New hazardous waste management rules, biggest changes in nearly 40 years

Date:  August 04, 2020  
Time: All Day Event

Hazardous waste storage tanks.

The biggest changes in nearly 40 years to Michigan's hazardous waste management rules took effect this week on August 3, putting in place rules that maintain current human health and environmental protections while giving hazardous waste generators more flexibility.

The new rules, incorporated into the Part 111 rules, mostly affect businesses that produce hazardous waste, called hazardous waste generators. Hazardous waste includes materials that are ignitable, toxic, corrosive or reactive, as specifically defined under the regulations. Examples of businesses that produce hazardous waste include those that generate unwanted solvents from dry cleaning or product manufacturing, wastewater sludges from treating wood and metal, or aerosol cans from maintenance or production.

Many of the revisions were needed to align Michigan's hazardous waste program with the federal hazardous waste regulations. Program alignment is necessary for EGLE to maintain authorization to implement the hazardous waste program in Michigan. Additional changes were also made to meet the Advisory Rules Committee's recommendations to eliminate obsolete regulations and eliminate unnecessary state requirements not federally mandated.

Some of the biggest changes include:

  • Allowing sites generating more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste monthly (large quantity generators) to accept hazardous waste shipments from other sites that they own which generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste monthly (very small quantity generators) for consolidation if it is shipped within 90 days to a licensed hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility.
  • Allowing sites generating aerosol cans containing ignitable, toxic, corrosive or reactive materials to manage the aerosol cans as a universal waste following streamlined handling requirements if the materials are recycled.
  • Allowing sites that periodically generate a large amount of hazardous waste, regulatory relief so long as the site notifies EGLE of the event and its cause, then ships the hazardous waste to a licensed hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal within 60 days - which is a much shorter time than would otherwise be allowed under the rules.

"The new rules include safeguards to protect the health and safety of Michigan residents," said Richard Conforti, supervisor of the hazardous waste Management and Tracking Unit in Materials Management Division. "With lots of input from stakeholders, the new rules adopt the latest federal rules giving generators more options to meet the requirements without compromising public health or environmental safety. In light of the pandemic and new operating constraints resulting from it, EGLE is pleased these flexibilities are now available for Michigan businesses."

The new rules are available from the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR) Administrative Rulemaking System. EGLE also has the consolidated rules, a rule index, and a color strike/bold version showing the rule revisions to the rules on EGLE’s Hazardous Waste and Liquid Industrial By-Products Statutes and Rules web page.

To learn more, consider viewing EGLE's Hazardous Waste and Liquid Industrial By-Products Regulations webinar series, which was recently refreshed to assist hazardous waste generators in understanding and meeting the new rules. For technical or compliance questions, please contact the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or EGLE-Assist@michigan.gov to connect with local inspection staff.  For questions about the rulemaking process or other details on this rulemaking, please contact Ronda Blayer, EGLE environmental engineering specialist, at BlayerR@Michigan.gov.


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