May 28, 1993
Part VII


Protection  Agency

Guidance to Hazardous Waste Generators
on the Elements of a Waste Minimization
Program; Notice
              Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on paper that
              contains at least 50% recycled fiber

Federal  Register /  Vol.  58,  No. 102 7 Friday.  May1 28. 1993  7 Notices
[EPA 530-Z-93-007; FRL-4658-5]

Guidance to Hazardous Waste
Generators on the Elements of a Waste
Minimization Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection
Agency [EPA].
ACTION; Interim final guidance.	

SUMMARY: EPA is committed to a
national policy for hazardous waste
management that places the highest
priority on waste minimization. To this
end, EPA is today providing interim
final guidance to assist hazardous waste
generators and owners and operators of
hazardous waste treatment, storage, or
disposal facilities to comply with the
waste minimization certification
requirements of sections 3002(b) and
3005(h) of the Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended
by the Hazardous and Solid Waste
Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), 42
U.S.C. 6922(b) and 6925(h).
  Section 3002(b) requires generators of
hazardous waste to certify on their
hazardous waste manifests that they
have a waste minimization program in
place. Section 3005(h) requires owners
and operators of facilities that receive a
permit for the treatment, storage, or
disposal of hazardous waste on the
premises where such waste was
generated to make the same certification
no less often than annually.
  EPA believes waste minimization
programs should incorporate, in a way
that meets individual organizational
needs, the following basic elements
common to most good waste
minimization programs: (1) Top
management support; (2)
characterization of waste generation and
waste management costs; (3) periodic
waste minimization assessments; (4)
appropriate cost allocation; (5)
encouragement of technology transfer,
and (6) program implementation and
evaluation. Thus, generators and owners
and operators of hazardous waste
treatment, storage, and disposal
facilities should use these elements to
design multimedia pollution prevention
programs directed at preventing or
reducing wastes, substances, discharges
and/or emissions to all environmental
media—air, land, surface water and
ground water.
  EPA is publishing this guidance as an
interim final version, and solicits
further public comments on it.
However, until the guidance is
finalized, persons should use it in
developing their waste minimization
programs in place.
                  DATES: EPA urges all interested parties
                  to comment on this interim final
                  guidance, in writing, by July 27,1993.
                  ADDRESSES: The public must send an
                  original and two copies of their
                  comments to: RCRA Information Center
                  (OS-305), U;S. Environmental
                  Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW.,
                  Washington, DC 20460.
                    Place the docket number F-93-
                  WMIF-FFFFjF on your comments.
                    Commenters who wish to submit any
                  information they wish to claim as
                  Confidential Business Information must
                  submit an original and two copies,
                  under separate cover, to: Document'
                  Control Officer (OS-312),  Office of Solid
                  Waste, U.S. Environmental Protection
                  Agency, 401 M Street, SW., Washington,
                  DC 20460.
                  Becky Cuthbertson, Office of Solid
                  Waste, 703-308-8447, or the RCRA
                  Hotline, toll free at (800) 424-9346. TDD
                  (800) 553-7672.


                  Guidance to Hazardous Waste
                  Generators on the Elements of a Waste
                  Minimization Program

                  /. Purpose
                    The purpose of today's notice is to
                  provide guidance to hazardous waste
                  generators and owners and operators of
                  hazardous waste treatment, storage, and
                  disposal facilities on what constitutes a
                  waste minimization "program in place,"
                  in order to comply with the certification
                  requirements of sections 3002(b) and
                  3005(h) of the Resource Conservation
                  and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended
                  by the Hazardous and Solid Waste
                  Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), 42
                  U.S.C. 6922(b) and 6925(h). Section
                  3002(b) requires hazardous waste
                  generators who transport  their wastes
                  off-site to certify on their hazardous
                  waste manifests that they have programs
                  in place to reduce the volume or
                  quantity and toxicity of hazardous waste
                  generated to the extent economically
                  practicable. Certification of a waste
                  minimization "program in place" is also
                  required as a condition of any permit
                  issued under section 3005(h) for the
                  treatment, storage, or disposal of
                  hazardous waste at facilities that
                  generate and manage hazardous wastes
                  on-site. This guidance fulfills a
                  commitment made by EPA in its 1986
                  report to Congress a entitled The
                  Minimization of Hazardous Waste (EPA/
                   530-SW-86-033, October 1986) to
                  provide additional information to
                     151 FR 44683 (December 11,1986). Notice of
                   Availability of the report to Congress on waste
                   • minimization.
generators on the meaning of the
certification requirements placed in
  Additionally, EPA published in the
Federal Register, on January 26,1989
(54 FR 3845), a proposed policy
statement on source reduction and
recycling. This policy commits the
Agency to a preventive strategy to
reduce or eliminate the generation of
environmentally-harmful pollutants
which may be released to the air, land,
surface water or ground water. We
further proposed to incorporate this  •
preventive strategy into EPA's overall
mission to protect human health and the
environment by making source
reduction a priority for every aspect of
Agency decision-making and planning,
with environmentally-sound recycling
as a second and higher priority over
treatment and disposal. Today's notice
is an important step in implementing
this policy with respect to hazardous
wastes regulated under RCRA.
   EPA has taken the January 26,1989
proposed pollution prevention policy
statement two steps further: By
publishing a "Pollution Prevention
Strategy" in the February 26,1991
Federal Register (56 FR 7849), and by
proposing the creation of a program that
would encourage and publicly recognize
environmental leadership, and would
promote  pollution prevention in
manufacturing in the January 15,1993
Federal Register (58 FR 4802).

