[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 147 (Wednesday, July 31, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 46447-46485]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18285]



[[Page 46447]]

Vol. 78

Wednesday,

No. 147

July 31, 2013

Part III





Environmental Protection Agency





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40 CFR Parts 260 and 261





Conditional Exclusions From Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste for 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 147 / Wednesday, July 31, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 46448]]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 260 and 261

[EPA-HQ-RCRA-2003-0004; FRL-9838-2]
RIN 2050-AE51


Conditional Exclusions From Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste for 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is 
publishing a final rule that modifies its hazardous waste management 
regulations for solvent-contaminated wipes under the Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Act. Specifically, this rule revises the 
definition of solid waste to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated 
wipes that are cleaned and reused and revises the definition of 
hazardous waste to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes 
that are disposed. The purpose of this final rule is to provide a 
consistent regulatory framework that is appropriate to the level of 
risk posed by solvent-contaminated wipes in a way that maintains 
protection of human health and the environment, while reducing overall 
compliance costs for industry, many of which are small businesses.

DATES: This final rule is effective on January 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2003-0004. All documents in the docket are listed on 
the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is 
not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard 
copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically at www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OSWER 
Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone 
number for the Public Reading Room and the OSWER Docket is 202-566-
1744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For more detailed information on 
specific aspects of this rulemaking, contact Amanda Kohler, Office of 
Resource Conservation and Recovery, Materials Recovery and Waste 
Management Division, MC 5304P, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460 at (703) 347-8975 
(kohler.amanda@epa.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by today's action include an 
estimated 90,549 facilities in 13 economic sub-sectors that generate 
solvent-contaminated wipes, which include printing, publishing, 
business services, chemical and allied product manufacturing, plastics 
and rubber, fabricated metal products, industrial machinery and 
equipment, furniture and fixtures, auto dealers, military bases, 
electronics and computer manufacturing, transportation equipment, and 
auto repair and maintenance. EPA (or the Agency) also estimates that 
3,730 solid waste management facilities and 359 industrial laundries 
and dry cleaners will be affected by the final rule. In addition, 
approximately, 2.2 billion solvent-contaminated wipes generated and 
handled annually by these entities may be affected.
    Today's action is expected to result in net benefits estimated at 
between $21.7 million and $27.8 million annually (2011 dollars), 
including $18.0 million per year in net regulatory cost savings to 
these industries. More detailed information on the potentially affected 
entities and industries, as well as the economic impacts of this rule, 
is presented in section XI.A of this preamble and in the ``Regulatory 
Impact Analysis for Conditional Exclusions from Solid and Hazardous 
Waste for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes'' available in the docket for this 
final rule.

B. Why is EPA taking this action?

    Today's final rule resolves, at the federal level, long-standing 
issues associated with the management of solvent-contaminated wipes by 
providing consistency in the regulations governing solvent-contaminated 
wipes across the United States. This rule maintains protection of human 
health and the environment, while creating flexibility and reducing 
compliance costs for generators of solvent-contaminated wipes. Finally, 
this rule is the Agency's final response to rulemaking petitions filed 
by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the Scott Paper Company.

Acronyms

CAA Clean Air Act
CESQG Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CMTP Composite Model for Leachate Migration with Transformation 
Products
CSI Common Sense Initiative
CWA Clean Water Act
DAF Dilution and Attenuation Factors
DOT Department of Transportation
ELLR Estimated Landfill Loading Rates
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FR Federal Register
HSWA Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments
HQ Hazard Quotient
IRIS EPA's Integrated Risk Information System
LFCR Landfill Coupled Reactor Model
LQG Large Quantity Generator
MSWLF Municipal Solid Waste Landfill
NODA Notice of Data Availability
NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
OMB Office of Management and Budget
OSHA U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration
POTW Publicly Owned Treatment Works
RB-MLL Risk-based Mass Loading Limits
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
SQG Small Quantity Generator
TC Toxicity Characteristic
TCLP Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure

Preamble Outline

I. Statutory Authority
II. Summary of Final Rule
III. History of This Rulemaking
IV. How do the provisions in the final rule compare to those 
proposed on November 20, 2003?
V. When will the final rule become effective?
VI. Conditional Exclusion From the Definition of Solid Waste for 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes That Are Cleaned and Reused
VII. Conditional Exclusion From the Definition of Hazardous Waste 
for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes That Are Disposed
VIII. Major Comments on the November 2003 Proposed Rule
IX. Major Comments on Risk Analysis
X. How will these regulatory changes be administered and enforced?
XI. Administrative Requirements for This Rulemaking

I. Statutory Authority

    These regulations are promulgated under the authority of sections 
2002, 3001-3010 and 7004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, as 
amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), 
as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), 
42 U.S.C. 6912, 6921-6930, and 6974. These statutes, combined, are 
commonly referred to as ``RCRA.''

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II. Summary of Final Rule

    In today's rule, EPA is conditionally excluding from the definition 
of solid waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are cleaned and reused 
(hereafter referred to as ``reusable wipes'') and excluding from the 
definition of hazardous waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are 
disposed (hereafter referred to as ``disposable wipes'').\1\ Solvent-
contaminated wipes include wipes that, after use or after cleaning up a 
spill, either (1) contain one or more of the F001 through F005 solvents 
listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or the corresponding P- or U-listed solvents 
found in 40 CFR 261.33; (2) exhibit a hazardous characteristic found in 
40 CFR part 261 subpart C when that characteristic results from a 
solvent listed in 40 CFR part 261; and/or (3) exhibit only the 
hazardous waste characteristic of ignitability found in 40 CFR 261.21 
due to the presence of one or more solvents that are not listed in 40 
CFR part 261.
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    \1\ A summary chart providing an overview of the conditional 
exclusions for reusable wipes and disposable wipes is available in 
the docket for today's rule.
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    The exclusions are only applicable to the solvent-contaminated 
wipes themselves. Free liquid spent solvent would still be considered 
solid waste and potentially subject to the hazardous waste regulations 
under RCRA Subtitle C upon removal from the solvent-contaminated wipe 
or from the container holding the wipes. In addition, the exclusions 
are not applicable to wipes that contain listed hazardous waste other 
than solvents, or exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, corrosivity, 
or reactivity due to contaminants other than solvents (such as metals). 
Furthermore, solvent-contaminated disposable wipes that are hazardous 
waste due to the presence of trichloroethylene are not eligible for the 
exclusion from hazardous waste and remain subject to all applicable 
hazardous waste regulations.\2\
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    \2\ Although wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene are not 
eligible for the exclusion for disposable wipes, these wipes are 
eligible for the exclusion for reusable wipes because, under the 
reusable wipe exclusion, these wipes are not solid wastes subject to 
hazardous waste regulation, including the TC regulations.
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    Under the final rule, reusable and disposable solvent-contaminated 
wipes are excluded from regulation under RCRA Subtitle C provided 
certain conditions are met. Specifically, both types of the wipes, when 
accumulated, stored, and transported, must be contained in non-leaking, 
closed containers. The containers must be able to contain free liquids, 
should free liquids occur, and the containers must be labeled 
``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' The solvent-contaminated wipes 
may be accumulated by the generator for up to 180 days prior to being 
sent for cleaning or disposal. At the point of transport for cleaning 
or disposal, the solvent-contaminated wipes and their containers must 
contain no free liquids as determined by the Paint Filter Liquids Test 
(EPA Methods Test 9095B). Generators must maintain documentation that 
they are managing excluded solvent-contaminated wipes and keep that 
documentation at their sites. Lastly, the solvent-contaminated wipes 
must be managed by one of the following types of facilities:
     An industrial laundry or a dry cleaner that discharges, if 
any, under sections 301 and 402 or section 307 of the Clean Water Act 
(CWA));
     A municipal solid waste landfill that is regulated under 
40 CFR part 258, including Sec.  258.40, or a hazardous waste landfill 
regulated under 40 CFR parts 264 or 265; or
     A municipal waste combustor or other combustion facility 
that is regulated under section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA); a 
hazardous waste combustor regulated under 40 CFR parts 264 or 265, or a 
hazardous waste boiler or industrial furnace regulated under 40 CFR 
part 266 subpart H.

(These facilities that can receive reusable and disposable wipes under 
today's rule are collectively referred to as ``handling facilities.'')

III. History of This Rulemaking

A. Description of Solvent-Contaminated Wipes

    Wipes come in a wide variety of sizes and materials to meet a broad 
range of applications. For the purposes of this final rule, EPA is 
distinguishing between two categories of wipes: Reusables, which are 
laundered or dry cleaned and used again; and disposables, which are 
disposed in a landfill or combustor. In the November 2003 proposal, we 
estimated the respective annual market share of 88 percent for reusable 
wipes and 12 percent for disposable wipes (68 FR 65613).
    Wipes are used in conjunction with solvents by tens of thousands of 
facilities in numerous industrial sectors for cleaning and other 
purposes. Printers, automobile repair shops, and manufacturers of 
automobiles, electronics, furniture, and chemicals, to name a few, use 
large quantities of wipes, but practically every industrial sector uses 
wipes in conjunction with solvents. The types and amount of solvents 
applied to wipes varies considerably; sometimes the amount of solvent 
used on each wipe is small, but other times it may be two or more times 
the weight of the dry wipe. Also, some facilities use small numbers of 
wipes on a daily basis, while others use hundreds, if not thousands of 
wipes per day.\3\ Finally, the types and concentration of solvent used 
is often unique to the facility. Most often, the solvents used 
represent a blend of two or more chemicals. Some of these spent 
solvents are hazardous because of their toxicity or ignitability, 
whereas others have been listed by EPA as a hazardous waste when 
discarded (i.e., F001-F005 listed solvents found in 40 CFR 261.31 or 
the corresponding P- or U-listed solvent found in 40 CFR 261.33).
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    \3\ Technical Background Document, August 2003. Docket No. EPA-
HQ-RCRA-2003-0004-0003
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    A generator's decision to use a certain type of wipe depends 
primarily on its processes. For example, the amount of lint a wipe 
generates can play a very significant role in deciding whether to use 
disposable or reusable wipes. Some processes, such as those in 
electronics and printing applications, cannot tolerate any lint, 
whereas other processes, such as cleaning auto parts, can tolerate 
large amounts of lint. Absorbent capacity is also another factor in 
some processes, as is durability of a wipe in both retaining its 
structural integrity and its ability to withstand strong solvents. 
Another factor a generator may use in making its decision is its waste 
management strategy: For example, choosing to use reusable wipes to 
reduce the amount of waste it disposes.
    As with other commodities, a wipe's life cycle depends on its 
ultimate disposition. The following description illustrates generally 
how wipes are used, but is not exhaustive of all possibilities.
     Reusable wipes tend to be standardized in composition 
(e.g., cotton) and size and are part of a systematic handling system. 
In general, a laundry owns the reusable wipes, rents them to its 
customers, and collects them for laundering on a regular basis. 
Customers receive deliveries of wipes from the laundries, use them, and 
accumulate the used wipes. Drivers, most often employed by the 
laundries, pick up the contaminated wipes, replacing them with clean 
wipes at the same time, and then return the contaminated wipes to the 
laundry. Once at the laundry, the wipes are counted to ensure the 
laundry is getting back from the customer the same

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number sent out. Finally, the wipes are cleaned before being returned 
to service.
     Disposable wipes are diverse in composition and size 
(e.g., paper towels, cloth rags). Some disposable wipes arrive dry, 
whereas others are packaged already containing the solvent and, 
therefore, are ready for use immediately. Either way, the wipe is used 
and then often discarded. These wipes are typically disposed of either 
in a landfill or by combustion.
    Solvent removal and recovery can happen at various points in the 
life cycle of both disposable and reusable wipes. Generators may choose 
to recover solvent either to reduce virgin solvent use and reduce costs 
or to reduce their environmental footprint. Generators may generally 
recycle solvents within their allowed accumulation period (e.g., 90 or 
180 days) without a RCRA permit under the provisions of 40 CFR 
261.6(c), which exempts the recycling process itself from certain 
hazardous waste regulations. In addition, laundries or dry cleaners may 
recover solvents from the solvent-contaminated wipes that arrive at 
their facilities to minimize the amount of solvent in their effluent in 
order to comply with pretreatment requirements imposed by a Publicly 
Owned Treatment Works (POTW) or to recover solvent, which can be sold, 
refined and reused.

B. Petitions From Industry and the 1994 Shapiro Memo

    After the initial promulgation of the federal hazardous waste 
regulations in May 1980, EPA began receiving inquires from makers and 
users of disposable wipes, who stated that the hazardous waste 
regulations were too stringent for solvent-contaminated wipes based on 
the risks they pose. Then, in 1985, EPA received a rulemaking petition, 
pursuant to 40 CFR 260.20, from the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a 
manufacturer of disposable wipes, that requested EPA exclude disposable 
wipes from the definition of hazardous waste. The petition argued that 
these materials are over-regulated because the amount of solvent in the 
wipes is insignificant and because the disposable wipes do not pose a 
threat to human health and the environment even when disposed of in a 
municipal solid waste landfill. In 1987, EPA received a second 
rulemaking petition from the Scott Paper Company that reiterated many 
of the same arguments made by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation and added 
arguments that the hazardous waste regulations were not necessary 
because solvent-contaminated disposable wipes are handled responsibly, 
make up just one percent of a generator's waste stream, and could be 
beneficial to the operation of incinerators because of their heat 
value.
    In addition to these petitions from the makers of disposable wipes, 
in 1987, EPA received a rulemaking petition from the Alliance of 
Textile Care Associations requesting that solvent-contaminated reusable 
wipes be excluded from the definition of solid waste.\4\ However, in 
2000, the Alliance withdrew their petition.
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    \4\ A copy of all three petitions can be found in the docket for 
today's rule.
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    A rule addressing both types of wipes is important because 
generators of solvent-contaminated wipes have asked EPA over the years 
to clarify our position on both disposable and reusable wipes. In the 
early 1990s, EPA developed a policy that deferred determinations and 
interpretations regarding the regulation of solvent-contaminated wipes 
to the states authorized to implement the federal hazardous waste 
program or to the EPA region, where a state is not authorized (see 
``Industrial Wipers and Shop Towels under the Hazardous Waste 
Regulations,'' Michael Shapiro, February 14, 1994).\5\ At that time, 
the Office of Solid Waste concluded that these determinations were best 
addressed by the regulatory officials responsible for implementing the 
regulations.\6\
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    \5\ This memo can be found in RCRA Online, Number 11813 and in 
the docket for today's rule.
    \6\ The Office of Solid Waste has been renamed the Office of 
Resource Conservation and Recovery.
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    This policy has led to the application of different regulatory 
schemes for both types of wipes in the EPA regions and states. Although 
the states differ in the details of their policies, in general, they 
regulate disposable wipes as hazardous waste when they are contaminated 
with a solvent that either meets a hazardous waste listing or exhibits 
a hazardous waste characteristic. On the other hand, 45 \7\ states have 
provided regulatory relief for solvent-contaminated reusable wipes sent 
to an industrial laundry or other facility for cleaning and reuse. In 
about half the cases, the states have excluded reusable wipes from the 
definition of solid waste, whereas the other states have excluded them 
from the definition of hazardous waste.
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    \7\ In comments submitted on the 2003 proposal, the Maine 
Department of Environment noted that the EPA Technical Background 
Document inaccurately reports that Maine excludes reusable solvent-
contaminated wipes when in fact Maine regulates all wipes 
contaminated with F-listed solvents as hazardous wastes.
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    For reusable wipes, the conditions for the various exclusions vary 
from state to state, but most require that the wipes contain no free 
liquids and require that the laundry discharge to a POTW or have a 
permit for discharge under the CWA. Some states have established other 
requirements, such as requiring generators to manage solvent-
contaminated wipes according to the hazardous waste accumulation 
standards prior to laundering and to file a one-time notice under the 
land disposal restriction program (see 40 CFR part 268) when such wipes 
are sent to be laundered.
    The EPA policy laid out in the 1994 Shapiro memo has led to 
confusion because the regulations and policies differ from state to 
state. One goal of today's rule is to establish consistent federal 
regulations to reduce this confusion. Thus, today's rule supersedes the 
1994 Shapiro memo. See section X for more information on how this rule 
affects existing state policies.
    In late 1994, EPA's policy regarding solvent-contaminated wipes 
came under further review as part of the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) 
for the printing industry (59 FR 27295). The CSI committee sought the 
insight and input of multiple stakeholders on how to make environmental 
regulation more easily implementable and/or less costly, while still 
maintaining protection of human health and the environment. The one 
significant problem posed by the RCRA hazardous waste regulations that 
was identified by the representatives from the printing industry was 
the ambiguity of the regulations applicable to solvent-contaminated 
wipes. Specifically, printing industry representatives requested that 
EPA do three things: (1) Clarify the definition of ``treatment'' as it 
pertains to printers wringing solvent from their wipes; (2) examine 
whether disposable wipes are over-regulated; and (3) increase 
regulatory consistency among the states.

C. Summary of November 2003 Proposal

    To address stakeholder concerns about the Agency's (and states') 
current policies regarding solvent-contaminated wipes and to ensure 
greater consistency in regulation, EPA published a proposed rule that 
would exclude reusable wipes from the definition of solid waste and 
exclude disposable wipes from the definition of hazardous waste, 
provided certain conditions were met (68 FR 65586, November 20, 2003).
    Specifically, EPA proposed to exclude from the definition of solid 
waste reusable wipes that are laundered or dry-cleaned when they 
contain an F-listed spent solvent, a corresponding P- or U- listed 
commercial chemical product, or when they exhibit the hazardous 
characteristic of corrosivity,

[[Page 46451]]

reactivity, or toxicity when that characteristic results from the F-
listed spent solvent or corresponding P- or U- listed commercial 
chemical product.\8\ The reusable wipes would have to be accumulated, 
stored, and managed in non-leaking, covered containers and, if 
transported off-site, would have to be transported in containers 
designed, constructed, and managed to minimize loss to the environment. 
Additionally, the solvent-contaminated wipes could not contain free 
liquids or would have to be treated by solvent extraction. Any liquids 
removed from the solvent-contaminated wipes would be managed according 
to the regulations found under 40 CFR parts 261 through 270. EPA also 
proposed that if free liquids are in containers that arrive at a 
laundry or dry cleaner, the receiving facility would either remove the 
free liquids and manage them according to the hazardous waste 
regulations or return the closed container with the wipes and free 
liquids to the generator as soon as reasonably practicable. The Agency 
proposed that industrial laundries and dry cleaners could dispose of 
sludge from cleaning solvent-contaminated wipes in solid waste 
landfills if the sludge does not exhibit a hazardous waste 
characteristic.
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    \8\ The Agency stated in the preamble that solvent-contaminated 
wipes co-contaminated with ignitable waste would remain eligible for 
the exclusion because the solvent-contaminated wipes are already 
likely ignitable and this risk would be managed by the conditions of 
the exclusion (68 FR 65602). However, EPA had not made this clear in 
the proposed regulatory language on 68 FR 65619. This was noted by 
commenters and is addressed in today's final rule.
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    EPA also proposed to exclude from the definition of hazardous waste 
disposable wipes when they contain an F-listed spent solvent, a 
corresponding P- or U-listed commercial chemical product, or when they 
exhibit the hazardous characteristic of corrosivity, reactivity, or 
toxicity when that characteristic results from the F-listed spent 
solvent or corresponding P- or U-listed commercial chemical product. 
The disposable wipes would have to be accumulated, stored, and managed 
in non-leaking, covered containers and, if transported off-site, would 
have to be transported in containers designed, constructed, and managed 
to minimize loss to the environment. The containers also would have to 
be labeled ``Exempt Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' If the solvent-
contaminated wipes were sent to a municipal waste combustor or other 
combustion facility, the wipes could not contain free liquids or would 
have to be treated by solvent extraction. Any liquids removed from the 
wipes would have to be managed according to the regulations found under 
40 CFR parts 261 through 270. If the solvent-contaminated wipes were 
sent to a municipal waste landfill or other non-hazardous waste 
landfill that meets the standards under 40 CFR part 257 subpart B, each 
wipe could not contain more than five grams of solvent or would have to 
be treated by solvent extraction.\9\ Additionally, EPA proposed to make 
11 solvents ineligible for the conditional exclusion based on the 
results of the risk screening analysis conducted for the November 2003 
proposal and based on the fact that six of the solvents are included in 
EPA's Toxicity Characteristic (TC) regulations.\10\
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    \9\ Under the proposed rule, a solvent-contaminated wipe that 
contained less than five grams of solvent would be considered 
``dry.''
    \10\ These 11 solvents include 2-Nitropropane, Nitrobenzene, 
Methyl ethyl ketone, Methylene chloride, Pyridine, Benzene, Cresols, 
Carbon tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, and 
Trichloroethylene.
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    EPA also proposed to allow intra-company transfers of both reusable 
and disposable wipes for the purpose of removing sufficient solvent 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes in order to meet the ``no free 
liquids'' condition (for wipes sent to combustors, laundries, or dry 
cleaners) or so that each wipe would contain less than five grams of 
solvent (for wipes sent to landfills). The Agency also proposed 
definitions for ``disposable industrial wipes,'' ``industrial wipe,'' 
industrial wipe handling facility,'' intra-company transfer of 
industrial wipe,'' ``no free liquids,'' ``reusable industrial wipe,'' 
and ``solvent extraction.''

