United States                Office of Solid Waste
                      Environmental Protection         and Emergency Response      EPA/530-SW-89-045
                      Agency                    Washington DC 20460        March 1990

                      Office of Solid Waste
&EPA         Environmental
                      Fact  Sheet
                       TOXICITY CHARACTERISTIC
                       RULE FINALIZED
                The final Toxicity Characteristic rule adds 25 organic chemicals to the eight
              metals and six pesticides on the existing list of constituents regulated under
              RCRA.  The rule also establishes regulatory levels for the new organic
              chemicals listed, and replaces the Extraction Procedure leach test with the
              Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure. Generators must comply with this
              regulation within six months of the date of notice in the Federal Register; small
              quantity generators must comply within one year.
         On June 13, 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
         proposed to revise the existing toxicity characteristic, one of four
         characteristics used by the Agency to identify hazardous waste to be
         regulated under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery
         Act (RCRA). The proposed rule was designed to refine and broaden the
         scope of the RCRA hazardous waste regulatory program, and to fulfill
         specific statutory mandates under the Hazardous and Solid Waste
         Amendments of 1984.

         Under current regulations, EPA uses two procedures to  define wastes
         as hazardous:  listing and hazardous characteristics. The listing
         procedure involves identifying industries or processes that produce
         wastes that pose hazards to human health and the environment. The
         second procedure involves identifying properties or "characteristics"
         that, if exhibited by any waste, indicate a potential hazard if the waste
         is not properly controlled. Toxicity is one of four characteristics that
         must be considered when identifying a waste as hazardous. The others
         are ignitability, reactivity, and corrosivity.

         The proposed version of the new rule added 38 new substances to the
         Toxicity Characteristic list; 13 of these constituents are not included in
         the final version due to technical difficulties in establishing appropriate
         regulatory levels. EPA bases all regulatory levels for hazardous
         chemicals on health-based concentration thresholds and a dilution/
         attenuation factor specific to each chemical. A concentration threshold
                                                                   Printed on Recycled Paper


 indicates how much of the chemical adversely affects human health,
 while the dilution/attenuation factor indicates how easily the chemical
 could seep (or "leach") into ground water. The levels set in the Toxicity
 Characteristic (TC) rule were determined by multiplying the health-based
 number by a dilution/attenuation factor of 100.

 The introduction of the TC rule in 1986 generated extensive public com-
 ment on a variety of issues. The TC involves a new "modeling" approach,
 a mathematical computer model,  to simulate what happens to hazardous
 waste in a landfill. Results from the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Pro-
 cedure  (TCLP), a new test that is part of the TC rule, are more reproduc-
 ible than results from the old Extraction Procedure (EP) leach test, and
 the new test is easier to run.

 Following the  1986 proposal, EPA published several supplemental no-
 tices in an effort to evaluate and incorporate public comments before fi-
 nalizing the rule.
EPA is finalizing the regulatory levels for 25 of the 38 constituents of
concern that were identified in the proposed Toxicity Characteristic rule.
Regulatory levels for the remaining 13 constituents will be proposed at a
later date.

A waste may be a "TC waste" if any of the chemicals listed below are
present in waste sample extract or leachate resulting from application of
the TCLP to that waste. If chemicals are present at or above the specified
regulatory levels, the waste is a 'TC waste," and is subject to all RCRA
hazardous waste requirements. Regulatory levels established under the
EP toxicity characteristic remain the same, but require application of the
new test.

Waste generators who have already notified the Agency that they gener-
ate other hazardous wastes and who have obtained an EPA identification
number for their facility are not required by this rule to  notify EPA that
they now generate a 'TC waste."  Facilities that are permitted to treat,
store, or dispose of hazardous waste, however, may require new or modi-
fied permits to handle "TC waste," and should contact their EPA Regional
office for more information.

Implementation of the TC rule will initially be the responsibility of EPA's
Regional offices. State hazardous waste programs must modify their
regulations to reflect the requirements of the TC rule before they can be
authorized for implementation.

Th&Joltoitiing constituents are now regulated under the TojdatyCMr&teiisGende* Waste
generators must determine the fewete present tn their waste sample e*tect
delisting. Delisting determinations are made on a case-by-case, site-
specific basis. Although it is not discussed in the preamble to the TC
rule, the guidance for submitting delisting petitions will be modified in
the near future to reflect the replacement of the EP leach test with the
Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure. Notification of the effective
date for this change will appear in a future Federal Register notice.

Based on consideration of 12 affected industries, EPA estimates that the
Toxicity Characteristic rule will bring a significant volume of additional
wastewaters, solid waste, and sludge under the control of its hazardous
waste regulations. The rule will bring a large number of waste generators
under Subtitle C regulation for the first time, and many treatment, stor-
age, and disposal facilities will require new or modified permits to handle
"TC waste."

The Agency strongly encourages industry to reduce the generation of all
hazardous wastes through pollution prevention and waste minimization
practices. For information and publications on pollution prevention op-
tions, contact the toll-free RCRA Hotline  number listed below.

TC Impact on Used Oil Regulation
Used oil that is disposed of, rather than recycled or burned for energy
recovery, is regulated as a hazardous waste under Subtitle C if it exhibits
any of the four characteristics described  above. The Toxicity Character-
istic rule adds a number of substances to the toxicity list that may bring
previously "nonhazardous" used oil  under Subtitle C regulation.

Currently, hazardous used oil that is recycled by being burned for energy
recovery is minimally regulated under RCRA (a variety of administrative
requirements must be met). Used oil that is recycled in any other way is
currently exempt from Subtitle C regulation.  These regulations for re-
cycled oil are not affected by the Toxicity Characteristic rule. The Agency
is currently determining how best to regulate used oil, and is working to
develop standards to ensure proper management of used oil that may
pose a threat to human health or the environment.

EPA is distributing information materials to trade associations represent-
ing those industries potentially affected by the Toxicity Characteristic
rule. These materials describe constituents of concern specific to each
affected industry, and include compliance guidelines for newly regulated
generators. To order copies of these materials, a copy of the Federal Reg-
ister notice, or for further information, contact the RCRA Hotline Mon-
day through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. The national toll-free
number is (800) 424-9346; for the hearing impaired, the number is TDD
(800) 553-7672. In Washington, D.C., the number is (202) 382-3000 or
TDD (202) 475-9652.