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Frequently Asked Questions about Mixed Waste - Radioactive and Chemical / Hazardous Waste

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This page gives you the latest guidance and news from on mixed waste.
Please choose from the following items.

EPA Publishes Proposed Mixed Waste Regulations (11/99) (Public comment period ends February 17, 1999)
Approach to Reinventing Regulations on Storing Mixed Low-Level Radioactive Waste (3/99)
EPA Announces Extension for Low-Priority Enforcement of Mixed Waste Storage (11/98)
EPA Comments on Draft DOE Order 435.1 (10/98)
EPA Comments on DOE's Alternative Waste Management Options (5/98)
EPA Announces Extension for Low-Priority Enforcement of Mixed Waste Storage (4/98)
EPA/NRC Publish Mixed Waste Testing Guidance (11/97)
EPA Recommends a Temporary Suspension in Mixed Waste RCRA Storage
Permits
(5/97)
Final NRC Technical Position on Cs-137 Contaminated Baghouse Dust (3/97)

 

Proposed Mixed-Waste Rule (11/99)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to amend its regulations under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to provide a conditional exemption from certain requirements for eligible mixed waste. EPA is requesting public comments on this proposed action. The 90-day public comment period extends through February 17, 2000.

You may access the following items by visiting the Mixed-Waste Rule Page: bulletRule Documents bulletTable of Contents bulletPDF Version of the RulebulletFact Sheet bulletContacts bulletLinks to other background documents.

 

Approach to Reinventing Regulations on Storing Mixed Low-Level Radioactive Waste (3/99)

This ANPR describes several options EPA is considering to make our regulations more flexible for generators of mixed low-level radioactive waste (MLLW) who are storing wastes that we and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) oversee. In this ANPR, we are requesting: comments on options for storing mixed waste; other suggestions on providing regulatory flexibility to manage mixed waste; and from generators of MLLW, information about generating such wastes and your operating procedures and costs for storing, treating, and disposing of these wastes.


The full text of this extension (64 FR 10064, March 1, 1999) can be found at the following Federal Register notice [Adobe PDF, 77 kBytes]. More information can also be found at the following EPA webpage.For further information please contact Nancy Hunt, Office of Solid Waste; telephone (703) 308-8762; or Chris Rhyne, Office of Solid Waste; telephone (703) 308-8658; or write them at the Office of Solid Waste (5303W), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460.

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EPA Extends Enforcement Storage Policy (11/98)

EPA has announced a limited extension of its policy (56 FR 42730, August 29, 1991) on the civil enforcement of the storage prohibition in sec. 3004(j) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at facilities that generate ‘‘mixed waste’’ regulated under both the RCRA subtitle C hazardous waste program and the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA). The policy affects only mixed wastes that are prohibited from land disposal under the RCRA land disposal restrictions (LDR) and for which there are no available options for treatment or disposal. Pursuant to the terms of this policy, EPA will continue to treat violations of RCRA sec. 3004(j) as reduced priorities among EPA’s potential civil enforcement actions.

EPA will employ RCRA enforcement authorities to ensure that this policy is not abused, with particular focus on ensuring that emerging treatment technologies are fully utilized and on confirming that those wastes for which no treatment exists are stored safely.

The full text of this extension (63 FR 59989, November 6, 1998) can be found at the following Federal Register notice [Adobe PDF, 34 kBytes]. For further information please contact Nancy Hunt, Federal, State and Tribal Programs Branch, Office of Solid Waste; telephone (703) 308- 8762; or Mary Andrews, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; telephone (202) 564-4011.

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EPA Comments on Draft DOE Order 435.1

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided supplemental comments on the draft Department of Energy (DOE) Order 435.1 and draft DOE Manual M435.1. These policies relate to the management and disposal of DOE's radioactive waste.

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EPA Comments on DOE's Alternative Waste Management Options

The following document [Adobe PDF, 12 kBytes] details EPA's views on the Department of Energy's (DOE) request for public comment (53 FR 13396, March 19, 1998) announcing DOE's intent to conduct a policy analysis regarding existing and alternative options for the disposal of certain DOE radioactive wastes. The radioactive wastes in question include low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and mixed low-level radioactive waste (MLLW).

