- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA is seeking public comment on a revised risk analysis developed for the 2003 proposed Solvent-Contaminated Industrial Wipes Rule. The agency announced on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, it has revised the risk analysis in response to comments received when the rule was proposed. According to the agency, the rule is meant to improve the clarity and consistency of the regulations for wipes and reduce the cost of regulatory compliance.
Among common regulatory grumbles among a number of industries has been the federal government's insistence that what are essentially cleaning rags must be treated as hazardous waste. The agency has, since 2003, been looking at ways it could reduce this burden on industry without allowing some of the more contaminating solvents and hazardous materials from affecting the environment.
The revised risk analysis, which was peer reviewed, includes updated data and information, including the use of a newly developed landfill model. The revised risk analysis shows that eight of the 20 solvents evaluated could pose a potential health risk if disposed of in an unlined municipal solid waste landfill. The revised risk analysis also shows one (tetrachloroethylene) of the 20 solvents evaluated has a potential health risk if the wipes or laundry sludge are disposed in a composite lined landfill.
In 2003, the EPA under President Bush proposed to conditionally exclude from the definition of hazardous waste disposable industrial wipes that are contaminated with hazardous solvents and are going to disposal. The EPA also proposed to conditionally exclude from the definition of solid waste reusable industrial shop towels and rags that are contaminated with hazardous solvents and are sent for cleaning.
The public comment period will be open for 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.