US EPA has revised federal regulations on managing solvent-contaminated wipes under 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26). The rule conditionally excludes from the definition of solid waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are cleaned and reused (“reusable wipes”), and under 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18), which conditionally excludes from the definition of hazardous waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are disposed (“disposable wipes”).Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for cleaning and reuse are not solid wastes, provided the conditions of the exclusion are met. Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for disposal are not hazardous wastes, provided the conditions of the exclusion are met.
The final rule addresses wipes containing one or more F001-F005 listed solvents listed in § 261.31 or the corresponding P- or U- listed solvents found in § 261.33, including:
– Isobutyl alcohol
– Methyl ethyl ketone
– Methyl isobutyl ketone
– Methylene chloride
– Ethyl acetate
– 1,1,2- Trichloroethane
– Ethyl benzene
The final rule includes reusable wipes that contain trichloroethylene, however, it does not address disposal wipes that are hazardous waste due to the presence of trichloroethylene.
The rule does not include wipes that contain listed hazardous waste other than solvents, wipes that exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, corrosivity, or reactivity due to non-listed solvents or contaminants other than solvents, or wipes that contain listed hazardous waste other than solvents.
The final rule revises Federal rules only; all States with the exception of Iowa and Alaska are delegated to enforce Federal RCRA rules. Delegated States will need to revise State hazardous waste rules or guidance in order for Federal rule changes to be applicable.