77. Background

A. Statutory Intent and Requirements
and Definition of Waste Minimization
   In the past, the predominant practice
used by manufacturing, commercial and
other facilities that generate hazardous
waste has been "end of pipe" treatment
or land disposal of hazardous and
nonhazardous wastes. While this
approach has provided substantial
progress in improving the quality of the
environment, there are limits as to how
much environmental improvement can
be achieved using methods which
manage pollutants after they have been
   With the passage of HSWA in 1984,
Congress established a significant new
policy concerning hazardous waste
management. Specifically, Congress
declared that the reduction or
elimination of hazardous waste
generation at the source should1 take'
priority over the management of
hazardous wastes after they are
generated. In particular, section 1003(b),
42 U.S.C. 6902(b), of RCRA the Congress
 declares it to be the national policy of
the United States that, wherever
 feasible, the generation of hazardous

                      Federal Register / Vol. 58,  No. 102 / Friday, May 28, 1993 / Notices
 waste is to be reduced or eliminated as
 expeditiously as possible. Waste that is
 nevertheless generated should be
 treated, stored, or disposed of so as to
 minimize the present and future threat
 to human health and the environment.
   In this declaration, Congress
 established a clear national priority for
 eliminating or reducing the generation
 of hazardous wastes. At the same time,
 however, the national policy recognized
 that some wastes will "nevertheless" be
 generated, and such wastes should be
 managed in a way that "minimizes"
 present and future threat to human.
 health and the environment.
  In 1990, Congress further clarified the
 role of pollution prevention in the
 nation's environmental protection
 scheme, by passing the Pollution
 Prevention Act (Pub. L. 101-508, 42
 U.S.C. 13101, et seq.). In section 6602(b)
 of this law, 42 U.S.C. 13101(b), Congress
 stated that national policy of the United
 States is that pollution should be
 prevented or reduced,at the source
 whenever feasible; pollution  that cannot
 be prevented should be recycled in an
 environmentally safe manner, whenever
 feasible; pollution that cannot be
 prevented or recycled should be treated
 in an environmentally safe manner
 whenever feasible; and disposal or other
 release into the environment  should be
 employed only as a last resort and
 should be conducted in an
 environmentally safe manner.
  Thus, Congress set up a hierarchy of
 management options in descending
 order of preference: prevention,
 environmentally sound recycling,
 environmentally sound treatment, and
 environmentally sound disposal.
  EPA believes diat waste
 minimization, the term employed by
 Congress in the RCRA statute, includes
 (1) source reduction, and (2)
 environmentally sound recycling. (See
 later discussion for further clarification
 of which types of recycling are not
 waste minimization.)
  The first category, source reduction, is
 denned in section 6603(5)(A)  of the
 Pollution Prevention Act, 42 U.S.C.
 13102(5)(a), as any practice which (i)
reduces the amount of any hazardous
 substance, pollutant, or contaminant
entering any waste stream or otherwise
released into the environment
 (including fugitive emissions) prior to
recycling, treatment, or disposal; and
  (ii») Reduces -the hazards to public
health and the environment associated
with the release of such substances,
pollutants, or contaminants.
  The term includes equipment or
technology modifications, process or
procedure modifications, reformulation
or redesign of products, substitution of
 raw materials, and improvements in
 housekeeping, maintenance, training, or
 inventory control.
   EPA believes this definition is
 appropriate for use in identifying
 opportunities for source reduction
 under RCRA.
   The second category, environmentally
 sound recycling, is the next preferred
 alternative  for managing those
 pollutants which cannot be reduced at
 the source.  In the context of hazardous
 waste management, there are certain
 practices or activities which the
 hazardous waste regulations define as
 "recycling." The definitions for
 materials that are "recycled" are found
 in Title 40 of the Code of Federal
 Regulations, § 261.l(c). A "recycled"
 material is one which is used, reused, or
 reclaimed.2 A material is "used or
 reused" if it is (i) employed as an
 ingredient (including use as an
 intermediate) in an industrial process to
 make a product (for example,
 distillation  bottoms from one process
 used as feedstock in another process)
 *  * * or (ii) employed in a particular
 function or  application as an effective
 substitute for a commercial
 product.* * *3
   A material is "reclaimed" if it is
 "processed  to recover a usable product,
 or if it is regenerated." 4
   On the other hand, the regulations
 define "treatment" and "disposal" as
   Treatment  means any method, technique,
 or process, including neutralization,
 designed to change the physical, chemical, or
 biological character or composition of any
 hazardous waste so as to neutralize such
 waste, or so as to recover energy or material
 resources from the waste, or so as to render
 such waste non-hazardous, or less hazardous;
 safer to transport, store, or dispose of; or
 amenable for  recovery, amenable for storage,
 or reduced in volume.3
  Disposal means the discharge, deposit,
 injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or
 placing of any solid waste or hazardous
 waste into or  on any land or water so that
 such solid waste or hazardous waste or any
 constituent thereof may enter the
 environment  or be emitted into the air of
 discharged into any waters, including ground
  Some readers  of today's guidance may
 question whether certain types of
 recycling are within the concept of
 waste minimization. EPA believes that
 recycling activities closely resembling
  540 CFR 260.10. Most types of recycling are in
fact classified as treatment (see 48 FR at 14502-
14504, April 4,1983), and some also meet the
definition of disposal.
  6 40 CFR 260.10.
 conventional waste management
 activities do not constitute waste
   Treatment for the purposes of
 destruction or disposal is not part of
 waste minimization, but is, rather, an
 activity that occurs after the
 opportunities for waste minimization
 have been pursued.7 When source
 reduction and recycling opportunities
 are exhausted to the extent
 economically practicable, EPA has set
 standards for the treatment, storage and:
 disposal of hazardous wastes. Treatment
 may be either thermal (i.e.,
 incineration), chemical, or biological,1
 especially for organic hazardous wastes.
 Where destruction methods for
 treatment are not available or
 ineffective, immobilization
 (stabilization) is often effective,
 especially for inorganic hazardous
   Transfer of hazardous constituents
 from one environmental medium to
 another also does not constitute waste
 minimization. For example, the use of
 an air stripper to evaporate volatile
 organic constituents from an aqueous
 waste only shifts the contaminant from
 water to air. Furthermore, concentration
 activities conducted solely for reducing
 volume does not constitute waste
 minimization unless, for example,
 concentration of the waste is an integral
 setup in the recovery of useful
 constituents prior to treatment and
 disposal. Similarly, dilution as a means
 of toxicity reduction would not be
 considered waste minimization, unless
 dilution is a necessary step in a recovery
 or a recycling operation.
   EPA firmly believes that waste
 minimization will provide additional
 environmental improvements over "end
 of pipe" control practices, often with
 the added benefit of cost savings to
 generators of hazardous waste and
 reduced levels of treatment, storage and
 disposal. Waste minimization has
 already been shown to result in
 significant benefits for industry, as
 evidenced in numerous success stories
 documented in available literature.
   The benefits that accrue to facilities
 that pursue waste minimization often
   (1) Minimizing quantities of
    hazardous waste generated, thereby
    reducing waste management and
    compliance costs and improving the
    protection of human health and the
   (2) Reducing or eliminating
  7 It is, of course, not always easy to distinguish
recycling (environmentally sound or otherwise)
from conventional treatment. See 56 FR at 7143
(February 21,1991); 53 FR at 522 (January 8,1988).