D. Risk Analysis

1. Risk Screening Analysis for the November 2003 Proposed Rule
    In the November 2003 proposed rule, EPA evaluated the appropriate 
regulatory status for solvent-contaminated wipes by considering the 
risks to human health and the environment from the management of 
solvent-contaminated wipes and wastewater treatment sludge from 
laundries (laundry sludge) in unlined non-hazardous waste landfills. 
This was done by conducting a risk screening analysis to determine the 
constituent-specific risks from landfilling solvent-contaminated wipes 
and laundry sludge contaminated with the F001-F005 listed solvents.\11\ 
We estimated the potential risks from exposure to the F001-F005 listed 
solvents, assuming disposal in an unlined solid waste landfill. We 
examined potential risks from inhalation of spent solvents volatilizing 
from the landfill, from ingestion of groundwater contaminated by spent 
solvents leaching from the landfill, and from inhalation of spent 
solvent vapors released from contaminated groundwater during showering. 
The Technical Background Document for the proposed rule provides 
details on the risk screening analysis conducted in support of the 
November 2003 proposed rule and is available in the docket for this 
rulemaking.
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    \11\ The solvents listed in F001 through F005 in 40 CFR 261.31 
are 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloro-
1,2,2-trifluoroethane, ortho-Dichlorobenzene, 2-Ethoxyethanol, 2-
Nitropropane, Acetone, Benzene, n-Butyl alcohol, Carbon disulfide, 
Carbon tetrachloride, Chlorinated Fluorocarbons, Chlorobenzene, 
Cresols, Cyclohexanone, Ethyl acetate, Ethyl benzene, Ethyl ether, 
Isobutanol, Methanol, Methyl ethyl ketone, Methyl isobutyl ketone, 
Methylene chloride, Nitrobenzene, Pyridine, Tetrachloroethylene, 
Toluene, Trichloroethylene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Xylene.
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    Based on the 2003 risk screening analysis, we proposed that 
solvent-contaminated wipes containing 19 of the 30 solvents could be 
disposed in an unlined landfill if the wipes met a dry standard (i.e., 
each wipe contained less than five grams of solvent). EPA also 
tentatively concluded that solvent-contaminated wipes containing any of 
the other 11 solvents would continue to be regulated as hazardous waste 
when disposed, because these solvent-contaminated wipes could pose a 
substantial hazard to human health and the environment if disposed in 
an unlined landfill. Six of the eleven solvents did not pose an 
unacceptable risk in the 2003 risk screening analysis; however, these 
six were deemed ineligible for the exclusion because they are included 
in the TC regulations in 40 CFR 261.24. Based on the results of the 
2003 risk screening analysis, we also proposed that municipal waste 
combustors and other combustion facilities be allowed to burn solvent-
contaminated wipes that meet the proposed conditions for the exclusion 
from the definition of hazardous waste.
2. Revised Risk Analysis and October 2009 NODA
    During the comment period on the November 2003 proposed rule, we 
received substantive comments on the risk screening analysis and the 
solvent loading calculations. In addition to public comments, we 
received comments from external peer reviewers. Both the public and the 
peer reviewers questioned aspects of the 2003 risk screening analysis 
and the modeling assumptions. (These comments are available in the 
docket for today's final rule.) After reviewing the comments, we

[[Page 46452]]

decided to undertake a more robust risk analysis to determine the 
potential risk from disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry 
sludge in both unlined and lined non-hazardous waste landfills, 
including municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLFs). This revised risk 
analysis was subjected to external peer review and presented for public 
comment, along with the peer review comments and EPA's response to 
those comments, in a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) on October 27, 
2009 (74 FR 55163).
    The 2009 revised risk analysis is considered to be ``influential 
scientific information'' under both EPA's and the Office of Management 
and Budget's (OMB's) peer review policies. As described in the October 
2009 NODA, we conducted an external peer review in which we asked the 
peer reviewers to conduct a comprehensive review of the risk analysis. 
The Agency asked the peer reviewers to respond to a set of questions, 
which are included in the public docket for this rule, addressing the 
technical basis of the approaches we used and to prepare a report 
highlighting their comments and recommendations. EPA revised the risk 
documents by incorporating the peer reviewers' comments, where 
necessary and appropriate. The docket contains the individual peer 
reviewer reports, EPA's response to the peer reviewers' comments, and 
supporting documents for the peer reviews. For more information about 
the peer review process, see EPA's Peer Review Handbook at http://www.epa.gov/peerreview/pdfs/peer_review_handbook_2006.pdf.
    The 2009 revised risk analysis included additional data and 
information, a new model to evaluate the behavior of solvents in a 
landfill, revised fate and transport modeling, and an improved approach 
from the 2003 risk screening analysis to compare the estimates of the 
solvent quantities disposed to the risk-based solvent loading levels.
    The 2009 revised risk analysis estimated the amount of each F-
listed solvent contained in solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry 
sludge disposed of in MSWLFs (i.e., estimated landfill loading rates). 
We compared these amounts to the estimated quantities of spent solvents 
that may be disposed of in MSWLFs without presenting unacceptable risks 
to human health and the environment (risk-based landfill mass 
loadings). The 2009 revised risk analysis consists of three separate 
documents, all of which are in the docket for today's final rule:
     ``Landfill Loadings Calculations for Disposed Solvent-
Contaminated Wipes and Laundry Sludge Managed in Municipal Landfills,'' 
October, 2008
     ``Risk-Based Mass Loading Limits for Solvents in Disposed 
Wipes and Laundry Sludges Managed in Municipal Landfills,'' October, 
2009
     ``F001-F005 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and Laundry Sludge: 
Comparison of Landfill Loading Calculations and Risk-Based Mass Loading 
Limits,'' August, 2009
    We evaluated the use of the F001-F005 listed solvents on wipes 
through a comprehensive review of the available information (including 
site visits, data collected by EPA for RCRA and other regulatory 
programs, public comments, and other available information). We 
eliminated 10 of the 30 listed solvents from the analysis because EPA 
has found that they are not widely used on wipes.\12\ Of the ten 
eliminated solvents, five are ozone-depleting or present other serious 
hazards and are therefore banned or restricted from use. The other five 
solvents eliminated from the analysis may have been used on wipes in 
the past; however, our research found that these solvents are currently 
not used or are used only in very limited quantities in conjunction 
with wipes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ We eliminated Carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 
Trichlorofluoromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, 1,1,2-
Trichlorotrifluorethane, Carbon disulfide, Ethyl ether, 
Nitrobenzene, 2-Nirtopropane, and Pyridine. For a detailed 
discussion on these solvents, see the ``Landfill Loadings 
Calculations for Disposed Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and Laundry 
Sludge Managed in Municipal Landfills,'' Section 1.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the remaining 20 solvents, we estimated the amount of solvent 
that could plausibly be on a wipe and in laundry sludge before disposal 
and then estimated the number of generators potentially disposing of 
solvent-contaminated wipes or laundry sludge into a MSWLF. Through our 
calculations, we derived estimated landfill loading rates (ELLRs) for 
each of the solvents on an annual basis (i.e., kilograms of solvent 
disposed in each landfill per year). To account for uncertainty and 
variability in the input parameters, we used a Monte Carlo simulation 
to develop a single distribution of mass loading rates (in kilograms 
per year per landfill) for each solvent from the disposed solvent-
contaminated wipes and laundry sludge. These landfill loading 
distributions represent the amount of ``wipes-related'' solvent in the 
respective waste streams (i.e., wipes and sludge). For both the 
disposed solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry sludges, the output of 
the method is a probability distribution of ELLRs based on the best 
available data. The October 2009 NODA and the full Landfill Loadings 
Report describe the assumptions made, the methodologies used, and the 
results of the analysis.
    To assess the potential risks from the estimated landfill loadings 
of hazardous spent solvents that could be disposed of in MSWLFs 
(unlined and lined), we developed a methodology to estimate the amount 
of these spent solvents that could be disposed and still be protective 
of human health and the environment at the point of exposure. This 
methodology uses a probabilistic risk analysis of solvent-contaminated 
wipes to produce a distribution of risk estimates, which we then used 
to calculate a protective mass loading rate for each individual 
solvent. These ``allowable amounts'' are risk-based mass loading limits 
(RB-MLL) expressed in kilograms of each spent solvent that can be added 
to a landfill in a given year, with a certain probability of the risk 
remaining at or below the risk-based criteria evaluated by EPA. These 
RB-MLLs were derived from modeling scenarios defined in terms of the 
solvent, landfill type (lined or unlined), exposure route (ingestion, 
inhalation, dermal absorption), contact media (groundwater, ambient 
air), and receptor (child or adult).
    We identified RB-MLLs for each solvent such that the exposure at 
the 50th and 90th percentiles of the risk distribution would not exceed 
the identified target risk criteria if these materials were disposed of 
in a MSWLF. The Agency typically uses the 50th and 90th percentiles to 
characterize risk. The 90th percentile represents a ``high end'' 
estimate of individual risk, and the 50th percentile reflects the 
central tendency estimate of the risk distribution.\13\ For this 
analysis, the target risk criteria were selected so that 90 percent of 
the hypothetical individuals living near a landfill would not be 
exposed to solvent releases resulting in an excess lifetime cancer risk 
above 1 chance in 100,000 (10-5).\14\ For noncancer health 
effects, we used a hazard quotient (HQ) of one as our risk criterion, 
such that HQ values below or equal to one were not of concern (the 
noncancer HQ is defined as the ratio of predicted intake levels to safe 
intake

[[Page 46453]]

levels). The full RB-MLL report in the docket describes the assumptions 
made, the methodologies used, and the results of the analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Guidance for Risk Characterization, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1995.
    \14\ These risk criteria are consistent with those discussed in 
EPA's hazardous waste listing determination policy (December 22, 
1994; 59 FR 66072). Also see 40 CFR 300.430(e)(2)(i)(A)(2), which 
establishes a cancer risk range of 10-4 to 
10-6 in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances 
Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) for responding to releases of 
hazardous substances under Superfund.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Results of the Revised Risk Analysis in the October 2009 NODA
    To determine whether the landfill loading rates exceed the risk-
based loading limits, EPA compared the ELLRs to the calculated RB-MLLs 
for each solvent. If the estimated landfill loading rates exceed the 
risk-based mass loading limits for a solvent, then this solvent could 
pose a potential risk for persons living near a landfill. To perform 
the comparison, EPA evaluated and considered a 90th percentile risk 
criterion for the risk-based mass loading limit to be protective of 90 
percent of hypothetically exposed individuals across all of the 
landfill sites in the United States. Thus, we compared the 90th 
percentile estimate of the ELLRs to the 90th percentile of the RB-MLLs 
to determine whether the loading rates in landfills that can be 
attributed to solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry sludge exceed the 
RB-MLLs that correspond to selected health-based limits.
    The comparisons of the ELLRs and RB-MLLs can be expressed as 
ratios, i.e., the 90th percentile ELLRs (kilograms solvent per year) 
are divided by the 90th percentile RB-MLLs (kilograms solvent per year) 
for a specific solvent to yield a ratio. The ELLR is an estimate of the 
mass loading into the landfill and the RB-MLL is an estimate of the 
mass loading for each of the 20 solvents that would correspond to an 
exposure equivalent to the chosen risk criterion, or ``target'' risk. 
Therefore, if the ratio exceeds one, this indicates the degree to which 
the ELLR exceeds the evaluation criteria used to establish the RB-MLLs 
(i.e., a cancer risk of 1 x 10-5 and an HQ of 1 for 
noncarcinogenic risk).
    The comparison of the 90th percentile values of the ELLRs and the 
RB-MLLs indicates that 8 of the 20 spent solvents could pose potential 
risks above EPA's evaluation criteria for unlined landfills. The 90th 
percentile risks for benzene (using the high end cancer potency factor 
only),\15\ 1,1,2-trichloroethane, methylene chloride, 
tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene exceeded the 10-5 
cancer risk criteria. The 90th percentile risks for chlorobenzene, 
toluene, and xylenes exceeded the criteria for non-cancer health 
effects (HQ = 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ High and low cancer potency factors were used to calculate 
risks for benzene and tetrachloroethylene, because these were 
available. Therefore, two cancer risks were calculated for these two 
solvents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As expected, the predicted risks for the composite-lined landfill 
were always less than those for the unlined landfill analysis. Using 
the comparison of the 90th percentile results, the potential risks from 
all solvents examined in the composite-liner scenario, except for 
tetrachloroethylene, were well below the health-based criteria used in 
this 2009 risk analysis. The ratio of the 90th percentile ELLR divided 
by the 90th percentile RB-MLL for tetrachloroethylene was 1.1 using the 
higher end cancer risk value, and 0.9 using the lower end cancer risk 
value. For a more detailed explanation of how the ELLR and RB-MLL were 
compared, see the document ``F001-F005 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and 
Laundry Sludge: Comparison of Landfill Loading Calculations and Risk 
Based Mass Loading Limits'' in the docket.
    The results of the revised risk analysis presented in the October 
2009 NODA were different than the results of the 2003 risk screening 
analysis presented in the November 2003 proposal. The number and 
identity of the solvents that showed a potential risk for disposal in 
an unlined landfill changed in the 2009 revised risk analysis. Also, we 
did not consider risks from disposal in lined landfills in the original 
2003 risk screening analysis, whereas the 2009 revised risk analysis 
does consider risks from composite-lined non-hazardous waste landfills. 
In the NODA we sought comment on all aspects of the 2009 revised risk 
analysis, including the assumptions of the analysis, the data used, and 
the methodology employed.
4. Changes in the Final Risk Analysis
    In responding to comments on the 2009 revised risk analysis (see 
the Major Comments on the Risk Analysis in section IX of this notice), 
we revised the Landfill Loadings document. We included updated 
information for various input parameters for reusable wipes that were 
gathered from surveys and submitted in comments by a trade association. 
Using the updated data lowered the solvent landfill loadings calculated 
for the sludges generated by laundries. (See the revised document, 
``Landfill Loadings Calculations For Solvent-Contaminated Wipes, 
January 2012'' in the docket.) However, these changes had a limited 
impact on the overall risks presented by the combined disposal of 
disposable wipes and laundry sludges, because the sludges represented a 
relatively small fraction of the combined risk for the solvents. 
Nevertheless, the changes were sufficient to reduce the combined risk 
results for tetrachloroethylene in a composite-lined landfill, such 
that the ratio of ELLR to RB-MLL decreased from 1.1 to 1.0 (i.e., the 
ratio would meet the target cancer risk criteria of 1.0 x 
10-5).
    The Agency also issued new health assessments since the October 
2009 NODA, which included updated reference values for two of the 
solvents, tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene. EPA posted these 
human health assessments, which are scientific reports that provide 
information on chemical hazards as well as quantitative dose-response 
information, on EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).\16\ We 
recalculated the RB-MLLs for tetrachloroethylene using the revised 
reference values. As a result, the combined risks for this chemical in 
a composite-lined unit dropped significantly, such that the risks were 
well below the target risk criteria (with or without the modifications 
to the sludge data discussed in the previous paragraph, the final ratio 
of the ELLR to the RB-MLL is less than 0.10). Thus, the results for 
tetrachloroethylene, which now include the revised landfill loadings 
and reflect the updated reference value, indicate that including this 
solvent in the conditional exclusion would not present a significant 
risk if the solvent-contaminated wipes and sludges are disposed in a 
composite-lined landfill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ The final health assessment for trichloroethylene was 
posted on IRIS on September 28, 2011 (http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0199.htm). The assessment for tetrachloroethylene was posted on 
February 10, 2012 (http://www.epa.gov/IRIS/subst/0106.htm).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand, using the updated reference values for 
trichloroethylene in our 2012 final risk analysis resulted in an 
increase in projected risks, such that the estimated landfill solvent 
loadings exceeded the risk-based mass loading limit with the ratio of 
the ELLR to the RB-MLL calculated at 1.4. These revisions to the risk 
analysis are summarized in addendums to the 2009 risk analysis document 
(``Impact of Revised Health Benchmarks on Solvent Wipes Risk-Based Mass 
Loading Limits (RB-MLLs),'' April 2012) and the revised document 
comparing ELLRs to RB-MLLs (``F001-F005 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and 
Laundry Sludge: Comparison of Landfill Loading Calculations and Risk-
Based Mass Loading Limits,'' revised April 2012).
    Therefore, based on the 2012 final risk analysis using the updated 
reference values, wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene (i.e., 
wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene

[[Page 46454]]

solvent itself or in F-listed solvent blends) are ineligible for the 
conditional exclusion for disposable wipes.\17\ That is, the updated 
results of our 2012 final risk analysis indicate that trichloroethylene 
may present a substantial hazard to human health, even if disposed in a 
composite-lined unit. Updated reference values for trichloroethylene 
and for tetrachloroethylene are similarly reflected in the final risk 
results for disposal in an unlined landfill; wipes containing these 
solvents nonetheless continue to present risks above the risk criteria 
in the unlined landfill scenario.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ Although wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene are not 
eligible for the exclusion for disposable wipes, these wipes are 
eligible for the exclusion for reusable wipes because, under the 
reusable wipe exclusion, these wipes are not solid wastes subject to 
hazardous waste regulation, including the TC regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Use of the updated reference values ensures that the final rule 
incorporates the most recent scientific data available and will prevent 
potential risks from disposal of wipes contaminated with 
trichloroethylene. The updating of the reference values does not impact 
our overall assessment methodology, which was externally peer reviewed 
and published for public comment in a 2009 NODA. The IRIS assessment 
development process includes an internal Agency review, two 
opportunities for science consultation and discussion with other 
federal agencies, a public hearing, public review and comment, and an 
independent external peer review, all of which is part of the official 
public record. In addition to this rigorous review process, 
trichloroethylene was reviewed by the EPA's Science Advisory Board and 
tetrachloroethylene underwent review by the National Academies of 
Science. Because both the risk analysis methodology and the IRIS 
assessments have been peer and publicly reviewed separately, it is 
appropriate to use the updated IRIS reference values in evaluating 
which solvents should be included in the conditional exclusion for 
solvent-contaminated wipes. Furthermore, in the background document 
presenting the revised risk analysis for the October 2009 NODA, the 
Agency noted that the health assessments for tetrachloroethylene and 
trichloroethylene were undergoing review as part of its process for 
updating the health assessments for the IRIS program.\18\ Moreover, we 
note that trichloroethylene's eligibility status in today's rule has 
not changed from the 2003 proposed rule, in which EPA proposed to make 
wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene (in addition to ten other 
solvents) ineligible for the exclusion from the definition of hazardous 
waste for disposable wipes. Additionally, EPA notes that its 2009 
revised risk analysis demonstrated, for the composite-liner scenario, 
that tricholorethylene at the 90th percentile would fall below target 
risk thresholds for the 10-5 cancer level (ratio = 0.1), but 
would exceed target risk thresholds for the 10-6 cancer 
level (ratio = 1.5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ See ``Risk-Based Mass Loading Limits for Solvents in 
Disposed Wipes and Laundry Sludges Managed in Municipal Landfills,'' 
October 2009, pages 3-60 and 4-30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. How do the provisions in the final rule compare to those proposed 
on November 20, 2003?

    EPA is finalizing the conditional exclusions largely as proposed in 
November 2003, with some revisions. The following is a brief overview 
of the revisions to the proposal, with references to additional 
preamble discussions for more detail.
    For the conditional exclusion for reusable wipes, we have 
determined that the Paint Filter Liquids Test (Method 9095B) is most 
appropriate to determine whether solvent-contaminated wipes contain no 
free liquids. We have also made some revisions to the container 
standard and have added a labeling requirement. Furthermore, we have 
specified that the solvent-contaminated wipes may be accumulated by the 
generator for up to 180 days prior to being sent for cleaning and have 
added recordkeeping requirements to assist in monitoring compliance 
with the conditional exclusion. Lastly, we have also specified that 
reusable wipes are only allowed to go to an industrial laundry or dry 
cleaner whose discharge, if any, is regulated under sections 301 and 
402 or section 307 of the CWA, provided the conditions of the exclusion 
are being met. For further discussion on the conditional exclusion for 
reusable wipes, see section VI of this preamble.
    For the conditional exclusion for disposable wipes, we have 
determined that the Paint Filter Liquids Test (Method 9095B) is most 
appropriate to determine whether solvent-contaminated wipes contain no 
free liquids. Additionally, we have eliminated the condition that 
solvent-contaminated wipes going to landfills must contain less than 5 
grams of solvent: Instead, these wipes must contain no free liquids. We 
have also made some revisions to the container standard. Furthermore, 
we have specified that the solvent-contaminated wipes may be 
accumulated by the generator for up to 180 days prior to being sent for 
disposal and have added recordkeeping requirements to assist with 
monitoring compliance with the conditional exclusion. We have also 
specified that solvent-contaminated wipes being land disposed must be 
managed by a landfill that is regulated under the MSWLF regulations 
under 40 CFR part 258, including the design criteria in section 258.40, 
or is operating under the hazardous waste regulations in 40 CFR parts 
264 or 265. Solvent-contaminated wipes being combusted are allowed to 
go to a municipal waste combustor or other combustion facility that is 
regulated under section 129 of the CAA or is operating under the 
hazardous waste standards in 40 CFR parts 264, 265, or 266 subpart H, 
provided the conditions of the exclusion are being met. Lastly, we have 
expanded the scope of solvent-contaminated wipes eligible for this 
exclusion based on the revised risk analysis presented in the October 
2009 NODA: Only one solvent, trichloroethylene, remains ineligible for 
this conditional exclusion based on the results of EPA's 2012 final 
risk analysis for this rulemaking. For further discussion on the 
conditional exclusion for disposable wipes, see section VII of this 
preamble.
    Additionally, we have chosen not to finalize the provision allowing 
intra-company transfer of reusable and disposable wipes for the purpose 
of removing sufficient solvent to meet the ``no free liquids'' 
condition. Furthermore, we have modified certain definitions in today's 
rule, such as the definition for ``wipe,'' ``solvent-contaminated 
wipe,'' and ``no free liquids'' and have eliminated some definitions 
(``intra-company transfer of industrial wipes,'' ``industrial wipes 
handling facility,'' ``reusable industrial wipe,'' ``disposable 
industrial wipe,'' and ``solvent extraction'') that we determined are 
not needed for the final rule. For further discussion, see section VIII 
of this preamble.

V. When will the final rule become effective?

    This rule is effective on January 31, 2014. Section 3010(b) of RCRA 
allows EPA to promulgate a rule with a period for the effective date 
shorter than six months where the Administrator finds that the 
regulated community does not need additional time to come into 
compliance with the rule. Although most provisions in today's rule do 
not impose additional requirements on the regulated community and, 
instead, provide flexibility in the regulations with which the 
regulated community is required to comply, some provisions in today's 
conditional exclusions may

[[Page 46455]]

differ from existing state regulations and policies (such as specific 
recordkeeping requirements). Taking this into account, we find it is 
appropriate for the rule to come into effect six months after 
publication in the Federal Register.

VI. Conditional Exclusion From the Definition of Solid Waste for 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes That Are Cleaned and Reused

A. What is the purpose of this conditional exclusion?

    EPA is finalizing 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26) to exclude solvent-
contaminated reusable wipes from the definition of solid waste in order 
to establish consistent federal regulations regarding the management of 
reusable wipes. As stated in section III, in the 1990s, EPA developed a 
policy that deferred determinations and interpretations regarding 
regulation of solvent-contaminated wipes to authorized states or the 
EPA regions. This policy has led to the application of different 
regulatory schemes for reusable wipes: Some states exclude reusable 
wipes from the definition of solid waste, while others exclude reusable 
wipes from the definition of hazardous waste, and five states regulate 
reusable wipes as hazardous waste. Additionally, the specific 
management standards vary from state to state. Today's rule aims to 
provide national consistency in regards to regulations for reusable 
wipes.

B. Basis for Conditional Exclusion From the Definition of Solid Waste

    Under RCRA, for a material to be regulated as a hazardous waste, it 
must first be a solid waste. There are three key considerations 
specific to solvent-contaminated reusable wipes that demonstrate they 
are not solid wastes.
    The first consideration is the physical and chemical 
characteristics of the solvent-contaminated wipe. Under today's 
conditional exclusion, reusable wipes must have no free liquids at the 
point of transport by the generator for cleaning. This ``no free 
liquids'' standard minimizes the potential for releases of hazardous 
constituents into the environment (e.g., through spills). Furthermore, 
the wipes must be accumulated, stored, and transported in non-leaking, 
closed containers, which reduces the possibility the solvents will be 
released to the environment.
    The second consideration is that the solvent-contaminated wipes 
have recognized value. Laundries own the wipes and routinely count the 
soiled wipes received from their customers. If a wipe is missing, the 
customer is charged a fee. Therefore, generators have an economic 
incentive to manage dirty wipes appropriately and ensure they are 
returned to the laundry or dry cleaner. The contaminated wipes are thus 
managed as valuable commodities throughout their lifecycles.
    The third consideration includes the characteristics of the 
recycling market for reusable wipes. Reusable wipes are typically 
managed under service contracts in which a customer contracts with a 
laundry or dry cleaner for the service of clean wipes. This type of 
business model is noteworthy because it differs from traditional 
hazardous waste recycling markets in which a reclaimer is typically 
paid by a generator to receive and manage the hazardous secondary 
materials and is not typically paid to send the recycled product back 
to the generator. In some cases, hazardous waste reclaimers gain their 
primary revenue from the fees charged to generators to receive and 
manage the hazardous waste and not from the sale of the recycled 
product. This creates an incentive for the hazardous waste reclaimer to 
overaccumulate materials, which increases the possibility of 
mismanagement of the hazardous wastes. However, this incentive does not 
exist for laundries and dry cleaners managing solvent-contaminated 
wipes because the laundry or dry cleaner derives its primary revenue 
from the service of clean wipes back to the customer. There is thus no 
economic incentive for a laundry or dry cleaner to overaccumulate 
solvent-contaminated wipes.

C. Scope and Applicability

    The conditional exclusion for solvent-contaminated wipes that are 
cleaned and reused is applicable to wipes that, after use or after 
cleaning up after a spill, are contaminated with solvents and that 
would otherwise be regulated as hazardous waste. Specifically, this 
includes wipes that (1) contain one or more of the F001 through F005 
solvents listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or the corresponding P- or U-listed 
solvents found in 40 CFR 261.33; (2) exhibit a hazardous characteristic 
found in 40 CFR part 261 subpart C when that characteristic results 
from a solvent listed in 40 CFR part 261; and/or (3) exhibit only the 
hazardous waste characteristic of ignitability found in 40 CFR 261.21 
due to the presence of one or more solvents that are not listed in 40 
CFR part 261. Solvent-contaminated wipes that contain listed hazardous 
waste other than solvents, or exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, 
corrosivity, or reactivity due to contaminants other than solvents 
(such as metals), are not eligible for the exclusion at 40 CFR 
261.4(a)(26).
    The conditional exclusion is only applicable to the contaminated 
wipes themselves. At the point of on-site laundering or dry cleaning or 
at the point of off-site transport from the generator to a laundry or 
dry cleaner, the solvent-contaminated wipes must contain no free 
liquids as defined in section 40 CFR 260.10. Free liquid spent solvent 
itself remains solid waste and thus, is subject to the applicable 
hazardous waste regulations under RCRA Subtitle C upon removal from the 
solvent-contaminated wipe and/or from the container holding the wipes.

