Uo'tec Stares             Off :e :r 5ci a Aas*e
                    Environmental 3rotect^cr      arc E^ergercv Response       EPA/5 30-5W-39-0-*.1
                    Agency                Wasnngtor DC 20460               April 1989

                    Office of Sord Waste
SEPA         Environmental
                     Fact Sheet
                     MINERAL PROCESSING WASTES
                     FROM THE BEVILL AMENDMENT

            In 1980, Congress amended the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
        (RCRA) to temporarily exclude from hazardous waste regulation wastes
        from the extraction, beneficiation, and processing (smelting and refining)
        of ores and minerals. Known as the Bevill Amendment, this exclusion was
        temporary until EPA completed a Report to Congress and made a regulatory
        determination on these wastes. In November 1980, EPA published an
        interim final amendment to its hazardous waste regulations which
        interpreted this exclusion to apply to "solid waste from the exploration,
        mining, milling, smelting and refining of ores and minerals."

            In 1985, EPA proposed to  narrow the Agency's 1980 interpretation of
        the Bevill Amendment for mineral processing wastes. However, the Agency
        later withdrew this proposal because EPA believed that it was technically

            The withdrawal of the proposal to narrow the Bevill exclusion for
        mineral processing wastes led to a lawsuit by the Environmental  Defense
        Fund (EOF) and the Hazardous Waste  Treatment Council (HWTC)  asking that
        the Agency be required to narrow the exclusion. The resulting court
        decision (July 1988) was made in favor of EOF and HWTC and the Agency
        was required to make a new proposal to narrow the Bevill exclusion to
        include only so-called "special wastes"  (i.e., only those mineral processing
        wastes that are both "high volume" and "low hazard" wastes). In addition,
        the court specifically ordered EPA to list as hazardous wastes six smelting
        wastes that the court determined were  clearly hazardous wastes. The
        Agency listed these six wastes as hazardous wastes on August 31, 1988.

     In compliance with the court order, EPA proposed on October 20,
1988, to narrow the scope of the Bevill Amendment for mineral processing
wastes. Although the proposal included specific criteria for defining
"high volume" special wastes, the Agency believed at that time that
inadequate testing criteria and data were available to propose specific
criteria for defining "low hazard." Therefore, a "low hazard" criterion was
not included in this proposal.

     Based on the public comments received  on the October 1988 proposal,
EPA believes that a criterion for evaluating the hazard of mineral
processing wastes is necessary in order to identify those mineral
processing wastes that are "special wastes."  Therefore, EPA determined
that a new proposal was necessary in order to incorporate a hazard

     EPA has developed criteria for identifying the high volume, low hazard
solid wastes from ore and mineral processing that are consistent with the
"special waste" concept. In applying these criteria using available data,
EPA identified 39 ore and mineral processing wastes that potentially fall
under the "special waste" category. Therefore, EPA is re-proposing the
October 1988 rulemaking to retain these 39 specific wastes within the
Bevill Amendment.

     First, EPA defines the three "special waste" criteria.  The proposal
defines "solid waste from processing of ores and minerals" and
"beneficiation" so as to more precisely delineate the Bevill Amendment
boundaries.  The proposal revises the "high volume" criterion to include
only the average facility generation rate.  Under this proposed criterion, a
waste is considered "high volume" if the average annual per-facility
generation rate for all facilities generating that waste exceeds 50,000
metric tons.  The proposal adds the "low hazard" criterion to identify
possible Bevill processing wastes that clearly pose a high level of hazard
to human health and/or the environment. Any waste failing such a
criterion cannot be considered a "low hazard" waste and, hence, does not
qualify as a "special waste." EPA intends to finalize these criteria for
identifying "special wastes" in August 1989.

     For those wastes remaining within the Bevill exclusion, EPA will
issue a Report to Congress and regulatory determination as the final
stages of EPA's response to the provisions of RCRA Section 8002(p). We
do not expect there to be any further studies or regulatory determinations
related to ore and mineral processing wastes as a group.

    For further information, or to order a copy of the Federal Register
notice, please call the RCRA Hotline Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to
7:30 p.m. EST. The national toll-free number is 800-424-9346; in
Washington, D.C., the number is 202-382-3000.