Federal Register / Vol. 58, No. 102  / Friday,  May 28, 1993 / Notices
    inventories and possible releases of
    "hazardous chemicals;"
  (3) Possible decrease in future
    Superfund and RCRA liabilities, as
    well as future toxic tort liabilities;
  (4) Improving facility mass/energy
    efficiency and product yields;
  (5) Reducing worker exposure; and
  (6) Enhancing organizational
    reputation and image.
  In addition to establishing a national
policy to foster waste minimization,
HSVVA also included several specific
requirements that promote
implementation of waste minimization
at individual facilities. In particular,
RCRA section 3002(b) requires
generators of hazardous waste who
transport wastes off-site to certify on
each hazardous waste manifest that they
have a program in place to reduce the
volume and toxicity of such waste to the
degree determined by the generator to
be economically practicable. Similarly,
certain owners and  operators of RCRA
permitted treatment, storage and
disposal facilities are also required to
provide the same certification annually
(RCRA Section 3005(h)). These two
requirements for certification, taken
together, have the effect of insuring that
waste minimization programs are put in
place for facilities that generate
hazardous waste regardless of whether
the wastes are managed on-site or off-
site. The purpose of today's Federal
Register notice is to provide guidance to
these hazardous waste handlers, who
must certify that they have a waste
minimization program in place.
  Hazardous waste generators and
owners/operators of hazardous waste
treatment, storage and disposal facilities
who manage their own hazardous waste
on-site, must also identify in a biennial
report to EPA (or the State): (1) The
efforts undertaken during the year to
reduce the volume  and toxicity of waste
generated; and (2) the changes in
volume and toxicity actually achieved
in comparison to previous years.
B. Scope of This Notice
  Today's notice provides guidance on
the basic elements  of a waste
minimization "program in place" that, if
present, will allow persons to properly
certify that they have implemented a
 program to reduce the volume and
toxicity of hazardous waste to the extent
 "economically practicable." The
 guidance is directly applicable to
 generators who generate 1000 or more
 kilograms per month of hazardous waste
 ("large quantity" generators)  or to
 owners and operators of hazardous
 waste treatment, storage, or disposal
 facilities who manage their own
 hazardous waste on-site.
                    Small quantity generators who
                  generate greater than 100 kilograms but
                  less than 1000 kilograms of hazardous
                  waste per month are not subject to the
                  same "program in place" certification
                  requirement as large quantity
                  generators. Instead, they must certify on
                  their hazardous waste manifests that
                  they have "made a good faith effort to
                  minimize" their waste generation. EPA
                  encourages small quantity generators to
                  develop waste minimization programs
                  of their own, to show their good faith
                    This notice does not provide guidance
                  on the determination of the phrase
                  "economically practicable". As
                  Congress indicated in its accompanying
                  report to HSWA (S. Rep. No. 98-284,
                  98th Cong. 1st. Sess., 1983)
                  "economically practicable" is to be
                  defined and determined by the
                  generator. The generator of the
                  hazardous waste, for the purpose of
                  meeting this certification requirement,
                  has the flexibility to determine what is
                  economically practicable for the
                  generator's particular circumstances.
                  Whether this determination is done in a
                   combined fashion for all operations or
                   on a site-specific basis is for the
                   generator to decide.
                   Iff. Guidance to Hazardous Waste
                   Generators on the Elements of a Waste
                   Minimization Program, as Required
                   Under RCRA Sections 3002(b) and
                     Waste minimization programs have
                   been implemented by a wide array of
                   organizations. The elements discussed
                   in this notice reflect the results of EPA
                   interactions with State governments and
                   industry waste minimization program
                   managers. Numerous state governments
                   have already enacted legislation
                   requiring facility specific waste
                   minimization programs (for example,
                   the enactment of the Massachusetts
                   Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989,
                   Oregon Toxics Use Reduction and
                   Hazardous Waste Reduction Act, and
                   Art. 11.9, Chap. 6.5, Div. 20 of
                   California Health and Safety Code,
                   October 1989.) Other states have
                   legislation pending that may mandate
                   some type of facility specific waste
                   minimization program.
                      EPA believes that each of the general
                   elements discussed below should be
                     ' On June 12,' 1989, the EPA published a proposed
                    guidance on what constituted a "program in place",
                    and solicited public comments. 33 comments were
                    received in response to the draft guidance; most
                    comments suggested clarifications or expansion of
                    specific points, while some comments disagreed
                    with portions of the proposal. Both the comments
                    and EPA's response to the comments are
                    summarized in the Appendix to this notice.
included in a waste minimization
program, although the Agency realizes
that each element may be implemented
in different ways depending on the
needs and preferences of individual
organizations or facilities. The generator
or treatment, storage, or disposal facility
should document its program (in
writing) so that it is available for
interested parties. EPA also believes that
the waste minimization program should
be signed by that corporate officer who
is responsible for ensuring RCRA
  The waste minimization program
elements are as follows:
  A. Top management support.. Top
management should support an
organization-wide effort. There are
many ways to accomplish this goal.
Some of the methods described below
may be suitable for some organizations,
while not for others. However, some
combination of these techniques or
similar ones will demonstrate top
management support:
—Make waste minimization a part of the
   organization  policy. Put this policy in
   writing and distribute it to all
   departments  and individuals. Each
   individual, regardless of status or
   rank, should be encouraged to
   identify opportunities to reduce waste
   generation. Encourage workers to
   adopt the policy in day to day
   operations and encourage new ideas
   at meetings and other organizational
   functions. Waste minimization,
   especially when incorporated into
   organization policy, should be a
   process of continuous improvement.
   Ideally, a waste minimization
   program should become an integral
   part of the organization's strategic
   plan to increase productivity and
 —Set explicit goals for reducing the
   volume and  toxicity of waste streams
   that are achievable within a
   reasonable time frame. These goals
   may be quantitative or qualitative.
   Both can be  successful.
 —Commit to implementing
   recommendations identified through
   assessments, evaluations, waste
   minimization teams, etc.
 —Designate a waste minimization
   coordinator  who is responsible for
   facilitating effective implementation,
   monitoring and evaluation of the
   program. In  some cases (particularly
   in large multi-facility organizations),
   an organizational waste minimization
   coordinator  may be needed in
   addition to facility coordinators. In
   other cases,  a single coordinator may
   have responsibility for more than one
   facility. In these cases, the coordinator