D. Conditions of Exclusion

    Under today's rule, generators have primary responsibility for 
assuring that their solvent-contaminated reusable wipes meet the 
conditions of the exclusion. Additionally, handling facilities that 
receive and process reusable wipes, such as industrial laundries or dry 
cleaners, also need to meet certain conditions for the wipes to remain 
excluded.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ ``Handling facilities'' is a term used throughout today's 
preamble to refer to facilities that receive and either clean or 
dispose of solvent-contaminated wipes under today's conditional 
exclusions. These include laundries, dry cleaners, landfills, and 
combustors as well as RCRA interim status or permitted facilities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Container Standard
    Under today's conditional exclusion, solvent-contaminated reusable 
wipes must be accumulated, stored, and transported in non-leaking, 
closed containers that are labeled ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated 
Wipes.'' Additionally, the container must be able to contain free 
liquids should free liquids occur, for example, from percolation and 
compression of the wipes. Today's container standard applies to 
accumulation and storage at the generating facility, transportation 
either on-site or off-site, and, finally, storage and management at the 
handling facility.
    Managing reusable wipes in non-leaking, closed containers ensures 
that the solvents are unlikely to be released to the environment. 
Closed containers serve to minimize emissions, prevent spills, and 
reduce the risk of fires, for example, by securing the solvent-
contaminated wipes from potentially incompatible wastes or ignition 
sources.
    During accumulation of solvent-contaminated wipes, a closed 
container does not necessarily mean a sealed container. Instead, when 
solvent-contaminated wipes are being accumulated, the container is

[[Page 46456]]

considered closed when there is complete contact between the fitted lid 
and the rim.\20\ However, when the container is full, or when the 
solvent-contaminated wipes are no longer being accumulated, or when the 
container is being transported, the container must be sealed with all 
lids properly and securely affixed to the container and all openings 
tightly bound or closed. The objective of this is to prevent the 
release of any volatile organic emissions and to prevent a spill if the 
container is tipped over.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ This is consistent with EPA's policy on closed containers 
(see ``Guidance on 40 CFR 264.173(a) and 265.173(a): Closed 
Containers'' Robert Dellinger, December 3, 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The closed container condition in today's rule is a performance-
based standard and, thus, facilities have flexibility in determining 
how best to meet this standard based on their specific processes. For 
example, solvent-contaminated wipes can be accumulated in an open-head 
drum or open top container (e.g., where the entire lid is removable and 
typically secured with a ring and bolts or a snap ring) and be 
considered closed when the cover makes complete contact between the 
fitted lid and the rim, even though the rings are not clamped or 
bolted. A tight seal minimizes emissions of volatile organic compounds 
(however, generators should be aware that the seals on containers can 
erode because of time and use, and should be checked periodically for 
wear and replaced as necessary). After accumulation and during 
transportation, this same container must be sealed in order to meet the 
closed container standard and thus, the rings must be clamped or bolted 
to the container. Containers with covers opened by a foot pedal (e.g., 
flip-top or spring loaded lid) or with a self-closing swinging door 
could also be appropriate. Bags can be used, provided they meet today's 
closed container standard. EPA considers bags closed when the neck of 
the bag is tightly bound and sealed to the extent necessary to keep the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and associated air emissions inside the 
container. The bag must be able to contain liquids and must be non-
leaking. (Of course, a bag leaving a trail of liquid on the ground does 
not meet today's container standard.) These examples of closed 
containers are consistent with EPA's policy on closed containers (see 
``Guidance on 40 CFR 264.173(a) and 265.173(a): Closed Containers'' 
Robert Dellinger, December 3, 2009, and subsequent ``Closed Container 
Guidance: Questions and Answers'' Betsy Devlin, November 3, 2011 (RCRA 
Online 14826)).
    Containers of reusable wipes also must be properly labeled as 
``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes'' to ensure that facility 
employees, emergency response personnel, motor carrier inspectors, 
downstream transporters and handlers, and state and EPA enforcement are 
aware of the contents of these containers. This ensures that containers 
can be properly stored, handled, and inspected. Requiring a specific 
label establishes a national standard that can be easily recognized 
among different facilities, industries, and state programs.
2. Accumulation Time Limit
    Generators may accumulate reusable wipes for up to 180 days prior 
to sending the wipes for cleaning. This 180-day clock begins at the 
start date of accumulation for each container (i.e., the date the first 
solvent-contaminated wipe is placed in the container).\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Generators may transfer solvent-contaminated wipes between 
containers to facilitate accumulation, storage, off-site 
transportation, or removal of free liquids. For example, a generator 
may wish to consolidate several partially filled containers of 
solvent-contaminated wipes. However, the 180-day ``clock'' for 
accumulation does not restart if the solvent-contaminated wipes are 
merely transferred to another container. This is consistent with 
EPA's policy on generator accumulation under the hazardous waste 
regulations (see ``Frequently Asked Questions about Satellite 
Accumulation Areas'' Robert Springer, March 17, 2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    During accumulation, wipes may contain free liquids or free liquids 
may result from percolation or compression of the solvent-contaminated 
wipes in a container. These free liquids, upon removal from the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and/or from the container holding the wipes, 
must be managed according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations 
found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273. Today's accumulation standard 
ensures that free liquids are removed from the solvent-contaminated 
wipes and the container within the 180-day time frame and thus, cannot 
be stored indefinitely. Generators taking advantage of today's 
conditional exclusion likely already have contractual arrangements with 
laundries or dry cleaners that schedule periodic (e.g., weekly) pickup 
of solvent-contaminated wipes and, thus, this accumulation time limit 
should not present an undue burden to generators.
    Under today's rule, reusable wipes managed according to 40 CFR 
261.4(a)(26) are not solid wastes and, thus, not hazardous wastes. 
Therefore, solvent-contaminated wipes managed under today's conditional 
exclusion do not count towards a generator's hazardous waste regulatory 
status. However, free liquid spent solvent removed from the solvent-
contaminated wipes or from the container holding the wipes must be 
managed according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations found 
in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273, which would include counting towards 
determining monthly generator status.
3. No Free Liquids
    Under today's conditional exclusion for reusable wipes, generators 
must meet the ``no free liquids'' condition as defined in 40 CFR 260.10 
at the point of transporting the solvent-contaminated wipes for 
cleaning, either off-site or on-site. Additionally, the container 
holding the solvent-contaminated wipes must not contain free liquids at 
the point of transporting the wipes for cleaning. Free liquids removed 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes must be collected and managed 
according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations found in 40 CFR 
parts 260 through 273 and may count towards determining monthly 
generator status.
    EPA explained in the November 2003 proposal that the Agency intends 
for compliance with the ``no free liquids'' condition to be determined 
by a practical test and requested comment on the proposed approach for 
determining if the ``no free liquids'' condition is met and whether 
there are other approaches EPA should have considered in the proposal 
(68 FR 65605). Comments received on the proposal urged EPA to define a 
clear and objective standard, for example, by defining which 
technologies would meet the ``no free liquids'' condition. However, 
defining a list of specific technologies is not practical, particularly 
if such specific technologies are not necessary to meet the condition 
and also because technology changes over time. Rather, EPA understands 
that the spirit of these comments reflects the need for a standard that 
clearly demonstrates whether a solvent-contaminated wipe does or does 
not contain free liquids.
    EPA has established an official compendium of analytical and 
sampling methods that have been evaluated and approved for use in 
complying with the RCRA regulations. This compendium is entitled ``Test 
Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods'' (EPA 
Publication SW-846).\22\ As explained in the November 2003 proposal, 
many state policies regarding solvent-contaminated wipes already use 
various test methods from this

[[Page 46457]]

compendium (68 FR 65599). The majority of these states require the use 
of the Paint Filter Liquids Test (SW-846 Method 9095B), although other 
specified methods include the Liquids Release Test (SW-846 Method 
9096), and the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) (SW-
846 Method 1311).\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/testmethods/sw846/index.htm.
    \23\ Technical Background Document, August 2003. Docket No. EPA-
HQ-RCRA-2003-0004-0003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, for the purpose of today's final rule, EPA finds that use of 
one of its own established test methods is appropriate to clearly and 
objectively determine that there are no free liquids. The Paint Filter 
Liquids Test (SW-846, Method 9095B) was specifically chosen because it 
is currently being used by the majority of states to determine whether 
solvent-contaminated wipes contain free liquids and is also the test 
used to implement the restrictions on disposal of free liquids in the 
MSWLF regulations (40 CFR 258.28). The test is also simple and 
inexpensive to perform and typically produces clear results. It 
includes placing a predetermined amount of material in a paint filter 
and if any portion of the material passes through and drops from the 
filter within five minutes, the material is deemed to contain free 
liquids.
    This does not mean that generators must conduct this test for every 
solvent-contaminated wipe. Rather, generators must ensure that if the 
Paint Filter Liquids Test was performed, the solvent-contaminated wipe 
would pass. In order to meet the performance standard, generators may 
use any of a range of methods to remove solvent from the wipe such as 
centrifuging, mechanical-wringing, screen-bottom drums, microwave 
technology, and vacuum extractors. To ensure that the solvent-
contaminated wipes meet the standard, generators may conduct sampling 
or use knowledge regarding how much solvent is present in each wipe. 
Solvent-contaminated wipes that have been subject to advanced solvent 
extraction processes, such as centrifuges, or any other similarly 
effective method to remove solvent from the wipes, are likely to meet 
this standard. Additionally, generators must document how they are 
meeting the ``no free liquids'' condition (see section VI.D.4 below for 
additional information).
    As mentioned above, some states presently rely on other test 
methods (e.g., Liquids Release Test or Toxicity Characteristic Leaching 
Procedure) to determine whether solvent-contaminated wipes contain no 
free liquids under their state policies. Where an authorized state has 
specified a standard or test method for determining that solvent-
contaminated wipes contain no free liquids, generators must meet that 
standard in lieu of the Paint Filter Liquids Test for purposes of 
meeting the ``no free liquids'' condition. Of course, the authorized 
state standard must be no less stringent than today's definition of 
``no free liquids.''
4. Recordkeeping
    Generators must maintain at their site documentation that they are 
managing wipes excluded under 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26). This documentation 
must include (1) the name and address of the laundry or dry cleaner 
that is receiving the reusable wipes; (2) documentation that the 180-
day accumulation time limit is being met; and (3) a description of the 
process the generator is using to meet the ``no free liquids'' 
condition.
    The purpose of documenting the name and address of the laundry or 
dry cleaner is to allow the state and EPA to ensure compliance with the 
conditions of the exclusion. EPA is not requiring a specific template 
or format for this information and anticipates that routine business 
records, such as contracts or invoices, contain the appropriate 
information for meeting this requirement. This documentation only needs 
to be updated in the event of a change to the name or address of the 
laundry or dry cleaner.
    Documenting the 180-day accumulation time limit enables regulatory 
authorities to ensure the solvent-contaminated wipes are being sent for 
cleaning in compliance with the exclusion and are not being stored 
indefinitely at the generating facility. This documentation can take 
one of many forms, such as a service contract or invoice from the 
laundry or dry cleaner which describes the frequency of scheduled 
delivery and pick-up of wipes; a log that lists the start date of 
accumulation for each container of solvent-contaminated wipes; or 
labels on each container which include the start date of accumulation 
(i.e., the date the first solvent-contaminated wipe is placed in the 
container).
    The purpose of documenting the process the generator is using to 
meet the ``no free liquids'' condition is to demonstrate that the 
generator is implementing a process that ensures that it will not 
illegally transport free liquid hazardous waste off-site. This 
documentation should include a description of any technologies, 
methods, sampling, or knowledge that a generator is using to ensure 
that solvent-contaminated wipes sent to a laundry or dry cleaner for 
cleaning contain no free liquids. State and EPA regulators may use this 
documentation to assess whether the generator is adequately meeting the 
``no free liquids'' condition. This documentation only needs to be 
updated in the event that the generator changes its process for meeting 
the ``no free liquids'' condition.
5. Handling Facility Requirements
    Handling facilities must accumulate, store, and manage reusable 
wipes in non-leaking, closed containers that are labeled ``Excluded 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes'' when the wipes are not being processed or 
cleaned. Additionally, the container must also be able to contain free 
liquids should free liquids occur, for example, from percolation and 
compression of the wipes. See section VI.D.1 for more information 
regarding this closed container standard.
    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA explained that solvent 
discharges from laundries or dry cleaners to POTWs are allowed under 
the wastewater exclusion found at 40 CFR 261.4(a)(2) and that local 
POTWs have the authority to set limits applicable to individual 
indirect dischargers to prevent releases and to prevent interference 
with operations at the POTW (68 FR 65605). Additionally, EPA noted that 
most states require that the laundry discharge to a POTW or have a 
permit for discharge under the CWA (68 FR 65592).
    Some commenters were concerned that contaminated solvents removed 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes in laundering and discharged into 
waterways would adversely affect human health and the environment. 
Commenters believed that laundries and dry cleaners should be required 
to demonstrate that they are appropriately managing the solvent removed 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes during cleaning. However, as 
explained in the proposed rule, the regulations under the CWA 
effectively control solvent discharges either through the National 
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) or, for indirect 
discharges to POTWs, under the National Pretreatment Program. To 
eliminate confusion regarding how the CWA applies to solvent discharges 
from laundries and dry cleaners, we are clarifying in the regulatory 
language that we are allowing reusable wipes that meet the conditions 
of today's rule to be sent to laundries and dry cleaners whose 
discharges, if any, are regulated under sections 301 (effluent 
discharge restrictions) and 402 (permitting requirements) or section 
307 (indirect discharge to a POTW of the CWA).

[[Page 46458]]

    Though rare, free liquids may inadvertently make their way to the 
handling facility as a result of compression, gravity, or percolation 
effects on the wipes during transport or by improper management of the 
solvent-contaminated wipes by the generator prior to transport. In this 
case, free liquids must be removed from the solvent-contaminated wipes 
or containers and must be managed according to the applicable hazardous 
waste regulations found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273 and may count 
towards the handling facility's generator status. EPA does not intend 
for this provision to require any additional effort beyond that of a 
handling facility's normal operations and monitoring practices. 
However, should free liquids be discovered at any point, these free 
liquids must be managed according to applicable hazardous waste 
regulations. The handling facility can ship the free liquid off-site as 
hazardous waste or can manage them as hazardous waste in an on-site 
recovery system.
    Under this provision, removal of free liquid spent solvent by the 
handling facility would not automatically affect the regulatory status 
of the solvent-contaminated wipes. Solvent-contaminated wipes would 
still remain subject to the conditional exclusion provided the 
generator complied with the conditions of the exclusion.
    Any residuals generated from cleaning solvent-contaminated wipes 
(e.g., wastewater treatment sludge) that exhibit a hazardous 
characteristic according to subpart C of 40 CFR part 261 must be 
managed according to the applicable hazardous waste requirements of 40 
CFR parts 260 through 273. This is consistent with the way the existing 
hazardous waste regulations apply to any waste stream.

VII. Conditional Exclusion From the Definition of Hazardous Waste for 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes That Are Disposed

A. What is the purpose of this conditional exclusion?

    EPA is finalizing 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18) to exclude solvent-
contaminated disposable wipes from the definition of hazardous waste in 
order to provide a regulatory framework that is more appropriate to the 
level of risk posed by disposable wipes while reducing regulatory 
burden for the industry, many of which are small businesses.

B. Basis for Conditional Exclusion From Hazardous Waste

    Under RCRA, for a solid waste to be a hazardous waste, it must 
either be listed as a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261 subpart D 
or exhibit a hazardous characteristic under 40 CFR part 261 subpart C. 
Secondary materials can also become hazardous wastes if they contain 
listed hazardous wastes. Thus, wipes contaminated with solvents that 
are listed hazardous wastes when discarded become listed hazardous 
wastes themselves. When wipes are contaminated with solvents that are 
not listed hazardous wastes when discarded, the contaminated wipe is 
regulated as a hazardous waste if it exhibits a hazardous waste 
characteristic.
    As discussed above, EPA has received multiple petitions from 
industry that argued that regulating solvent-contaminated disposable 
wipes as hazardous waste is burdensome and unnecessary to protect human 
health and the environment. These stakeholders argued that the wipes 
contain insignificant concentrations of solvents and, thus, do not pose 
an environmental risk when disposed.
    In response to stakeholders' concerns and in support of this 
rulemaking, EPA evaluated the potential risks from wipes contaminated 
with 20 listed solvents when those solvent-contaminated wipes are 
disposed in either a lined or unlined landfill. The results of the 2012 
final risk analysis demonstrate that wipes contaminated with 19 of the 
20 listed solvents evaluated do not exceed target risk criteria when 
disposed in a composite-lined landfill. (For more information on the 
2012 final risk analysis, including the October 2009 NODA, see section 
III.D.)
    The results of the 2012 final risk analysis support stakeholders' 
arguments that full hazardous waste regulation for most solvent-
contaminated wipes is not necessary to ensure protection of human 
health and the environment. Requiring full hazardous waste regulation 
for disposable wipes results in needless regulatory burden on thousands 
of entities, many of which are small businesses. EPA is thus finalizing 
today a conditional exclusion for disposable wipes which applies a more 
appropriate regulatory framework to these materials based on the 
results of our 2012 final risk analysis.

C. Scope and Applicability

    The conditional exclusion for disposable wipes is applicable to 
most wipes that, after use or after cleaning up a spill, are 
contaminated with solvents and that would otherwise be regulated as 
hazardous waste. Specifically this includes wipes that (1) contain one 
or more of the F001 through F005 solvents listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or 
the corresponding P- or U-listed solvents found in 40 CFR 261.33, with 
the exception of trichloroethylene; \24\ (2) exhibit a hazardous 
characteristic found in 40 CFR part 261 subpart C when that 
characteristic results from a solvent listed in 40 CFR part 261; and/or 
(3) exhibit only the hazardous waste characteristic of ignitability 
found in 40 CFR 261.21 due to the presence of one or more solvents that 
are not listed in 40 CFR part 261. Solvent-contaminated wipes that 
contain listed hazardous waste other than solvents, or exhibit the 
characteristic of toxicity, corrosivity, or reactivity due to 
contaminants other than solvents (such as metals), are not eligible for 
the exclusion at 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Based on EPA's final risk analysis, wipes that are 
hazardous waste due to the presence of trichloroethylene are not 
eligible for the exclusion from hazardous waste for disposable wipes 
and thus are subject to all applicable hazardous waste regulations 
in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273. However, wipes contaminated with 
trichloroethylene are eligible for the exclusion for reusable wipes 
because, under the reusable wipe exclusion, these wipes are not 
solid wastes subject to hazardous waste regulation, including the TC 
regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The conditional exclusion is only applicable to the contaminated 
wipes themselves. At the point of transport from the generator to a 
landfill or combustor, the solvent-contaminated wipes must contain no 
free liquids as defined in section 260.10. Free liquid spent solvent 
itself remains solid waste and thus, is subject to the applicable 
hazardous waste regulations under RCRA Subtitle C upon removal from the 
solvent-contaminated wipe and/or from the container holding the wipes.

D. Conditions of Exclusion

    Under today's rule, generators have primary responsibility for 
assuring that their solvent-contaminated wipes meet the conditions of 
the exclusion. Additionally, handling facilities which receive and 
process disposable wipes, such as municipal waste combustors, also need 
to meet certain conditions for the solvent-contaminated wipes to remain 
excluded.
1. Container Standard
    Under today's conditional exclusion, solvent-contaminated 
disposable wipes must be accumulated, stored, and transported in non-
leaking, closed containers that are labeled ``Excluded Solvent-
Contaminated Wipes.'' Additionally, the container must be able to 
contain free liquids should free liquids occur, for example, from 
percolation and compression of the wipes. Today's container standard

[[Page 46459]]

applies to accumulation and storage at the generating facility, 
transportation either on-site or off-site, and, finally, storage and 
management at the handling facility.
    Managing disposable wipes in non-leaking, closed containers ensures 
that the solvents are unlikely to be released to the environment. 
Closed containers serve to minimize emissions, prevent spills, and 
reduce the risk of fires, for example, by securing the solvent-
contaminated wipes from potentially incompatible wastes or ignition 
sources. Today's container standard for disposable wipes is the same as 
the container standard we are finalizing for the conditional exclusion 
for reusable wipes. See section VI.D.1 for more information regarding 
this standard.
2. Accumulation Time Limit
    Generators may accumulate disposable wipes for up to 180 days prior 
to sending the wipes for disposal. This 180-day clock begins at the 
start date of accumulation for each container (i.e., the date the first 
solvent-contaminated wipe is placed in the container).\25\ This is the 
same condition finalized under the conditional exclusion for reusable 
wipes; see section VI.D.2 for more information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Generators may transfer solvent-contaminated wipes between 
containers to facilitate accumulation, storage, transportation, or 
removal of free liquids. For example, a generator may wish to 
consolidate several partially filled containers of solvent-
contaminated wipes. However, the 180-day ``clock'' for accumulation 
does not restart if the solvent-contaminated wipes are merely 
transferred to another container. This is consistent with EPA's 
policy on generator accumulation under the hazardous waste 
regulations (see ``Frequently Asked Questions about Satellite 
Accumulation Areas'' Robert Springer, March 17, 2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    During accumulation, wipes may contain free liquids or free liquids 
may result from percolation or compression of the solvent-contaminated 
wipes in a container. These free liquids, upon removal from the 
solvent-contaminated wipes or from the container holding the wipes, 
must be managed according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations 
found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273. Today's accumulation standard 
ensures that free liquids are removed from the solvent-contaminated 
wipes and the container within the 180-day time frame and thus, cannot 
be stored indefinitely in lieu of being disposed. Because disposable 
wipes meeting the conditions of today's rule can be discarded with 
other solid waste trash and since the vast majority of generator 
facilities, if not all, regularly dispose of other solid waste trash, 
this accumulation time limit should not present undue burden for 
facilities.
    Under today's rule, disposable wipes managed according to the 
conditions established in 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18) are not hazardous wastes. 
Therefore, solvent-contaminated wipes managed under today's conditional 
exclusion do not count towards a generator's hazardous waste regulatory 
status. However, free liquid spent solvent removed from the solvent-
contaminated wipes or from the container holding the wipes must be 
managed according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations found 
in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273, which would include counting towards 
determining monthly generator status.
3. No Free Liquids
    Under today's conditional exclusion for disposable wipes, 
generators must meet the ``no free liquids'' condition as defined in 40 
CFR 260.10 at the point of transporting the solvent-contaminated wipes 
to be disposed at a combustor or landfill. Additionally, the container 
holding the solvent-contaminated wipes must not contain free liquids at 
the point of transporting the wipes for disposal. Free liquids removed 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes or the container holding the wipes 
must be collected and managed according to the applicable hazardous 
waste regulations found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273 and may count 
towards determining monthly generator status. This is the same standard 
finalized under the conditional exclusion for reusable wipes (see 
section VI.D.3 for more information).
    As described above, EPA has determined that the Paint Filter 
Liquids Test (SW-846, Method 9095B) is most appropriate for determining 
whether solvent-contaminated wipes contain free liquids. This does not 
mean that generators must conduct this test for every solvent-
contaminated wipe. Rather, generators must ensure that if the Paint 
Filter Liquids Test was performed, the solvent-contaminated wipe would 
pass. In order to meet the performance standard, generators may use any 
of a range of methods to remove solvent from the wipe such as 
centrifuging, mechanical-wringing, screen-bottom drums, microwave 
technology, and vacuum extractors. To ensure that the wipes meet the 
standard, generators may conduct sampling or use knowledge regarding 
how much solvent is contained in each wipe. Solvent-contaminated wipes 
that have been subject to advanced solvent extraction processes, such 
as centrifuges, or any other similarly effective method to remove 
solvent from the wipes, are likely to meet this standard. Additionally, 
generators must document how they are meeting the ``no free liquids'' 
condition (see section VII.D.4 below for additional information).
    Authorized states may establish other methods for defining ``no 
free liquids.'' Where an authorized state has specified a standard or 
test method for determining that solvent-contaminated wipes contain no 
free liquids, generators must meet that standard in lieu of the Paint 
Filter Liquids Test for purposes of meeting the ``no free liquids'' 
condition (see section VI.D.3 for more information). Of course, the 
authorized state standard must be no less stringent than today's 
definition of ``no free liquids.''
4. Recordkeeping
    Generators must maintain at their site documentation that they are 
managing solvent-contaminated wipes excluded under 40 CFR 261.4(b)(18). 
This documentation must include (1) the name and address of the 
landfill or combustor that is receiving the disposable wipes; (2) 
documentation that the 180-day accumulation time limit is being met; 
and (3) a description of the process the generator is using to meet the 
``no free liquids'' condition.
    The purpose of documenting the name and address of the combustor or 
landfill is to allow the state and EPA to ensure compliance with the 
conditions of the exclusion. EPA is not requiring a specific template 
or format for this information and anticipates that routine business 
records, such as contracts or invoices, contain the appropriate 
information for meeting this requirement. This documentation only needs 
to be updated in the event of a change in the name or address of the 
combustor or landfill.
    Documenting the 180-day accumulation time limit enables regulatory 
authorities to ensure the solvent-contaminated wipes are being sent for 
disposal in compliance with the conditional exclusion and are not being 
stored indefinitely at the generating facility. This documentation can 
take one of many forms, such as a service contract or invoice from the 
combustor, landfill, or other transporter which describes the frequency 
of scheduled pick-up of solvent-contaminated wipes; a log that lists 
the start date of accumulation for each container of solvent-
contaminated wipes; or labels on each container which include the start 
date of accumulation (i.e., the date the first solvent-contaminated 
wipe is placed in the container).
    The purpose of documenting the process the generator is using to 
meet the ``no free liquids'' condition is to demonstrate that the 
generator is

