Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

State Roll Out Of Solvent Wipe Exemption Rule – Update March 2017

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

In July 2013, US EPA published a final rule which exempted launderable (reusable) and some disposable wipes containing solvent (“Solvent-Contaminated Wipes” or SCW) from regulation as solid wastes and as hazardous waste. Solvent wipes are very common waste streams generated by a broad range of industrial, commercial, service and institutional sector facilities. This rule streamlined management of this waste stream and allowed these materials to be stored, transported* and cleaned/disposed of outside of the hazardous waste rules that would otherwise apply. This provides a benefit to both facilities that generate these wipes and companies that handle them.

* Although the rule exempts transporters from hazardous waste rules, Federal and State DOT HazMat rules still apply.

Click here for more information on the Federal Solvent Contaminated Wipe Rule.

Although the Federal rule became effective on January 31, 2014, in majority of States the Federal exemption does not apply until State Rules were revised to include this exemption. In many cases, States had operated for many years under policies or guidance which functionally excluded these wipes from regulation as hazardous waste until a Federal Rule was finalized. With the publication of the Federal Rule in 2013, States needed to update State rules to reflect this exemption, if they wanted to allow generators to take advantage of it. Because this rule change was less stringent than existing hazardous waste rules, States were not required to accept the Federal exemption and could require generators to handle these wipes as hazardous waste.

State Rule Update – March 2017

As of March 2017, 61% of State agencies have updated State rules to exempt solvent wipes, with most using Federal language or Federal language with very minor edits. One State (Rhode Island) implemented a rule that exempted reusable wipes only.

States Where Policy or Guidance Applies

As of March 2017, almost 1/3 of States have not revised State rules to reflect the SCW exemption and are still operating under policies or guidance documents written 10 to 15 years ago.

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

In most cases, this policy or guidance is similar to the Federal Rule, but typically less specific and less stringent. Currently, many of these States are still planning to update State rules in the near future and are allowing generators to follow the Federal rule.

States Without Policy or Guidance

As of March 2017, three States have not revised State rules and had not established a policy in the past to exempt these wipes from hazardous waste rules:

  • Nevada
  • Maine
  • Hawaii
 Maine and Hawaii both anticipate having a rule revision in 2017.

States With State-Specific Rules

Two States, California and Minnesota, have rules (California) or policies (Minnesota) that are significantly different than the Federal Rule and do not plan to revise them. In California, the Reusable Soiled Textile Rule excludes all hazardous waste (not just solvent) on a wider range of textiles (not just wipes). In Minnesota, guidance exempts some wipes (“sorbents”) but wipes containing certain listed solvents (“toxic solvents”) remain hazardous waste and also must be included in the monthly calculation of the generator size.

Proposed Changes To Washington 2015 Construction Stormwater Permit

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

On November 18, 2015, Ecology issued an updated Construction Stormwater General Permit (CSWGP). The permit became effective January 1, 2016. One appeal was filed with the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board on December 17, 2015. To resolve the case, Ecology has proposed several revisions to the permit and has posted these revisions for public comment. Comments are due by February 10, 2017.

The proposed changes are to dust control (S1.C.3.i), pH sampling requirements (S4.D), engineering calculation requirements (S9.B.1.f), and concrete washout (S9.D.9.h). The proposed changes are:

  • S1.C.3.i – Uncontaminated or potable water used to control dust. Permittees must minimize the amount of dust control water used.
  • S4.D – pH Sampling Requirements – Significant Concrete Work or Engineered Soils
    If construction activity results in the disturbance of 1 acre or more, and involves significant concrete work (significant concrete work means greater than 1000 cubic yards poured concrete or recycled concrete used over the life of a project ) or the use of recycled concrete or engineered soils (soil amendments including but not limited to Portland cement-treated base [CTB], cement kiln dust [CKD], or fly ash), and stormwater from the affected area drains to surface waters of the State or to a storm sewer system that drains to surface waters of the State, the Permittee must conduct pH sampling as set forth below. Note: In addition, discharges to segments of water bodies on Washington State’s 303(d) list (Category 5) for high pH are subject to a numeric effluent limit for pH; refer to Special Condition S8.
    1. For sites with significant concrete work, the Permittee must begin the pH sampling period when the concrete is first poured and exposed to precipitation, and continue weekly throughout and after the concrete pour and curing period, until stormwater pH is in the range of 6.5 to 8.5 (su).
    2. For sites with recycled concrete where monitoring is required, the Permittee must begin the weekly pH sampling period when the recycled concrete is first exposed to precipitation and must continue until the recycled concrete is fully stabilized with the and stormwater pH is in the range of 6.5 to 8.5 (su).
  • S9.B.1.f – Engineering calculations for ponds, treatment systems, and any other designed structures. When a treatment system requires engineering calculations, these calculations must be included in the SWPPP. Engineering calculations do not need to be included in the SWPPP for treatment systems that do not require such calculations.
  • S9.D.9.h – Assure that washout of concrete trucks is performed off-site or in designated concrete washout areas only. Do not wash out concrete trucks drums or concrete handling equipment onto the ground, or into storm drains, open ditches, streets, or streams. Do not dump excess concrete on site, except in designated concrete washout areas. Concrete spillage or concrete discharge directly to groundwater or to surface waters of the State is prohibited. Do not wash out to formed areas awaiting LID facilities.