                    Federal Register /Vol. 58, No. 102  /  Friday, May 28, -19.9-3.7. Notices
  should be involved or be aware of
  operations and should be capable of
  facilitating new ideas at each facility.
  It is also useful to set up self-
  managing waste minimization teams
  chosen from a broad spectrum of
  operations: engineering, management,
  research & development, sales &
  marketing, accounting, purchasing,
  maintenance and environmental staff
  personnel. These teams can be used to
  identify, evaluate and implement
  waste minimization opportunities.
—Publicize success stories. Set up an
  environment and select a forum -
  where creative ideas can be heard and
  tried. These techniques can inspire
  additional ideas.
—Recognize individual and collective
  accomplishments. Reward employees
  that identify cost-effective waste
  minimization opportunities. These
  rewards can take the form of
  collective and/or individual monetary
  or other incentives for improved
  productivity/waste minimization.
—Train employees on the waste-
  generating impacts that result from
  the way they conduct their work
  procedures. For example, purchasing
  and operations departments could
  develop a plan to purchase raw
  materials with less toxic impurities or
  return leftover materials to vendors.
  This approach can include all
  departments, such as those in
  research & development, capital
  planning, purchasing, production
  operations, process engineering, sales
  & marketing and maintenance.
  B. Characterization of waste
generation and waste management
costs. Maintain a waste accounting
system to track the types and amounts
of wastes as well as the types and
amounts of the hazardous constituents
in wastes, including the rates and dates
they are generated. EPA realizes that the
precise business framework of each
waste generator can be unique.
Therefore, each organization must
decide the best method to obtain the
necessary information to characterize
waste generation. Many organizations
track their waste production by a variety
of means and then normalize the results
to account for variations in production
  Additionally, a waste generator
should determine the true costs
associated with waste management and
cleanup, including the costs of
regulatory oversight compliance,
paperwork and reporting requirements,
loss of production potential, costs of
materials found in the waste stream
(perhaps based on the purchase price of
those materials), transportation/
treatment/storage/disposal costs,
employee exposure and health care,
liability insurance, and possible future
RCRA or Superfund corrective action
costs. Both volume and toxicities of
generated hazardous waste should be
taken into account. Substantial
uncertainty in calculating many of these
costs, especially future liability, may
exist. Therefore, each organization
should find the best method to account
for the true costs of waste management
and cleanup.
  C, Periodic waste minimization
assessments. Different and equally valid
methods exist by which a waste
minimization assessment can be
performed. Some organizations identify
sources of waste by tracking materials
that eventually wind up as waste, from
point of receipt to the point at which
they become a waste. Other
organizations perform mass balance
calculations to determine input and
outputs from processes and/or facilities.
Larger organizations may find it useful
to establish a team of independent
experts  outside the organization
structure, while some organizations may
choose teams comprised of in-house
  Most successful waste minimization
assessments have common elements
that identify sources of waste and
calculate the true costs of waste
generation and management. Each
organization should decide the best
method to use in performing a waste
minimization assessment that addresses
these two general elements:
—Identify opportunities at all points in
  a process where materials can be
  prevented from becoming a waste (for
  example, by using less material,
  recycling materials in the process,
  finding substitutes that are less toxic
  and/or more easily biodegraded, or
  making equipment/process changes).
  Individual processes or facilities
  should be reviewed periodically. In
  some cases, performing complete
  facility material balances can be
—Analyze waste minimization
  opportunities based on the true costs
  associated with waste management
  and cleanup. Analyzing the cost
  effectiveness of each option is an
  important factor to consider,
  especially when the true costs of
  treatment, storage and disposal are
  D. A cost allocation system. Where
practical and implementable,
organizations should appropriately
allocate the  true costs of waste
management to the activities
responsible  for generating the waste in
the first place (e.g., identifying specific
operations that generate the waste,
rather than charging the waste
management costs to "overhead"). Cost
allocation can properly highlight the
parts of the organization where the
greatest opportunities for waste
minimization exist; without allocating
costs, waste minimization opportunities
can be  obscured by accounting practices
that do not clearly identify the activities
generating the hazardous wastes.
  E. Encourage technology transfer.
Many useful and equally valid
techniques have been evaluated and
documented that are useful in a waste
minimization program. It is important to
seek or exchange technical information
on waste minimization from other parts
of the organization/facility, from other
companies/facilities, trade associations/
affiliates, professional consultants and
university or government technical
assistance programs. EPA and/or State
funded technical assistance programs
(e.g., Minnesota Technical Assistance
Program—MnTAP, California Waste
Minimization Clearinghouse, EPA
Pollution Prevention Information
Clearinghouse) are becoming
increasingly available to assist in
finding waste minimization options and
  F. Program implementation and
evaluation. Implement
recommendations identified by the
assessment process, evaluations, waste
minimization teams, etc. Conduct a
periodic review of program
effectiveness. Use these reviews to
provide feedback and identify potential
areas for improvement.

