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EQB APPROVES NEW HAZARDOUS WASTE REGULATIONS

 EQB APPROVES NEW HAZARDOUS WASTE REGULATIONS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania


Environmental Quality Board has adopted final regulations that bring the state's hazardous waste program into compliance with new federal requirements and enhance its authority to regulate the recycling and reuse of hazardous wastes.
 "More than one-fifth of the dangerous federal Superfund sites that dot the nation were once poorly operated hazardous waste recycling centers, including 20 sites in Pennsylvania," Environmental Resources Secretary Arthur A. Davis said. "While recycling and reuse of hazardous wastes are still preferred to disposal, the new regulations allow us to stringently monitor the waste to ensure public health and the environment are protected."
 The new regulations amend the state's existing hazardous waste regulations to comply with federal changes in hazardous waste storage, insurance and bonding requirements.
 The state regulations differ from the federal requirements, however, by providing a simple and concise definition of the term "waste" and by clearly giving the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) authority to regulate the recycling and reuse of hazardous wastes.
 Davis said the state regulations follow a common sense approach that is less complicated than the federal requirements. A hazardous waste will be considered as hazardous regardless of whether it is being disposed of, reused or recycled.
 The federal standards provide automatic exemptions for waste classifications that do not adequately ensure that hazardous wastes are properly managed during recycling, reuse and transportation, Davis said.
 "The new regulations will close loopholes in our state program that allow some hazardous waste generators to get around costly treatment or disposal of hazardous wastes by 'sham' recycling," Davis said. "Those loopholes still exist in the federal requirements."
 The new state regulations require industries to obtain a DER permit if hazardous wastes are processed, treated or disposed of offsite. The onsite recycling and reuse of hazardous wastes do not require a permit under the new requirements, but their management, storage and transportation must follow strict DER safety requirements.
 Davis said that concerns expressed by some business representatives that the regulations would hurt Pennsylvania industries, particularly steel and iron firms, were based on a misunderstanding of the regulations.
 "The new regulations do not consider scrap metal used in iron and steel industries as a hazardous waste and will not affect the use of coal tar in coke production." Davis said.
 Davis said the regulations also do not prohibit the paper industry from recycling or reusing black liquor, a waste produced during the paper-making process; do not prohibit the recycling of used motor oil or its use as a fuel; do not treat as hazardous cement produced at a kiln burning hazardous waste as a fuel; and continue to allow battery reclamation facilities to accept lead-containing wastes.
 "The regulations simply ensure that hazardous waste are properly reused, recycled or disposed of and will not unduly burden our important businesses," Davis said.
 Davis said the regulations will prove beneficial to Pennsylvania businesses by ensuring that all hazardous waste recycling and disposal facilities operating in the Commonwealth are legitimate and properly operated.
 Thousands of businesses are now legally liable for the cleanup costs of previous waste disposal and recycling centers listed as state and federal Superfund sites, Davis said.
 The EQB is a 21-member independent board that meets monthly to review and approve all DER regulations. It includes state agency heads, five representatives of DER's Citizen Advisory Council and four members of the General Assembly.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Ellen Bolish of the DER, 717-787-1323/ CO: Department of Environmental Resources ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS -- PH022 -- 9280 03/18/92 13:33 EST
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Date:Mar 18, 1992
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