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Showing 31 posts in Hazardous Waste/RCRA. View our practice description for Hazardous Waste/RCRA.

EPA Overhauls Rules for Hazardous Waste Generators, Imposing Substantial New Burdens on Hundreds of Thousands of Facilities in Virtually All Industries

1          Introduction 

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a final rule that completely overhauls the long-standing requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  By EPA’s own estimates, the new rules will affect tens of thousands of both large quantity generators of hazardous wastes (“LQGs”) and small quantity generators (“SQGs”) in practically every industrial sector, as well as hundreds of thousands of conditionally exempt small quantity generators (renamed “very small quantity generators” or “VSQGs” in the final rule).    Read More ›

EPA Revises Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a rule finalizing significant modifications to the requirements governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The rule changes will go into effect on December 31, 2016, although, as discussed below, certain requirements will be phased in over time.  The changes will 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 currently subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The modifications make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of that subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  The modifications are largely consistent with EPA’s October 2015 proposed rule. Read More ›

New York Extends Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Damages Caused by Contamination from Superfund Sites

On July 21, 2016, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law New York State Assembly Bill No. A09568, which amends the statute of limitations for filing actions to recover damages for
personal injury caused by contamination from Superfund sites.  The legislation is a result of public concern about the discovery of water contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York, and  Flint, Michigan. Read More ›

FedEx Settlement with California Department of Toxic Substances Control Contains Important Lessons/Reminders for Product and Waste Shippers

On June 14, 2016, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) to resolve allegations that FedEx improperly handled, transported, stored, recycled and disposed of damaged packages of hazardous materials (“DTSC Settlement”).  Under the terms of the DTSC Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $3.4 million in civil penalties and is enjoined from further violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law (“HWCL”).  See Stipulation for Entry of Final Judgment and Order on Consent, People v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Case No.34-2014-00165454 (Sacramento County Superior Court) (filed June 14, 2016).  The DTSC Settlement also resolves a related case FedEx brought in federal court in April 2014 (“Federal Action”).  Read More ›

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA and RCRA

Summary:  On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation.  The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant standards remediation activities performed under the authority of CERCLA and those conducted under a RCRA corrective action or other required RCRA order. EPA is proposing to remove the CERCLA/RCRA exemption and to remove the applicability requirement that a site remediation must be co-located with a facility that is regulated by other NESHAPs in order to be subject to the Site Remediation Rule. Comments are due June 27, 2016. Read More ›

EPA Requests Comment on Tentative Denial of Petition to Expand Dramatically the RCRA Corrosivity Characteristic

Summary:  This news alert discusses EPA’s tentative decision to deny a petition from one of its own scientists and an environmental group, both seeking a dramatic expansion of the definition of “corrosive” wastes under the U.S. federal hazardous waste regulations.  The Agency will accept public comments on its tentative decision until June 10, 2016, after which time it will either issue a final decision denying the petition or initiate a rulemaking to change the corrosivity characteristic.    Read More ›

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 ›