• Leadership Update

EPA Issues Anticipated Conditional Exclusion for Recalled Airbag Units

In last Friday’s Federal Register, U.S. EPA issued its anticipated interim final rule, “Safe Management of Recalled Airbags”.

Effective November 30, 2018, this interim final rule eases the regulatory burden for entities that remove recalled defective Takata or other defective airbag units from vehicles (e.g., auto service centers mainly and auto recycling yards). EPA is also accepting comments on the interim final rule through January 29, 2019.

Without the interim final rule, after removing recalled defective units from vehicles, these entities would generally be considered generators of hazardous waste airbag units. This interim final rule provides a conditional exclusion from hazardous waste for these recalled airbag units between their removal from vehicles and arrival at a permitted or authorized facility. By meeting this conditional exclusion, entities removing recalled airbag units from vehicles are not considered hazardous waste generators. The conditional exclusion includes limitations on accumulation quantities (up to 250 units within time limit) and time (up to 180 days within quantity limit), appropriate packaging and labeling of units for shipment, a prohibition against unit reuse, shipping units to only permitted or authorized facilities, and tracking and recordkeeping requirements to ensure proper shipping and delivery of units.

EPA notes that the interim final rule, because it eases regulatory requirements, takes effect immediately only in states where EPA has authority over hazardous waste. States authorized by EPA to implement and enforce hazardous waste regulations may adopt the interim final rule, but are not required to do so. EPA is issuing this conditional exclusion as an interim final rule to allow the rule to provide regulatory relief immediately while taking comment on the rule. EPA seeks specific comment on whether the conditional exclusion should “include other similar propellant-actuated devices and their components.” ISRI staff is reviewing the interim final rule and is interested in receiving members’ views about it. If you have comments or questions on the interim final rule, please contact Chief Scientist/Director of Environmental Management David Wagger at (202) 662-8533.

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