The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently modified the hazardous waste management regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations provided that the businesses clean or dispose of them properly. Based on EPA’s final risk analysis, the rule, peer reviewed in 2008 and published for public comment in 2009, concluded wipes contaminated with certain hazardous solvents do not pose significant risk to human health and the environment when managed properly. This common-sense exclusion will save industry up to $27.8 million per year.
Wipes are used in conjunction with solvents for cleaning and other purposes by tens of thousands of facilities in a variety of industrial sectors including printers, electronics, furniture, chemicals, automobile repair shops and manufacturers of automobiles.
The final rule excludes wipes that are contaminated with solvents listed as hazardous wastes under RCRA that are cleaned or disposed of properly. To be excluded, solvent-contaminated wipes must be managed in closed, labeled containers and cannot contain free liquids when sent for cleaning or disposal. Also, facilities that generate solvent-contaminated wipes must comply with certain recordkeeping requirements and may not accumulate wipes for longer than 180 days.
Please note, there is already a MassDEP policy on wipes located at this link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/recycle/regulations/waste-and-recycling-policies-and-guidance.html
For more information about the EPA’s rulemaking visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/wasteid/solvents/wipes.htm
For more information or assistance, please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.