IV. Additional Resources Available to
Generators and Others on Waste
Minimization Programs
  EPA and the States have worked
cooperatively to put in place a variety
of technical information and assistance
programs that make information on
source reduction and recycling
techniques available directly to industry
and the public.
  EPA has developed information
sources that can be used to provide
information directly to industry or
through State technical assistance
programs. EPA maintains a Pollution
Prevention Information Clearinghouse
(PPIC), which is a reference and referral
source for technical, policy, program,
legislative and financial information on
pollution prevention. PPIC's telephone
number is (202) 260-1023; the facsimile
number is (202) 260-0178. EPA also
publishes a pollution prevention
newsletter and produces videos and

Federal Register / Vol. 58,'No.  102 /  Friday, May 28, 199,3 '•/ Notices
literature on waste minimization that
are available to the public.9
  Examples of general documents that
assist organizations with more detailed
guidance on conducting waste
minimization assessments and
developing pollution prevention
programs are the Waste Minimization
Opportunity Assessment Manual, EPA
625/7-88/003, July 1988,10 and the
Facility Pollution Prevention Guide,
EPA/600/R-92/088." Another general
document that introduces the concept of
waste minimization is Waste
Minimization: Environmental Quality
with Economic Benefits, EPA/530-SW-
90-044, April 1990.'2 EPA has also
developed numerous waste
minimization and pollution prevention
documents that are tailored to specific
manufacturing and other types of
processes, and periodically sponsors
pollution prevention workshops and
  EPA also promotes technical
assistance to industry indirectly by
supporting the development of State
technical assistance programs. State
personnel often have the primary day to
day contacts with industry for many
RCRA program matters. Examples of
State technical assistance programs are;
Minnesota Technical Assistance
Program—MnTAP and California Waste
Minimization Clearinghouse. EPA also
provides partial funding for the National
Roundtable of State Pollution
Prevention Programs, an organization of
State technical assistance and regulatory
program representatives that meets
regularly to discuss technical and
programmatic waste minimization
issues. The Roundtable uses the PPIC as
a central repository for technical
exchange and publishes proceedings on
state waste minimization activities.
EPA's Office of Research and
Development also funds several
different types of waste minimization
research and demonstration projects in
a variety of joint ventures with States
and industry, and publishes industry-
specific pollution prevention
  'To bo addod to tho newsletter's mailing list,
writo: Pollution Prevention News, U.S. EPA, PM-
222B, 401 M St. SW., Washington, DC 20460.
  10 Available from the National Technical
Information Service; telephone (703) 487-4650; the
publication number is PB 92-216 985 and the cost
  " Available by calling the CERI Publications Unit
at EPA's Cincinnati, OH office at (513) 569-7562.
  11 Available by calling the RCRA Information
Cantor; telephone (202) 260-9327.
  "Contact the CERI publications unit at EPA's
Cincinnati, OH office, telephone (513) 569-7562.
fora list of available pollution prevention
                     Additionally, at least 29 states
                   reported in their Capacity Assurance
                   Plans (October 1989) that they have in
                   place some type of technical assistance
                   to organizations that seek alternatives to
                   treatment, storage and disposal of waste.

                   V. Conclusion
                     EPA is committed to the elimination,
                   reduction, and/or recycling of waste as
                   the first steps in our national waste
                   management strategy. Only through  •<
                   preventing pollution in the first place •
                   will our nation be able to ensure both
                   a healthy, vibrant economy that can
                   prevail in a competitive worldwide
                   economy, and a healthy environment
                   that provides us with the resources we
                   need and use in our everyday lives. As
                   a result of the approach Congress has set
                   in both the national policy of RCRA and
                   in the Pollution Prevention Act,
                   generators of waste must shoulder some
                   of the responsibility to implement waste
                   mmimizatioii measures, which will
                   assist in prevention of risks to today's
                   and tomorrow's environment.
                   Generators have demonstrated the
                   usefulness and benefits of waste
                   minimization practices. EPA believes
                   that as more  organizations implement