[[Page 46460]]

implementing a process that ensures that it will not illegally 
transport hazardous waste (i.e., free liquid spent solvent) off-site. 
This documentation should include a description of any technologies, 
methods, sampling, or knowledge that a generator is using to ensure 
that solvent-contaminated wipes sent to a combustor or landfill contain 
no free liquids. State and EPA regulators may use this documentation to 
assess whether the generator is meeting the ``no free liquids'' 
condition. This documentation only needs to be updated in the event 
that the generator changes its process for meeting the ``no free 
liquids'' condition.
5. Handling Facility Requirements
    Handling facilities must accumulate, store, and manage disposable 
wipes in non-leaking, closed containers that are labeled ``Excluded 
Solvent-Contaminated Wipes'' when the wipes are not being processed or 
disposed, such as during storage at a combustor prior to being burned. 
Additionally, the container must also be able to contain free liquids 
should free liquids occur, for example, from percolation and 
compression of the wipes. See section VI.D.1 for more information 
regarding this standard.
    Regarding solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent to a landfill 
for disposal, in the October 2009 NODA, EPA requested comment on two 
approaches based on the revised risk analysis for the rulemaking. The 
first approach would allow the disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes 
that did not exceed target risk criteria for an unlined landfill, based 
on the Agency's risk analysis, to be disposed in landfills without a 
liner. On the other hand, solvent-contaminated wipes that do pose a 
potential risk if disposed in an unlined landfill could only be 
disposed in a lined landfill. The second approach would direct all 
excluded solvent-contaminated wipes, including those that EPA estimated 
could be safely disposed in an unlined landfill, to be sent to a MSWLF 
subject to the requirements in 40 CFR 258.40(a)(2) and (b) (74 FR 
55167-8). EPA stated in the October 2009 NODA that the second approach 
could be simpler since the generator would not need to separate the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and send them to separate disposal 
locations.
    Comments were split on the two approaches; however, EPA agrees with 
those commenters that supported the second approach, because this 
approach avoids the need for generators to separate wipes contaminated 
with different solvents and to determine to which landfill the solvent-
contaminated wipes may be sent. Based on these comments, EPA chose to 
allow disposable wipes to be sent to MSWLFs that are regulated under 40 
CFR part 258, including the design criteria under Sec.  258.40. This 
condition simplifies compliance for the tens of thousands of small 
businesses that are likely to take advantage of today's conditional 
exclusion, as well as for regulatory authorities that are responsible 
for monitoring compliance with this rule, while ensuring protection of 
human health and the environment for all solvent-contaminated wipes. 
Thus, under today's conditional exclusion, solvent-contaminated wipes 
are not allowed to be disposed in other types of landfills, such as 
non-hazardous waste industrial landfills operating under 40 CFR part 
257, because these landfills are not required to meet design standards, 
such as liners. If EPA would have allowed use of the part 257 
landfills, additional requirements would have been necessary to ensure 
that solvent-contaminated wipes are disposed in appropriate landfills, 
thereby increasing the burden on the regulatory community and the 
regulatory agencies. See section VIII for more information.
    Landfills operating under the 40 CFR part 258 MSWLF standards must 
comply with design standards,\26\ groundwater monitoring, leachate 
collection, and other specific management standards. These standards 
ensure that the solvent-contaminated wipes included under today's rule 
can be safely disposed without exceeding target risk criteria. All 
MSWLFs are required to meet the part 258 MSWLF standards. Generator 
facilities likely already use these landfills for disposal of other 
solid waste trash and thus, should not encounter difficulty in 
complying with this requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ The 40 CFR part 258.40 regulations allow for composite 
liners or for a state-approved design of the landfill that ensures 
that the concentration values of certain contaminants listed in the 
rules will not be exceeded in the uppermost aquifer at the relevant 
point of compliance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of course, generators may continue to send solvent-contaminated 
wipes to a permitted hazardous waste landfill regulated under 40 CFR 
parts 264 or 265. If all the conditions of the exclusion are met, these 
solvent-contaminated wipes would not be hazardous wastes under today's 
rule and thus, would not be subject to the hazardous waste standards 
(such as a manifest) when transported to a hazardous waste landfill.
    Regarding solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent to a combustor 
for disposal, in the November 2003 proposed rule, we proposed that 
municipal and other non-hazardous waste combustors be allowed to burn 
solvent-contaminated wipes that meet the proposed conditions for the 
exclusion from the definition of hazardous waste. The Agency explained 
that allowing combustion of solvent-contaminated wipes in municipal 
waste combustors and other non-hazardous waste combustion units, such 
as commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (circumstances 
when the wipes are used a fuel are included), is a viable alternative 
for managing conditionally-excluded wipes. First, combustion facility 
owners/operators would be screening wipes contaminated with hazardous 
solvents that arrive at their facilities to ensure they do not violate 
local permit conditions. In addition, these combustors are easily 
capable of destroying the solvent, as described in section IV.F.11 of 
the Technical Background Document (68 FR 65602). EPA went on to explain 
that EPA has promulgated revised air emission standard requirements 
under the New Source Performance Standards for municipal waste 
combustors and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (68 
FR 65602).
    Some commenters raised the concern that some combustion units 
allowed in the November 2003 proposal would not address dioxin and 
furan formation and that combustors receiving large quantities of 
solvent-contaminated wipes containing halogenated solvents (listed F001 
and F002 solvents) could become a significant source of dioxin 
emissions. However, the New Source Performance Standards, which are 
promulgated under section 129 of the CAA, already require that 
municipal waste combustors and other solid waste combustion facilities 
comply with numerical emission limitations and performance standards 
that address emissions of dioxin and furans, as well as other air 
pollutants, such as mercury, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, 
nitrogen oxides, semi-volatile metals, lead, cadmium, hydrogen 
chloride, and carbon monoxide. To eliminate confusion regarding how the 
New Source Performance Standards apply to municipal waste combustors 
and other solid waste combustion facilities, we are clarifying in the 
regulatory language that we are allowing disposable wipes that meet the 
conditions of today's rule to be sent to municipal waste combustors and 
other combustion facilities that are regulated under the New Source 
Performance Standards in section 129 of the CAA.
    Of course, generators may also continue to send solvent-
contaminated

[[Page 46461]]

wipes to a hazardous waste combustor regulated under 40 CFR parts 264 
or 265, or a hazardous waste boiler and industrial furnace regulated 
under 40 CFR part 266 subpart H. If all of the conditions of the 
exclusion are met, these solvent-contaminated wipes would not be 
hazardous waste under today's rule and thus, would not be subject to 
the hazardous waste standards (such as a manifest) when transported to 
a hazardous waste combustor.
    Though rare, free liquids may inadvertently make their way to the 
handing facility as a result of compression, gravity, or percolation 
effects on the wipes during transport or by improper management of the 
solvent-contaminated wipes by the generator prior to transport. Under 
today's conditional exclusion for disposable wipes, free liquids must 
be removed by the handling facility and must be managed according to 
the applicable hazardous waste regulations under 40 CFR parts 260 
through 273. EPA does not intend for this provision to require any 
additional effort beyond that of a handling facility's normal 
operations and monitoring practices. However, should free liquids be 
discovered at any point, these free liquids must be managed according 
to applicable hazardous waste regulations. Under this provision, 
removal of free liquid spent solvent by the handling facility would not 
automatically affect the regulatory status of the solvent-contaminated 
wipes. Solvent-contaminated wipes would still remain subject to the 
conditional exclusion provided the generator complied with the 
conditions of the exclusion.
    Any residuals generated from the combustion of solvent-contaminated 
wipes (e.g., ash) that exhibit a hazardous characteristic according to 
Subpart C of 40 CFR part 261 must be managed according to the 
applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 260 through 273. This is 
consistent with the way the existing hazardous waste regulations apply 
to any waste stream.

VIII. Major Comments on the November 2003 Proposed Rule

    EPA received several hundred comments on the November 2003 proposed 
rule. Commenters included generating facilities, reusable wipe 
suppliers and industrial laundries, disposable wipe manufacturers, 
environmental organizations, state agencies, and individual citizens. 
This section of the preamble addresses the major comments received on 
this rulemaking. (All comments received during the comment periods on 
the proposed rule and the October 2009 NODA are addressed in response 
to comments documents, which are available in the docket for today's 
rule.)

A. Definitions

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed to add several 
definitions to 40 CFR 260.10 that related to the two exclusions for 
solvent-contaminated reusable and disposable wipes. These definitions 
were ``disposable industrial wipe,'' ``industrial wipe,'' ``industrial 
wipes handling facility,'' ``intra-company transfer of industrial 
wipes,'' ``no free liquids,'' \27\ ``reusable industrial wipe,'' and 
``solvent extraction.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Response to comments on the definition of ``no free 
liquids'' can be found under section G in this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments: Definitions
    Some commenters argued that definitions for ``disposable industrial 
wipe'' and ``reusable industrial wipe'' are not needed because these 
terms are only used in the preamble to the proposed rule and are not 
used in the regulatory language.
    Another commenter urged EPA to add a definition of ``solvent-
contaminated industrial wipe'' to the final rule because the phrase is 
used several times in the proposed regulatory language. If added, the 
commenter felt that this definition could then replace the language in 
the two proposed exclusions that explains which solvents are included 
in the exclusions. Still other commenters wanted EPA to expand the 
scope of ``solvent-contaminated industrial wipe'' to include non-listed 
spent solvents that are ignitable hazardous wastes. Additionally, many 
commenters urged EPA to clarify the scope of the conditional exclusions 
to include solvent-contaminated wipes that exhibit the characteristic 
of ignitability due to co-contaminants, arguing that EPA's proposed 
regulatory language did not match with its preamble discussion at 68 FR 
65602.
    Other commenters suggested deleting the word ``industrial'' from 
``industrial wipe'' because this term may block non-industrial sources, 
such as laboratories, academic institutions, and government entities, 
from using the exclusions. Some commenters suggested modifying the 
definition of ``industrial wipe'' to include sponges, coveralls, 
uniforms, floor mats, and personal protective equipment, as these may 
also become contaminated with solvent and could be safely managed under 
the rule's conditions. Commenters also said that EPA should add other 
fabrics to the definition of ``industrial wipe,'' to include materials 
such as acrylic, rayon, acetate, and cotton tip swabs. Similarly, 
commenters suggested including the term ``absorbent materials'' to 
account for future material types.
EPA Response: Definitions
    We agree with commenters that said ``disposable industrial wipe'' 
and ``reusable industrial wipe'' do not need to be defined in the 
regulations because these terms are only used in the preamble to the 
November 2003 proposed rule (as well as the preamble to today's rule) 
and are not used in the regulatory language. We have thus deleted these 
definitions from the final rule.
    We also agree with the comments that suggested adding a definition 
of ``solvent-contaminated wipe'' to the regulations. This definition 
simplifies the exclusions in 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26) and (b)(18) because 
these exclusions can now simply refer to the term ``solvent-
contaminated wipe'' without having to duplicate the entire definition 
in those places. The definition of ``solvent-contaminated wipe'' in 
today's final rule is generally consistent with the November 2003 
proposed regulatory language, with some modifications. In response to 
comments that pointed out EPA's inconsistency between its preamble and 
proposed regulatory language, EPA has made clear in the regulatory 
language that solvent-contaminated wipes that are co-contaminated with 
contaminants that exhibit only the hazardous waste characteristic for 
ignitability found in 40 CFR part 261 subpart C are eligible for 
today's rule. (However, the exclusions are not applicable to wipes that 
contain listed hazardous waste other than solvents, or exhibit the 
characteristic of toxicity, corrosivity, or reactivity due to 
contaminants other than solvents.) Additionally, EPA agrees with 
commenters that wipes containing non-listed spent solvents that exhibit 
only the hazardous waste characteristic for ignitability should also be 
included in the scope of this rulemaking because the same arguments 
presented in EPA's proposed rule (that the wipes are already likely to 
be ignitable because of the nature of the solvents on them and because 
this risk is managed by the conditions of the exclusion) also apply to 
this category of wipes.
    Furthermore, we agree with the comments stating that the term 
``industrial'' should be deleted from ``industrial wipe.'' We did not 
intend to make ``non-industrial'' entities, such as laboratories, 
academic institutions, and government agencies, ineligible for

[[Page 46462]]

these conditional exclusions and agree that the term ``industrial'' 
confuses this issue. In today's rule we, therefore, refer to ``solvent-
contaminated wipe'' or simply ``wipe'' and have deleted all references 
to ``industrial'' wipe.
    We have simplified the definition of ``wipe'' to include several 
types of material and have added ``other material'' to include 
materials not specifically listed or potential future materials. 
However, we do not agree with adding items such as uniforms or personal 
protective equipment because these do not meet the common sense 
definition of ``wipe.'' We also have not evaluated whether these items 
could be safely managed under the rule and thus, are not including 
these in today's rule. Additionally, a device or unit (such as a 
cartridge) that contains a solvent-contaminated wipe as part of the 
unit does not fit today's definition of ``wipe'' and is not eligible 
for today's exclusions. However, if the wipes are removed from the 
unit, these wipes could be eligible for the exclusions, provided the 
conditions of the exclusions are met. Lastly, EPA confirms that cotton 
swabs, such as those used to clean ink jet heads, are eligible for the 
exclusions in today's rule, provided the conditions of the exclusions 
are met.
    Lastly, we note that we have deleted the proposed definitions 
``industrial wipes handling facility'' and ``intra-company transfer of 
industrial wipes'' because these definitions relate to the intra-
company transfer provision, which we are not finalizing in today's 
rule. See section VIII.J below for our response to comments on intra-
company transfers. We also deleted the definition of ``solvent 
extraction'' because, due to changes to the definition of ``no free 
liquids,'' the final rule does not use this term.

B. Solid Waste vs. Hazardous Waste Exclusion for Reusable Wipes

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed to exclude reusable 
wipes from the definition of solid waste on the basis that reusable 
wipes are more commodity-like than waste-like. EPA used the criteria in 
40 CFR 260.31(c), which states that a material's commodity-like 
properties can be a basis for a variance from being a solid waste. EPA 
stated that reusable wipes are more commodity-like because (1) the 
solvent-contaminated wipe is being partially reclaimed (that is, spun 
in a centrifuge, wrung out, or allowed to drain solvent); (2) the 
reusable wipes are counted at the laundry and the process keeps users 
financially accountable for the wipes; and (3) the reusable wipes are 
owned by the same entity (the laundry) throughout the process. EPA also 
requested comment on an alternative option to exclude reusable wipes 
from the definition of hazardous waste, which would be the same 
exclusion as proposed for disposable wipes.
Comments: Solid Waste vs. Hazardous Waste Exclusion for Reusable Wipes
    Several commenters argued that EPA should maintain the proposed 
approach to exclude solvent-contaminated reusable wipes from the 
definition of solid waste. These commenters argued that there is no 
element of discard in the case of sending reusable wipes to laundering 
or dry cleaning facilities. The solvent-contaminated wipes are 
collected, handled, and re-used as valuable commodities and are not 
being discarded, thrown away, or abandoned. Thus, reusable wipes are 
not solid wastes and should be treated separately from disposable 
wipes. Some commenters also warned that EPA would be overriding the 
decisions of at least 20 states that already exclude reusable wipes 
from the definition of solid waste. Commenters believed that this would 
result in facilities in those states becoming subject to state solid 
waste programs, including the imposition of fees, detailed permitting 
requirements, restrictive management conditions, complex site 
assessments, and frequent testing and recordkeeping requirements on 
``solid waste'' generators and processors. Furthermore, commenters 
believed including reusable wipes as solid wastes would discourage 
reuse.
    Other commenters argued in favor of EPA's alternative option and 
supported excluding reusable wipes from the definition of hazardous 
waste. These commenters believed that reusable wipes were spent 
materials and thus, should be considered solid wastes along with 
disposable wipes. These commenters argued that the subject of the 
rulemaking should be the hazardous solvent, not the wipe itself. While 
laundered wipes will be reused, commenters noted that the hazardous 
solvent on them is intended for disposal and, therefore, the exclusion 
should be from hazardous waste regulation, not solid waste regulation. 
At least one commenter argued that EPA failed to consider all the 
criteria in 40 CFR 260.31(c) (partial-reclamation variance). These 
comments concluded that reusable wipes could not meet the specific 
criteria in the partial reclamation variance, and thus, should not be 
excluded from the definition of solid waste.
    At least two commenters believed both reusable and disposable wipes 
should be managed as hazardous waste under the universal waste 
regulations. Several commenters urged EPA to make the conditions for 
both reusable and disposable wipes the same, regardless of the type of 
exclusion, to reduce burden of implementation and compliance 
monitoring.
EPA Response: Solid Waste vs. Hazardous Waste Exclusion for Reusable 
Wipes
    EPA agrees with those commenters that argued that EPA should 
exclude reusable wipes from the definition of solid waste as the Agency 
proposed in the November 2003 proposed rule (and consequently, 
disagrees with those commenters that argued for a hazardous waste 
exclusion). Given the nature of the solvent-contaminated wipe, the 
inherent economic value of the wipe, and the characteristics of the 
reusable wipe market, reusable wipes managed under today's exclusion 
are not solid wastes. See the Agency's basis for this solid waste 
exclusion in section VI.B above.
    Because reusable wipes are not solid wastes under today's 
conditional exclusion, today's rule should not impact how state solid 
waste programs currently apply to generators and handlers of solvent-
contaminated wipes. Additionally, we generally agree with commenters 
that believed excluding reusable wipes from the definition of solid 
waste may encourage reuse because it removes the label of ``solid 
waste'' from the reusable wipes.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ These benefits are estimated in section 5.4 of the 
``Regulatory Impact Analysis'' for today's rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, we do not agree with comments that argued that the 
solvent-contaminated wipe itself is a solid waste because the residuals 
(solvents) from the reclamation process will eventually be discarded. 
EPA's long-standing policy regarding legitimate recycling does not 
require that 100% of the hazardous secondary material be reclaimed in 
order to be legitimately recycled. In addition, as a condition of the 
exclusion, at the point of transport for cleaning or disposal, the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and their containers must contain no free 
liquids as defined in 40 CFR 260.10, thus helping to ensure that free 
liquid spent solvents are not being discarded.
    In response to comments on the application of the partial 
reclamation variance criteria to reusable wipes, it was not EPA's 
intention in the proposal to specifically apply the criteria found in 
40 CFR 260.31(c) to solvent-

[[Page 46463]]

contaminated wipes being laundered or dry cleaned. Rather, the Agency 
intended to present the concept of the partial reclamation variance as 
a general framework to determine whether reusable wipes are 
``commodity-like.'' The proposal then lists the three considerations 
underpinning our position that reusable wipes are ``commodity-like'' 
and thus, not solid wastes.
    As stated in RCRA section 1004(27), ``solid waste'' is defined as 
``any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, or air 
pollution control facility and other discarded material . . . resulting 
from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural activities.'' 
While the spent solvent removed from solvent-contaminated wipes in the 
form of free liquids may be solid and hazardous wastes, the reusable 
wipes are not. In the November 2003 proposed rule, EPA used the 
``commodity-like'' criteria as a framework for explaining why solvent-
contaminated reusable wipes are not solid wastes when they meet the 
conditions of the exclusion, and those same considerations remain 
valid, including (1) the fact that solvent-contaminated wipes can be 
processed to remove free liquids, (2) the fact that the wipes are 
managed as valuable commodities throughout their lifecycle, and (3) the 
fact that ownership of the wipes remains the same throughout the 
process (68 FR 65593, November 20, 2003). However, the Agency did not 
intend to imply that the solid waste exclusion for solvent-contaminated 
wipes was the same as a partial reclamation variance. See section VI.B 
for further discussion of the Agency's basis for excluding reusable 
wipes from the definition of solid waste.
    Lastly, we do not agree that reusable wipes should be managed under 
the universal waste standards. Universal wastes are hazardous wastes 
and EPA believes that reusable wipes managed under today's exclusion 
are not solid and hazardous wastes. Additionally, managing reusable 
wipes as hazardous wastes under the universal waste regulations may, as 
some commenters argued, increase burden on facilities generating and 
managing reusable wipes as a result of state solid waste program 
requirements.
    We note that today's solid waste exclusion for reusable wipes 
results in the least interference with individual state programs. It is 
consistent with those states that already exclude reusable wipes from 
the definition of solid waste. Additionally, under RCRA, authorized 
states can be more stringent than the federal program. Thus, states 
that currently exclude reusable wipes from the definition of hazardous 
waste may continue to do so, provided the conditional exclusion is as 
stringent as today's final rule. The same applies for those states that 
wish to manage reusable wipes as hazardous waste.

