Revisions to Standards for the Open Burning / Open Detonation of Waste Explosives
EPA initiated a rulemaking that will consider revisions to the regulations that allow for the open burning and detonation (OB/OD) of waste explosives. The allowance or “variance” to the prohibition on the open burning of hazardous waste was established at a time when there were no safe alternatives to treatment of waste explosives by OB/OD. However, recent findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and EPA determined that safe alternatives are now available for many energetic/explosive waste streams. Because there are safe alternatives in use today that capture and treat emissions prior to release, EPA is considering revising regulations to promote the broader use of these alternatives, where applicable.
In February and March 2022, EPA held virtual stakeholder meetings with EPA Regions, states, territories, tribes, community and environmental groups, and owners and operators of OB/OD units to solicit input on how to amend the hazardous waste regulations with respect to OB/OD. EPA is developing summaries of these meetings, which will be placed in the docket for the rulemaking.