                   their waste minimization programs and
                   demonstrate  their usefulness and
                   benefits, many other organizations will
                   be encouraged to seek greater
                   opportunities to incorporate waste
                   minimization in their operations.
                   Today's guidance on the elements of
                   effective waste minimization programs
                   may help encourage regulated entities to
                   investigate waste minimization
                   alternatives,  implement new programs,
                   or upgrade existing programs. Although
                   the approaches described above are
                   directed toward minimizing hazardous
                   waste, they are also  important elements
                   in the design of multi-media source
                   reduction and recycling programs for all
                   forms of pollution.
                     Dated: May 18,1993.
                   Carol M. Browner,
                   Response to Comments on EPA's Draft
                   "Guidance to Hazardous Waste Generators
                   on the Elements of a Waste Minimization
                     One respondent objected to the nonbinding
                   approach of the guidance, stating that some
                   basic definition of program acceptability
                   should be specifically given. This respondent
                   stated that the approach would encourage
                   only a voluntary effort to implement waste
                   minimization programs. However, most
                   respondents supported the approach and
                   encouraged EPA to retain this approach in
                   the final guidance. These respondents stated
                   that the flexibility inherent in the approach
                   should assist organizations in implementing
effective waste minimization programs
appropriate to specific circumstances and
  While RCRA makes it clear that the waste
minimization certification provisions are
mandatory and enforceable, the Agency
believes that it is the intent of Congress to
allow for flexibility in implementing facility
specific waste minimization programs. In
setting forth the waste minimization
approach given in this interim final
guidance, EPA believes it has acted in a
manner that follows Congressional intent.
Because of this, the Agency does not believe
it is necessary to describe the approach in the
interim final guidance text as "nonbinding"
because such a term would be redundant; the
guidance is nonbinding by being guidance.
However, while the specific elements are
guidance) the certification requirements  of
sections 3002(b) and 3005(h) are mandatory.
The nature of the guidance does not reduce
in any way these mandatory certification
  Another respondent stated that EPA's
definition of waste minimization  is too
restrictive in allowing only source reduction
and recycling activities to define waste
minimization. While activities of this nature
may be the most  desirable, Congress clearly •
stated the overall goal was to "minimize the
present and future threat to human health
and the environment." Therefore, better
treatment and proper disposal could be
considered a part of waste minimization. By
not defining treatment and disposal as part
of waste minimization, the commenter
believed that EPA may be discouraging
improvements which could be
environmentally beneficial.
  The Agency has clearly stated its position
that a waste management hierarchy exists
where source reduction and
environmentally-sound recycling are the
primary and secondary priorities  of the waste
management hierarchy and together define
waste minimization. Treatment and disposal
are alternatives of last resort to waste
minimization, not substitutes for  it. EPA
disagrees with the respondent's suggestion
that defining waste minimization as source
reduction and recycling could discourage
improvements in treatment and disposal
technologies. On the contrary, EPA believes
that the main thrust of the RCRA program has
been to improve treatment and disposal
technology. The Agency believes  that the
intent of the HSWA National Policy was to
move beyond treatment and disposal
approaches to prevention approaches. It  is on
this basis that the Agency concludes that
treatment and disposal are not (nor should
they be) part of waste minimization.
  Guidance Element A: Top Management
Support and Facility Coordination:
  This element of the proposed guidance
stated that top management should ensure
that waste minimization is a company-wide
effort. Several techniques were proposed that
should be used to demonstrate top
management support.
  Several respondents stated that employee
education and feedback as well as
management support is important to the
success of a waste minimization plan.  The
Agency agrees that employee education and

