwregs@dhec.sc.gov.

Tags

Regulations & Updates