EPA to Reconsider Hazardous Waste Ruling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting on June 30 about its October 2008 proposed ruling on hazardous waste. The proposed ruling would remove “unnecessary regulatory controls” in order to encourage recycling. The Sierra Club opposed the ruling and filed a judicial petition. The American Petroleum Institute also filed a judicial petition.

The ruling changed the definition of solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). If adopted, there would be an estimated three million pounds of hazardous waste a year that would not be regulated if it is reused or reclaimed.


Sierra Club believes the following would also happen if the proposed ruling was enacted:

  • Create economic incentives for “midnight dumping”
  • Create a new generation of waste sites
  • Undermine Superfund’s principle of polluter liability, and leave taxpayers with the cleanup bill

Hazardous waste includes common household items such as batteries, electronics, paints and solvents, and pharmaceuticals. 


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