United States               Solid Waste and
                    Environmental Protection  .     Emergency Resonse      EPA530-F-35-024
                    Agency                   (5305W)     '           November 1995
                    Office of Solid Waste


                    Fact  Sheet

                    PROPOSAL TO RELEASE LOW-RISK

                      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to modify the
                  ,  regulatory frameworkgoverning hazardous waste management. This-rule is the
                    first step toward comprehensive reform of the Resource Conservation and
                    Recovery Act (RCRA). In addition to saving industry about $70-$80 million a
                    year, this rule'will provide strongincentives for. industry to practice waste
                    minimization, pollution prevention, and to develop innovative waste treatment
                    techniques.                                        .

     Current RCRA regulations stipulate that listed waste; mixtures of solid and listed
 wastes, and materials derived from treatment, storage or disposal of listed waste remain
 regulated as "hazardous" unless delisted by petition. The current regulatory structure does
v not allow for dilute mixtures of solid and listed wastes and treatment residuals from listed
 wastes tp'become reclassified except through full rulemaking on a "delisting" petition.
 Unless "delisted", such wastes must be managed as hazardous under RCRA regardless of
 the concentrations and mobilities of hazardous constituents within the, wastes.
     In 1991, the,mixture and derived-from rules were remanded by the 10th Circuit Court
 of appeals due to notice and comment problems. In July, 1993, EPA formally chartered a
 DialogueCommittee on Hazardous Waste  Identification under the Federal Advisory
 Committee Act (FACA) to, among other things, identify and evaluate options for the
 reduction of overregulation of low-risk wastes under RCRA. The Dialogue Committee
 was comprised of various stakeholders, including representatives from industry, public
 interest groups and the states. In close cooperation with the states, EPA analyzed the
 Dialogue Committee's recommendations and developed this proposal. In May 1995, EPA
 entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Technology Council to revise the
 RCRA mixture and derived from rules.                        -

    EPA is proposing to establish a risk-based "floor" to hazardous waste listings.' Under
 this proposal, generators of listed hazardous wastes .that meet self-implementing exit levels
 will no longer be subject to the hazardous waste .management system under Subtitle C of
 RCRA as listed hazardous wastes, if they properly notify the applicable environmental
 agency and meet other administrative requirements, and comply .with the ongoing condi-
 tions of the exemption.            .     -                         ,             <

    These proposed exit levels were established using an innovative risk assessment which
 evaluates potential exposure pathways, both direct and indirect from a variety of sources,

 such as waste piles and surface impoundments. This assessment also focuses on both
 human and environmental receptors. Additionally, this notice takes comments on several
 general approaches for conditional exemptions from Subtitle C management.
     The Agency is also proposing to modify some of the numerical treatment standards
 under RCRA that are part of the land disposal restrictions mandated by Congress in the
 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984. Specifically this rule proposes to cap
 technology-based treatment standards with risk-based exit levels that minimize threats to
 human health and the environment These levels are based on the multi-pathway analysis.
     This proposal is intended to provide industry with the latitude to manage low-risk
 wastes in a manner that is economically feasible, while being protective of human health
 and the environment                                             *

 More Information
    The Federal Register (FR) notice and this fact sheet are available in electronic format
 on the Internet System through EPA Public Access Server at gopher.epa.gov.  For the text
 of the FR notice, choose: Rules, Regulations, and Legislation; the FR-Waste; finally, Year/
 Month/Day. This fact sheet is available under: EPA Offices, and Regions/Office of Solid
 Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)/Office of Solid Waste/Hazardous Waste-
 Subtitle C/Hazardous Waste Identification/General.                        ' .    '.  '
    For additional information or to order paper copies of the  FR notice, call the RCRA
Hotline. Callers within the Washington, Metropolitan Area must dial 703-412-9810 or
TDD 703-412-3323 (hearing impaired).  Long-distance callers may call  1-800-424-9346 or
TDD 1-800-553-7672. The RCRA Hotline  is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.,
Eastern Standard Time.

    Copies of documents applicable to this rule may be obtained by writing: RCRA
Information Center (RIG), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste
(5305W), 401 M Street SW, Washington,'D.C. .20460.