Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status

April 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 had 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 were submitted for Legislative review in January 2020. It is likely these rules will become effective in May or June 2020 when they are published in the S.C. State Register. 

Safe Management of Recalled Airbags

The EPA published an Interim Final Rule on Safe Management of Recalled Airbags in the Federal Register on November 30, 2018 (83 FR 231). This rule responds to an urgent public need to safely manage recalled Takata airbags.

The Notice of Drafting is scheduled to be published in the S.C. State Register on April 24, 2020. 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-airbags.

Universal Waste Regulations: Addition of Aerosol Cans

The EPA published the Universal Waste Regulations: Addition of Aerosol Cans rule in the Federal Register on December 9, 2019 (84 FR 236). This rule adds hazardous waste aerosol cans to universal waste under Part 273 of the hazardous waste management regulations. The addition of hazardous waste aerosol cans to universal waste under RCRA will allow management of used hazardous waste aerosol cans in an environmentally protective manner. It also promotes the collection and recycling of aerosol cans, thus reducing the quantity disposed in landfills. 

The Notice of Drafting is scheduled to be published in the S.C. State Register on April 24, 2020. This rule requires Legislative approval. 

More information on the Aerosol Cans rule may be found at https://www.epa.gov/hw/increasing-recycling-adding-aerosol-cans-universal-waste-regulations.
 

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 no longer considers federal Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter replacements for nicotine therapies (i.e., nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges) as acutely hazardous waste (P075).  Finally, the rule prohibits disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals “down the drain”, also known as non-sewering. The non-sewering ban became effective nationally on August 21, 2019. 

The Notice of Drafting is scheduled to be published in the S.C. State Register on April 24, 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.

In addition to the changes discussed above, DHEC also intends to make other regulatory text improvements for clarity, readability, grammar, punctuation, and codification to the hazardous waste regulations. These changes stem from errors and omissions in regulatory language that have come to DHEC’s attention from adoption of previous rules. These changes will require Legislative approval. 

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