Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status

March 30, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes in the Federal Register periodic updates to the Federal Hazardous Waste regulations (40 CFR 260 - 273). After publication in the Federal Register, DHEC will review the regulation and determine a schedule for adoption. The administrative process for adopting regulations is described here .

DHEC plans to adopt the Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule and the Generator Improvements Rule. Adoption of the optional portions of the Definition of Solid Waste Rule is currently on hold, as explained below.

The status of each of these regulations is described below.

Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule

EPA published the Imports and Exports of Hazardous Waste Rule in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85696-85729). This rule amends existing regulations governing the import and export of hazardous waste. It includes provisions to make the regulations more consistent with the import-export requirements between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; enables submittal to EPA all import and export-related documents; and allows electronic validation of export shipments in the Automated Export System.

This rule became effective nationally on December 31, 2016 since import and export requirements of hazardous waste are administered by the EPA as a matter of foreign policy.

Authorized States are required to adopt this rule to maintain their hazardous waste program equivalency. The Department intends to publish a Notice of Drafting in the State Register in the near future to begin the adoption process.

Definition of Solid Waste Rule

EPA published the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rule in the Federal Register on January 13, 2015 (80 FR 1694). The Rule includes portions that are mandatory for DHEC to adopt because they are more stringent than current rules. It also includes portions that are considered less stringent than current rules, and are therefore optional for DHEC to adopt.

The mandatory portions of the DSW Rule became effective in S.C. upon publication in the State Register on May 27, 2016. The mandatory portions include changes affecting all non-waste determinations and variances, legitimacy-related provisions, including those for prohibition of sham recycling, definition of legitimacy, and definition of contained, and finally for speculative accumulation.

The U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling on portions of the Definition of Solid Waste Rule. DHEC is currently awaiting guidance from the EPA on how the court ruling may affect the rule. DHEC will review the EPA guidance and determine whether to move forward with adoption of the remaining portions of the Definition of Solid Waste Rule.

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

The EPA published the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85732). This rule reorganizes the hazardous waste generator regulations to make them more user-friendly. It also provides greater flexibility to the regulated community and makes conforming changes to the regulations to address errors.

DHEC plans to adopt this rule in its entirety. It is anticipated that a Notice of Drafting will be published in the State Register in the near future.

The EPA maintains a web site which includes information on these and other rules that DHEC uses during the adoption process. The EPA web site includes checklists for use by States when adopting rules, copies of Federal Register notices, etc.

For additional information on adoption of hazardous waste regulations, please email the Department at hwregs@dhec.sc.gov .

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Regulations & Updates General Public