The waste industry’s knowledge of how to properly and safely handle special waste materials, once considered a necessity, has grown along with our understanding of environmental health – a major issue for the waste industry.
PCBs are present in products like electrical equipment and surface coatings, but are particularly prevalent in caulking, grout, and adhesives. In the U.S., approximately 99 percent of all PCBs were manufactured under the trade names Aroclor, Therminol, and Askarel.
For context on PCB prevalence, consider 46 percent of all U.S. public and private school buildings currently in use were either built or renovated between 1958 and 1971 during the time period PCBs were in use. … read more
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All eyes and ears will be on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 19 when the agency is expected to announce final regulations for the handling and disposal of coal ash and coal plant water contained in surface impoundments owned and operated by the power industry.
The Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill in 2008, the February spill at the Duke Energy facility in North Carolina, and a recent ruling in a lawsuit has brought increased pressure on the EPA to finalize regulations for coal ash (also known as Coal Combustion Residuals or Coal Combustion Waste).
EPA Options being Considered
Subtitle C Option – Under this option, coal ash would be regulated under Subtitle C of the RCRA act, require conformance to hazardous waste regulations, and provide the EPA with federal oversight.
Subtitle D Option – Under this option, coal ash would be regulated under Subtitle D of the RCRA act as a non-hazardous waste and provide states with the regulatory oversight.
Why is some waste referred to as “special?” Well, special waste was deemed such back in 1978 under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a deferral of hazardous waste requirements for six categories of waste, which they called “special wastes,” and included:
1) Cement kiln dust
2) Mining waste
3) Oil and gas drilling muds and oil production brines
4) Phosphate rock mining, benefaction and processing waste
5) Uranium waste
6) Utility waste (i.e. fossil fuel combustion waste)
Read more about each type of special waste and its regulatory timeline here.
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