Stay Above the Regulatory Curve
Here at Clean Management Environmental Group, we discuss the intricacies of the regulatory environment to help keep you informed.
Today we’d like to show you how to help yourself. Moreover, we’re going to start with how to find hazardous waste regulations in the first place and stay informed of current and upcoming regulations for waste management.
Find Federal Regulations
EPA regulations can be found in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations — “CFR” for short. You’ll find hazardous waste disposal requirements in Title 40: Protection of Environment. Peruse them yourself by clicking the links below and find the sections that concern your business. Hazardous waste disposal, generation, storage, training, and transportation requirements are all included.
- The CFR is available here.
- Title 40 is typically not updated until July of the current calendar year. So if you can’t find Title 40 for your current year, try searching the prior year.
- e-CFR: an up-to-date, unofficial version of the CFR.
The Federal Register
The Federal Register (FR) is a daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices from federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
The FR announces ongoing activities of the agencies and notifies you when you can comment on a proposed regulation. Once a final decision is issued in the form of a final regulation, the regulation is then codified into the CFR.
- The FR is available here.
- You may also find more detailed regulatory information by topic or by sector
Track EPA Rulemakings and Provide Your Input
EPA rulemakings (regulations that are under development) could impact your business and its waste management processes once they become final regulations. Thankfully, you can provide input on almost every hazardous waste regulation before it’s finalized. There are some ways to get involved in the rulemaking process.
- Deregulatory Actions: Find information about EPA’s compliance with Executive Order 13771.
- Regulatory Reform: EPA reviews its regulations to determine if any should be repealed, replaced, or modified.
- Regulatory Agendas and Regulatory Plans: Download twice yearly publications of EPA’s regulatory activities.
- Regulations.gov: This multi-agency website serves as an online clearinghouse for materials related to EPA rulemakings and is EPA’s official on-line comment system. Comment on regulations, and access rules that have been published in the Federal Register and related documents.
- EPA Docket Centers: EPA docket centers provide access to the same information as Regulations.gov for those people without access to the Internet. Also, the docket centers provide access to those pieces of information that we are unable to provide electronically. You may also submit comments to the docket centers, in addition to submitting them via Regulations.gov.
Find State by State Regulatory Information
In many cases, state-level environmental agencies administer the federal regulations that EPA puts in place. Moreover, state requirements may go above and beyond the federal requirements.
The Gateway to State-by-State Resource Locators, sponsored by EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance, provides access to state-by-state environmental regulations, compliance assistance, and where applicable, permits and forms for a variety of topics. Regulations in the state of Washington, for example, may be substantially different from those in Georgia.
EPA also has ten Regional offices, each of which is responsible for several states and territories. Get information about your Region or your state’s environmental agencies.
Compliance Assistance Centers
Compliance Assistance Centers help you understand and comply with environmental requirements and provide tips on how to save time, resources, and money.
They offer easy access to plain-language materials and other resources on environmental compliance through:
- Websites targeted to industry and government sectors
- Virtual plant tours
- Telephone assistance
- “Ask the Expert”
- Email discussion groups
- Next Generation Compliance – Read more here
Other Useful Resources
Hazardous Waste Portal – This resource is intended to help generators find hazardous waste compliance assistance resources. The portal contains over 800 resources, including both federal and state information and it covers most industrial and commercial business sectors as well as households.
Universal Waste State Resource Locator – Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that are more common and pose a lower risk to people and the environment. Federal and state regulations identify universal wastes and provide simple rules for handling, recycling, and disposing of them. Use this tool to find out which items are designated as Universal Wastes in your state, link to state regulations, and local contacts at state agencies.
Using these tools allows you to help yourself when it comes to managing your hazardous waste disposal. That being said, do not hesitate to contact us regarding any of these topics. We sift through the environmental regulations daily for our customers and provide expert advice.