EPA’s efforts to regulate certain types of wastes as hazardous wastes -- some decades in the making -- are starting to see the light of day. Ranging from “very hot” to “simmering,” a number of EPA’s rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) were finalized in 2013, and others are anticipated to resolve in 2014. For most of the rules, the journey has been mired by hundreds of thousands of comments, changes in administrations, insufficient funding at EPA, and fierce litigation. This paper highlights the most significant regulatory initiatives under RCRA that have travelled or are travelling the long and winding road to become final regulations.
1. Hazardous Waste Goes Electronic – EPA Final Rule Issued Jan. 13, 2014 -
On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act1 which authorizes EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system, commonly referred to as the “e-Manifest.” This national system will facilitate the electronic transmission of the hazardous waste manifest form and make the use of the manifests much more cost-effective and convenient for users. EPA estimates the total cost of the current paper system is $200-$500 million per year. Estimated savings from phasing out the antiquated paper manifest system and moving to an electronic platform are likely to exceed $75 million per year.
Originally published at the American Bar Association: Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Spring Conference - March 2014.
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