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Retail Sector: USEPA Wants to Hear From you re. Your Hazardous Waste Management

Retail Sector: USEPA Wants to Hear From you re. Your Hazardous Waste Management

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  is aware of the difficulties faced by the retail sector in complying with the hazardous waste regulations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Complications specific to the retail sector include:

  • A large number of diverse products that may become a RCRA hazardous waste when discarded.
  • A need to make numerous hazardous waste determinations.
  • Multiple (sometimes thousands) of sites.
  • Management of waste routinely conducted by those with limited experience with or knowledge of RCRA regulations.

In order to address these and other hazardous waste management challenges and ensure the proper and safe “cradle to grave” management of hazardous waste, EPA is considering the development of hazardous waste regulations specific to the retail sector.  Before it can draft these regulations, the EPA is seeking to gain additional information about hazardous waste generation and management within the retail sector from the industry and other interested parties.  One effort to gain this information is the publication of a NODA (Notice of Data Availability) in the Federal Register on February 14, 2014 (79 FR 8926).

The purpose of the NODA is to present information assembled by the EPA during previous listening sessions and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders (not just the retail sector, but any  interested parties) to comment on this information.  It also offers the opportunity to provide additional information about any RCRA-related issues faced by the retail sector.

Additional Information Sought From Commenters by this NODA:

  1. Suggestions for improving the RCRA hazardous waste policies, guidances and regulations for retail operations.
  2. Information about the retail universe and the hazardous waste generated.
  3. Information about episodic generation of hazardous waste.
  4. Information about retail stores’ hazardous waste programs.
  5. Information about hazardous waste employee training.
  6. Information about aerosol cans.
  7. Information about transportation and reverse logistics.
  8. Information about reverse logistic centers.
  9. Information about sustainability efforts under taken by retail facilities.

Within the NODA are suggested questions for each of the nine (9) categories of information sought by EPA.  While not limited to these questions, commenters are encouraged to use them as a guide for providing input.

The NODA also identifies methods for submitting comments and who to contact for further information.

And finally, just what does EPA mean by “the retail sector”?  See the table below.

NAICS Codes of Entities Potentially Affected by this Notice

NAICS Code Description of NAICS Code
441 Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers
442 Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores
443 Electronics and Appliance Stores
444 Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers
445 Food and Beverage Stores
446 Health and Personal Care Stores
447 Gasoline Stations
448 Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
451 Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores
452 General Merchandise Stores
453 Miscellaneous Store Retailers
454 Nonstore Retailers
722 Food Services and Drinking Places

Are you a member of the retail sector or do you have an interest in how hazardous waste is managed within the retail sector?  If so, then take advantage of this NODA from the USEPA to have your voice be heard and possibly influence the regulations that may result.

But hurry!  The deadline for comments is April 15, 2014.  Or it was anyway.  The EPA recently extended the deadline to May 30th, read about it here.