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Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rulemakings for RCRA Hazardous Waste Regulations

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This page provides information on current and past rulemakings and links to Federal Register Notices specific to the definition of solid waste.

Rulemakings

2011 Proposed Rule

EPA proposed new safeguards for hazardous secondary materials recycling to protect public health and the environment. The proposal modifies EPA’s 2008 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule, which revised hazardous waste regulations to encourage recycling of hazardous secondary materials. EPA requested comment on potential revisions to address concerns raised by the Sierra Club, as well as other environmental organizations.

Federal Register - Proposed Rule - July 22, 2011
Federal Register - Extension of the Public Comment Period - August 26, 2011
The comment period closed on October 20, 2011.

The docket for this rulemaking is EPA-HQ-RCRA-2010-0742 and can be accessed at Regulations.gov.

DSW Public Meetings

EPA held two public meetings to allow the public to respond to the proposed rule to refine the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW):

Draft Environmental Justice Analysis – EPA is releasing for public comment its draft environmental justice analysis, which evaluates the rule’s potential impact on low-income and minority communities. EPA requests public comment on the environmental justice analysis as well as on suggested changes received from peer review. A discussion of EPA’s response to the peer review comments, including possible additional changes to the analysis is found in Chapter 1 of the report

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2009 Public Meeting on the Definition of Solid Waste Final Rule

To assist EPA in responding to an administrative petition asking the Agency to reconsider and repeal the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule, the Agency held a public meeting on June 30, 2009 at the Potomac Yards Conference Center in Arlington Virginia.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (6 pp, 156 K) – May 27, 2009

Support Materials

Federal Register Notice – Extension of Public Comment Period (PDF) (1 pg, 129 K) – July 6, 2009

EPA announced an extension to the comment period for the public meeting notice published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2009 regarding the Agency’s recent regulation on the definition of solid waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA is currently reviewing a petition filed with the Administrator under RCRA section 7004(a) requesting that the Agency reconsider and repeal the recently promulgated revisions to the definition of solid waste for hazardous secondary materials being reclaimed, and is soliciting comments and information to assist the agency in evaluating the petition.

The support materials for this public meeting are available online through Regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2009-0315.

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2008 Final Rule

On October 7, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that streamlines regulation of hazardous secondary materials to encourage beneficial recycling and help conserve resources. By removing unnecessary regulatory controls, EPA expects to make it easier and more cost-effective to safely recycle hazardous secondary material.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (121 pp, 650 K) – October 30, 2008

Press Release

Fact Sheet | Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 129 K)

Frequent Questions

Introduction to the Definition of Solid Waste Rule (PDF) (47 pp, 703 K)

Note: This slide presentation is provided by EPA for the convenience of the regulated community. It is not a regulation, nor can it be considered a substitute for the actual regulations, themselves, or for related laws and applicable court decisions. If a person uses these slides to make decisions regarding whether his material is a solid waste, he makes that decision at the risk of having incorrectly interpreted applicable laws, regulations and/or legal decisions. EPA does not intend these slides to be cited as precedent before a court or before EPA to support a person's decision whether to treat his material as a solid waste. EPA recommends you contact your authorized state agency or EPA regional office should you have any concerns or doubts about whether your material is subject to RCRA jurisdiction.

Supporting Studies and Analyses

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA receives on the proposal are available for public review online at Regulations.gov under docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0031.

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2007 Supplemental Proposed Rule

On March 15, 2007, EPA issued a supplemental proposal that would streamline the regulation of hazardous secondary materials to encourage beneficial recycling and help conserve resources. The proposal also would establish criteria for determining when such materials are legitimately recycled. By removing unnecessary regulatory controls, hazardous secondary material recycling will be easier and more cost-effective. This proposed rule supplements an earlier proposal in 2003 and contains new data and analyses.

Federal Register Notice – Extension of Comment Period (PDF) (2 pp, 70 K) – April 24, 2007

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (47 pp, 315 K) – March 26, 2007

Press Release

Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 20 K)

Frequent Questions

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA receives on the proposal are available for public review online at Regulations.gov under docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0031.

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2003 Proposed Rule

EPA proposed revisions to the definition of solid waste that would streamline the regulation of certain hazardous secondary materials being recycled. The proposed rule would also establish regulatory criteria for determining whether hazardous secondary materials are recycled legitimately. A supplemental proposal was later published on March 26, 2007. Background information for the 2003 proposal is available through Regulations.gov under docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0031.

Federal Register Notice – Extension of Comment Period (PDF) (2 pp, 165 K) – December 29, 2003

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (43 pp, 294 K) – October 28, 2003

Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 17 K)

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2002 Final Rule – Response to Court Order Vacating Regulatory Provisions

This action responds to two court vacaturs of regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), concerning mineral processing sludges and by-products and manufactured gas plant [MGP] wastes.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (4 pp, 173 K) – March 13, 2002

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1985 Final Rule

On January 4, 1985, EPA amended its existing regulatory definition of solid waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This rule addressed which materials are solid and hazardous wastes when they are recycled. The rule also contained general and specific standards for various types of hazardous waste recycling. The January 4, 1985 action finalized much of the rule as it was proposed on April 4, 1983, with some changes and clarifications.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (55 pp, 6.2 MB) – January 4, 1985

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1983 Proposed Rule

On April 4, 1983, EPA published a proposed rule addressing the question of which materials are solid wastes when recycled. This proposal was published in response to public comments on the May 19, 1980 interim final rule and was intended to target those hazardous waste recycling operations posing environmental and human health concerns. In addition, the Agency proposed general and specific management standards for the recycling of hazardous wastes.

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (58 pp, 7 MB) – April 4, 1983

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1980 Interim Final Rule

This rule includes interim final regulations addressing the definition of solid waste (see pp. 33090-33095) and exclusions from the definition of solid waste (see pp. 33096-33102).

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (75 pp, 8.8 MB) – May 19, 1980

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