Washington Interim Policy On Handling Pharmaceutical Waste

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Washington Department of Ecology has developed an interim policy for generators of pharmaceutical wastes which could be classified as “dangerous waste” under State rules. The State has enacted this policy pending US EPA finalizing federal rules to streamline handling and disposal of these wastes. Once the EPA rule is finalized, Ecology expects to adopt the federal rule.

What are the generator requirements under the interim Ecology policy?
Profile Your Waste. You are required to complete a pharmaceutical waste profile by determining the waste codes that apply to pharmaceutical waste at your facility and representative percentage range by weight for each waste pharmaceutical.

Notify Ecology. All generators of pharmaceutical waste need to send notification to Ecology indicating that your facility is managing
pharmaceutical waste under this policy, include a copy of completed profile(s). The notification must be signed by the pharmacy manager and the environmental manager.

Staff Training. All staff involved in pharmaceutical waste management must be trained. Training must cover appropriate safety and emergency procedures, proper waste management, and recordkeeping.

Accumulate Waste. You must accumulate pharmaceutical waste in a manner that reduces accidental releases and provides reasonable protection for safety, security, and the environment. You must:

  • Place absorbent material in the bottom of containers storing liquid waste.
  • Use containers compatible with their contents.
  • Do not mix or store incompatible wastes in the same container.
  • Keep accumulation containers closed unless adding or removing waste.
  • Keep spill cleanup materials and personal protective equipment on-site.
  • Label containers with the words “Non-Viable Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste.”
  • Label containers with all appropriate risk labels such as “Ignitable”, “Corrosive”, or “Toxic.”
  • Label containers with an accumulation start date. The start date begins when the first item is placed in the
  • Limit accumulation to 180 days.

Shipping. You are required to segregate and package pharmaceutical waste according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for shipment of hazardous materials (HazMat). As per DOT regulation, persons preparing shipments and signing shipping papers must be DOT HazMat trained.

Disposal of Waste. You must manage all pharmaceutical waste according to the policy or the Dangerous Waste Regulations. Pharmaceutical waste managed under the policy must be incinerated at a RCRA permitted incinerator, or state-only pharmaceutical waste may be incinerated according to the policy or the conditional exclusion. Under the Dangerous Waste Regulations, pharmaceutical waste must be sent to a RCRA permitted incinerator on a Hazardous Waste Uniform Manifest, except Small Quantity Generators are not required to use a manifest and have additional disposal options.

Washington Department of Ecology Update To Hazardous Waste / Dangerous Waste Regulation

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Ecology filed a pre-proposal rulemaking notice in the Washington State Register on February 17, 2016 about plans to update Chapter 173-303 WAC, Dangerous Waste Regulation. Ecology plans to amend specific sections of the dangerous waste regulations to incorporate new federal hazardous waste rules, including but not limited to:

  • Management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.
  • Conditional exclusions for solvent-contaminated wipes.
  • Definition of solid waste revisions to solid waste variances and to the definition of legitimacy.
  • Revisions to the export provisions of the cathode ray tube (CRT) rule.
  • Several minor technical and editorial corrections and clarifications.

Ecology is required to adopt certain federal hazardous waste rules to remain authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and consistent with EPA regulations.

A key reason for starting rulemaking now on the pharmaceutical rule is to resolve problems with pharmaceutical waste management. Ecology will adopt newly proposed EPA rules for management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. Adopting these pharmaceutical waste rules will help healthcare facilities and waste management vendors properly manage this waste stream, reduce the regulatory burden associated with waste management, and reduce confusion. Additionally, the new rules prohibit disposal of drugs to the sewer, resulting in fewer toxic chemicals in our waterways.

Adopting the solvent wipes rule allows more flexibility to safely manage dangerous waste wipes while reducing regulatory requirements.

Focused Industrial Stormwater Compliance Initiative in Seattle-Puget Sound Area

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

As part of ongoing federal and state efforts to restore Puget Sound, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced it is implementing focused enforcement actions in Seattle-area looking at companies discharging industrial stormwater to Puget Sound and tributaries. EPA and Washington Dept. of Ecology want to ensure compliance and enforce clean water rules at permitted and unpermitted industrial stormwater sources to Puget Sound.

So far, EPA enforcement actions have been taken against four Seattle-area companies for discharging industrial stormwater to Puget Sound waterways in violation of the Clean Water Act, including a concrete manufacturer, a solid waste truck-to-rail transfer facility, a construction material storage and maintenance facility, and an auto wrecking and recycling facility.

Logistics Industrial Storm Water Permitting & Compliance

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Industrial Storm Water Permitting & Compliance
Client: International Retailer
Location(s): California, Washington, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Kansas, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri

Key Elements: SWPPP preparation, Stormwater monitoring, Compliance plan, Permit application

Overview: Caltha LLP has provided consulting services to this international retailer at multiple logistics and warehousing locations to comply with individual State industrial stormwater rules. Services included preparing facility stormwater pollution prevention plans, preparation of State or EPA application forms (Notice of Intent), preparation of site-specific inspection checklists to comply with individual State inspection requirements, preparation of site-specific stormwater monitoring and benchmark monitoring plans to meet State requirements applicable to this industrial sector. Caltha then provided ad hoc technical support to facilities to address questions during roll-out of the compliance programs.

For more information on Caltha LLP SWPPP services, go to the Environmental Health & Safety Plan | Spill Plan Information Request Form.