EPA Provisionally Excludes Solvent Wipes from Hazardous Waste Rules
NADA Director’s Update
The EPA on July 23 issued a rule conditionally excluding solvent-contaminated wipes from its hazardous waste regulations, provided dealerships manage them properly. The wipes used in dealership service and auto body operations run the gamut from woven laundered cloths to paper disposable wipes, wipers, shop towels and/or rags. Some are used with solvents, others to wipe up liquids such as oils, greases, paints and antifreeze.Generally, wastes contaminated with EPA-listed solvents become “hazardous” and must be managed as such. Under the new rule, used wipes contaminated with EPA-listed solvents are not “hazardous” waste if they are:
1. Stored in closed, labeled containers.
2. Liquid-free when sent off-site for cleaning or disposal.
3. Not accumulated for longer than 180 days.
Service and body department wipes are used with numerous liquids and for various purposes, and are often intermixed prior to off-site cleaning or disposal. Consequently, dealerships should consider implementing the above three management strategies for all used wipes. The push to obtain regulatory relief for rags and wipes began in 1992. Through the years, NADA filed several sets of comments, formally participated on a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel, and met numerous times with EPA. The protracted deliberations leading up to yesterday’s final rule largely can be attributed to a competitive battle between disposable wipe manufacturers, their reusable wipe counterparts, and commercial laundries.
Caution: State law variations may exist with these and other hazardous waste rules.
For more information on EPA’s new rule, click here (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/wasteid/solvents/wipes.htm) or
contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 821-7040.