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Mixed Waste
Waste Management: 

NRC-EPA Memo Regarding Guidance on Identifying Low-Level Mixed-Waste

Mixed-Waste

The following memo was published with the NRC and EPA guidance for Low-Level Mixed-Waste (LLMW) identification. It was signed by Jonathan Z. Cannon, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Robert Bernero, NRC Director for Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, on October 4, 1989.

TO:  ALL NRC LICENSEES

SUBJECT:   GUIDANCE ON THE DEFINITION AND IDENTIFICATION COMMERCIAL MIXED LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE AND HAZARDOUS WASTE AND ANSWERS TO ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has jurisdiction under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) over the management of wastes with the exception of radioactive wastes subject to the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). Accordingly, commercial use and disposal of source, byproduct and special nuclear material wastes are regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to meet EPA environmental standards. Under the AEA Low-Level Radioactive Wastes (LLW) contain source, byproduct, or special nuclear material, but they may also contain chemical constituents which are hazardous under EPA regulations in 40 CFR Part 261. Such wastes are commonly referred to as Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste (Mixed LLW).

NRC regulations exist to control the byproduct, source, and special nuclear material components of commercial Mixed LLW; EPA has the authority and continues to develop regulations to control the non-radioactive component of the Mixed LLW. Thus, the individual constituents of commercial Mixed LLW are subject to either NRC or EPA regulations. However, when the components are combined to become Mixed LLW, neither statute has exclusive jurisdiction. This has resulted in a situation of dual regulation where both NRC and EPA may regulate the same waste.

Enclosed is the revised guidance document entitled, "Guidance on the Definition and Identification of Commercial Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste." This document was developed jointly by the NRC and EPA to aid commercial LLW generators in assessing whether they are currently generating Mixed LLW. It is based on NRC and EPA regulations in effect on December 31, 1988. Notice of availability of the guidance document and request for comments were published in the Federal Register on April ', 1987, and comments were subsequently received. We have addressed public comment in the question and answer-section of the guidance document to provide clarification on those major issues which were raised.

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