MEDEP Approves Weekly Hazardous Waste Inspection, Aligns Hazardous Matter Reporting Rules

On August 20, 2013, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved important changes to simplify hazardous waste compliance and reporting.

Adopting proposals from earlier this summer that the business community has sought for years, hazardous waste containers are now required to be inspected weekly (consistent with federal rules), rather than daily.  Weekly inspection is required in both “90-day” Storage Areas and Satellite Accumulation Areas.

Separately, Maine law requires reporting of “hazardous matter” discharges, and DEP has changed the hazardous matter definition to list federal reportable hazardous substances.  Of course, hazardous waste as defined under Maine law continues to be defined as hazardous matter.

Keep in mind, Maine rules require reporting of hazardous matter regardless of quantities discharged, unless the facility maintains a hazardous matter Spill Prevention, Control and Cleanup (SPCC) Plan.  Even then, the DEP has declined to adopt the “24-hour” rule for determining the volume of reportable quantities.  And, the hazardous matter SPCC must address the numerous requirements set out in the hazardous matter law to comply.

The rules are expected to be formally published and effective in September, after filing with the Maine Secretary of State.