C. Toxicity Characteristic Solvents

    Of the listed solvents that EPA examined under the November 2003 
proposal, six are solvents that are also subject to the toxicity 
characteristic (TC) levels found in 40 CFR 261.24.\29\ For the TC 
solvents, EPA proposed to defer to the TC regulations, noting: ``EPA's 
analysis finds that even when they have been through an advanced 
solvent-extraction process and contain less than five grams of solvent, 
the levels of these solvents in contaminated industrial wipes are 
likely to be higher than the regulatory levels indicated in 40 CFR 
261.24. Therefore, these TC solvents are ineligible for disposal in 
municipal and other non-hazardous waste landfills because of their 
potential risk, as determined when they were originally identified by 
EPA as TC wastes'' (68 FR 65598). In other words, under the November 
2003 proposal, wipes contaminated with one or more of these six 
solvents would be ineligible for the conditional exclusion for 
disposable wipes and would continue to be regulated as hazardous waste 
because they exhibit the toxicity characteristic. EPA requested comment 
on this issue.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ The six TC solvents are Benzene, Chlorobenzene, o-,m-,p-
Creosols, Methyl ethyl ketone, Tricholorethylene, and 
Tetrachloroethylene.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA included the TC solvents in the revised risk analysis presented 
in the October 2009 NODA and has since updated the analysis with the 
recently published IRIS reference values for tetrachloroethylene and 
trichloroethylene (see section III.D for further discussion of the 2009 
revised risk analysis). The results of the 2012 final risk analysis 
using the revised IRIS values demonstrates that wipes contaminated with 
five of the six TC solvents do not present elevated risks when disposed 
in a composite-lined landfill. Wipes contaminated with 
trichloroethylene, however, do exceed risk-based criteria when disposed 
in a composite-lined landfill.
Comments: Toxicity Characteristic Solvents
    Commenters objected to EPA's use of the TC criteria to prohibit 
solvent-contaminated wipes from being landfilled as a non-hazardous 
waste arguing that the TC uses assumptions and parameters that are not 
applicable to wipes. Commenters, therefore, requested that EPA remove 
the provision that prohibits solvent-contaminated wipes exhibiting the 
characteristic of toxicity solely as a result of contamination with a 
TC solvent from being disposed in municipal and other non-hazardous 
waste landfills if those solvents were not found to pose a significant 
risk.
EPA Response: Toxicity Characteristic Solvents
    For solvent-contaminated wipes, EPA agrees with those commenters 
who argued that the TC criteria should not be used to prohibit solvent-
contaminated wipes from being conditionally excluded from hazardous 
waste regulation. We have decided to use the results of the 2012 final 
risk analysis rather than apply the TC regulations to determine whether 
solvent-contaminated wipes can be disposed as solid wastes in MSWLFs. 
Therefore, wipes contaminated with benzene; chlorobenzene; o-,m-,p-
creosols; methyl ethyl ketone; and/or tetrachloroethylene are eligible 
for the conditional exclusion for disposable wipes provided they meet 
the conditions of the exclusion.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ However, wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene would 
still be subject to the TC because the results of the final risk 
analysis demonstrate that these wipes present a significant risk 
when disposed in a composite-lined landfill. See section III.D for 
further discussion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency undertook a comprehensive risk analysis to estimate the 
potential risk from disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry 
sludge in MSWLFs. The 2009 revised risk analysis was subjected to 
external peer review and presented for public comment in a NODA 
(October 27, 2009; 74 FR 55163). In support of this analysis, EPA (1) 
collected and reviewed information (e.g., current industry practices, 
state programs, landfill loadings) from a wide variety of sources 
(e.g., site visits, data collected by EPA for RCRA and other regulatory 
programs, public comments, and other available information); (2) used 
probabilistic methods to characterize the variability and uncertainty 
associated with the risk modeling; (3) developed and used a state-of-
the-art landfill model and examined the exposure pathways that pose the 
greatest potential risk; (4) included updated information for various 
input parameters, when such information was provided in the comments; 
and (5) recalculated the potential risks by using the most up-to-date 
human health toxicity benchmarks made available after the October 2009 
NODA was published. For further discussion of the

[[Page 46464]]

risk analysis, including peer review, see section III.D.
    The 2009 revised risk analysis presented in the October 2009 NODA 
included a variety of conservative assumptions to ensure that potential 
risks from landfill disposal were assessed protectively. Furthermore, 
our evaluation was based on the risks at the upper end of the risk 
distributions, i.e., the 90th percentile in the probabilistic analyses. 
Therefore, we are confident that the solvents present in the wipes and 
sludge would not present a significant risk. The 2012 final risk 
analysis represents a comprehensive characterization of the risk posed 
by these solvent-contaminated wipes and, therefore, EPA concludes that 
this is appropriate information to use in determining whether solvent-
contaminated wipes should be excluded from the definition of hazardous 
waste.
    The 2012 final risk analysis for the six solvents that are also TC 
chemicals (benzene, chlorobenzene, cresols, methyl ethyl ketone, 
tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene) indicated that five of the 
chemicals have risks well below the target criteria used.\31\ The one 
solvent that presents risks above the criteria is trichloroethylene, 
which is therefore ineligible for the conditional exclusion for 
disposable wipes being promulgated today. In addition, the exclusion 
only applies to disposable wipes; other industrial wastes, including 
solvent wastes not associated with wipes, will continue to be regulated 
as listed or characteristic hazardous waste, as applicable. Therefore, 
there are regulations in place to restrict disposal of solvent 
chemicals from other sources in municipal landfills.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Risks for the five solvents in composite-lined landfills 
were below one tenth of the target risk criteria. See the risk 
results in ``F001-F005 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and Laundry 
Sludge: Comparison of Landfill Loading Calculations and Risk-Based 
Mass Loading Limits,'' revised, April 2012, in the docket for the 
final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Containers

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed that solvent-
contaminated reusable and disposable wipes must be stored in non-
leaking, covered containers. The preamble explained that a covered 
container could range from a spring-operated safety container to a drum 
with its opening covered by a piece of plywood. EPA stated in the 
proposal that generators would not need to seal, secure, latch, or 
close the container every time a solvent-contaminated wipe is placed 
inside the container; rather, they would only need to ensure that the 
container was covered. EPA also proposed that solvent-contaminated 
wipes must be transported in containers that are designed, constructed, 
and managed to minimize loss to the environment. EPA explained this to 
mean that the containers must not leak liquids and must control 
emission releases to the air. The Agency stated it would consider 
containers that met the Department of Transportation (DOT) packaging 
requirements for hazardous materials to meet the proposed performance 
standard, as would closed, sealed, impermeable containers. Finally, EPA 
proposed that handling facilities, such as laundries and combustors, 
must contain solvent-contaminated wipes in containers that met the 
transportation container standard or containers that met the generator 
container standard.
    EPA also requested comment on requiring the transportation of wipes 
in impermeable ``closed'' containers. In this context, closed 
containers were defined as containers with a lid that screws on to the 
top and must be sealed to be considered closed. EPA also requested 
comment on whether or not EPA should defer to the U.S. Department of 
Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
regulations for the management of solvent-contaminated wipes during 
accumulation at the generator's facility. In addition, for reusable 
wipes, EPA sought comment on adding a provision that allows wipes 
containing less than five grams of solvent to be transported without 
any management standards and on whether cloth bags have the ability to 
meet the proposed performance standard of minimizing loss to the 
environment.
Comments: Containers
    Over half of the commenters supported the covered standard for 
containers and agreed with a performance-based standard, which allows 
companies flexibility in meeting the standard. Many of these commenters 
noted that the covered standard reflects current industry practice and 
that this standard is adequate to control fugitive air emissions and 
potential risk of fire. These commenters stated that many businesses 
use large quantities of solvent-contaminated wipes each day, so to 
unseal and seal a container every time a wipe is placed inside it would 
be overly burdensome. Other commenters supported the performance-based 
standard because they feared a specific container standard (e.g., a 55-
gallon drum) could force laundries to purchase new vehicles in order to 
transport the required containers. Commenters also argued that EPA 
regulations should be consistent with DOT and OSHA standards for 
covered containers.
    The remaining commenters opposed the covered standard, arguing it 
would not sufficiently protect human health and the environment. These 
commenters disagreed with EPA's assertion that containers covered with 
plywood or cardboard would be sufficient to prevent air emissions or 
prevent spills during accumulation and transportation. These commenters 
also opposed the use of cloth and woven polypropylene bags to store 
solvent-contaminated wipes because these bags are permeable and thus, 
would not prevent releases of free liquid spent solvent. They urged EPA 
to strengthen the container standard by requiring a performance-based 
``closed'' container standard and requiring the use of impermeable 
bags. These commenters also called for one consistent container 
standard throughout the handling process, because there was no reason 
for having different standards for on-site accumulation, 
transportation, and handling.
EPA Response: Containers
    EPA agrees with those commenters who argued that a strengthened 
container standard is necessary to protect human health and the 
environment. In the proposal, EPA explained that plywood over a 
container would meet the covered container standard; however, EPA 
acknowledges that this scenario would not always prevent releases, 
especially if the container was accidentally overturned. Therefore, EPA 
is not finalizing the proposed covered container standard and is 
instead requiring that solvent-contaminated wipes be accumulated, 
stored, and transported in non-leaking, closed containers, such as 
containers with a spring-loaded lid or an impermeable bag. Today's 
standard addresses commenters' concerns regarding spills and exposures 
to solvents in a covered container (e.g., simply covering a container 
with plywood would not meet today's container standard and cloth bags, 
if used, would have to be non-leaking).
    Regarding the closed container standard, EPA agrees with those 
commenters that argued that it is burdensome to unseal and seal a 
container every time a wipe is placed in the container. Therefore, 
today's closed container standard is defined to allow for flexibility 
during accumulation of solvent-contaminated wipes; during accumulation, 
a closed container does not need to be sealed and is considered closed 
when there is complete contact between the fitted lid and the rim,

[[Page 46465]]

except when it is necessary to add or remove solvent-contaminated 
wipes. Then, when the container is full, or when the solvent-
contaminated wipes are no longer being accumulated, or when the 
container is being transported, the container must be sealed with all 
lids properly and securely affixed to the container and all openings 
tightly bound or closed sufficiently to prevent leaks and emissions.
    Today's closed container standard more adequately addresses 
fugitive air emissions from the solvent-contaminated wipes than the 
proposed covered container standard and thus, will adequately protect 
facility employees, inspectors, emergency response personnel, 
transporters, and other downstream handlers. Moreover, EPA's non-
leaking, closed container standard remains a performance-based 
standard, which many commenters supported because it provides 
generators the flexibility to meet the standard in a way that best 
suits their business without increasing compliance costs. Today's 
container standard should not be overly burdensome since several trade 
associations and laundries already encourage their members and 
customers to use closed or sealed containers during storage and 
transportation of solvent-contaminated wipes.
    EPA also agrees with those commenters that argued that 
substantively different container standards for solvent-contaminated 
wipes during accumulation, transportation, and handling are not 
necessary. Today's container standard applies to solvent-contaminated 
wipes under both conditional exclusions and applies to accumulation and 
storage at the generating facility, transportation either on-site or 
off-site, and, finally, storage and management at the handling 
facility. This represents a simple and straightforward approach that 
eases implementation and compliance monitoring. Additionally, this 
condition replaces the proposed management condition for transporters 
and handlers to manage solvent-contaminated wipes in containers 
``designed, constructed, and managed to minimize loss to the 
environment,'' which was subjective and thus, more difficult to 
interpret than today's container standard.
    Furthermore, although today's rule does not impact how DOT or OSHA 
regulations apply to solvent-contaminated wipes, EPA has determined 
that it is not appropriate to rely solely on these regulations in lieu 
of a container standard.

E. Accumulation Time Limit

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA did not propose a time limit on 
accumulation for disposable wipes. However, EPA did propose to apply 
the speculative accumulation limits on reusable wipes consistent with 
other conditional exclusions from the definition of solid waste for 
recycling activities. The speculative accumulation provision requires 
that, in any calendar year, 75 percent of the material accumulated for 
recycling must actually be recycled. In addition, EPA requested comment 
on whether specific time limits should be imposed for accumulation and 
storage of both reusable and disposable wipes and specifically 
requested comment on whether generators should follow the accumulation 
time limits in 40 CFR 262.34 that are applicable for their generator 
status (i.e., 90 days for large quantity generators and 180 days for 
small quantity generators). If the accumulation time limits in 40 CFR 
262.34 were included in the final rule, generators would have to mark 
any container in which the solvent-contaminated wipes were being 
accumulated with a label that included the date accumulation started.
Comments: Accumulation Time Limit
    The majority of commenters believed accumulation time limits for 
solvent-contaminated wipes are unnecessary and unwarranted. These 
commenters argued that because the wipes are no longer subject to 
regulation as hazardous waste there was no need for an accumulation 
time limit (and noted that EPA does not require accumulation limits on 
other solid non-hazardous wastes). Other commenters indicated that 
requiring transportation at 90 or 180 days would be burdensome for 
facilities generating small quantities of solvent-contaminated wipes. 
For reusable wipes, most commenters believed accumulation time limits 
were unnecessary because the vast majority of generators have contracts 
with laundries that stipulate weekly pickup of their solvent-
contaminated wipes.
    The remaining commenters suggested adopting an accumulation time 
limit. These commenters argued that accumulation limits would decrease 
the time solvent-contaminated wipes are managed on-site, thereby 
decreasing the risk of adverse affects to human health, such as from 
fires and volatilization. Furthermore, these commenters believed that 
generators do not have an incentive to remove solvent-contaminated 
wipes, and thus, specific accumulation time limits would be necessary 
in order to prevent over accumulation of wipes at generator facilities.
    Several commenters supported applying the speculative accumulation 
provision to reusable wipes. These commenters believed reusable wipes 
should have the same management standards as other recycled hazardous 
secondary materials that are excluded from regulation under 40 CFR 
261.4(a).
EPA Response: Accumulation Time Limit
    EPA agrees with commenters that argued accumulation time limits for 
solvent-contaminated wipes are necessary. During the accumulation 
period, solvent-contaminated wipes may contain free liquids or free 
liquids may occur, for example, from percolation or compression of 
wipes in a container. Thus, in the absence of accumulation limits, 
generators may have an incentive to store solvent-contaminated wipes 
containing free liquids indefinitely in order to avoid potential 
hazardous waste disposal costs of the free liquid spent solvent. This 
accumulation time limit is appropriate because, although the solvent-
contaminated wipes are not hazardous wastes when managed under today's 
exclusions, the free liquid spent solvent is subject to the applicable 
hazardous waste regulations upon its removal from the wipe and/or the 
container holding the wipe.
    EPA, therefore, agrees with commenters that supported an 
accumulation time limit. An accumulation time limit ensures that free 
liquid hazardous waste solvent is removed within an appropriate 
timeframe. This condition also decreases the maximum amount of time 
that solvent-contaminated wipes are managed on-site, which further 
decreases the risk of adverse affects to human health, such as from 
fires and volatilization. Therefore, in today's final rule, EPA is 
establishing an accumulation time limit for both reusable and 
disposable wipes which allows solvent-contaminated wipes to be 
accumulated by the generator for up to 180 days prior to cleaning or 
disposal. Today's accumulation standard is necessary to ensure the 
proper disposition of the solvent-contaminated wipes and the free 
liquids that may accumulate in containers.
    The regulations at 40 CFR 262.34 establish accumulation time limits 
based on the quantity of hazardous waste generated; however, solvent-
contaminated wipes under today's exclusions are not hazardous wastes 
and thus, do not count towards the

[[Page 46466]]

generator's status. Therefore, strict compliance with the hazardous 
waste accumulation time limits presents an odd situation where a 
generator could be generating large amounts of excluded solvent-
contaminated wipes, but only a small amount of other hazardous waste. 
It would seem inappropriate to require an accumulation time limit for 
solvent-contaminated wipes that are based on quantities of hazardous 
waste that don't include the solvent-contaminated wipes.
    Furthermore, applying speculative accumulation limits, which is 
consistent with how other hazardous secondary materials excluded from 
the definition of solid waste are managed, is not appropriate. Solvent-
contaminated wipes may contain free liquids during accumulation and 
applying speculative accumulation limits to today's exclusions would 
have allowed generators to accumulate solvent-contaminated wipes, and 
the associated free liquid spent solvent, for up to a year. This amount 
of time would likely have increased the quantity of free liquid spent 
solvent managed onsite and thus, may increase adverse affects to human 
health, such as from fires and volatilization.
    To ensure solvent-contaminated wipes and any associated free liquid 
spent solvent are managed appropriately, while at the same time 
allowing the greatest flexibility and ease of compliance for 
generators, EPA chose to establish a flat 180-day accumulation time 
limit for all facilities generating solvent-contaminated wipes. This 
straightforward accumulation time limit is easier to implement by the 
tens of thousands of facilities that generate solvent-contaminated 
wipes. The 180-day accumulation time limit is what is currently 
required for small quantity generators under 40 CFR 262.34 and thus, 
provides the greatest flexibility for generators managing excluded 
solvent-contaminated wipes.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ The regulations at 40 CFR 262.34 also allow small quantity 
generators to accumulate hazardous wastes for up to 270 days if the 
generator must transfer the waste to a facility located more than 
200 miles from the generator. However, because solvent-contaminated 
wipes managed under today's rule can go to municipal solid waste 
landfills, we anticipate that transportation distances will be 
shortened given the greater number of available options under 
today's rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We agree with commenters that reusable wipes are routinely picked 
up by laundries on a periodic (e.g., weekly) basis and, thus, today's 
accumulation time limit is not likely to impose an undue burden. 
Additionally, disposable wipes meeting the conditions of today's rule 
may be discarded with a facility's other solid waste trash, which is 
likely collected on a frequent basis. We also note that the free 
liquids, upon removal from the solvent-contaminated wipes or from the 
container holding the wipes, are subject to the applicable hazardous 
waste regulations, including accumulation time limits in 40 CFR 262.34.

F. Labeling

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed that containers 
managing disposable wipes be labeled ``Exempt Solvent-Contaminated 
Wipes'' to alert downstream handlers to the contents of the container 
and ensure proper handling and/or inspection of the materials. EPA did 
not propose a similar labeling condition for reusable wipes because 
laundries and dry cleaners typically have agreements with their 
customers and thus, already know what is in the container of wipes that 
arrive. However, EPA requested comment on whether a labeling 
requirement was necessary for reusable wipes containers.
Comments: Labeling
    Some commenters agreed with EPA that containers that hold 
disposable wipes should be labeled. These commenters believed that 
labeling was necessary in order to allow identification of the 
containers' contents for emergency response personnel, motor carrier 
inspectors, transporters, and downstream handlers. Other commenters 
also believed that labeling is good business practice and that it would 
not be burdensome to implement.
    On the other hand, other commenters were opposed to the labeling 
requirement because it constituted an undue burden on generators. These 
commenters also argued that the DOT labeling requirements would be 
sufficient and that EPA should not create a duplicative label. 
Furthermore, these commenters noted that since generators would have 
contractual arrangements with any handling facility, the downstream 
handlers would already know the contents of the containers. Some 
commenters also argued that facilities generating both non-hazardous 
wipes--that is wipes that are not used with listed hazardous waste and 
do not exhibit characteristics of hazardous waste--and excluded 
disposable wipes would need to separate the wipes in order to meet the 
labeling condition, even though both types would be sent to, for 
example, the same MSWLF.
    The majority of commenters, however, recommended the same labeling 
requirement should apply to both disposable and reusable wipes. Most of 
these commenters did not take a position on whether or not such a 
requirement was necessary, but argued that, if a label was necessary, 
then it should apply equally to both disposable and reusable wipes.
EPA Response: Labeling
    EPA agrees with the majority of commenters that the labeling 
requirement should be applied to both disposable and reusable wipes. 
Concerns regarding air emissions and potential fire risk apply to all 
solvent-contaminated wipes regardless of their ultimate disposition. 
Although DOT packaging requirements may apply, as appropriate, to the 
transport of reusable and disposable wipes, it is important to require 
labeling during accumulation, storage, and at the handling facility in 
order to communicate the contents to facility employees, emergency 
response personnel, downstream handlers, and state and EPA inspectors, 
as well as transporters and motor carrier inspectors. Thus, in today's 
rule, we are requiring that solvent-contaminated wipes must be managed 
in containers labeled ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' 
Imposition of this condition addresses comments that urged EPA to adopt 
the same labeling standard for both types of wipes in order to ease 
implementation and understanding of the regulations, especially for 
facilities that use both reusable and disposable wipes.
    The Agency does not believe that this condition places an undue 
burden on facilities, as labels are relatively inexpensive and can be 
affixed to containers with relative ease. Additionally, generators of 
disposable wipes, which have generally been heretofore regulated as 
hazardous wastes, have already had to comply with labeling requirements 
under the hazardous waste regulations.

G. ``No Free Liquids'' and ``Dry'' Conditions

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed that reusable wipes 
going to an industrial laundry or dry cleaner and disposable wipes 
going to a combustor must have no free liquids when sent off-site. We 
proposed defining ``no free liquids'' as allowing no liquid solvent to 
drip from the wipe when sent off-site and no free liquids in the bottom 
of the container in which the wipes are transported for cleaning or 
disposal. EPA explained that generators could meet the ``no free 
liquids'' condition by ensuring that a solvent-contaminated wipe held 
for a short period of time, such as when being moved from one container 
to another, does not drip. Facilities could use mechanical

[[Page 46467]]

wringers, solvent extraction technologies or process knowledge to meet 
the standard. Screen-bottom drums could also be used to ensure no 
liquid solvent was in the bottom of the container used to transport the 
solvent-contaminated wipes for cleaning or disposal.
    For wipes going to a landfill, EPA proposed that the solvent-
contaminated wipes meet a ``dry'' condition. ``Dry'' was defined as a 
wipe containing less than five grams of solvent. To meet the ``dry'' 
condition, generators could use a centrifuge or other solvent 
extraction technologies, use less than five grams of solvent per wipe, 
or use normal business records that indicate solvent usage rates, such 
as the total amount of solvent used each month divided by the number of 
wipes used each month. Generators could also conduct sampling to ensure 
the solvent-contaminated wipes met the condition.
    EPA also requested comment on a ``no free liquids when wrung'' 
condition that would require that each wipe not drip solvent when hand 
wrung.
Comments: No Free Liquids
    Many commenters supported the ``no free liquids'' condition for 
solvent-contaminated wipes going to laundries/dry cleaners and 
combustors. Some commenters noted that this is already standard 
practice for solvent-contaminated wipes going to laundries and dry 
cleaners and is used by many states in their regulations for reusable 
wipes. Commenters believed that ensuring that the solvent-contaminated 
wipes do not contain free liquids would prevent releases of solvents in 
transportation to handling facilities.
    Most commenters urged EPA not to place a specific limit on the 
maximum amount of solvent or the concentration of solvent on a wipe and 
not to place a numerical limit on the number of shop towels laundries 
or dry cleaners can accept on an annual basis. They asserted that a 
limit on the number of solvent-contaminated wipes that can be sent for 
cleaning would adversely impact the manufacturing process and would be 
confusing and essentially impossible to implement. They also argued 
that limits on the amount or concentration of solvent are unnecessary, 
particularly because CWA/NPDES permits impose enforceable limits on 
point source discharges to waterways from laundries and dry cleaners 
through industrial user and pretreatment requirements.
    Some commenters suggested that EPA clarify the ``no free liquids'' 
condition and recommended that EPA specify permissible technologies 
that are presumed to meet the ``no free liquids'' condition. Other 
commenters disagreed that EPA should compile a list of acceptable 
technologies. Moreover, some commenters urged EPA to finalize a 
standard that is simple enough for hundreds of thousands of businesses 
to apply daily and clear enough to avoid confusion during inspections 
and enforcement.
    Many commenters did not support EPA's alternative condition of ``no 
free liquids when wrung'' because requiring each solvent-contaminated 
wipe to be wrung would unnecessarily expose employees to solvents. 
Additionally, ``when wrung'' is too subjective a standard and creates 
confusion (for example, ``when wrung'' is dependent on the size and 
strength of the individual doing the wringing). Still other commenters 
supported the ``when wrung'' alternative, arguing that the condition 
would result in more solvent removed from the wipe.
EPA Response: No Free Liquids
    EPA agrees with commenters that supported the ``no free liquids'' 
condition, particularly because this is currently standard industry 
practice and is used by many states in their programs, and thus, is 
already familiar to the regulated community and state regulators. One 
concern, however, is how to define and make the ``no free liquids'' 
condition an objective, clear, and enforceable standard. Some 
commenters suggested defining a list of solvent extraction technologies 
to meet this standard; however, it is not appropriate to require the 
use of specific technologies, particularly if such specific 
technologies are not necessary under certain circumstances to meet the 
condition and may impose unnecessary cost on businesses. Furthermore, 
technologies evolve over time and rulemaking would be required to 
incorporate new technologies into the rule. To reduce confusion, we 
have deleted the definition of ``solvent extraction'' from the final 
rule and have eliminated any reference to this term in the definition 
of no free liquids.
    Presently, many state agencies have established several methods for 
verifying compliance with state-imposed ``no free liquids'' conditions. 
The majority of states require the use of the Paint Filter Liquids Test 
(SW-846, Method 9095), while other states require the Liquids Release 
Test (SW-846, Method 9096) or the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching 
Procedure (TCLP) (SW-846, Method 1311), among other state defined 
standards. Defining ``no free liquids'' in terms of an objective test 
enables better implementation and compliance monitoring. By defining 
``no free liquids'' in terms of a standard test, we are also addressing 
the spirit of many commenters that argued that EPA should specify 
technologies that would meet this condition (i.e., EPA should finalize 
a more objective definition of ``no free liquids''). While all of the 
above tests are objective, for today's rule, EPA is using the Paint 
Filter Liquids Test for determining whether solvent-contaminated wipes 
contain free liquids. The Paint Filter Liquids Test is already used for 
determining compliance with the ``no free liquids'' condition by many 
states and is also the test used to implement the restrictions on 
disposal of free liquids in the MSWLF regulations (40 CFR 258.28). The 
Paint Filter Liquids Test is simple, straightforward, and generally 
less costly than the other test methods considered.
    EPA notes that generators do not have to conduct the Paint Filter 
Liquids Test for every solvent-contaminated wipe. Rather, generators 
must ensure that if the Paint Filter Liquids Test was performed, the 
wipe would pass.
    Where authorized states have defined ``no free liquids'' using a 
different standard, generators in those states must meet the state 
standard for purposes of meeting the ``no free liquids'' condition. 
This ensures that today's rule complements existing state policies and, 
thus, does not place an unnecessary burden on states and the regulated 
community to change existing practices. Of course, the authorized state 
standard must be no less stringent than today's definition of ``no free 
liquids.'' See section VI.D.3 for more information.
    EPA agrees with the majority of commenters that argued a specific 
limit on the maximum amount of solvent, or the concentration of solvent 
on a wipe, or a numerical limit on the number of shop towels laundries 
or dry cleaners can accept on an annual basis is not necessary and 
would be burdensome to implement. We agree that the regulations under 
the CWA already impose enforceable limits on point source discharges to 
waterways through industrial user and pretreatment requirements. 
Today's rule enforces this by requiring that solvent-contaminated wipes 
only be sent to laundries and dry cleaners whose discharge, if any, are 
regulated under applicable sections of the CWA.
    Moreover, EPA agrees that the ``no free liquids when wrung'' 
condition could increase, or at least be perceived to increase, 
workers' exposure to solvents. Today's definition of when solvent-
contaminated wipes contain no free liquids is sufficient to reduce the

[[Page 46468]]

probability of free liquids being transported under today's rule.
Comments: ``Dry'' Condition
    The majority of comments on this issue disagreed with EPA's 
proposed ``dry'' condition for disposable wipes going to landfills. 
Specifically, commenters argued that the five gram limit per wipe was 
arbitrary, inconvenient, unworkable, time-consuming, and potentially 
cost-prohibitive to businesses, many of which are small businesses. 
Additionally, some commenters pointed out that wipes vary in terms of 
size, composition, absorbency, and thickness and that, in some cases, a 
wipe may meet the ``dry'' condition (less than five grams of solvent) 
but still have liquid solvent that could drip from the wipe and thus, 
be released to the environment. In response to EPA's proposed methods 
of meeting the ``dry'' condition, commenters stated that solvent 
extraction technology was not easily attainable or affordable. 
Commenters also argued that EPA's proposal to use normal business 
records to comply with the condition would be difficult to implement 
and may in fact be an incentive for facilities to use more disposable 
wipes than necessary, such as dividing the amount of solvent by an even 
larger amount of wipes used each month. Therefore, many commenters 
urged EPA to abandon the ``dry'' condition and require solvent-
contaminated wipes going to landfills to meet the ``no free liquids'' 
or ``no free liquids when wrung'' condition instead. Many commenters 
also argued that the same standard should be applied to both reusable 
and disposable wipes in order to ease implementation, especially for 
facilities that use both types of wipes.
    Of the few commenters that did support the ``dry'' condition, some 
argued that this approach is the only practical way to assure 
disposable wipes do not contain excessive levels of solvents when sent 
to municipal or non-hazardous waste landfills. Other commenters 
supported the ``dry'' condition as long as EPA specified in the 
regulations which extraction technologies can be presumed to meet the 
five gram standard, which would assist implementation and compliance 
monitoring.
    Still another commenter argued that the five gram limit per wipe 
was not stringent enough because the solvent would exceed the Land 
Disposal Restriction standards for disposal.
EPA Response: ``Dry'' Condition
    Based on the comments, the Agency has decided not to finalize the 
``dry'' condition for disposable wipes going to landfills, as it would 
be burdensome to implement and enforce. In addition, as noted by 
commenters, setting a firm quantitative limit on the amount of solvent 
in each wipe does not take into account the diverse sizes and types of 
wipes in the marketplace. For example, it's possible that some wipes 
could contain less than five grams of solvent and still have free 
liquids. Some commenters believed we could improve the ``dry'' 
condition by specifying a list of technologies that could be used to 
achieve the standard; however, we understand that these technologies 
are expensive and may not always be necessary depending on the type of 
wipe and the amount of solvent used. Furthermore, technology changes 
over time and thus, specifying a list in the regulations may 
unnecessarily preclude newer technologies.
    In choosing what standard to use in place of the ``dry'' condition, 
we relied on the results of our risk analysis, which evaluated various 
industries, the amount of solvent that was typically placed on wipes, 
and how much solvent would eventually be placed into landfills. After 
estimating the amount of solvent that could be on a wipe before 
disposal and the number of generators potentially disposing of solvent-
contaminated wipes into a MSWLF, the 2012 final risk analysis 
demonstrated that 19 of the 20 solvents evaluated did not exceed target 
risk criteria when placed into a composite-lined landfill. Therefore, 
the ``no free liquids'' condition is appropriate to use to ensure that 
solvent-contaminated wipes going to landfills do not exceed the risk 
thresholds. Furthermore, the ``no free liquids'' condition is 
consistent with what is currently required in the 40 CFR part 258 MSWLF 
standards. By using the same standard for disposable and reusable 
wipes, we are able to address those comments that urged EPA to finalize 
the same condition for both types of wipes in order to ease 
implementation and understanding of the regulations, especially for 
facilities that use both reusable and disposable wipes.
    EPA does not agree with the commenter that argued that the five 
gram limit per wipe was not stringent enough because the solvent would 
exceed the Land Disposal Restriction standards for disposal. The Agency 
has conducted a robust risk analysis that demonstrates the solvent-
contaminated wipes included under the exclusion for disposable wipes do 
not exceed risk thresholds when disposed in a composite-lined landfill.

