On May 16, 2001 EPA published the Hazardous Waste Identification Final
Rule (HWIR-Waste) (66 FR 27266).  The rule finalizes the retention of
the mixture rule and the derived-from rule and narrows the scope of the
mixture and derived-from rules to more specifically match the risks
posed by certain wastes.  Specifically, the rule finalizes an expanded
exclusion for mixtures and/or derivatives of wastes listed solely for
the ignitability, corrosivity, and/or reactivity characteristics.  The
rule is effective on August 14, 2001.  A copy of the rule, supporting
analysis, and documentation, are available at the following URL:



April, 2001

EPA in January, 2001 announced a set of administrative reforms to accelerate the clean-up of facilities governed by RCRA.   The main thrust as it affects the owners and operators of facilities is that the EPA will be open to using innovative, results-oriented approaches to reach clean-up objectives.  The Agency will try to find at least 25 "pilot projects" in 2001 that can benefit from expedited and streamlined procedures.  EPA is particularly interested in facilities that can benefit the local community with business development or redevelopment opportunities.   This "Targeted Site Effort" is to involve at least two sites in each Region.  Those interested in the RCRA streamlining program can obtain further information from   or from the Corrective Action Program Manager of the relevant Regional Office.



November 22, 1999

    On November 19, 1999 the United States EPA published notice in the Federal Register that it proposes to retain and amend the mixture rule
and the derived-from rule in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA). The mixture and derived-from rules ensure that hazardous wastes
that are mixed with other wastes or that result from the treatment,
storage or disposal of hazardous wastes do not escape regulation and
thereby cause harm to human health and the environment.  These rules have been criticized by some as being overly rigid and stringent, because they can include material that is no longer truly harmful.
    EPA is proposing two revisions to the mixture and derived-from
rules. These revisions would narrow the scope of the mixture and
derived-from rules, tailoring the rules to more specifically match the
risks posed by particular wastes. The first is an exemption for
mixtures and/or derivatives of wastes listed solely for the
ignitability, corrosivity, and/or reactivity characteristics. The
second is a conditional exemption from the mixture and derived-from
rules for ``mixed wastes'' (that is, wastes that are both hazardous and
    The proposal document also discusses an implementation framework for an
exemption from hazardous waste management for wastes that meet
chemical-specific exemption levels, also known as the Hazardous Waste
Identification Rule (HWIR) exemption. The HWIR exemption would identify
a broad set of listed hazardous waste that could be safely managed in
nonhazardous waste management units. The current version of the model
that could be used to derive the exemption levels is designed to
evaluate simultaneous exposures across multiple media and pathways in
order to estimate the resulting health and environmental effects.
Before using a revised risk assessment to support a final regulatory
action, we would propose the HWIR exemption, providing public notice
and the opportunity to comment on the revised risk assessment and
resulting exemption levels.
    In addition, EPA discusses the possibility of revising
the Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs) by replacing technology-based
treatment standards in the RCRA regulations with risk-based treatment

    The public is invited to comment on these proposed rules.   There are differing deadlines, dependent on which portion is commented on.   The deadlines are February 17, 2000 (mixture and derived-from rules) and May 17, 2000 (the HWIR and LDR changes). See 64 FR 63381 (November 19, 1999).