Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status

January 2020

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 DHEC uses when adopting regulations is described here.  

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

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).

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 was required to make changes to the portions of the rule that have already been adopted. The changes to the DSW rule were approved by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. The changes became effective on November 22, 2019 when they were published in the S.C. State Register.

DHEC is also working to adopt the remaining, optional portions of the DSW rule. 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. These portions of the DSW rule were approved by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting, and will be submitted for Legislative review in January 2020. It is likely these rules will become effective in May or June 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. 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. It is implemented by EPA as a matter of foreign policy and does not require Legislative review.

The DHEC Board approved this rule at its November 7, 2019 meeting. The rule was adopted into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations on November 22, 2019 when it was published in the S.C. State Register.

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 Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System User Fee rule was approved by the DHEC Board at its November 7, 2019 meeting. The rule was adopted into the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations on November 22, 2019 when it was published in the S.C. State Register.

Safe Management of Recalled Airbags

The EPA published in the Federal Register on November 30, 2018 (83 FR 231) an Interim Final Rule on Safe Management of Recalled Airbags. This rule responds to an urgent public need to safely manage recalled Takata airbags. It is anticipated that a Notice of Drafting will be published in the S.C. State Register in the Spring of 2020 when DHEC formally begins the process of adopting this rule. This rule requires Legislative approval.

More information can be found on this rule on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/hw/interim-final-rule-safe-management-recalled-airbag.

Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine

The EPA published the Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine Rule in the Federal Register on February 22, 2019 (84 FR 36). This rule establishes procedures for safe management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors. It eliminates dual regulation of

RCRA hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that are also regulated as controlled substances by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The rule maintains the exemption of household hazardous waste for pharmaceuticals collected during take-back programs. It also considers patches, gums, and lozenges that are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration as over the counter replacements for nicotine therapies as acutely hazardous waste (P075). Finally, the rule prohibits disposal (non-sewering) of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals “down the drain”. The non-sewering ban became effective nationally on August 21, 2019.

DHEC anticipates publication of a Notice of Drafting to begin the process of adopting the rule in Spring 2020. This rule does not require legislative review.

More information on this rule may be found at https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/management-pharmaceutical-hazardous-waste.

For More Information

EPA maintains a web site which includes information on these and other rules that DHEC uses during the adoption process and can be found at this link. 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 hwreg@dhec.sc.gov.
 

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Regulations & Updates