H. Recordkeeping

    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA did not propose any 
recordkeeping requirements for the conditional exclusion for reusable 
wipes or for the conditional exclusion for disposable wipes. However, 
we did request comment on a number of recordkeeping options, such as 
requiring handling facilities that receive shipments of solvent-
contaminated wipes with free liquids to submit a notification to the 
state or EPA region. Additionally, we requested comment on whether we 
should require generators to keep basic information, such as the volume 
of solvent-contaminated wipes generated, where the wipes were sent, and 
how many shipments were sent off-site. We also requested comment on 
whether generators and handlers should certify that shipments sent and 
received met either the ``no free liquids'' or ``dry'' condition, as 
appropriate, and whether generators should certify that their employees 
are adequately trained to manage the solvent-contaminated wipes. 
Lastly, we requested comment on whether the accumulation time limits in 
40 CFR 262.34 should be required. If so, then the generator would have 
to include a label stating the date accumulation started.
Comments: Recordkeeping
    Many commenters urged EPA not to finalize any recordkeeping or 
reporting requirements. These commenters argued that these requirements 
would be duplicative of other regulations, for example, OSHA training 
requirements and 40 CFR 261.2(f). These commenters stated that 
additional recordkeeping, such as one-time notifications, 
certifications, or shipping records would place unnecessary burdens on 
generators and handling facilities, while providing little, if any, 
additional environmental benefit. Additionally, commenters stated that 
the goal of this regulation is to simplify requirements and exclude 
properly managed solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste 
regulations; requiring additional recordkeeping thus runs counter to 
that goal.
    Other commenters argued for recordkeeping requirements, including 
records of volumes of solvent-contaminated wipes generated, employee 
training certifications, records of shipments, a management plan for 
meeting the ``no free liquids'' condition, manifests, biennial reports, 
notifications, and certifications of meeting the ``no free liquids'' 
condition, as well as a log or notifications to the generator, state, 
or EPA when shipments

[[Page 46469]]

of solvent-contaminated wipes are received that contain free liquids. 
These commenters stated that recordkeeping requirements are essential 
to hold generators and handling facilities accountable under today's 
rule. The commenters argued that recordkeeping requirements would not 
be overly burdensome to generators and could easily be maintained as 
part of existing standard business records. Additionally, such 
recordkeeping would assist implementing agencies with ensuring that 
solvent-contaminated wipes are properly managed.
EPA Response: Recordkeeping
    EPA agrees with commenters that support incorporating recordkeeping 
requirements into the final rule. In evaluating whether to require 
recordkeeping for the conditional exclusions for reusable wipes and 
disposable wipes, we balanced the need to enable proper implementation 
and compliance monitoring of the rule's conditions with the desire to 
avoid needless paperwork requirements that may be burdensome to 
generators and handling facilities, a concern raised by the commenters 
who argued against recordkeeping requirements. We also considered which 
recordkeeping requirements would be appropriate for these conditionally 
excluded materials.
    After reviewing the comments, we chose to require generators to 
maintain records at their site that document (1) the name and address 
of the handling facility (i.e., laundry, dry cleaner, landfill, or 
combustor); (2) that the 180-day accumulation time limit is being met; 
and (3) the description of the process the generator is using to ensure 
the solvent-contaminated wipes meet the ``no free liquids'' condition 
at the point of being sent for cleaning or disposal.
    The purpose of requiring the name and address of the handling 
facility is to ensure that the solvent-contaminated wipes are being 
managed in compliance with the conditional exclusion (e.g., for 
reusable wipes, that they are sent for cleaning and, for disposable 
wipes, that they are sent to an appropriate landfill or combustor). 
This information can be easily maintained by the generator using 
routine business records, such as contracts and invoices and, thus, 
should not pose significant burden on a facility.
    Documenting the accumulation time limit is important to enable 
regulatory authorities to monitor compliance with the condition and to 
ensure that solvent-contaminated wipes are not stored indefinitely in 
lieu of sending the solvent-contaminated wipes to be cleaned or 
disposed. This condition is particularly important because the solvent-
contaminated wipes can be accumulated with free liquids under the 
exclusion. Thus, there may be an incentive for a generator to store 
such wipes indefinitely in order to avoid the hazardous waste disposal 
costs associated with the free liquid spent solvent.
    Requiring the description of the process the generator is using to 
ensure that the solvent-contaminated wipes contain no free liquids is 
critical for assisting implementation and compliance monitoring of this 
key condition of today's rule. Today's rule only extends to the 
solvent-contaminated wipe and the conditional exclusions do not include 
any free liquid spent solvent, which would continue to be subject to 
the hazardous waste regulations, as appropriate. It is therefore 
imperative that the condition of ``no free liquids'' be met. In order 
to ensure that this condition is properly implemented, it is 
appropriate to require documentation of the process, methodology, and/
or knowledge that is being used to ensure the solvent-contaminated 
wipes managed under today's rule meet the ``no free liquids'' 
condition.
    We disagree with commenters who wanted additional recordkeeping 
requirements, such as biennial reports or records on amounts of 
solvent-contaminated wipes generated. We do not find these records are 
necessary to ensure that solvent-contaminated wipes meet the conditions 
of today's rule. Records of shipments are also unnecessary as long as 
the generator documents the name and address of the laundry, dry 
cleaner, combustor, or landfill where the solvent-contaminated wipes 
are being sent. This documentation then would only have to be updated 
in the event the name or address of the destination facility changed. 
This serves to keep paperwork burden to a minimum.
    Furthermore, we are convinced that requiring a log or notification 
to the generator, state or EPA region by a handler (e.g., laundry) that 
receives solvent-contaminated wipes containing free liquids is not 
necessary. First, under today's rule, free liquid spent solvent must be 
managed according to the hazardous waste regulations, as appropriate. 
Thus, any liquid spent solvent that is discovered upon receipt, for 
example, by a laundry, must be managed as hazardous waste, if 
applicable. (Under today's rule, handlers are not allowed to send back 
shipments of free liquid waste to the generator as was proposed in 
November 2003. See section VIII.I below for more information.) This 
creates a strong incentive for generators to ensure that the solvent-
contaminated wipes meet the ``no free liquids'' condition prior to 
sending the wipes to a handler because the generator is likely to incur 
a fee imposed by the handling facility for the hazardous waste disposal 
of the free liquid spent solvent wastes.
    Additionally, in today's rule we have more clearly defined ``no 
free liquids'' using a performance standard based on the Paint Filter 
Liquids Test. This test provides a more objective definition than the 
November 2003 proposed definition, which specified only that no liquid 
solvent could drip from the wipe. Today's standard strengthens the ``no 
free liquids'' condition sufficiently so that solvent-contaminated 
wipes meeting the standard are not likely to produce free liquids in 
transit (as a result of compression, gravity, or percolation).
    Secondly, if a handling facility did receive a shipment of solvent-
contaminated wipes that contained free liquid spent solvent, the spent 
solvent would become subject to the reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements of the hazardous waste regulations as appropriate to the 
amount of hazardous waste generated in that month by the handling 
facility. EPA finds that any additional reporting requirements would be 
duplicative of what is already required under the hazardous waste 
regulations.

I. Handling Facilities

Laundries and Dry Cleaners
    EPA proposed to conditionally exclude from the definition of solid 
waste solvent-contaminated reusable wipes that are sent to an 
industrial laundry or dry cleaner. Specifically, EPA proposed to 
require that these handling facilities manage the solvent-contaminated 
wipes in non-leaking, covered containers or in containers that are 
designed, constructed, and managed to minimize loss to the environment 
before the wipes enter the handling process. If free liquids accumulate 
in containers that arrive at a laundry or dry cleaner, EPA proposed 
that the handling facility either remove the free liquids and manage 
them as hazardous waste or return the closed container to the 
generator. Additionally, laundries and dry cleaners could dispose of 
the treatment residuals in solid waste landfills if they did not 
exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic.
Comments: Laundries and Dry Cleaners
    Some commenters were concerned that contaminated solvents removed

[[Page 46470]]

from the solvent-contaminated wipes in laundering and discharged into 
waterways would adversely affect human health and the environment. 
Commenters believed that laundries and dry cleaners should be required 
to demonstrate that they are appropriately managing the solvent removed 
from the solvent-contaminated wipes during cleaning. At least one 
commenter stated that generators should only be allowed to send 
solvent-contaminated wipes to facilities that have been issued a valid 
NPDES or State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, pursuant 
to section 402 of the CWA, or that have a pretreatment permit with a 
POTW, pursuant to section 307 of the CWA.
    A few commenters believed that the conditions for management of 
solvent-contaminated wipes at laundries and other such handling 
facilities needed to be strengthened and that EPA should require more 
specific provisions for container management, storage time limitations, 
and notification requirements.
    Some commenters argued against additional requirements on laundries 
and dry cleaners and other such handling facilities because the 
proposed conditions, in conjunction with existing regulatory programs, 
such as the effluent limitation guidelines for wastewater discharges 
from industrial laundries and applicable OSHA workplace exposure 
standards, already provide appropriate safeguards to protect the 
environment and human health. These commenters pointed out that 
solvent-contaminated wipes arriving at a laundry or dry cleaner already 
meet the standard of ``no free liquids.'' Commenters added that the 
solvents contaminating the wipes and removed during the laundering 
process are captured by laundry wastewater treatment systems designed 
to ensure compliance with applicable wastewater pretreatment permits. 
Comments stated that solvents not captured by an industrial laundry's 
wastewater treatment system are safely conveyed to a POTW where 
secondary biological treatment effectively destroys these organic 
compounds. Additionally, in response to EPA's request for comment on 
placing specific limits on the maximum amount of solvent on a wipe or a 
numerical limit on the number of shop towels laundries or dry cleaners 
can accept on an annual basis, most commenters asserted that limits on 
the amount or concentration of solvent are unnecessary because CWA/
NPDES permits impose enforceable limits on point source discharges to 
waterways (from laundries and dry cleaners) through industrial user and 
pretreatment requirements.
EPA Response: Laundries and Dry Cleaners
    We agree with those commenters that argued against additional 
requirements, beyond the management conditions included in today's 
rule, because, as the commenters argued, laundry and dry cleaner 
discharges are regulated under the CWA, which ensures that the solvents 
removed from solvent-contaminated wipes during the cleaning process are 
properly managed to avoid adverse affects on human health and the 
environment. EPA also agrees with commenters that placing specific 
limits on the maximum amount of solvent, or the concentration of 
solvent on a wipe, or a numerical limit on the number of shop towels 
laundries or dry cleaners can accept on an annual basis is unnecessary 
because the CWA already imposes enforceable limits on point source 
discharges to waterways through industrial user and pretreatment 
requirements. (See section VI.D.5 for more information.) Thus, to 
reduce confusion, we are clarifying in the regulatory language that we 
are allowing reusable wipes (that meet the conditions of today's rule) 
to be sent to laundries and dry cleaners whose discharges, if any, are 
regulated under the applicable provisions of the CWA.
    Because we agree with commenters seeking strengthened management 
conditions, we are requiring in today's rule that handling facilities 
must accumulate, store, and manage reusable wipes in non-leaking, 
closed containers that are labeled ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated 
Wipes'' when the wipes are not being processed or cleaned. 
Additionally, the container must also be able to contain free liquids 
should free liquids occur, for example, from percolation and 
compression of the wipes. (See section VI.D.1 for further discussion on 
this requirement.) However, we disagree that conditions, such as 
accumulation time limits for the laundry or further recordkeeping, are 
necessary. The business of a laundry or dry cleaner is to clean wipes 
in order to provide them to their customers in exchange for revenue. We 
do not see an incentive for a laundry or dry cleaner to overaccumulate 
solvent-contaminated wipes and thus, do not see a need to regulate to 
this end. As for recordkeeping, please see section VIII.H below for our 
response to comments regarding this issue. We also agree with 
commenters that compliance with applicable OSHA workplace exposure 
standards, in conjunction with today's requirement that solvent-
contaminated wipes be managed in closed, non-leaking containers, 
provide appropriate safeguards to protect workers.
Landfills
    In the Agency's November 2003 proposal, EPA proposed to allow 
solvent-contaminated wipes to be disposed in either a MSWLF or another 
non-hazardous waste landfill that meets the standards under 40 CFR part 
257 subpart B.\33\ In addition, EPA also proposed to make 11 solvents 
ineligible for the exclusion because these solvents are included in the 
TC or because they failed EPA's risk screening analysis for the 
November 2003 proposed rule. In EPA's October 2009 NODA, which 
requested comment on EPA's 2009 revised risk analysis for the solvent-
contaminated wipes rulemaking, EPA requested comment on two additional 
approaches for managing disposable wipes. The first approach would 
allow the disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes that did not exceed 
target risk criteria for an unlined landfill, based on the Agency's 
risk analysis, to be disposed in landfills without a liner; solvent-
contaminated wipes that did exceed target risk criteria for an unlined 
landfill could only be disposed in a lined landfill. The second 
approach would direct all excluded solvent-contaminated wipes, 
including those that could safely be disposed in an unlined landfill, 
be sent to a Subtitle D MSWLF subject to the requirements in 40 CFR 
258.40(a)(2) and (b) (74 FR 55167-8).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ The 40 CFR part 258 MSWLF regulations include design 
standards, groundwater monitoring, and other specific management 
standards. The 40 CFR part 257 Subpart B Non-Municipal Non-Hazardous 
Waste Disposal Unit regulations establish minimum federal criteria, 
such as location restrictions and groundwater monitoring, but do not 
require liners or other design and management standards (although 
states may require additional standards).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments: Landfills
    Some commenters supported EPA's first approach to allow solvent-
contaminated wipes to be disposed in both types of landfills (lined and 
unlined) depending on the type of solvent used on the wipe and whether 
that solvent posed a risk, based on the Agency's 2009 revised risk 
analysis.
    Other commenters supported the second approach to allow solvent-
contaminated wipes to be disposed only in MSWLFs. These commenters 
argued that this approach would be easier to implement because it 
avoids the need for generators to separate wipes by solvent, 
particularly for wipes used in different parts of a facility, and then 
determine whether the solvent-

[[Page 46471]]

contaminated wipes could be sent to an unlined or lined landfill.
EPA Response: Landfills
    EPA agrees with those commenters that supported a requirement that 
all solvent-contaminated wipes be sent only to MSWLFs operating under 
the 40 CFR part 258 standards.\34\ This represents the most 
straightforward approach and imposes the least burden to implement and 
enforce. Under this approach, generators will not need to keep track of 
which excluded wipes are contaminated with which solvents and whether 
those solvent-contaminated wipes are being sent to a lined or an 
unlined landfill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ Solvent-contaminated wipes could also be sent to hazardous 
waste landfills operating under 40 CFR parts 264 and 265.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although this approach may technically narrow the number of options 
for a generator from those in our proposal (because a generator will 
not be able to use a 40 CFR part 257 non-hazardous waste landfill), 
this will not constitute an undue restriction for the following 
reasons: (1) Generators are likely already using one or more of the 
1,908 MSWLFs that operate under the 40 CFR part 258 standards for 
disposal of their other solid waste trash; \35\ (2) a 40 CFR part 257 
non-hazardous waste landfill may not accept solvent-contaminated wipes 
as these landfills are often set up for specific purposes, such as for 
large quantities of construction and demolition waste; and, (3) we do 
not have any indication that there is a significant cost advantage for 
using a 40 CFR part 257 non-hazardous waste landfill as compared to a 
40 CFR part 258 MSWLF.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal 
in the United States Tables and Figures for 2010, November 2011 
http://www.epa.gov/wastes/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw_2010_data_tables.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Any potential benefit gained from allowing the use of a non-
hazardous waste landfill is likely to be insignificant, especially in 
light of the increased complexity for implementation and compliance 
monitoring that would be required to ensure that certain solvent-
contaminated wipes were being sent to the appropriate landfill.
Combustors
    EPA proposed that municipal and other non-hazardous waste 
combustors be allowed to burn solvent-contaminated wipes that meet the 
proposed conditions for the exclusion from the definition of hazardous 
waste. For solvent-contaminated wipes going to combustors, EPA proposed 
to require that these handling facilities manage the solvent-
contaminated wipes in non-leaking, covered containers or in containers 
that are designed, constructed, and managed to minimize loss to the 
environment before the wipes enter the handling process. If free 
liquids accumulate in containers that arrive at a combustor, EPA 
proposed that the handling facility either remove the free liquids and 
manage them as hazardous waste or return the closed container to the 
generator. Additionally, combustors could dispose of the residuals in 
solid waste landfills if they did not exhibit a hazardous waste 
characteristic.
Comments: Combustors
    Several commenters supported allowing combustion of solvent-
contaminated wipes in a municipal waste combustor or other combustion 
facility. These commenters stated that EPA's 2003 risk screening 
analysis demonstrates that such combustion practices would be 
protective of human health and the environment when conducted in 
accordance with applicable permit conditions. Additionally, commenters 
stated that this management option would provide an environmentally 
beneficial recycling alternative to disposal and would allow facilities 
to use solvent-contaminated wipes as supplemental fuels in lieu of 
virgin fuels.
    Some commenters raised the concern that some combustion units 
allowed in the November 2003 proposal would not address dioxin and 
furan formation and that combustors receiving large quantities of 
solvent-contaminated wipes containing halogenated solvents (listed F001 
and F002 solvents) could become a significant source of dioxin 
emissions.
    Additionally, at least one commenter argued that the proposed 
management conditions for combustors were not adequately protective of 
human health and the environment. This commenter argued that combustors 
routinely dump incoming waste into a large bin or concrete pit where it 
is then placed into the combustion unit via a clam shell, backhoe, or 
similar equipment. This commenter stated that the solvent-contaminated 
wipes could pose a risk to the environment, either through 
volatilization, release of free liquids, or potential fire. Commenters 
urged EPA to specify some minimum standards for management of solvent-
contaminated wipes to be burned in combustors to address risk from 
fugitive emissions during the storage and processing of these wipes 
prior to and during combustion.
    At least one commenter stated that EPA should allow the solvent-
contaminated wipes to be used for energy recovery in cement kilns 
(which are generally regulated under hazardous waste regulations and 
thus, have been heretofore receiving disposable wipes).
EPA Response: Combustors
    EPA agrees with commenters that support allowing combustion of 
solvent-contaminated wipes in municipal waste combustors and other 
combustion facilities. As explained in the November 2003 proposal, 
combustion facility owners/operators will be screening wipes 
contaminated with hazardous solvents that arrive at their facilities to 
ensure they do not violate local permit conditions. In addition, these 
combustors are easily capable of destroying the solvent, as described 
in section IV.F.11 of the Technical Background Document (68 FR 65602).
    EPA does not agree with commenters that raised concerns that 
certain combustion units would not address dioxin and furan formation 
from combustors receiving large quantities of solvent-contaminated 
wipes containing halogenated solvents. As explained in the November 
2003 proposal, EPA has promulgated revised air emission standard 
requirements under the New Source Performance Standards for municipal 
waste combustors and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators 
(68 FR 65602). Thus, municipal waste combustors and other combustion 
facilities must comply with emission standards, including those that 
address dioxin and furan emissions. To reduce confusion, we have 
revised the regulatory language to be clear that we are allowing 
disposable wipes (that meet the conditions of today's rule) to be sent 
to municipal waste combustors and other combustion facilities that are 
regulated under the New Source Performance Standards in section 129 of 
the CAA.
    EPA agrees with commenters' concern about the management of 
solvent-contaminated wipes prior to combustion. The provisions in 
today's rule will adequately address those commenters' concerns. 
Specifically, under today's rule, solvent-contaminated wipes must not 
contain free liquids when transported to a municipal waste combustor or 
other combustion facility. EPA has clarified this standard by defining 
``no free liquids'' using the Paint Filter Liquids Test. The use of 
this test enables proper implementation of the ``no free liquids'' 
condition and, combined with today's requirement that generators 
document how they are meeting this condition,

[[Page 46472]]

should minimize the possibility of free liquids occurring after the 
solvent-contaminated wipes leave the generator. If, however, free 
liquids do reach the combustor, they must be removed and managed under 
the applicable hazardous waste regulations.
    Additionally, EPA is requiring that solvent-contaminated wipes be 
accumulated, stored, and transported in non-leaking, closed containers 
that are labeled as ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' This 
container standard will prevent release of the solvent to the air or 
through spills while being managed by the combustor.
    EPA confirms that solvent-contaminated wipes may continue to be 
sent to RCRA hazardous waste combustors, boilers, and industrial 
furnaces (as well as hazardous waste landfills) regulated under 40 CFR 
parts 264, 265, or 266 subpart H, which includes cement kilns that are 
operating under these regulations. To further clarify this point, we 
have added these citations to the final regulatory language for this 
exclusion.
Comments: Free Liquids Received by Handling Facilities
    Some commenters agreed with EPA's proposal to maintain the 
conditional exclusion for solvent-contaminated wipes that contain some 
free liquids when received by the handling facility. Commenters argued 
that free liquids may inadvertently make their way to the handling 
facility as a result of compression, gravity, or percolation effects on 
the wipes during transport or by improper management of the solvent-
contaminated wipes by the generator prior to transport. These 
commenters agreed that the handling facility should be allowed to 
manage the liquids as hazardous waste or send the shipment back to the 
generator. At least one commenter stated that the handling facility 
should not be considered the generator of the solvents contained on the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and should not be responsible for removing 
the free liquids. Some commenters argued that EPA should allow handling 
facilities to recover the free liquid spent solvent through use of 
appropriate technology without classifying the liquid as hazardous 
waste.
    Other commenters disagreed with EPA's proposed approach and argued 
that a handler who discovers free liquids should not be allowed to 
return the container with the solvent-contaminated wipes and free 
liquid to the generator. These commenters argued that containers with 
liquid hazardous waste should not be considered as having met the 
conditional exclusion and should only be transported by licensed 
hazardous waste transporters to permitted hazardous waste facilities. 
Additionally, commenters argued that allowing shipments to be returned 
to the generator may create problems in which the generator refuses to 
accept the returned solvent-contaminated wipes, or goes out of business 
after sending the wipes to the receiving facility.
    In a similar vein, some commenters noted that generators have their 
own incentives to ensure there are no free liquids because generators 
could incur additional transportation (if the container is returned) or 
additional disposal costs (if the container and its contents are 
managed by the receiver as hazardous waste).
EPA Response: Free Liquids Received by Handling Facilities
    EPA agrees with commenters that supported EPA's proposal to 
maintain the conditional exclusion for solvent-contaminated wipes that 
contain some free liquids when received by the handling facility. In 
the November 2003 proposal, EPA acknowledged that free liquids may be 
generated during transport to a handling facility, despite best efforts 
by the generator. Today's final rule further decreases the frequency of 
free liquids occurring during transport by defining the ``no free 
liquids'' condition for wipes using an objective test method and 
requiring generators to document their method for meeting this 
condition. Additionally, we agree with commenters who stated that 
generators have an economic incentive to ensure the solvent-
contaminated wipes contain no free liquids.
    However, if free liquids are observed in a container at the 
handling facility, EPA is requiring handlers to manage the free liquids 
according to all applicable hazardous waste regulations in 40 CFR parts 
260 through 273. The wipes themselves may remain under the exclusion 
provided that the conditions of the exclusion were met (e.g., the 
solvent-contaminated wipes and the container contained no free liquids 
at the point of transport by the generator). We do not agree with 
commenters that argue the handling facility should not be responsible 
for removing free liquids and that the containers with free liquids 
should be sent back to the generator. This approach would be 
inconsistent with the requirements for managing hazardous waste and 
increases the time the free liquids spend in transit, and the 
possibility of their release, since the generator would likely have to 
send them off-site again for their ultimate disposition. This approach 
supports those commenters who argued that containers with liquid 
hazardous waste should only be transported by licensed hazardous waste 
transporters to permitted hazardous waste facilities and should not be 
sent back to generators because these generators may refuse to accept 
the waste or may have gone out of business.
    Laundries or dry cleaners may also recycle free liquid spent 
solvent within their allowed accumulation period (e.g., 90 or 180 days) 
without a RCRA permit under the provisions of 40 CFR 261.6(c), which 
exempts the recycling process itself from certain hazardous waste 
requirements.
    If the generator complies with the conditions of today's rule, free 
liquids during transport should be a very rare occurrence. Today's rule 
provides a strong incentive for generators to meet the ``no free 
liquids'' condition because handling facilities will likely expect them 
to bear the additional costs to manage the free liquids as hazardous 
waste.

