Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule

Last updated on September 29, 2021

With this new rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing revisions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (RCRA) hazardous waste generator regulatory program proposed on September 25, 2015.

Goals of the Program Revision

  • Reorganizing the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly and thus, improve their usability by the regulated community
  • Providing a better understanding of how the RCRA hazardous waste generator regulatory program works
  • Addressing gaps in the existing regulations to strengthen environmental protection

Key Dates of Rule

  • Proposed Rule published on September 25, 2015
  • Final Rule signed on October 28, 2016
  • Effective on May 30, 2017

In reality, this process started back in 2004 – just after the 25th anniversary of RCRA, when Congress decided that updates to the regulations were needed. The EPA finalized 20 of the 23 proposed changes that were in the initial published rule in September 2015. Many portions of 40 Code of Federal Regulations were affected, and we will discuss these changes in more detail in future blog posts on this subject.

This Rule is considered a “non-HWSA” rule, meaning it follows the original regulations promulgated in 1976 – not the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HWSA) passed in 1984. So this rule will be effective immediately in Alaska and Iowa, as these states lack RCRA Authorization and defer to the EPA for the regulations. The remaining 48 states have primary RCRA enforcement authority, so it is that state’s environmental compliance agency that will need to adopt the rule. These 48 states have a timeframe of 12-24 months to complete the adoption of the rule.

State authorization is a rulemaking process that EPA delegates the primary responsibility of implementing the RCRA hazardous waste program to individual states in lieu of EPA. This process ensures national

In future articles, we will delve into the changes this rule will have on generators of hazardous waste.

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Joe Jordan has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Chemistry from Washington and Jefferson College. He is certified in RCRA and DOT as well as 40 Hour HAZWOPER certified. Joe has been in the hazardous waste industry since 1990 and has managed industrial, healthcare, retail, and governmental clients, both large and small.

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