The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is the Federal agency responsible for protecting the environment within the US from the affects of pollution. Legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President provides US EPA with the authority to create and enforce regulations to accomplish the goal of environmental protection.
Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires “Cradle to Grave” regulation of all hazardous waste. That is, from its point of generation through its transportation in commerce to its final destination or “Grave”.
Subtitle D of RCRA delegates the creation and enforcement of regulations for non-hazardous waste to the States.
As a state with an approved hazardous waste management program, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PDEP), Bureau of Waste Management in Pennsylvania is authorized to create and enforce its own hazardous waste regulations. Under the authority granted to it by RCRA Subtitle D, PDEP has created state-specific regulations for the management of non-hazardous waste from an industrial source; it refers to this waste as: Residual Waste.
Residual waste is a non-hazardous industrial waste produced by industrial, mining, and agricultural operations. It may be a liquid, solid, or gas. It does not include certain coal mining wastes and wastes from normal farming activities. It also does not include waste identified as hazardous.
Examples of Residual Waste include:
|Ash from coal and Residual Waste burning facilities (~40% of total)||Contaminated soil||Ceramics||Gypsum board|
|Rubber||Detergents & cleaners||Pesticides||Fertilizers|
Residual waste does not include:
- Sanitary sewage
- Uncontaminated non-contact cooling water
- Office, lunchroom, restroom wastes
- Construction and demolition debris
If you generate a residual waste you must comply with the applicable state laws and regulations in 25 PA Code, Subchapter B. Your regulatory burden will depend upon the amount of residual waste you generate. A summary of the regulatory requirements are below.
If at any site in the previous year you generated more than an average of 2,200 lbs of Residual Waste per month, you must:
- Submit the biennial report per §287.52.
- Prepare a source reduction strategy per §287.53.
And/or, if at any site in the previous year you generated more than 2,200 lbs of an individual Residual Waste in any single month, you must also complete the required chemical analysis of waste per §287.54.
The requirements of §287.52-54 don’t apply to waste generated in the following manner:
- Residual waste generated as a result of collecting the waste.
- Waste created from a spill, release, fire, accident, or other unplanned event.
- Oil used as a lubricant in an internal combustion engine or for other lubricating in a motor vehicle which is unsuitable for further use.
If you store residual waste at your site (its point of generation) for any period of time, you must also comply with the requirements of Chapter 299, which require generators of residual waste to…
- Routinely inspect their facility and maintain records of inspections (§299.112).
- Store for no more than one year, unless you wish to be considered a residual waste disposal facility (§299.113).
- Prevent it from becoming a nuisance (§299.115).
- Manage storm water runoff and prevent groundwater degradation (§299.117).
- Manage in either containers (§299.121) or tanks (§299.122).
- Whether managed in containers or tanks, residual waste must be labeled as “Residual Waste” and the type of residual waste identified.
Chapter 299 contains more information specific to other management units for residual waste:
- Storage piles.
It also contains requirements for specific types of waste:
- Ash residue from residual waste incineration.
- Friable asbestos.
- PCB waste.
- Waste tires.
These state laws and regulations are enforced by the PA DEP by conducting on-site investigations, responding to complaints, and prosecuting violators. Compliance with Pennsylvania’s (or any State’s) regulations for non-hazardous waste requires a thorough knowledge of the State regulations and the workings of the State Agency (in this case the PDEP). While I refer to State regulations in my public training workshops, it is in my on-site training that I really dig deep into what you need to know about State and Federal regulations. Contact me to discuss the training you need for your facility.