WASHINGTON - EPA has re-released a proposed definition of its solid-waste rule to streamline regulation of hazardous secondary materials. The proposed rule would provide for the recycling of such materials as solvents, metals and certain other chemicals subject to regulation of Subtitle C of the Resource and Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), by identifying certain recyclable, hazardous secondary materials as not discarded and, as such, no longer “waste” under Subtitle C.

As proposed, the rule provides exclusions for:

  • materials that are generated and reclaimed under the control of the generator;
  • materials that are generated and transferred to another person or company for reclamation under specific conditions; and
  • materials that EPA deems non-waste through a case-by-case petition process.
The proposal also defines legitimate recycling to ensure that only legitimate recycling activity benefits from the streamlined requirements, not treatment or disposal under the guise of recycling. In order to be legitimately recycled, the material must provide a useful contribution to the recycling process, and recycling must make a valuable new product.

In addition, the recycled material must be managed as a valuable product, and must not contain toxic constituents at significantly greater levels than non-recycled product.

EPA estimates that streamlining the management of secondary materials in a cost-efficient but safe manner will result in an average cost savings of $107 million a year from both reduced regulatory burden and increased recycling. EPA also estimates about 4,600 facilities handling more than half a million tons of hazardous secondary materials annually may be affected by this proposed rule, including the Coating and Engraving sector.

For more information, contact NPCA’s John Hopewell at jhopewell@paint.org.