                       Federal  Register / Vol. 58, No.  102  / Friday, May 28,  1993 /  Notices
management support is an important element
of any waste minimization program.
However, the Agency believes that each
organization should decide what the
parameters of that support will be, based
upon its organizational structure.  For
example, in some organizations, support may
take the form of a directive from top
management formally establishing waste
minimization teams. In other organizations,
support might be in the form of extending the
scope of existing quality circles to include
waste minimization. What is appropriate for.
one organization might not be appropriate for
others.                           •.  •
  Many respondents also recommended that
the policy should acknowledge that in some
cases individual facility coordinators may be
inappropriate, especially for companies with
numerous small and/or similar facilities.
Respondents suggested that  in these cases, a
national or regional coordinator may be more
appropriate. EPA believes that the key
function of a coordinator is to facilitate and
maintain plant planning and operations. The
most successful programs have an on-site
person who deals with day to day tasks
necessary to keep the program on track and
consistent with organizational goals. Some
organizations with multiple  facilities also
have a coordinator whose function is to
facilitate communication and informational
flow between facilities and top management
and ensure that adequate support is
available. Nevertheless, EPA believes each
organization should determine how best to
fulfill the functions of managing and
coordinating waste minimization  activities.  -
  Finally, one respondent stated that EPA
should recognize that the setting of
aggressive goals by upper management to
demonstrate commitment may prove
counterproductive when these goals are not
realized. The Agency believes that the setting
of specific, realistic goals is very important
to the success of a waste minimization
program. However, each organization must
determine what these goals are as well as
how they are achieved and the timetable for
their achievement. These goals can be
qualitative and/or quantitative, but can only
be successful if management fully supports
employee efforts to achieve them. Both types
of goals can be successful.
  Guidance Element B: Characterizing Waste
Generation and Waste Accounting:
  This element of the proposed guidance
stated that a waste accounting system to track
the types, amounts and hazardous
constituents of wastes and the dates they are
generated should be maintained.
  Some respondents recommended that EPA
should clarify that waste accounting systems
must be unique to each facility and that this
uniqueness is a function of the size of the
generator as well as waste characteristics and
volumes, processes, and other circumstances
surrounding waste generation. Therefore,
since no two waste accounting systems can
be precisely alike, EPA will not mandate any
specific type of waste accounting  system.
  The Agency agrees that each waste
accounting system should be facility-specific
and should be designed to accommodate
each of the parameters mentioned by the
respondent. In fact, EPA did hot specify
particular waste accounting systems in the
proposed guidance for precisely those
reasons. However, it is important that each
facility and/or organization have a system
that identifies and characterizes all waste
streams and their sources, whatever form the
system takes. The Agency believes that there
are key parameters that waste accounting
systems should address. Among these are
identification of all wastes in terms of
volume and toxicity as well as sources of all
wastes. EPA also believes that it is critical to
account for the costs of managing the wastes,
including the amounts and costs of raw
materials or other by-products found in waste
streams and the costs of compliance with the
regulations for treatment, storage, and
disposal of hazardous wastes.
  One respondent indicated that tracking of
the rates of waste generation is not
mentioned as a program element and that the
rates of waste generation are more relevant
than the dates of generation as was stated in
the draft guidance. The Agency agrees that
rates of waste generation are more likely to
be relevant than the dates of waste generation
when tracking waste generation. However,
both are important to providing a clear
picture of the sources and quantities of
waste. Therefore, the interim final guidance
has been changed accordingly.
  Guidance Element C: Periodic Waste
Minimization Assessments:
  This element of the proposed guidance
stated that periodic waste minimization
assessments should be conducted to identify
opportunities for waste minimization and to
determine the true costs of waste.
  One respondent suggested that the section
on periodic waste minimization assessments
should contain a flexibility clause stating that
there are a number of different ways to
accomplish a waste minimization
assessment. The respondent stated that some
of the methods described in the draft
guidance may be suitable for some
organizations but not others. In particular,
many materials that become wastes do not
originate from "loading dock materials" as
stated in the draft guidance. Also, some
wastes are listed as hazardous because they
are residues (by-products) from a specified
process or processes and as such would be
difficult to track from the "loading dock".
  The Agency agrees that there are different
ways to complete a waste minimization
assessment. In some cases, the actual practice
of tracking raw materials through the
production process to the point where they
become wastes can be exceedingly complex,
such as in petrochemical plants where
integrally linked processes use multiple raw
material inputs. Each organization should
.determine what level of analysis is necessary
to provide adequate information to formulate
waste minimization alternatives. The waste
minimization team conducting a waste
minimization assessment can make this
  The interim final guidance has been
changed to clarify this point. The interim
final guidance stresses that some level of
process tracking or materials balance should
be used to identify sources and volumes of
waste. The interim final guidance stresses
that all approaches used should cover five
key elements including: waste stream
characterization; identification and tracking
of wastes; the determination of the true cost
of treatment, storage, and disposal; allocation
of costs to the activities responsible for waste
generation; and identification of
opportunities for waste minimization. [Note
that information developed in the waste
accounting and allocation system is critical
to identifying waste minimization
  One respondent stated that this section
should specifically state that the purchasing
of materials and packaging that have been
designed to facilitate reuse and recycling
should be specified as an identified
opportunity for waste minimization.
  The Agency agrees that the use of
packaging that is designed to facilitate reuse
and recycling can be an opportunity in waste
minimization. However, numerous
suggestions for specific types of waste
minimization opportunities were received
from respondents. The EPA acknowledges
that there are many examples of waste
minimization opportunities. However, for the
sake of brevity they could not all be included
in either the draft guidance or interim final
  Another respondent indicated that EPA
should state more forcefully in its interim
final guidance that finding substitutes to
toxic materials that pose less of a danger to
human health and the environment and that
are more  easily degraded is an important
opportunity in waste minimization. The
Agency agrees that material substitution is an
important aspect of waste minimization,
which has been appropriately emphasized in
the  draft and interim final guidance.
  Another respondent suggested that a waste
minimization assessment should commence
from the "point of receipt" of raw materials
rather that "from the loading dock" as
written in the draft guidance. The reason for
this is that loading docks are used for
shipping as well as receiving. The Agency
agrees and has changed the language of the
interim final guidance accordingly.
  Guidance Element D: A Cost Allocation
  This element of the proposed guidance
stated that departments and managers should
be charged  "fully-loaded" waste management
costs for the wastes they generate, factoring
in liability, compliance and oversight costs.
The guidance encourages organizations to
develop and maintain a system for
determining and monitoring waste stream
characteristics and costs. This information
provides  a basis for identifying waste
minimization opportunities which is
discussed further in guidance element F.
  Two respondents indicated that the entire
Cost Allocation Section should be deleted
from the guidance, stating that the guidance
is too specific, and that use of the phrase
"fully-loaded waste management costs" in
the  draft guidance implies cost accounting
procedures  that may not be compatible with
existing organizational accounting practices.
However, several respondents stated that it
was appropriate for EPA to suggest that a
waste minimization program include waste
management accounting costs, with the
understanding that it is inappropriate for
EPA to specify the actual methods to be used.