    Second, EPA identifies six of the 39 wastes that satisfy the "special
waste" criteria using available data.  Therefore, EPA is proposing to retain
these six wastes within the Bevill Amendment.  EPA intends to finalize
the Bevill status of these six wastes by August 1989.

    Third, EPA is proposing to conditionally retain the other 33 mineral
processing wastes within the Bevill Amendment because they satisfy the
high volume criterion, but EPA does not currently have adequate data to
evaluate whether they meet the low hazard criterion.  Using the criteria
finalized in August 1989, EPA will propose a rule by September 1989 to
identify which of the 33 wastes would remain within the Bevill
Amendment and which wastes would be removed. That proposal will be
promulgated by January 1990.

     EPA is soliciting public comment on the criteria defined in this
proposed rule to identify "special wastes" and on its choice of the six
wastes to be retained within the Bevill Amendment. In particular, EPA is
seeking information, including chemical characterization or other relevant
hazard data, regarding the other 33, as well as any other, mineral
processing wastes that may meet the criteria for "special wastes."

     If this proposed rulemaking is promulgated, the six wastes will be
retained within the temporary exclusion provided by the Bevill
Amendment. In addition, the high volume and low hazard criteria will be
finalized and, therefore, used to identify the status of the other 33
wastes  in the proposed rule scheduled for September 1989.

     In January 1990, the September 1989 proposed rule will be
promulgated, listing the wastes covered under the Bevill Amendment.
Operators of facilities that generate non-excluded wastes will have to
determine whether their processing wastes exhibit one or more of the
hazardous waste characteristics and, if so, will have to comply with the
technical and administrative requirements of Subtitle C of RCRA. These
requirements will become effective, at the latest, six months after the
promulgation of the final rule in those states that do not have
authorization to administer an EPA-approved hazardous waste program,
and somewhat later in authorized states.

                              SIX "SPECIAL WASTES"
 1.    Slag from primary copper smelting;
 2.    Slag from primary lead smelting;
 3.    Red and brown muds from bauxite refining;
 4.    Phosphogypsum from phosphoric acid production;
 5.    Slag from elemental phosphorus production;
 6.    Furnace scrubber btowdown from elemental phosphorus production.
 1.    Barren filtrate from primary beryllium processing;
 2.    Raffinate from primary beryllium processing;
 3.    Bertrandite thickener sludge from primary beryllium processing;
 4.    Process wastewater from primary cerium processing;
 5.    Ammonium nitrate process solution from primary lanthanide processing;
 6.    Roast/leach ore residue from primary chrome ore processing;
 7.    Gasifier ash from coal gasification;
 8.    Cooling tower blowdown from coal gasification;
 9.    Process wastewater from coal gasification;
10.    Bleed electrolyte from primary copper refining;
11.    Process wastewater from coal gasification;
12.    Slag tailings from primary copper smelting;
13.    Calcium sulfate wastewater treatment plant sludge from primary copper
14.    Furnace off-gas solids from elemental phosphorus production;
15.    Process wastewater from elemental phosphorus production;
16.    Fluorogypsum from hydrofutoric acid production;
17.    Air pollution control dust/sludge from iron blast furnaces;
18.    Iron blast furnace slag;
19.    Process wastewater from primary lead smelting/refining;
20.    Air pollution control scrubber wastewater from light weight aggregate production;
21.    Wastewater treatment sludge/solids from light weight aggregate production;
22.    Process wastewater from primary magnesium processing by the anhydrous process;
23.    Process wastewater from primary selenium processing;
24.    Process wastewater from phosphoric acid production;
25.    Wastes from trona ore processing;
26.    Basic oxygen furnace slag from carbon steel production;
27.    Leach liquor from primary titanium processing;
28.    Sulfate processing waste acids from titanium dioxide production;
29.    Sulfate processing waste solids from titanium dioxide;
30.    Chloride processing waste acids from titanium and titanium dioxide production;
31.    Chloride processing waste solids from titanium and titanium dioxide production;
32.    Blowdown from acid plants at primary zinc smelters;
33.    Process wastewater from primary zinc smelting/refining.