United States
                 Protection Agency
                    Solid Waste and
                    Emergency Response
  November 1998
                 Office of Solid Waste
Fact Sheet
                 Final HWIR-MEDIA Rule
 What is the HWIR-media rule?
  The HWIR-media rule is a final regulation
 that is part of President Clinton's March 1994
 environmental regulatory reform initiative.
 The rule sets new requirements under the
 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
 (RCRA) for hazardous remediation wastes
 that are treated, stored, or disposed of during
 cleanup actions. Specifically, the rule

    Makes permits for treating, storing, and
    disposing of hazardous remediation
    wastes faster and easier to obtain

    Provides that obtaining these permits will
    not subject the owner and/or operator to
    facility-wide corrective action

    Creates a new kind of unit called a
    "staging pile" that allows more flexibility
    in temporarily storing remediation waste
    during cleanup

    Excludes dredged materials from RCRA
    Subtitle C if they are managed under an
    appropriate permit under the Marine
    Protection, Research and Protection Act
    or the Clean Water Act.

    Makes it faster and easier for States to
    receive authorization when they update
    their RCRA programs to incorporate revi-
    sions to the Federal RCRA regulations.
                       What is the background for this
                         On April 29, 1996, EPA proposed new regu-
                       latory provisions entitled "Requirements for
                       Management of Hazardous Contaminated
                       Media" (61 FR 18780). That proposal, also
                       known as the "Hazardous Waste Identifica-
                       tion Rule for Contaminated Media" (or
                       HWIR-media), included a broad range of po-
                       tential reforms. Among those reforms, EPA
                       proposed options for excluding contaminated
                       media and other remediation wastes from
                       Subtitle C. For the reasons described in the
                       following paragraph, EPA is not finalizing
                       those broad reforms in the HWIR-media final
                       rule, but instead is finalizing only the reforms
                       listed at left. EPA has already finalized the
                       1996 proposed provisions for standards for
                       hazardous soils. These provisions were in the
                       May 26, 1998, Phase IV final rule (63 FR

                         Although EPA conducted a lengthy
                       outreach process before developing the
                       HWIR-media proposal and tried to balance
                       the concerns and interests of various stake-
                       holder groups, it is clear after reviewing pub-
                       lic comment on the proposal that stakeholders
                       have fundamental disagreements on many
                       remediation waste management issues. EPA
                       has concluded that pursuing comprehensive
                       regulatory reform would be time- and
                       re source-intensive and would most likely re-
                       sult in a rule that would provoke additional

years of litigation and associated uncertainty.
This uncertainty would be detrimental to the
program and would have a negative effect on
ongoing and future cleanups. Therefore, EPA
is withdrawing the proposed options for broad
reforms—such as those that exempted
remediation wastes from Subtitle C—and is,
instead, finalizing only those reforms listed.

 One of the 1996 HWIR-media options pro-
posed was the withdrawal of the  Corrective
Action Management Unit (CAMU) rule be-
cause its flexibility would be replaced with
the proposed broad reforms. However,
because EPA is not finalizing those broad
reforms, the CAMU rule will be retained as it
currently exists in 40 CFR Section 264.552

Does the HWIR-media rule apply
new mandatory  requirements?
 No. Adoption of the requirements of this
rule is optional for authorized state RCRA
programs because these requirements are less
stringent then the existing requirements.
Even after these new regulations are adopted
and authorized for state programs,  facilities
may choose not to take advantage of them
and may choose,  instead, to comply with the
traditional requirements for hazardous waste

Is EPA changing policies that
currently provide flexibility for
remediation  waste management?
       No. Existing areas of flexibility for the
management of hazardous remediation waste
such as the "contained-in" and "area of con-
tamination" policies and site-specific land
disposal restrictions treatability variances
continue to be available.
      Make site cleanup faster and easier

 and thus

      Provide increased protection to human
      health and the environment.

For More Information
  The Federal Register notice and this fact
sheet are available in electronic format on the
Internet through the EPA Public Access
Server. The notice is available
http://www.epa.gov/rules, regulations, and
legislation. This  fact sheet and other docu-
ments related to this rule are available under
"EPA Offices and Regions." For additional
information or to order paper copies of any
documents, 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 operates weekdays,
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Write to the RCRA In-
formation Center (5305W), US EPA, 401 M
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460.
What impacts does EPA expect the
HWIR-media rule to have?
      EPA anticipates that the HWIR-media
rule will
      Eliminate existing regulatory disin-
      centives to remediation