Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 15:14:29 -0400
Reply-To: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: C&EN article on new lab rule
Changing The Rules For Academic Labs
Universities would get a break from current requirements aimed at  
Cheryl Hogue

A new proposal from EPA would allow colleges and universities to  
follow their own unique plans for handling hazardous wastes generated  
in academic labs.

Currently, institutions of higher learning must comply with  
prescriptive hazardous waste rules that were written for industrial  
settings. Universities and colleges, large and small, have struggled  
to comply with these complex rules. Many have faced enforcement  
action (C&EN, Nov. 22, 2004, page 43). These institutions have been  
asking EPA to tailor hazardous waste rules to academic situations.

"It's something we've been looking for for 20 years," says Anne  
Gross, vice president for regulatory affairs at the National  
Association of College & University Business Officers, one of several  
groups seeking the regulatory changes. EPA is proposing a number of  
modifications requested by academic institutions to hazardous waste  
requirements, Gross tells C&EN.

The May 23 proposal from EPA would allow colleges and universities to  
draw up and follow a laboratory management plan for handling waste  
chemicals left over from teaching or research. Through these plans,  
institutions must meet the goals of current hazardous waste rules  
without necessarily following those regulations to the letter. For  
example, a college's plan might describe in detail how it will  
maintain hazardous waste containers in good condition by using a  
system different from that spelled out in EPA rules.

These so-called performance-based standards, the agency says, would  
allow academic institutions to determine the most appropriate and  
effective methods for handling laboratory hazardous waste on campus.

The proposal would cover waste generated at on-campus academic  
laboratories and art studios. It would exclude hazardous wastes from  
other parts of a college or university, including labs in medical  
facilities associated with the institution.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright  2006 American Chemical Society

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