J. Other Major Comments

    EPA also sought comment on a few additional issues, including (1) 
co-contaminants; (2) intra- and inter-company transfers; (3) exotic 
solvents; and (4) state authorization.
Co-Contaminants
    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA stated that the rule ``is not 
intended to override EPA's mixture and derived from rule regarding 
contaminants on industrial wipes other than the solvents specified in 
this proposal'' (see 68 FR 65602). Thus, if the solvent-contaminated 
wipes contain a listed waste other than the identified solvents, the 
wipes would remain listed hazardous waste and would not be eligible for 
the exclusion. EPA also proposed that solvent-contaminated wipes that 
exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste other than ignitability due 
to co-contaminants (i.e., any contaminant other than a solvent) would 
not be eligible for the conditional exclusions. However, EPA proposed 
that wipes co-contaminated with ignitable waste would remain eligible 
for the exclusions if they met the other conditions. EPA based this 
proposal on the fact that the solvent-contaminated wipes could be 
ignitable due to the nature of the solvents on them, and because the 
conditions would adequately address this risk.
Comments: Co-Contaminants
    Some commenters encouraged EPA to allow the conditional exclusions 
to apply regardless of the presence of co-

[[Page 46473]]

contaminants, including the presence of other listed hazardous waste or 
characteristic waste. These comments claimed prohibiting solvent-
contaminated wipes that contain co-contaminants will reduce or 
eliminate the eligibility of the majority of wipes from the exclusions.
    Other commenters agreed with EPA's proposal not to allow solvent-
contaminated wipes to be excluded if they were hazardous due to co-
contaminants arising from other listed hazardous waste or exhibiting a 
hazardous waste characteristic. They argued that no assessment was made 
of the co-contaminants associated with the solvent-contaminated wipes, 
in particular metals, and EPA must ensure that other hazardous 
constituents do not result in adverse risk or environmental impact. 
These commenters also opposed allowing ignitable wipes to be eligible 
for the exclusions if the co-contaminant is an ignitable non-solvent 
constituent.
EPA Response: Co-Contaminants
    EPA agrees with commenters that solvent-contaminated wipes that are 
hazardous due to the presence of co-contaminants that are other listed 
hazardous waste or that exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic (other 
than ignitability) should not be eligible for the conditional 
exclusions. Therefore, EPA is finalizing the provision regarding co-
contaminants as proposed. That is, wipes contaminated with non-solvent 
listed waste (for example, as a result of a hazardous waste spill 
clean-up) or that exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic other than 
ignitability due to a non-solvent contaminant are not eligible for the 
conditional exclusions. EPA agrees with commenters that we did not 
evaluate the risks posed by solvent-contaminated wipes that are 
contaminated with other listed hazardous wastes and thus, it is not 
appropriate to exclude them in this rulemaking. Likewise, solvent-
contaminated wipes that exhibit a characteristic due to constituents 
other than one of the excluded solvents (e.g., co-contaminant metals) 
are not included in the conditional exclusions (with one exception for 
ignitable-only wastes) for similar reasons (i.e., solvent-contaminated 
wipes contaminated with these other co-constituents were not 
evaluated).
    We agree with commenters who sought to make solvent-contaminated 
wipes that are co-contaminated with ignitable-only wastes eligible for 
the conditional exclusion. Because solvents are often ignitable, as a 
practical matter it would be difficult to distinguish between those 
solvent-contaminated wipes that are ignitable due to the solvent from 
those that are ignitable due to a non-solvent co-contaminant. And such 
a distinction is unnecessary because the conditions of the exclusion 
(e.g., no free liquids and closed, non-leaking containers) address the 
issue of ignitibility no matter what the source.
Intra- and Inter-Company Transfers
    EPA proposed to allow intra-company transfers of solvent-
contaminated wipes with free liquids, which would allow facilities to 
send their wipes to another facility within their same company that 
would remove sufficient solvent from the wipes so they could meet the 
``dry'' condition or the ``no free liquids'' condition, as appropriate. 
The receiving facility would have to manage the extracted solvent 
according to the applicable hazardous waste regulations found under 40 
CFR parts 260 through 273. We proposed this provision to encourage 
additional solvent recycling and energy recovery, as well as to assist 
facilities in meeting the ``no free liquids'' or ``dry'' condition.
    The Agency also requested comment on allowing inter-company 
transfers of solvent-contaminated wipes with free liquids, which would 
allow generators to ship solvent-contaminated wipes with free liquids 
to any facility if the receiving facility uses a solvent extraction 
and/or recovery process to remove enough solvent from the wipes for 
them to meet the ``no free liquids'' condition.
Comments: Intra- and Inter-Company Transfers
    Some commenters supported allowing intra-company transfers of 
solvent-contaminated wipes containing free liquids, if the receiving 
facility has a solvent-extraction and/or recovery process. These 
commenters argued that intra-company transfers would allow smaller 
facilities access to solvent extraction equipment or technologies at 
larger facilities, thus increasing solvent reuse while decreasing off-
site disposal costs. At least one commenter, however, did not agree 
that allowing intra-company transfers would significantly increase 
solvent recycling because facilities are unlikely to invest in such 
extraction technologies.
    Other commenters argued that intra- and inter-company transfers of 
solvent-contaminated wipes with free liquids should not be eligible for 
the exclusions. These commenters stated that excluding saturated 
solvent-contaminated wipes transported off-site for solvent reclamation 
runs counter to the premise that wipes contain no free liquids. They 
argued that it is not appropriate to allow free liquid spent solvent 
waste to be transported without RCRA controls, such as a manifest and 
other minimum protections. They further argued that allowing free 
liquid spent solvents to be transported freely to multiple sites 
creates an opportunity for further exposure and potential for 
environmental releases.
EPA Response: Intra- and Inter-Company Transfers
    EPA has chosen not to finalize the provision allowing intra-company 
or inter-company transfers for solvent extraction. We agree with those 
commenters who argued that allowing off-site transport of saturated 
solvent-contaminated wipes runs counter to the premise of today's rule. 
Saturated solvent-contaminated wipes inherently present greater risk of 
environmental release than wipes containing no free liquids and the 
conditions of today's rule may not be adequate to address the risks 
posed by transport of solvent-contaminated wipes containing free 
liquids.
    Although we acknowledge commenters' arguments that intra-company 
transfers may allow smaller facilities access to solvent extraction 
equipment and technologies and therefore increase solvent reuse, we 
note that, since this rule was proposed in November 2003, EPA has 
finalized 40 CFR 261.4(a)(23), which allows off-site transfers of 
hazardous secondary materials being reclaimed under the control of the 
generator, provided certain conditions are met. Therefore, generators 
of solvent-contaminated wipes that wish to transfer their wipes within 
the same company for the purposes of reclamation may use this 
exclusion, promulgated in October 2008 (73 FR 64668).
Exotic Solvents
    In the November 2003 proposal, EPA stated that it had learned of 
new, ``exotic'' solvents on the market, such as terpenes and citric 
acids, that, while labeled as non-hazardous, could actually be 
flammable (68 FR 65600). Stakeholders had informed the Agency that, 
under certain conditions that have yet to be determined, the solvent-
contaminated wipes that contain these exotic solvents may spontaneously 
combust. To prevent combustion, generators have wet down the wipes with 
water.
    In the proposal, EPA requested information and comments on these 
exotic solvents and how they are presently managed. The Agency stated 
that some stakeholders have suggested that EPA should allow generating

[[Page 46474]]

facilities that are using one of these exotic solvents to wet down the 
wipes with water and thus, allow the off-site transport of these 
solvent-contaminated wipes with free liquids.
Comments: Exotic Solvents
    A few commenters urged EPA to include special conditions for 
handling of such exotic solvents in the final rule, noting that wipes 
that contain certain vegetable-based oils could increase the 
possibility of spontaneous combustion during storage. These commenters 
recommended that EPA give special consideration to the use of water to 
mitigate potential spontaneous combustion due to these exotic solvents.
    Another commenter argued that there is no need to address exotic 
solvents in the final regulation since the current hazardous waste 
regulations adequately cover such waste streams. The commenter added 
that while adding water to the wipes might reduce ignitability, it 
would also add waste volume and confuse the issue of free liquids.
    Still another commenter disagreed with the term exotic solvents 
because the term suggests that such solvents are particularly 
dangerous, when, in fact, these solvents are almost always less 
potentially harmful to human health and the environment than the 
petroleum-based solvents they often replace. The commenter stated that 
these solvents typically exhibit a high flash point (>140 degrees F), 
are readily biodegradable, and have a low human and environmental 
toxicity than the more flammable petroleum-based solvents. This 
commenter stated that the most common concern with citrus-based 
solvents is their biodegradability, because, as the substance breaks 
down, heat is generated. This commenter also said that some citrus-
based solvents biodegrade rapidly enough to generate significant 
quantities of heat and, if this heat is not allowed to dissipate, as 
with a closed container of solvent-contaminated wipes, the heat can 
raise the solvent to its flash point, thus causing spontaneous 
combustion.
    This commenter argued that the safety considerations in preventing 
spontaneous fires have long been considered an acceptable practice. 
This commenter stated that often, wipes are wetted to the point where 
they would not pass a ``no free liquids'' test. This practice, the 
commenter stated, however, does not violate current state policies nor 
would it violate the Agency's proposed solvent-contaminated wipes rule 
because citrus-based solvents are not RCRA regulated hazardous waste. 
As long as citrus-based solvents are not commingled with other RCRA 
regulated solvents, the commenter argued that the wetting of wipes 
containing citrus-based solvents to the point at which the wipes 
contain free liquids is not of regulatory concern.
EPA Response: Exotic Solvents
    EPA agrees with commenters that stated wipes contaminated with 
exotic solvents that do not exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic 
and which are not listed hazardous wastes are not subject to RCRA 
hazardous waste regulation and are thus, outside the scope of today's 
rulemaking. In some cases, however, although the solvent may not 
exhibit a hazardous characteristic based on its flash point, a wipe 
contaminated with that solvent may be hazardous because it can oxidize 
and spontaneously combust. EPA did not intend to imply in the November 
2003 proposal that wipes contaminated with these solvents would not be 
ignitable under RCRA. EPA considers wastes that can spontaneously 
combust at any point in their management as potentially meeting the 
definition of ignitibility under 40 CFR 261.21(a)(2). Generators are 
responsible for making a hazardous waste determination as is required 
for any wastestream.
    We recognize that generators and handlers may sometimes wet down 
wipes contaminated with exotic solvents to prevent spontaneous fires 
from occurring. Although wetting these wipes may be appropriate for 
managing the on-site risk of spontaneous combustion, we do not agree 
that these wipes should be allowed special consideration under today's 
exclusions. If wipes contaminated with solvents must be wetted to the 
point where they would not pass a ``no free liquids'' test at the point 
of transport for cleaning or disposal, then EPA believes they should 
not be eligible for today's exclusions. This approach is consistent 
with wipes containing F-listed solvents that would not pass the ``no 
free liquids'' test at the point of transport from the generator to the 
handling facility in order to minimize release of solvents to the 
environment. While EPA supports generators' choices to use less toxic 
solvents, we encourage generators to work with their suppliers to 
understand and become aware of any potential hazards that could arise 
from using solvents in conjunction with wipes, and to appropriately 
classify and manage them.
Comments: State Authorization
    Some commenters argued that EPA should require the rule be 
implemented in all 50 states to ensure national consistency of the 
regulations regarding solvent-contaminated wipes. At least one 
commenter noted that, because this regulation is not specifically 
authorized under the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 
(HSWA), it will not be effective automatically in all states and thus, 
EPA should conduct comprehensive outreach with the states to adopt the 
proposed conditional exclusions when they are finalized.
    Other commenters argued that EPA's final rule should allow states 
to adopt the federal rule with modifications and should allow states to 
adopt equally protective provisions, which will enable consistency with 
the states' current policies, many of which have been in effect since 
1994. Additionally, these commenters urged EPA to be cognizant of the 
fact that many states have had over a decade of experience in 
establishing cost-effective, practical, and protective regulatory 
programs for solvent-contaminated wipes. The commenters argued that EPA 
should be cautious to avoid interfering with pre-existing and equally-
protective state programs that already are in place for the management 
of solvent-contaminated wipes.
    Another commenter argued that, with respect to the rule's reusable 
wipes provision, EPA has not made clear whether it considers the 
exclusion to be an ``exit'' mechanism from otherwise applicable 
hazardous waste regulatory requirements or, in light of EPA's pre-
existing decision to allow states to determine their own regulatory 
status of reusable wipes, a first-time hazardous waste ``entry'' 
mechanism for listed solvent-containing laundered wipes. This commenter 
argued, if the former is the case, EPA should clarify that as a matter 
of federal law, the full set of RCRA-authorized state hazardous waste 
regulations should be immediately applicable to reusable wipes unless 
and until the provisions of the final rule for reusable wipes are 
implemented lawfully by authorized states. If the latter is the case, 
then consistent with EPA's prior determinations regarding the status of 
hazardous waste listings involving solvent ``mixtures'' under the HSWA 
amendments, the commenters argued those provisions of the final rule 
must be classified as a ``HSWA rule'' that is immediately effective in 
all respects in all states. In either case, in order to comply with its 
own RCRA state authorization regulations and guidance, the commenters 
stated that EPA needs to clarify that states whose current policies 
governing reusable wipes are less stringent in any respect than the new 
federal conditional exclusion must amend their RCRA-

[[Page 46475]]

authorized hazardous waste regulations as necessary to ensure that all 
the conditions of the final exclusion for reusable wipes are provided 
for in duly promulgated regulations of those states.
EPA Response: State Authorization
    EPA does not agree that we should require the rule be implemented 
in all 50 states. Under RCRA section 3006, EPA may authorize qualified 
states to administer the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program within 
the state. Following authorization, the authorized state program 
operates in lieu of the federal regulations. Authorized states are 
required to modify their programs only when EPA promulgates federal 
requirements that are more stringent or broader in scope than existing 
federal requirements. RCRA section 3009 allows states to impose 
standards more stringent than those in the federal program (see 40 CFR 
271.1). Therefore, authorized states may, but are not required to, 
adopt federal regulations, both HSWA and non-HSWA, that are considered 
less stringent than previous federal regulations. See section X for 
more information on state authorization under RCRA. Because today's 
rule finalizes conditional exclusions from the definition of solid and 
hazardous waste, it is less stringent than previous federal regulations 
and thus, EPA cannot mandate that the rule become effective in all 50 
states. However, we encourage states to adopt today's exclusions to 
reduce regulatory burden and maximize national consistency of 
regulations regarding solvent-contaminated wipes.
    EPA agrees with commenters that states may adopt the federal rule 
with modifications provided their state programs are at least as 
stringent as the federal program per the provisions of 40 CFR 
271.21(e). This allows some consistency with the states' current 
policies, which have been in effect for many years. For example, we 
specifically allow authorized states to specify a different standard or 
test method for determining that solvent-contaminated wipes contain no 
free liquids. Where an authorized state standard exists, generators 
must meet that standard in lieu of the Paint Filter Liquids test for 
purposes of meeting the ``no free liquids'' condition. Of course, the 
authorized state standard must be no less stringent than today's 
definition of ``no free liquids.''
    EPA does not agree that today's rule establishes for the first time 
that solvent-contaminated wipes are solid and hazardous wastes. In 
fact, the 1994 Shapiro memo plainly describes that a ``wiper can only 
be defined as listed hazardous waste if the wiper either contains 
listed waste, or is otherwise mixed with hazardous waste. Whether or 
not a used wiper contains listed hazardous waste, is mixed with listed 
hazardous waste, only exhibits a characteristic of hazardous waste, or 
is not a waste at all, is dependent on site-specific factor(s); this is 
not a new policy.'' \36\ Clearly, EPA has always considered solvent-
contaminated wipes subject to solid and hazardous waste determinations. 
Therefore, today's rule conditionally excluding solvent-contaminated 
wipes is promulgated under the authority of sections 2002, 3001-3010 
and 7004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965 and is not a HSWA 
rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ See ``Industrial Wipers and Shop Towels under the Hazardous 
Waste Regulations,'' Michael Shapiro, February 14, 1994. This memo 
can be found in RCRA Online, Number 11813 and in the docket for 
today's rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to the argument that reusable wipes must be managed as 
hazardous wastes unless and until the state adopts the conditional 
exclusion, we note that, as stated in the November 2003 proposal, the 
1994 Shapiro memo established federal policy with regard to solvent-
contaminated wipes that deferred the determination of their regulatory 
status in case-specific scenarios to the states and EPA Regions (68 FR 
65617). This deferral has resulted in the development of various state 
programs for reusable wipes. Therefore, authorized states whose 
programs include less stringent requirements than today's final rule 
are required to modify their programs to maintain consistency with the 
federal program per the provisions of 40 CFR 271.21(e). In addition, 
any states that delineate their program for reusable wipes in guidance 
documents or interpretive letters will need to promulgate enforceable 
regulations, as required by 40 CFR 271.21(a). Because today's rule is a 
non-HSWA rule, the current state requirements remain in place until the 
state adopts requirements equivalent to these federal requirements.

IX. Major Comments on Risk Analysis

    The Agency received comments on both the risk screening analysis 
from the November 2003 proposal and on the revised risk analysis 
presented in the October 2009 NODA. Many of the comments and criticisms 
of the original analysis from November 2003 were addressed by the 
revisions to the risk analysis undertaken and published for comment in 
the October 2009 NODA. In the following responses, we will first 
address the comments on the landfill loading calculations (i.e., how 
much of the solvents and sludges might be disposed in landfills under 
an exclusion) in the 2003 risk screening analysis for the November 2003 
proposal and in the 2009 revised risk analysis for the October 2009 
NODA. We will then respond to the comments on how the Agency calculated 
the risk-based mass loading limits for the solvents and the sludges in 
the 2003 risk screening analysis for the November 2003 proposal and in 
the 2009 revised risk analysis for the October 2009 NODA.

Comments: November 2003 Solvent Loading Calculations

    The Agency received many public comments in response to EPA's 
November 2003 proposed rule regarding the approach and assumptions used 
in estimating the quantity of solvent which might be disposed in a 
landfill, known as landfill loading. Most of these comments were 
related to how the Agency chose the various values used as inputs to 
the calculations. Some commenters criticized the use of ``high-end 
assumptions'' for key input data, while other commenters suggested we 
underestimated these input data. For disposable wipes, the input data 
questioned included the following: number of generators, quantity of 
solvent on a wipe, the percent of wipes in a sector containing the 
solvents, and number of generators using a single landfill for 
disposal. For reusable wipes, the key input data at issue included 
quantity and distribution of wipes washed at each laundry, 
concentrations of solvents in washwater, partitioning of solvents to 
the sludge, and number of laundries using a single landfill for sludge 
disposal.

