Late last month, EPA published the final rule on Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions. While the Final Rule is effective December 31, 2016, EPA-issued Acknowledgments of Consent (AOCs) dated before December 31, 2016 will continue to be valid under the prior rules through their expiration date.
In a recent EPA webinar,
EPA indicated that anyone who started a consent process recently will need to
apply again per the Final Rule if the AOC is not granted by December 31, 2016.
As of now, those wanting to obtain new and renewed AOCs will need to follow the
procedure of the Final Rule.
Rule contains three major changes. First, for exports and for imports, one set
of requirements (the OECD requirements) applies regardless of country of
destination (exports) or of country of origin (imports). The separate export
and import requirements are part of a new 40 CFR §262, subpart H, “Transboundary
Movements of Hazardous Waste for Recovery or Disposal”. Second, document
processes generally become electronic, instead of paper-based. Some processes
become electronic immediately on December 31, 2016 (e.g., export notifications
and receiving facility confirmations) while others become temporarily optional
(e.g., export consent validation) or are delayed (e.g., export exception
report, export/import receipt confirmation, export/import confirmation of
recovery/disposal, and import notification). Electronic document processes use
either EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS) (e.g., export
notifications) or the Automated Export System (AES) in the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection’s Automated Commercial Environment (e.g., export consent
validation). Exporters of broken cathode ray tubes (CRTs) or processed CRT
glass must file export notifications electronically in WIETS immediately, may
use AES or paper documents for export consent validations until required to use
AES, and must continue to send paper annual reports to EPA until required to
use AES. Third, EPA ID numbers will be immediately required for recognized
traders (i.e., brokers). To obtain an EPA (or state) ID number, brokers need to
submit a completed Form 8700-12 using business location as the site and noting
in Item 13 (Comments) that “the requestor is a recognized trader that arranges
for import or export of hazardous waste, universal waste or spent lead
batteries subject to Part 262 Subpart H requirements”. A tabular summary of the
changes is available here.
H requirements do not apply to exported or imported materials on the OECD’s
“Green list” or “Amber list” if the materials are not hazardous waste in the U.S.
However, universal waste and spent lead-acid batteries (SLABs) are subject to
40 CFR §262 subpart H. “Green list” materials are “subject to existing controls
normally applied to commercial transactions”. For “Amber list” materials that
are hazardous waste in the other country but in not the U.S., “[a]ll
responsibilities of the importer or exporter shift to the foreign importer or
foreign exporter in the other country that considers the waste hazardous unless
the parties make other arrangements through contracts.”
Final Rule, EPA has webpages with general FAQs and specific requirements for
CRTs, universal waste, and SLABs. Questions about this Final Rule should be
directed to David Wagger, chief scientist and director of environmental
management at (202) 662-8533.