9 Ways the New EPA Regulation for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Affect Your Operation
The next time you clean equipment at your printing operation, double check before you throw away the towel! The solvent-contaminated towel, that is. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has passed new hazardous waste regulations that affect the way your operation needs to manage solvent-contaminated wipes.
With little fanfare, the Federal Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule took effect January 23, 2013. Our Environmental, Health, and Safety department has been involved with this rule from the beginning and has been closely following its development. They have been keeping members educated and answering question about the new requirements.
Since not all states have yet adopted this rule, you may still have to follow your current state policy, but just about all states will be adopting the new rule during 2014 and into 2015. Its purpose is to provide a minimum uniform set of requirements designed to protect human health and the environment, while providing for operational flexibility. This rule strikes the perfect balance.
The rule allows wipes managed according to the rule can be excluded from hazardous waste regulations, and this means the overall compliance cost for the industry will be reduced.
The bottom line is, if your state has adopted this rule, follow the regulations to be in compliance and save your company money.
Here are the most important facts you need to know about how this new rule can affect your operation.
1. It provides for more uniformity and consistency across the country as each state had its own policy or regulation that had different requirements.
2. It addresses both reusable wipes and disposable wipes. While all state policies and/or regulations addressed reusable wipes, only a couple of the states address disposable ones.
3. The rule reduces the amount of solvents that are released into the environment.