From: Frankie Wood-Black <fwblack**At_Symbol_Here**CABLEONE.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] If you have a few minutes today...
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:35:32 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
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As per typical - the site is experiencing difficulty.

From: "Peter Reinhardt" <peter.reinhardt**At_Symbol_Here**YALE.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 9:47:51 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] If you have a few minutes today...



If you have a few minutes today, please consider submitting your comments on EPA's proposed generator improvements rule.


While there are some good things among EPA's 60 proposed changes, I am most concerned with EPA=E2=80™s proposed new requirement to make our students and laboratory staff make the EPA hazardous waste determination in the laboratory. No longer will an firm or institution's safety professionals be responsible for doing this after the waste is collected, but we'll need to train lab staff (and other people) to follow EPA's procedures in 40 CFR 262.11(b)-(d), which means that-for every waste they create=E2=80"they'll need to learn the nuances of deciding: a) if the solid waste is excluded under section 261.4; b) if the waste meets any of the listing descriptions under subpart D of 40 CFR part 261; c) if a listed waste meets the land disposal restrictions under 40 CFR part 268; and d) If the waste exhibits one or more hazardous characteristics as identified in subpart C of 40 CFR part 261 by testing or applying their knowledge of the waste.


So because EPA has inspectors and gives big fines, we'll need to make room for this in our safety training-when we all know we should be spending more time training the basics of chemical safety. I'm sure these EPA lessons will be popular.


EPA told us that laboratories could avoid the burdens of this new rule if they adopted Subpart K, but Subpart K is not available in most states, and not available at all to non-academic labs.


To submit comments, go to, search for "Docket No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121" and follow the online instructions. There were only 34 comments as of 10 ET today, many of them from state regulators. Yale's comment letter will be posted there, but there seems to be a delay in posting comments. If you would like a copy of Yale's comment letter, please send me an email.


Thank you,




Peter A. Reinhardt

Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Yale University

135 College St., Suite 100

New Haven, CT   06510-2411

(203) 737-2123



From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ellen M. Sweet
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 12:33 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Comment on burdensome hazardous waste rule changes




Hi Everyone,

Submissions of comments to the EPA proposed rule changes to the Hazardous Waste Generator Rules is fast approaching. Comments are due December 24th.

For those who have been looking into these, some very important issues have surfaced for those who generate waste in laboratories. This is especially important for those who do not have Subpart K as an option, which allows relief from the additional documentation requirements. Some specifics:!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121-0001


Hazardous waste determination at the point of generation


The EPA does intend this to mean that the full determination (minus waste codes) needs to happen at the point of generation.

=B7        This was not written with laboratories in mind.

=B7        If we don=E2=80™t like it, we should be opting into Subpart K, which gives relief from this requirement.

=B7        If we have ideas for a better solution, offer it.


Documentation of hazardous waste determination

=B7        We will need to have documentation of non-hazardous solid waste streams, explaining why it is not a hazardous waste. 

=B7        It was not written with laboratories in mind.

=B7        If we don't like it, we should be opting into Subpart K, which gives relief from this requirement

=B7        If we have ideas for a better solution, offer it.



Episodic Generation affecting generator status

=B7        The way it is written, episodic generation means that the activity creating the waste is complete within 45 days with the possibility of a 30-day extension. Some have suggested a 90-day extension so that it might cover remediation projects. 

=B7        EPA did not intend it for remediation projects.

=B7        EPA expects that if this is for a lab cleanout, it is going to be infrequent, not every year.  If we are doing such a cleanout every year, then we are a large quantity generator.

=B7        Subpart K does allow for annual episodic generation.


Extension on comments

=B7        EPA will NOT extend the comment deadline beyond December 24.


EPA expects us to opt into Subpart K. But, there are issues with this rule and is likely one of the reasons why it hasn't been fully adopted across the country. There are burdensome labeling requirements; although this would be less than what is in proposed rule, and it is not allowed for all laboratories.


What you can do:


1)     Offer the EPA suggestions so that Subpart K is not the only option.

2)     Comment on the issues with Subpart K so that it is a good option; not just the lesser of two evils. This includes requesting that it be expanded to include non-academic labs.

3)     Engage with your state to opt into Subpart K, which is intended to be used by laboratories whereas the rest of the RCRA rules were meant, and will continue to be, for industry.!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121-0001


ACS comments have been submitted. Yale, CSHEMA, University of Missouri, and several others are commenting. We implore others to do so by the December 24th deadline so that we can make the RCRA rules make sense for those us working in labs.




Ellen Sweet

Laboratory Ventilation Specialist

Department of Environmental Health and Safety

Cornell University



Frankie Wood-Black, Ph.D., REM, MBA
Principal - Sophic Pursuits
6855 Lake Road
Ponca City, OK 74604

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