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Showing 25 posts in Hazardous Waste/RCRA. View our practice description for Hazardous Waste/RCRA.

Auto and Appliance Shredding and Recycling Companies Settle with Mass AG over Allegations of Air, Hazardous Waste, and Mercury Management Violations

Two shredding and metals recycling companies recently settled a complaint brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General (Mass AG) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for alleged violations of the laws and rules governing air emissions, hazardous and solid waste, and mercury management.  The companies settling with the government, Prolerized New England Company, LLC (PNE) and Metals Recycling, LLC (Metals Recycling), both doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, operate three Massachusetts facilities located in Attleboro, Everett and Worcester. Read More ›

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Revises Regulations Governing Bulk Storage Tanks

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued revised regulations, effective October 11, 2015, governing the management and bulk storage of petroleum and hazardous substances. Corresponding revisions to used oil management regulations will be effective on November 10, 2015, and operator training requirements must be implemented by October 11, 2016 Read More ›

EPA Proposes Revisions to Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 19, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant modifications to rules governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The proposal would affect transboundary shipments currently subject to 40 C.F.R. Part 262 Subpart H (regulating hazardous waste shipments for recovery between the United States and countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) other than Mexico and Canada) as well as shipments subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The proposal would make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of the subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  Stakeholder comments on the proposed modifications will be accepted until December 18, 2015.  EPA expects the rulemaking to be finalized in Fall 2016 and to be effective by December 31, 2016. Read More ›

Environmentalists Issue Notice of Intent to Sue EPA for Alleged Failure to Review and Revise RCRA Oil and Gas Regulations

On August 26, 2015, seven environmental groups (“Environmental Parties”) issued a Notice of Intent to Sue (“NOI”) United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Administrator Gina McCarthy for EPA’s failure to meet its alleged duty under Section 2002(b) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) to review, and if necessary revise, at least once every three years, the RCRA Subtitle D criteria regulations for wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or geothermal energy (“oil and gas wastes”).  The Environmental Parties also alleged in the NOI that EPA has failed to meet a separate non-discretionary duty under RCRA section 4002(b) to review its guidelines for state solid waste management plans for oil and gas wastes not less frequently than every three years, and to revise such guidelines as appropriate.  Should EPA fail to cure the alleged noncompliance within the statutorily-mandated 60 day period, the NOI states that the Parties intend to file suit in federal court seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and litigation costs. Read More ›

EPA Proposes New Rules for Pharmaceutical Wastes That Qualify as RCRA Hazardous Wastes

On August 31, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a proposed rule that would establish special management standards for pharmaceutical wastes that are classified as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  The new standards would include separate requirements for healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical reverse distributors, such as rules for storage, labeling, recordkeeping, reporting, and off-site shipment.  The Proposed Rule would also conditionally exempt hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that qualify as controlled substances under the rules of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), add new provisions for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals from households, and amend the requirements for residues of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in containers.  It requests comments on amending the acute hazardous waste listing for low-concentration nicotine products, and on a potential strategy for listing additional pharmaceutical wastes as hazardous.  Read More ›

FedEx Enters Settlement with California District Attorneys to Partially Resolve Allegations of Mismanagement of Damaged Products, But Related Actions Still Pending in State and Federal Courts

On July 28, 2015, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement agreement (“Settlement”) with a group of California District Attorneys to partially resolve allegations that the company stored and transported packages of products that it found to be damaged or leaking, without complying with the applicable California requirements for hazardous and medical wastes.  Under the terms of the (partial) Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $1,750,000, consisting of civil penalties, reimbursement for the costs of investigation and prosecution by the District Attorneys, and funding for supplemental environmental projects and a program of customer outreach for waste minimization and improved packaging.  The company is also enjoined from future violations of the hazardous waste and medical waste regulations, as well as fromfailure to maintain the confidentiality of customer and employee records. Read More ›

EPA Proposal to “Improve” Hazardous Waste Generator Rules Is a Mixed Bag, with Many Parts Likely to Have the Opposite Effect

On August 31, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a proposed rule designed to “improve” the long-standing requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), by addressing purported “gaps” in the regulations, providing additional flexibility, clarifying the rules, and making them more user-friendly.  While some of the proposed changes may, in fact, have the desired effects, others appear to introduce more confusion and/or impose substantial new burdens for little or no environmental benefit.  If finalized, the proposed amendments could significantly affect tens of thousands of hazardous waste generators across virtually all U.S. industrial sectors. Read More ›

Maryland Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Legislative Updates

Maryland’s annual legislative session ended on April 13, 2015, and with the close of the session came new legislation that affects environmental regulation in Maryland.  Read More ›

EPA Commits to Respond in Early 2016 to Petition Seeking to Make the RCRA Corrosivity Characteristic 10 Times More Stringent

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) recently informed a federal appeals court that it intends to respond no later than March 31, 2016 to a rulemaking petition submitted to EPA in 2011 by one of its own employees and a group of other government employees (“Petitioners”), which asked the Agency to dramatically increase the stringency of the corrosivity characteristic used to identify wastes as hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  The Petitioners claimed that EPA had acted “erroneously and fraudulently” in establishing the characteristic in 1980, and thereby endangered public health, most notably among first responders at “Ground Zero” on 9/11 who breathed in dust from the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Read More ›

California Continues Hazardous Waste Enforcement Campaign Against Retailers With Two New Multi-Million Dollar Settlements

The first quarter of 2015 brought two significant settlements against retailers for alleged violations of California’s hazardous waste laws.  The settlements are the latest in a string of similar California enforcement actions that have seen total penalties of over $150 million levied against retailers in the last five years involving waste products.  Through settlement orders, California prosecutors continue to impose increasingly onerous obligations for employee training, hazardous waste determinations, mandatory third party auditing, and other oversight of hazardous waste compliance programs that go above and beyond the regulatory requirements.  This puts a premium on retailers to develop and maintain a robust hazardous waste compliance program that can withstand enforcement scrutiny.  Read More ›