Tag Archives: hazardous waste disposal

Considerations for Safe Handling and Disposal of PCBs

Advanced_Disposal_Danger_PCBs_3The 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.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are among the most important entries in this category. PCBs are man-made chemicals used in many building materials from the late 1920s to 1979, but are now associated with reproductive and cancer risks.

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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How will EPA Rule on Coal Ash on Dec. 19th?

Source: www.CatawbaRiverKeeper.org. Riverbend Steam Station Ash Ponds on Mountain Island Lake. Photo by J. Wes Bobbitt. Flight by Southwings.
Source: www.CatawbaRiverKeeper.org. Riverbend Steam Station Ash Ponds on Mountain Island Lake. Photo by J. Wes Bobbitt. Flight by Southwings.

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.

 … read more

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What’s So Special about Special Waste?

Advanced_Disposal_Stones_Throw_LandfillWhy 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.

 … read more

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