AGA, as a member of the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), joined in comments filed on Nov. 5, 2012 on EPA’s attempt to streamline the rules for shipping PCB waste and hazardous waste. EPA’s action is intended to align the requirements for PCB manifests under its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations with the existing hazardous waste manifest regulations adopted under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Both waste programs are administered by EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). EPA believes that these changes will be non-controversial, so the agency published a direct final rule that will be issued as a final rule, if EPA receives no adverse comments. On the other hand, if anyone submits an adverse comment, EPA will have to withdraw the direct final rule and instead publish a proposed rule for further comment.
The comments generally support EPA’s Direct Final Rule, however they seek clarification on two points. If EPA agrees to provide the requested clarification, the comments are to be considered not adverse. However, if EPA does not provide the requested clarifications, the comments are to be considered adverse.
1. Garbled Text: EPA to correct what appears to be an unintentional error in section 761.207(a)(3) of the direct final rule, to avoid unnecessary confusion. USWAG notes that this “comment is not to be construed as a negative comment, provided the error is corrected in the Final Rule.”
2. Manifest Discrepancy Test for Drums / Containers: USWAG also asks EPA to confirm that there is no intention to change long-standing guidance that for PCB waste, the appropriate test for determining whether a significant manifest discrepancy exists in the context of containers is whether there is a variation in the piece count of containers -- not whether there is a greater than 10% discrepancy in weight of containers (i.e. drums). If EPA does not confirm this and instead intends to change this long-standing position, in that event, the comment is to be considered “adverse.” But if EPA confirms the long standing policy, the comment would not count as adverse.
Statement of Support for Eliminating Phone Call to Confirm Delivery: In addition, the comments specifically support EPA’s intention to change the rules for PCB waste transport manifests so that generators employing an independent transporter to ship PCB waste to a commercial storage or disposal facility no longer have to confirm by telephone or other means that the facility actually received the manifested waste. There is no similar requirement under the hazardous waste rules, and it is not necessary to ensure compliance.
USWAG PCB Manifest Comments Nov. 2012