Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status

February 5, 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 .

DHEC is in the process of adopting the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. The Department is also beginning the adoption process for three other rules, including the remaining portions of the Definition of Solid Waste, Confidentiality Determinations for Hazardous Waste Export and Import Documents, and the Hazardous Waste Manifest System User Fee Rule.

The Department also intends to make typographical corrections to the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations in 2019.

Finally, the Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule was incorporated into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations on December 28, 2018.

Each of these rules is discussed in more detail below.

Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule

EPA published the Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85696). This rule amends existing regulations governing the import and export of hazardous waste. It includes provisions to make the regulations more consistent with the import-export requiements between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; enables submittal to EPA of all import and export-related documents; and allows electronic validation of export shipments in the Automated Export System. This rule is implemented by the EPA as a matter of foreign policy and became effective nationally on December 31, 2016.

The Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule was incorporated into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations upon publication in the State Register on December 28, 2018.

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 DHEC Board approved the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule Notice of Final Regulation at its December 13, 2018 meeting. This rule requires Legislative review. As a result, it has been submitted to the Legislature for consideration in the ongoing session (Spring 2019).  

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). The Rule includes portions that are mandatory for DHEC to adopt because they are more stringent than current 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 all 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 Definition of Solid Waste 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 been adopted. DHEC intends to publish a Notice of Drafting in the State Register in March 2019 to start this process. 

DHEC also intends to adopt the remaining, optional portions of the Definition of Solid Waste. 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, among other items. Finally, DHEC intends to adopt the Remanufacturing Exclusion which encourages recycling of certain high-value solvents.

Confidentiality Determinations for Hazardous Waste Export and Import Documents

EPA  recently published this rule which amends regulations regarding the export and import of hazardous waste into and out of the U.S. Specifically, this rule applies a confidentiality determination such that no person can assert confidential business information (CBI) claims 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.

The Department will begin adoption of this rule in the Spring of 2019. This rule does not require Legislative review.

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 the user fees applicable to the 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. 

The Department will begin adoption of this rule in the Spring of 2019. This rule does not require Legislative review.

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