Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 9

LYNN L. BERGESON | COLUMN BY

Worthy of Consideration
rcra waste exports for recovery operations:
epa proposes changes

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In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
announced proposed changes to its regulations under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regarding the
export and import for recovery operations of hazardous wastes
from and into the United States.

P R O F I TA B I L I T Y

AH
S R EXPO 2016

C ANADA MANUFACTURING

The proposed revisions of the existing regulations will, according to
EPA, consolidate the requirements,
streamline the regulations and enhance the documentation of the
movement and disposition of hazardous wastes and other materials. The
amendments will also enable regulated entities and the government to
benefit from the efficiencies afforded
by electronic submission of data and
will consolidate the notification process with foreign governments under a unified regulation, consistent
with the requirements of OECD controlling transboundary movements of
hazardous waste.
EPA's determination that some revisions to the import and export regulations are needed is bolstered by the
2013 CEC report referenced above.
The CEC report found that U.S. net
exports of spent lead acid batteries
(SLAB) to Mexico for recycling had
increased by a whopping 449 to 525

B UY AMERICAN

Proposed Rule

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

spector General (OIG) issued a report
titled "EPA Does Not Effectively Control or Monitor Imports of Hazardous Waste," in which OIG identified
concerns with waste export practices.
The proposed revisions are intended,
in part, to respond to both reports.

SERVICE

EPA's regulations regarding the transboundary shipment of hazardous
waste are found at 40 C.F.R. Part 262,
Subparts E, F and H. Part 262, Subpart
E applies to exporters of hazardous
waste and is designed to ensure that
hazardous waste is not exported to a
foreign country without that country's prior consent. Part 262, Subpart
F contains the regulations that apply
to importers of hazardous waste. Part
262, Subpart H contains the regulations implementing the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Decision Concerning the Control of Transfrontier
Movements of Wastes Destined for
Recovery Operations. The proposal would modify the requirements
under Subpart H and expand the jurisdictional scope of the Subpart to
include shipments now subject to
Subparts E and F.
Some might wonder what is
prompting the need for regulatory
amendments. In 2013, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation
(CEC) issued a report on hazardous
waste exports from the United States.
The report identified several concerns with the nature and quantity of
hazardous waste being exported to
Mexico for recovery. In addition, in
July of this year, EPA's Office of the In-

percent, and that there were significant discrepancies between summary
data on export shipments reported to
EPA annually and individual export
shipment data collected under U.S.
Census Bureau (Census) authority.
Based on its findings, the CEC report
recommended that the U.S. require
the use of manifests for each international shipment of SLABs, require
exporters to obtain a certificate of
recovery from foreign recycling facilities, explore establishing an electronic export annual report, and better
share import and export data between
environmental and border agencies.
EPA's proposed rule discusses the
CEC report and EPA's related analysis of its findings. EPA expressed
particular interest in comment from
those persons importing or exporting hazardous wastes managed under
the special management standards in
40 C.F.R. Part 266 (e.g., SLABs) and
40 C.F.R. Part 273 (e.g., universal
waste batteries, universal waste mercury lamps).

Key Proposed Changes
A key change under the proposal is the
reorganization of Subpart H requirements, the requirements that apply to
the transboundary shipment of wastes
destined for recovery between the
U.S. and OECD member countries,
excluding Canada and Mexico. The
rule would consolidate the hazardous
waste import and export standards
into one set of requirements under 40
C.F.R. Part 262, Subpart H. The rule
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 manufacturing-today.com

9


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
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