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New Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Regulations in Effect

The Mass DEP’s updated Hazardous Waste Regulations have been published and are available on the MassDEP website.    The changes become effective on November 15, 2019. According to the DEP, these amendments will result in better management and control of hazardous wastes, increased recycling and reuse of regulated materials, streamlined requirements, and greater regulatory certainty. Updates were made to both the  Hazardous Waste (310 CMR 30.000) and  Solid Waste Regulations (310 CMR 16.00) regulations:  These updates include:

Solvent Wipes Rule – Amendments to 310 CMR 30.010 and 310 CMR 30.104 adopt EPA’s conditional hazardous waste exemption for solvent-contaminated wipes (e.g., ethanol and isopropyl alcohol wipes). Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for disposal are not hazardous waste provided certain conditions of the exclusion are met. These include that the solvent-contaminated wipes, when accumulated, stored, and transported, are contained in non-leaking, closed containers that are labeled “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.” Note that solvent-contaminated wipes that contain listed hazardous waste other than solvents, or exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, corrosivity, or reactivity due to contaminants other than solvents, are not eligible for the exclusion.

Academic Laboratories Rule – Amendments to 310 CMR 30.354 adopt EPA’s rule for Academic Laboratories and give Academic Laboratories more flexibility in managing their hazardous wastes and provide incentives to clean out old and expired chemicals. This is an optional program and Academic Laboratories that choose not to participate remain subject to existing requirements for generators of hazardous waste.

Shipping Requirements for Wastes Generated From On-Site Treatment of Photographic Processing Wastewater – The amendment at 310 CMR 30.213 clarifies shipping requirements for wastes generated from on-site treatment of photographic processing wastewater. Silver recovery cartridges that have been used for wastewater treatment may be managed as a regulated recyclable material and shipped on a bill of lading instead of a hazardous waste manifest if the cartridge is being shipped to a facility to reclaim the silver from the cartridge.

Ban on Drum-Top Crushers (DTCs) – The amendment at 310 CMR 30.353 requires VSQGs of hazardous waste to obtain a hazardous waste treatment license to crush fluorescent lamps in DTCs due to concern about mercury emissions.  Previously VSQGs could use DTCs without a hazardous waste treatment license.

Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) – Amendments to 310 CMR 30.000 and 310 CMR 16.00 adopt EPA’s rules for management and processing of CRTs. The amendments also eliminate current rules for CRTs in the solid waste regulations at 310 CMR 16.00, which only allowed accumulation of intact CRTs. CRT processors must notify the MassDEP of CRT crushing activity and use containers for crushed glass.

Changes to Limits for Off-Site Shipments of Regulated Recyclable Material (RRM) by VSQGs – Amendments at 310 CMR 30.221 and 310 CMR 30.224 allow VSQGs of RRM to ship as much as 200 kilograms (one 55-gallon drum) of RRM off-site in a calendar month without having to obtain a recycling permit.  Previously, VSQGs of RRM could only ship 100 kilograms of RRM off-site per month without a recycling permit.

Elimination of Permit Requirement to Ship Scrap Metal Off-Site for Recycling – Revisions to 310 CMR 30.202, 30.212 and 30.221 eliminate the permit requirement to ship scrap metal off-site for recycling by expanding the exemption for bulk scrap metal being recycled to include all scrap metal, and eliminate the RRM permit category for scrap metal.  Similar materials (shredded circuit boards) were already exempted.

Elimination of Annual Recycling Report Submittal Requirement Eliminated – Revisions to 310 CMR 30.205 only require entities to “prepare and maintain on-site” the annual recycling report.  A facility will still be required to generate the annual report; however, it will be maintained at the facility under current recordkeeping conditions as set forth in the permit or license.  Inspectors can request to have a copy emailed to them in anticipation of an inspection.

In addition to the changes noted above, the DEP has now authorized new federal hazardous waste codes; previously, management of those wastes was only enforceable by the EPA. These include waste codes for specific inorganic and organic K Listed chemicals, carbamate waste, wood preserving waste, and petroleum refining waste. In addition, miscellaneous revisions to clarify existing regulations, correct typos, and ensure consistency with EPA’s hazardous waste regulations were also made.  For more information on the new Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Regulations and how they will affect your organization, please email [email protected].

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