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Revision of Wastewater Treatment Exemptions for Hazardous Waste Mixtures (‘‘Headworks Exemptions’’)

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Final Rule Summary

EPA is finalizing revisions to the Wastewater Treatment Exemptions for Hazardous Waste Mixtures, also known as the "Headworks Rule," originally proposed on April 8, 2003. The Headworks Rule:

This rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Fact Sheet || Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 14K)

Federal Register Notice || Federal Register (PDF) (17 pp, 130K) - October 4, 2005

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA received on the proposal are available for public review online; instructions for viewing these documents are provided below.

To use the Regulations.gov:

  1. Select Docket Search.
  2. Select "Environmental Protection Agency" from the Agency drop-down menu.
  3. In the Docket ID box, type in the docket number — EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0028 and press the "Submit" button to receive search results. Be patient; loading the documents takes time.

Frequent Questions


Proposed Rule - April 8, 2003

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add benzene and 2-ethoxyethanol to the list of solvents whose mixtures with wastewater are exempted from the definition of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Agency studied two other solvents, 1,1,2-trichloroethane and 2-nitropropane, and is not proposing to add them to the current exemption.

The Agency also is proposing to provide flexibility in the way compliance with the rule is determined by adding the option of directly measuring solvent chemical levels at the headworks of the wastewater treatment system to the current requirements. Finally, the Agency is proposing to make additional listed hazardous wastes (beyond discarded commercial chemical products) eligible for the de minimis exemption, as well as adding non-manufacturing facilities to those that qualify for this exemption if certain conditions are met.

Federal Register Notice - April 8, 2003

Fact Sheet: Proposed Revisions to the Hazardous Waste Identification Rule (HWIR) || Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 16K)

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA received on the proposal are available for public review online; instructions for viewing these documents are provided below.

To use Regulations.gov:

  1. Select Docket Search.
  2. Select "Environmental Protection Agency" from the Agency drop-down menu.
  3. In the Docket ID box, type in the docket number — EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0028 and press the "Submit" button to receive search results. Be patient; loading the documents takes time.

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