Federal  Register / Vol.  58, No. 102  /  Friday,  May  28, 1993  /  Notices
  Organizations that have implemented
successful waste minimization programs
have incorporated cost accounting methods
which take into account direct and indirect
waste management costs, the costs of lost
production, raw materials, treatment,
disposal as well as reduced cleanup and
liability costs. An understanding of the full
costs of waste generation and management is
often a critical element for justifying waste
minimization decisions.
  The Agency does not believe that the cost
accounting procedures detailed in the Cost
Allocation Section are unduly specific as
might have been construed from the phrase
"fully-loaded waste management costs".
However, this phrase has been deleted from
the interim final guidance and the concept
has been reworded as "a system to
appropriately allocate the true costs of waste
management to the activities responsible for
generating the waste in the first place" to
clarify the Agency's intent. EPA's Waste
Minimization Opportunity Assessment
Manual (July 1988), and Facility Pollution
Prevention Guide (May 1992) provide a
sample of a waste accounting system.
                      Guidance Element E: Encourage
                    Technology Transfer:
                      This elemerit of the proposed guidance
                    stated that technology transfer on waste
                    minimization should be encouraged from
                    other parts of a company, from other firms,
                    trade associations, State and university
                    technical assistance programs or professional
                      Several respondents strongly supported the
                    exchange of waste minimization information
                    among all sources. One respondent stated
                    that variability among facilities requires that
                    judgements on the applicability of
                    technology be made on a facility-specific
                    basis with considerable input from
                    production personnel at the facility. Another
                    respondent indicated that EPA should
                    include specific information on waste
                    minimization resources available to the
                    public from the EPA.
                      The Agency agrees that the exchange of
                    waste information among all sources is a key
                    factor in the transfer of technology and that
                    production personnel  need to play a major
                    role in the application of appropriate
                    technologies. The interim final guidance has
additional wording to stress these points.
Additionally, a section detailing information
on waste minimization programs has been
added to the interim final guidance.
  Guidance Element F: Program Evaluation:
  This element of the proposed guidance
stated that a periodic review of program
effectiveness should be conducted and that
the review be used to provide feedback and
identify potential areas for improvement.
  In general, the respondents strongly
supported periodic program evaluations that
can be used to identify areas for
improvement and enhance the effectiveness
of waste minimization programs.
  The Agency continues to support periodic
program evaluations as an element in this
guidance. To strengthen this section,
however, the name has been changed to
"Program Implementation and Evaluation" in
order to give additional emphasis to
implementing as well as  evaluating
opportunities identified by the assessment

[FR Doc. 93-12759 Filed 5-27-93;  8:45 am]