On November 9, 2017, on the heels of New Jersey’s move to set a maximum contaminant level for certain perfluoroalkyl substances, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to the list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause reproductive toxicity (also known as the Prop 65 list).
On November 1, 2017, New Jersey officials announced that they would set Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for public drinking water systems for PFOA and PFNA, making the Garden State the first in the nation to do so.
On October 25, 2017, EPA Region 6 announced a settlement with Macy’s department stores for alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations. In the press release, EPA alleged that Macy’s generated thousands of pounds of hazardous waste between 2012 – 2015 and qualified as a small-quantity generator but failed to notify EPA and state authorities. EPA also alleged that Macy’s failed to meet the regulatory requirements for small-quantity generators and did not complete appropriate manifests. As part of the settlement, the company is required to pay a $375,000 civil penalty and, as a supplemental environmental project, develop an internal training and audit program. This settlement demonstrates that EPA Region 6 continues to pursue enforcement actions initiated under the former Administration using evidence from data mining of manifests and records related to hazardous waste generators, big and small. With this EPA action, the current Administration appears to be willing to continue its focus on retail hazardous waste enforcement. Troutman Sanders has extensive experience advising clients on retail hazardous waste management and enforcement. Please contact Greg Blount or Angela Levin for further information.
You are invited to
A Webinar: The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule
Friday, November 18, 2016 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
The final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule is Here!
Are you a hazardous waste generator? How will the EPA’s updates to the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule affect your business? Could your company be at risk for noncompliance?
On October 28, 2016, the EPA signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. This Rule has been long in the making and addresses various issues applicable to all hazardous waste generators, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste generated or industry sector. Other changes significantly alter requirements applicable to Large Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators.
Yesterday, October 31, 2016, U.S. EPA posted the pre-publication version of its final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (“Final Generator Rule”). The Final Generator Rule was signed by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on October 28, 2016. This rule has been long in the making and addresses various issues applicable to all hazardous waste generators, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste generated or industry sector. Other changes significantly alter requirements applicable to Large Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators.
Yesterday, U.S. EPA announced a new Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) retail strategy. This strategy has been long-awaited, given that it has been well over two years since the retail industry commented on EPA’s February 14, 2014 Notice of Data Availability for the Retail Sector (20 Fed. Reg. 8926). After last year’s release of the proposed Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule and Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals rule, the industry was unclear whether and to what degree EPA would turn back to a potential sector-specific rulemaking. Yesterday’s release of EPA’s retail strategy, however, confirms that EPA intends to use policy, guidance and rulemaking to fashion a remedy. Continue Reading U.S. EPA Announces Its Retail Strategy
According to the Healthcare Environmental Resource Center, “EPA will not be publishing a rule finalizing the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule in October of 2016 along with the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements final rule and previously projected.”
Pharmacy retailers have anxiously awaited the final Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals rule (80 Fed. Reg. 50,014), after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published the proposed rule on September 25, 2015 in the Federal Register, but it appears the wait will continue. Pharmacy retailers have hoped that the final rule would, among other things, provide a means of avoiding Large Quantity Generator (LQG) status and the onerous requirements, which are ill-suited for retailers. However, based on discussions with U.S. EPA sources, we now understand that the Pharmaceuticals rule is not likely to be finalized before the change in presidential administration. Given the change in administration, and depending on the election results, we may not see a final Pharmaceuticals rule for years. Continue Reading U.S. EPA’s Pharmaceuticals Rule to be Kicked to Next Administration
EPA sent its final hazardous waste generator improvements rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. EPA released a proposed version of the rule on August 31, 2015. The proposal includes several changes to EPA’s current hazardous waste regulations. Continue Reading The White House Receives EPA’s Final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule
California’s environmental prosecutors have scrutinized hazardous waste management for several years now, particularly at major retailers. This focus has led to California settlements with Costco, CVS, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, among other retailers. The settlements resolved alleged mismanagement of hazardous waste generated from material such as consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and general home improvement products. Continue Reading California Prosecutors Focus on E-waste
In 2011, U.S. EPA issued guidance concluding that generators of p-listed pharmaceutical wastes did not need to count the weight of non-RCRA empty containers in determining their generator status. Instead, EPA determined that “it is only the residue in the non-RCRA empty container that is considered a p-listed hazardous waste; the container itself is not a hazardous waste.” Containers that Once Held P Listed Pharmaceuticals, November 4, 2011. This EPA memo was long-awaited by retail pharmacies and other healthcare facilities, as it provided a mechanism to forego counting containers that previously held warfarin-family pharmaceuticals toward generator status. This was particularly helpful, given that where a facility accumulates more than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of acute hazardous waste at any one time, the facility is subject to stringent Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste (LQG) regulations. While such generators may still be subject to LQG requirements based on generation of other p-listed waste such as nicotine replacement therapy products, EPA’s November 4, 2011 memo significantly reduced the likelihood that retail pharmacies and other healthcare facilities would be subject to LQG regulation. Continue Reading California Becomes the Second State to Reject U.S. EPA’s P-Listed Empty Container Guidance