On Nov. 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized an AGC-supported rule expanding the universal waste regulations to include aerosol cans and streamlining the management of this waste. It should help construction firms maintain a lower-tier generator category, because aerosol cans are often the only hazardous waste stream produced on a construction site. The also rule promotes safe puncturing practices and recycling. EPA estimates it will reduce the regulatory cost between $5.3 million to $47.8 million annually.
The final version incorporates AGC’s recommendations to provide provisions for cans that show evidence of leakage, as well as to allow the option for empty containers to be managed as universal waste. The final rule also allows for the safe puncturing cans intended for recycling. Puncturing activities must follow a written protocol and have procedures in place to handle any residual waste and respond to any spills.
States will need to adopt the universal waste regulations for aerosol cans, but they are not required to do so. Contractors that manage this waste stream should carefully review all state requirements as well as this final rule. The final rule will be effective 60 days after it runs in the Federal Register. (Read the pre-publication version here: https://www.epa.gov/hw/increasing-recycling-adding-aerosol-cans-universal-waste-regulations.)
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