landfillUnder the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), 42 U.S.C. §§6901 et seq., hazardous waste land disposal units in operation after November 19, 1980 are subject to the RCRA hazardous waste management regulatory program. After closure of a hazardous waste land disposal unit where waste remains in place, RCRA regulations require the owner or operator (“owner/operator”) to perform post-closure care activities and provide financial assurance for the estimated costs of the post-closure care. The regulations require a 30-year post-closure care period, though the post-closure period may be extended by EPA or an authorized state if it can be demonstrated that an extension is “necessary to protect human health and the environment.” Continue Reading EPA Issues Guidance on Extending the Timeframe for Hazardous Waste Management Unit Post-Closure Care Under RCRA

Rail tracksThe U.S. Department of Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a final rule on August 15, 2016 modifying regulations governing trains hauling crude oil and other flammable materials. See 81 Fed. Reg. 53935.  These changes codifiy certain mandates and minimum requirements set forth in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act) (Pub. L. No. 114-94), enacted in December 2015.  The full text of the PHMSA rule is available here.

Continue Reading FAST Act Requirements for Flammable Liquids and Rail Tank Cars

oil pipelineIn a Federal Register notice made public August 15, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued an advisory bulletin to “all owners and operators . . . of hazardous liquid, carbon dioxide, and gas pipelines, as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 192 and 195” clarifying how pipelines that are no longer in use should be treated. The full text of the bulletin is available here. PHMSA indicated that this advisory is necessary because improperly abandoned pipelines have resulted in pipeline incidents nationwide.

Continue Reading Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Advisory Bulletin Clarifying Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status

oil drumThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) impose a comprehensive and often onerous program regulating the disposal and recycling of hazardous wastes. If you generate a secondary material that would need to be managed as a hazardous waste if you disposed of it, but the material is being recycled instead, you must determine whether the recycling is legitimate if you wish to qualify for exemptions and exclusions from the RCRA regulations. Charles Merrill breaks down the RCRA Sham Recycling Rule requirements in this white paper.

 

chemical transportIn response to twenty petitions for rulemaking submitted by the Chlorine Institute, Compressed Gas Association, and other members of the regulated community, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 30, 2016 that, if finalized, will amend its hazardous materials regulations to update, clarify, or provide relief from the following miscellaneous regulatory requirements:

Continue Reading Proposed Rulemaking to Amend Hazardous Materials Regulations

Husch Blackwell’s Charlie Merrill and Megan Galey’s article, “Looking at RCRA Liability Post-Closure Care Period” appeared in Law360 today.

“Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous waste management regulatory program, the owner or operator of a closed hazardous wasteland disposal unit must perform post-closure care activities and provide financial assurance for the estimated costs of PCC. At the end of the 30-year post-closure period and termination of the financial assurance requirement, however, RCRA’s post-closure requirements are no longer applicable.”

Continue reading the article here.

On July 31, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule, effective January 31, 2014, that provides some new clarity on how wipes that are contaminated with certain hazardous solvents must be managed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal statute governing the disposal of solid and hazardous waste. Continue Reading EPA Issues Long-Awaited Rule Clarifying How to Manage Solvent-Contaminated Wipes