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EPA Extends Enforcement Storage Policy (4/98)

EPA has extended its interim extension of its policy (61 FR 18588, April 26, 1996) on the civil enforcement of the storage prohibition in section 3004(j) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at facilities that generate ‘‘mixed waste.’’ This action (effective April 21, 1998) extends the April 1996 policy until October 31, 1998. The policy affects only mixed wastes that are prohibited from land disposal under the RCRA land disposal restrictions and for which there are no available options for treatment or disposal. EPA has been recently gathering information to determine whether long-term extension of the policy remains appropriate. Specifically, EPA sent information request letters pursuant to RCRA section 3007 to a selected sample of mixed waste generators and has conducted a series of site visits to facilities storing mixed waste. Following a thorough review of this information, EPA expects to determine whether a longer term extension of the policy is appropriate by October 31, 1998.

The full text of this extension (63 FR 17414, April 9, 1998) can be found at the following Federal Register notice [Adobe PDF, 12 kBytes]. For further information please contact Nancy Hunt, Federal, State and Tribal Programs Branch, Office of Solid Waste; telephone (703) 308- 8762; or Mary Andrews, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; telephone (202) 564-4011.

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EPA/NRC Publish Mixed Waste Testing Guidance

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have jointly published final guidance on the testing requirements for mixed radioactive and hazardous waste (mixed waste) in the Federal Register on November 20, 1997 (62 FR 62079 - 62094).

The guidance offers two strategies for helping to maintain radiation exposures As Low As is Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) if testing is required. These strategies are the use of a sample size of less than 100 grams, as long as the resulting test is sufficiently sensitive to measure the constituents of interest at the regulatory levels prescribed in the TCLP, and the use of surrogate materials, as long as they are chemically identical to the mixed waste and faithfully represent the hazardous constituents in the waste mixture. The guidance also discusses other allowable sampling and testing procedures, such as representative drum sampling, or sampling from drums containing lower concentrations of radioactive material, as long as the chemical contents are identical to those found in the drums with higher concentrations of radioactive material.

The full text of the EPA/NRC Mixed Waste Testing Guidance can be downloaded (285 kBytes, Adobe PDF).

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EPA Recommends a Temporary Suspension in Mixed Waste RCRA Storage Permits

On April 11, 1997, EPA obtained approval for a revision to the consent decree setting a deadline for the promulgation of the "Hazardous Waste Identification Rule for Waste." In the revised consent decree EPA agreed to seek comment by October 31, 1999 on regulatory relief for wastes generated at nuclear power plants that are both chemically hazardous and radioactive. In a separate letter to the attorney for the Edison Electric Institute, one of the parties to the consent decree, EPA agreed to make a final decision about potential relief for radioactive "mixed wastes" from nuclear power plants by April 30, 2001. In that letter EPA also agreed to recommend that EPA Regions and States authorized to implement RCRA programs provide interim relief relating to the call-in of RCRA Part B permit applications.

This memorandum provides EPA's recommendations regarding interim permitting relief pending completion of the rulemaking described above. In that rulemaking EPA will consider potential relief from RCRA permitting requirements for on-site storage of both mixed wastes generated by nuclear power plants and mixed wastes generated by other commercial entities. Accordingly, in this memorandum the term "commercial mixed waste" refers to any commercially-generated, low-level, radioactive hazardous mixed waste regulated by EPA under Subtitle C of RCRA and by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or NRC-Agreement States under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA).

To eliminate a potentially needless expenditure of resources while EPA evaluates a possible exemption, the Office of Solid Waste (OSW) recommends that EPA Regions and States authorized under RCRA to regulate mixed wastes temporarily suspend the call-in and processing of RCRA Part B applications and the issuance of RCRA permits for facilities which have interim status for the on-site storage of commercial mixed wastes. This permit suspension only applies where the facility is not otherwise subject to RCRA permitting requirements. Moreover, OSW does not recommend any suspension for facilities where Regions or States find a particular environmental concern that merits the call-in or issuance of such a permit.

The full text of the May 21, 1997 letter from EPA's Office of Solid Waste to EPA Regions and Authorized State RCRA programs with mixed waste authorization can be downloaded (8.8 kBytes, Adobe PDF). The April 7, 1997 letter to Douglas H. Green is also available (5.7 kBytes, Adobe PDF).

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Final NRC Technical Position on Cs-137 Contaminated Baghouse Dust

This final U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) position (March 19, 1997 : 62 FR 13176), which has been coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides the possibility of a public health-protective, environmentally sound, and cost-effective alternative for the disposal of a large part of this mixed waste. The position provides the bases that, with the approval of appropriate regulatory authorities (e.g., State-permitting agencies) and others (e.g., disposal site operators), and with possible public input, could be used to allow disposal of stabilized waste at Subtitle C, RCRA-permitted, hazardous waste disposal facilities. The final position can be downloaded (624 kBytes, Adobe PDF).

 

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This page was updated on 22-Mar-2017

 

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