EPA Response: November 2003 Solvent Loading Calculations

    In response to these comments, we completely revised the landfill 
loading calculations and presented our new analysis in the October 2009 
NODA (see the document entitled ``Landfill Loadings Calculations for 
Disposed Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and Laundry Sludge Managed in 
Municipal Landfills,'' October 2008; this is referred to below as the 
``Landfill Loadings Report''). The Landfill Loadings Report, and the 
associated appendices, includes improvements in referencing and 
describing the assumptions used for the above input data, such as the 
amount of solvent on each wipe, the fraction of wipes containing the 
listed solvent, and the number of wipes used per facility. To account 
for the variability in these parameters (e.g., facilities using

[[Page 46476]]

different quantities of solvent), we used a probabilistic analysis, 
such that the calculation inputs account for the full range of data 
available. Therefore, we did not use ``high-end'' parameters in our 
analysis, except as part of a range which also includes less 
conservative values. The probabilistic approach used in the revised 
landfill loading analysis addresses the potential to overestimate or 
underestimate the input data used in the solvent loading calculations. 
The Landfill Loadings Report also includes an analysis of uncertainty 
and sensitivity, which were evaluated using a probabilistic analysis. 
Therefore, we believe that this analysis presented in the October 2009 
NODA addresses the comments received on the landfill loading 
calculations presented in the November 2003 proposal.
Comments: 2009 Revised Risk Analysis Solvent Loading Calculations
    As described earlier in the background section of this notice, we 
undertook an external peer review of the 2009 revised risk analysis and 
addressed those comments prior to presenting the new risk analysis in 
the October 2009 NODA. Commenters generally supported our conclusion 
that 10 of the 30 solvents have no use, or very limited use, as 
solvents on wipes. However, some commenters stated that EPA used 
limited data sets, resulting in over-conservative mass loading levels 
for the disposable wipes. One commenter indicated that extreme solvent 
loading values are inconsistent with the implicit assumption that the 
solvent-contaminated wipes meet the conditions of the exclusion (e.g., 
no free liquids). The commenter stated that establishing an ``upper 
bound'' for the amount of solvent on each wipe would more accurately 
account for the ``no free liquids'' condition.
    Another commenter provided comments specific to the analysis for 
solvent loadings for reusable wipes. This commenter provided updated 
information collected in surveys for various input parameters related 
to the sludge generated by facilities that laundered reusable wipes 
(e.g., the quantity of wastewater generated and the quantity of towels 
being processed).
EPA Response: 2009 Revised Risk Analysis Solvent Loading Calculations
    In response to comments on over-conservative mass loading levels 
for disposable wipes, we note that the report typically used 
distributions that resulted in the best fit of the available data. 
While setting an upper bound for the amount of solvent on a wipe is one 
approach to account for the ``no free liquids'' condition, selecting a 
precise value for this upper bound is difficult. The initial 
sensitivity analysis presented in the report (i.e., section 2.4.2 of 
the Landfill Loadings Report) suggests that the amount of solvent on 
the solvent-contaminated wipes is not a particularly sensitive input 
parameter, so modifications in this parameter are not expected to 
affect the results significantly. To fully respond to the comment, we 
conducted further sensitivity analyses by truncating this parameter at 
a lower value (to be more consistent with observed data) and confirmed 
that this change would lower the landfill loading estimates by less 
than 10%. Therefore, we find that the slightly more conservative 
approach used in conducting the analysis is reasonable.
    Regarding the information provided by one commenter for reusable 
wipes, we decided to modify our analysis to incorporate the more recent 
data, where appropriate. We made a case-by-case evaluation of the data 
provided by the commenter, and modified the calculations accordingly. 
Using the updated data on the pounds of towels processed per year and 
the resulting washwater used lowered the mass loadings calculated for 
sludges generated by the laundries by about 50%. These changes had 
little effect on the overall risks presented by the combined disposal 
of disposable wipes and laundry sludges, because the sludges 
represented a relatively small fraction of the combined risk for the 
solvents. However, the effect of these modifications was sufficient to 
reduce the combined risk results presented in the October 2009 NODA for 
tetrachloroethylene in a composite-lined landfill, such that this 
chemical would meet the target risk criteria (a cancer risk of 1.0 x 
10-5, based on the 90th percentile estimated landfill 
loading and the 90th percentile risk-based mass loading limit). As 
noted in the background section of this notice, the Agency has since 
issued a new human health assessment for tetrachloroethylene, which 
included updated health-based values. When we substituted the new 
health-based values for tetrachloroethylene in our final risk 
evaluation (see the Addendum in the docket for this rulemaking), the 
combined risks for this chemical in a composite-lined unit dropped even 
further, such that the risks were well below the target risk criteria, 
with or without the modifications to the sludge data based on the 
commenter's new data.
    Responses to all comments on the landfill loading estimate used in 
the November 2003 proposal and the October 2009 NODA are provided in 
the docket.\37\ The docket also contains the final landfill loadings 
report (``Landfill Loadings Calculations For Solvent-Contaminated 
Wipes,'' January 2012), which reflects the modifications made in 
response to the public comments and external peer reviewer comments on 
the risk analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ See the docket for ``Response to Comments on the 2003 
Proposal on the Landfill Loadings Calculations for Solvent-
Contaminated Wipes,'' and ``Response to Comments on the 2009 NODA on 
the Landfill Loadings Calculations for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes,'' 
and ``EPA's Response to Peer Reviewer Comments on the Landfill 
Loadings Calculations for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments: Other Aspects of 2003 Risk Screening Analysis for November 
2003 Proposal

    EPA received many comments on other aspects of the 2003 risk 
screening analysis used to support the November 2003 proposal. Most of 
these comments were addressed in the 2009 revised risk analysis in the 
October 2009 NODA. Several commenters expressed concern that the 2003 
risk screening analysis was overly conservative. Concerns expressed 
included the following: use of a simple deterministic approach based on 
high end or average input values; landfill assumptions did not consider 
liners or chemical degradation mechanisms; use of the highest leachate 
concentrations; use of fixed distance to receptors, as well as others.
    Other commenters expressed concerns that the 2003 risk screening 
analysis underestimated risk.\38\ Other comments questioned our 
exposure assumptions, our use of generic Dilution and Attenuation 
Factors (DAFs) to estimate exposure point concentrations, and our lack 
of response to the peer reviewer comments. We also received comments 
that the 2003 risk screening analysis failed to consider other 
important indirect exposure pathways for humans and the environment 
(e.g., runoff and erosion, particulate emissions, and possible food 
chain risks).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ Many of these comments concerned our assumptions for the 
amount of solvent contained on the wipes; the new Landfill Loadings 
Report presented in the October 2009 NODA addressed these comments, 
as described previously.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commenters also stated that the 2003 risk screening analysis only 
considered a single solvent constituent from a single source going to a 
single landfill, and that EPA assumed that the landfill receives wipes 
from no other sources. Commenters noted that the target risk criteria 
used were inadequate to allow margins for other contaminants migrating 
from the landfill.

[[Page 46477]]

EPA Response: Other Aspects of 2003 Risk Screening Analysis for 
November 2003 Proposal

    In response to comments on the 2003 risk screening analysis for the 
November 2003 proposal, the Agency undertook a more robust risk 
analysis. This 2009 revised risk analysis, which was presented in the 
October 2009 NODA, was probabilistic in nature and used Monte Carlo 
methods to characterize the variability and uncertainty associated with 
the modeling. The 2009 revised risk analysis results included solvent-
specific, risk-based mass loading limit (RB-MLL) estimates for both 
unlined and composite-lined landfill scenarios. In addition, the Agency 
developed and used a new landfill coupled reactor model (LFCR), which 
allowed the modeling to account for solvent biodegradation and 
partitioning between air, water, and solid phases while in the 
landfill. The LFCR model was run to develop distributions of estimates 
of landfill leachates, which were used as input to EPA's Composite 
Model for Leachate Migration with Transformation Products (CMTP) 
groundwater model. The time-averaged solvent concentrations were used 
as input to the downstream exposure model.
    The probabilistic approach used in the 2009 revised risk analysis 
addresses the potential to either overestimate or underestimate the 
risks from disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes and sludges in 
landfills. For example, the 2009 revised risk analysis presented in the 
October 2009 NODA addresses the exposure assumption comments primarily 
through the use of data distributions for exposure factors, which were 
developed based on EPA's guidance (e.g., the EPA Exposure Factors 
Handbook). Regarding the use of generic DAFs, the 2009 revised risk 
analysis did not use generic DAFs, but rather reflected solvent-
specific modeling with a probabilistic analysis, which included 
national-level modeling using EPA's CMTP groundwater model. As noted in 
the background section of this notice, we submitted the 2009 revised 
risk analysis for extensive peer review and responded to the comments, 
as appropriate. Our full response to the peer reviewer comments on the 
2009 revised risk analysis is in the docket for today's final rule.
    In the 2009 revised risk analysis, we also reevaluated the 
potential for risk via indirect exposure pathways, as well as the 
potential for significant impacts on the environment. We developed the 
RB-MLLs for the exposure pathways that pose the greatest potential 
concern. We considered the physical and chemical properties of the 
chemicals of interest and focused our evaluation primarily on direct 
exposure pathways. The 20 solvents evaluated include a range of 
volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals, most of which have 
relatively short environmental half-lives (as compared to persistent 
organic chemicals). The primary release mechanisms from landfills are 
diffusion and advection into the air and leaching to groundwater. The 
generally low values for partition coefficients for these solvents 
strongly suggest that indirect exposure pathways will either be 
incomplete or contribute negligibly to total exposure. The conclusion 
that these solvents are insignificant contributors to risk via indirect 
exposure pathways (for a landfill source) is consistent with other risk 
analyses of landfill waste management scenarios undertaken by the 
Agency.\39\ Furthermore, landfills maintain controls for particulate 
air releases and for soil erosion and runoff; regulations for MSWLFs 
include run-on/runoff controls (40 CFR 258.26), daily cover (Sec.  
258.21), and compliance with the CAA requirements (Sec.  258.24). Thus, 
the primary focus of the risk modeling was to assess direct exposure 
pathways to the air and groundwater. The commenters did not provide any 
information to suggest that these indirect exposure pathways would 
alter the RB-MLLs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ For example, see EPA's evaluation of potential risks from 
landfill disposal for paint production wastes as described in the 
proposed rule; 66 FR 10060, February 13, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regarding multiple facilities using the same landfill, the 2009 
risk analysis presented in the October 2009 NODA evaluated multiple 
facilities disposing of solvent-contaminated wipes in one landfill. We 
used a Monte Carlo analysis to represent the variability of generator 
and landfill locations; the distribution used ranged from 2 to 67 
generators per landfill. In addition, the overall loadings assumed were 
conservative estimates, as described in the Landfill Loadings Report.
    EPA disagrees with suggestions by a commenter that EPA should use 
more restrictive target risk criteria to address other possible sources 
of the solvents of concern. The Agency believes that the risk criteria 
used (1E-5 cancer risk and HQ less than or equal to 1.0 for non-cancer 
risk) are appropriate for a listing decision, especially in light of 
the conservative approach used in the overall risk evaluation. 
Furthermore, we point out that the 2012 final risk analysis indicates 
that the risks for the solvent-contaminated wipes in composite-lined 
landfills were well below the target risk criteria for all of the 
solvents (except for trichloroethylene, which is not eligible for the 
exclusion for disposable wipes), i.e., the solvent landfill loadings 
are more than a factor of ten below the risk-based mass loading 
limits.\40\ Therefore, even if the Agency used lower target risk 
criteria, as suggested by the commenter, the disposal of solvent-
contaminated wipes and sludge in composite-lined landfills would not 
present a significant risk for the solvent chemicals included in the 
exclusion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ See Table 5 in ``F001-F005 Solvent-Contaminated Wipes and 
Laundry Sludge: Comparison of Landfill Loading Calculations and 
Risk-Based Mass Loading Limits,'' revised, April 2012, in the docket 
for the final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments: Assumptions for Reusable Wipes
    Commenters on the 2003 risk screening analysis for the November 
2003 proposal stated that EPA did not consider exposures resulting from 
solvent-contaminated wipes and laundering processes, other than to 
evaluate the sludge and solvent-contaminated wipes disposed in a MSWLF. 
Other possible exposure pathways noted were worker exposure at the 
laundering facility; the release of constituents not treated at the 
POTW; and air emissions from laundries affecting nearby residences.
    Some commenters also noted that EPA neglected to consider 
contamination of wipes from the materials that the solvent removes from 
the equipment. Information submitted by one commenter indicated that 
even after processing by a professional laundering service, cloth shop 
towels may contain levels of chemicals (metals) that are potentially 
harmful to workers using the wipes. However, another commenter 
dismissed this point, stating that claims about residual metals in 
clean, laundered shop towels are entirely without merit.
EPA Response: Assumptions for Reusable Wipes
    The purpose of the 2003 risk screening analysis for the November 
2003 proposed rule and the 2009 revised risk analysis presented in the 
October 2009 NODA was to characterize the potential risk from the 
disposal of solvent-contaminated wipes and laundry sludge in landfills. 
Therefore, occupational exposures, such as exposures resulting from the 
partitioning of solvents to air and wastewater during laundering and 
dry cleaning operations, were not

[[Page 46478]]

considered. Our analyses assumed that workers are appropriately 
protected by regulation and guidance provided by OSHA.\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ For example, worker exposures to airborne contaminants are 
limited based on 29 CFR 1910.1000 Tables Z-1 and Z-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Concerning exposure to residents living in close proximity to 
laundering/dry cleaning facilities, given the range of exposures 
captured by the modeling scenarios in the 2009 revised risk analysis 
presented in the October 2009 NODA, and the fact that ambient air 
exposures were not significant, any ambient air impacts from 
laundering/dry cleaning operations should be less significant than 
those considered under our landfill disposal scenario. The 2009 revised 
risk analysis assumed that ambient air exposure could occur as close as 
25 meters from the landfill, a fairly conservative assumption. Despite 
this, none of the 90th percentile RB-MLLs were based on ambient air 
exposures. Indoor air exposures resulting from showering with 
contaminated groundwater and groundwater ingestion were found to be the 
key exposures considered, and these risks drove the analysis. With 
regard to partitioning of solvents to wastewater, any risks associated 
with these discharges would be addressed by the CWA, under NPDES 
permits or local POTW pretreatment standards, if necessary.
    In response to the possibility of co-contaminants, we first note 
that solvent-contaminated wipes that exhibit a characteristic (except 
for ignitability) due to constituents other than one of the excluded F- 
and corresponding P- and U-listed solvents (e.g., co-contaminant 
metals) are not eligible for the conditional exclusions. Similarly, 
wipes contaminated with other listed hazardous wastes would not be 
eligible for the conditional exclusions. Regarding other possible 
contaminants, we note that the F-, P-, and U-code solvent listings are 
based on the toxicity and/or ignitability hazards presented by the 
specific solvents included in the listing descriptions. The language in 
the listings illustrates EPA's concern with the solvent chemicals. 
Other potential constituents in the solvent wastes vary widely across 
industries, such that it would be exceedingly difficult, if not 
impossible, to categorize and evaluate risks associated with these 
wastes if we considered all other hazardous constituents and 
characteristics. Because of the wide variability in constituents that 
might be present in wastes from use of the solvents and the identified 
hazards posed by the solvents, we focused our evaluation on the solvent 
chemicals themselves. We find that this is the most practical approach 
to evaluating risks posed by solvent-contaminated wipes.
    Regarding the potential for laundered towels to contain residual 
metals, we note that the study cited by the commenter was limited to 
metal contaminants, not listed solvents. As described in the above 
paragraph, EPA did not attempt to evaluate possible co-contaminants on 
the wipes. The exclusion is for wipes contaminated with F-listed 
solvents, not metal-contaminated wipes. The solvent-contaminated wipes 
are still subject to the TC for metals, which would help to address any 
potential metal residuals in the laundered wipes. In addition, any 
residual metals still on the towels after laundering would likely be 
tightly bound to the fibers, making any transfer from laundered towels 
to workers unlikely.
Comments: Other Aspects of the 2009 Revised Risk Analysis Presented in 
the October 2009 NODA
    Commenters were generally supportive of the 2009 revised risk 
analysis presented in the October 2009 NODA. However, we received 
comments on some aspects of the analysis. Many of the comments 
submitted were related to the way EPA calculated the estimated landfill 
loading rates (ELLRs) for solvents disposed in landfills; we addressed 
these comments as described previously (see comments on the revised 
solvent loading calculations above). Comments on other aspects of the 
2009 revised risk analysis are described below.
    One commenter stated that EPA should use data for laundry sludge 
measured using a leaching test in its risk analysis (i.e., the TCLP). 
The commenter also argued that EPA was overly-conservative in not 
considering the likelihood that the monitoring of groundwater wells 
near the landfill would limit exposure and in the assumptions EPA used 
for well locations near landfills. In addition, the commenter provided 
results of a survey that indicated a ``majority'' of laundry facilities 
send their sludges to lined landfills, arguing that this reflected the 
general trend over the past 20 years away from unlined landfills.
    Another commenter generally concluded that EPA's 2009 revised risk 
analysis is ``scientifically defensible.'' The commenter suggested that 
the use of lined Subtitle D landfills for disposal of solvent-
contaminated wipes and laundry sludge ``would be permissible, but not 
required, to adequately protect human health and the environment.'' 
However, the commenter indicated that a number of input assumptions 
used in EPA's 2009 revised risk analysis are unnecessarily 
conservative, resulting in significant over-estimation of the risks 
posed. In particular, the commenter stated that EPA used population 
distribution assumptions to calculate exposure concentrations for both 
the groundwater and air pathways that assumed higher population 
percentages located closer to a landfill than actually occurs. The 
commenter also states that, because exposure concentration is a 
function of distance from the source, using the EPA distributions 
result in an overestimation of calculated risk.
    The commenter also stated that our modeling underestimated the 
effect of biodegradation, noting that this could lower the peak 
contaminant concentration to which individuals would be exposed. 
Finally, the commenter criticized the Agency's approach in comparing 
the ELLRs to the RB-MLLs for the various solvents, which used a 
comparison of two upper bound values (i.e., the 90th percentile ELLR 
and 90th percentile RB-MLL). The commenter stated that this results in 
a level of protectiveness that exceeds EPA's stated goal of ensuring 
that 90 percent of the hypothetical individuals living near a landfill 
will not be exposed to solvent releases at levels of concern. As an 
alternative, the commenter suggested the use of ratios that combine the 
90th percentile RB-MLLs and the 50th percentile ELLRs.
EPA Response: Other Aspects of the 2009 Revised Risk Analysis Presented 
in the October 2009 NODA
    EPA disagrees with the comments regarding the use of TCLP data from 
laundry sludge and finds that using the new landfill model (LFCR) 
rather than TCLP leachate data for modeling solvent releases from 
disposed solvent-contaminated wipes and sludge presented several 
advantages. The landfill model we used captured a broad variety of 
conditions needed to back-calculate acceptable levels of solvent 
loadings for a national rule. Our approach allowed calculation of 
releases to all media, including air. Using this approach, we were able 
to consider the potential risk for a range of chemicals based on their 
properties and transport characteristics, regardless of whether 
empirical release data, such as TCLP, were available. Furthermore, the 
TCLP data submitted by the commenter were severely limited (e.g., the 
submitted samples were taken in the 1990s, some samples were not 
analyzed for the organic constituents of interest, and

[[Page 46479]]

there was no supporting QA/QC data provided).
    EPA disagrees that the groundwater modeling scenario we used was 
based on overly conservative assumptions. This reasonable groundwater 
exposure scenario, developed to be protective of highly exposed 
individuals, has been implemented to support various EPA risk analyses, 
which have withstood extensive external peer reviews. EPA also 
disagrees with the commenter's assumption that, in an unlined landfill 
scenario, comprehensive monitoring is being done to assess potential 
impacts to groundwater, and that such monitoring would prevent 
potential risk. While monitoring is required for many landfills, there 
are exceptions to this requirement (e.g., for smaller landfills, as 
defined in Sec.  258.1(f)(1)). In any case, protectiveness should not 
rely on groundwater monitoring to protect nearby residents from 
potential exposures. Rather, our risk analysis seeks to estimate risks 
to highly exposed individuals that rely on groundwater sources near 
landfills. If we rely on well monitoring, then groundwater releases 
might not be detected until aquifers have been contaminated. That 
approach would be inconsistent with the preventive intent of RCRA to 
prospectively avoid releases into the environment that may threaten 
human health and the environment. Therefore, relying on monitoring is 
not appropriate in our risk analysis.
    With respect to the issue of landfill and well locations, we note 
that these locations can change over time. Therefore, EPA used 
probabilistic analyses to incorporate the variability and uncertainty 
in the data. Landfill locations for this risk analysis were based on 
the locations found in EPA's landfill database. We implicitly assumed 
that off-site landfills provide a reasonable representation of the 
distribution of MSWLFs across the United States. From this database, we 
obtained a sample population of locations and correlated parameters 
(e.g., aquifer type, climate center, soil types, and aquifer 
temperature) necessary to run the source and fate and transport models. 
The commenter's claim that their survey shows that the ``majority'' of 
laundry facilities dispose of their sludge in a lined landfill is not 
sufficient to demonstrate that there are no potential risks from 
disposal in unlined units. Nonetheless, we modeled both an unlined and 
composite-lined landfill scenario to assess the full range of potential 
risks. The Agency found that disposal in composite-lined landfills was 
a necessary condition for the exclusion to adequately protect human 
health and the environment.
    With respect to population distributions, we acknowledge that the 
2009 revised risk analysis used conservative receptor locations. 
However, our analysis does not directly consider population risk; 
rather this national-level risk analysis was designed to be protective 
of highly exposed individuals. Regarding the groundwater pathway, we 
used a probabilistic approach for well placement that was based on 
residential well locations taken from surveys of MSWLFs. Similarly for 
the air risk evaluation, the specific distances to receptors were 
selected to ensure complete coverage in the air estimates, particularly 
near the source of the emissions where the greatest impact can be 
observed; this analysis was conducted using a conceptual site model 
that is plausible anywhere in the contiguous 48 states.
    This approach for receptor location is reasonable for this 
national-level analysis. In a supplemental report, one commenter 
provided an alternative assessment that evaluated the well distances 
with respect to population density surrounding twelve landfills in four 
states. However, the commenter's density analysis and the referenced 
state regulations are only snapshots of a limited number of existing 
landfill scenarios and are not sufficiently representative of potential 
exposures to releases from other landfill scenarios throughout the 
nation. Landfills are subject to various state requirements (e.g., 
different buffer zones), and twelve landfills in four states are 
clearly less representative than the data used by EPA for the nation as 
a whole.
    EPA disagrees with the commenter who stated that our modeling 
underestimated the effect of biodegradation. The landfill model we used 
incorporated biodegradation of the solvents in the landfill using the 
available biodegradation data. We also modeled some degradation in 
groundwater (i.e., hydrolysis). Some types of transformation processes 
in groundwater, such as biodegradation, are more site specific and can 
be highly variable. This would be much more difficult to simulate in 
groundwater using a generic model such as the EPA CMTP, especially 
without extensive biodegradation data on subsurface aquifer conditions 
nationwide, which the commenter did not provide. Thus, for this 
national-level analysis, we conservatively assumed that these processes 
do not occur, and biodegradation was not included in the subsurface 
environment beyond the landfill.
    Regarding our comparison of the 90th percentile values of the ELLRs 
and RM-MLLs, our analysis was designed to be protective of 90 percent 
of hypothetically exposed individuals across all of the landfill sites 
in the United States. This is consistent with EPA guidance, which 
states that ``For the Agency's purposes, high end risk descriptors are 
plausible estimates of the individual risk for those persons at the 
upper end of the risk distribution,'' or conceptually, individuals with 
``exposure above about the 90th percentile of the population 
distribution.'' \42\ While the applied approach is conservative, 
comparing the 90th percentiles is appropriate for achieving this goal. 
The ELLRs at selected percentiles are analogous to the RB-MLLs in that 
they represent a best estimate of the actual value at each percentile. 
We disagree with the comparison suggested by the commenter (i.e., 
comparing the central tendency ELLR to the 90th percentile RB-MLL) 
because it would not be protective of 90 percent of hypothetically 
exposed individuals. Comparing the respective 90th percentiles is 
appropriately and reasonably conservative, given the considerable 
uncertainty associated with the loading limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ See ``Guidance for Risk Characterization,'' accessible at 
http://www.epa.gov/OSA/spc/2riskchr.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Responses to all comments on the calculation of the RB-MLLs used in 
the November 2003 proposal and the 2009 revised risk analysis presented 
in the October 2009 NODA are provided in the docket.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ See the docket for the documents ``Response to Comments on 
the Solvent Contaminated Wipes 2003 Screening Risk Analysis'' and 
``Response to Comments on the Solvent Contaminated Wipes 2009 Risk 
Analysis: Risk-Based Mass Loading Limits.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

X. How will these regulatory changes be administered and enforced?

A. Applicability of Rules in Authorized States

    Under RCRA section 3006, EPA may authorize qualified states to 
administer the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program within the 
state. Following authorization, the authorized state program operates 
in lieu of the federal regulations. EPA retains enforcement authority 
to enforce the authorized state Subtitle C program, although authorized 
states have primary enforcement authority. EPA also retains its 
authority under sections 3007, 3008, 3013, 3017, and 7003. The 
standards and

[[Page 46480]]

requirements for state authorization are found at 40 CFR part 271.
    Prior to enactment of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 
1984 (HSWA), a state with final RCRA authorization administered its 
hazardous waste program entirely in lieu of EPA administering the 
federal program in that state. EPA did not issue permits for any 
facilities in that state, since the state was now authorized to issue 
RCRA permits. When new, more stringent federal requirements were 
promulgated, the state was obligated to enact equivalent authorities 
within specified time frames. However, the new requirements did not 
take effect in an authorized state until the state adopted the 
equivalent state requirements.
    In contrast, under RCRA section 3006(g) (42 U.S.C. 6926(g)), which 
was added by HSWA, new requirements and prohibitions imposed under HSWA 
authority take effect in authorized states at the same time that they 
take effect in unauthorized states. While states must still adopt HSWA 
related provisions as state law to retain final authorization, EPA 
implements the HSWA provisions in authorized states, including the 
issuance of any permits pertaining to HSWA requirements, until the 
state is granted authorization to do so.
    Authorized states are required to modify their programs only when 
EPA promulgates federal requirements that are more stringent or broader 
in scope than existing federal requirements.\44\ RCRA section 3009 
allows states to impose standards more stringent than those in the 
federal program (see 40 CFR 271.1). Therefore, authorized states may, 
but are not required to, adopt federal regulations, both HSWA and non-
HSWA, that are considered less stringent than previous federal 
regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ EPA notes that decisions regarding whether a state rule is 
more stringent or broader in scope than the federal program are made 
when the Agency authorizes state programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Effect on State Authorization

    Today's rule amends the definition of solid waste to conditionally 
exclude solvent-contaminated reusable wipes and the definition of 
hazardous waste to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated 
disposable wipes. These definitions were promulgated under the 
authority of sections 2002, 3001-3010 and 7004 of the Solid Waste 
Disposal Act of 1965 (later amended by RCRA and by HSWA). Today's rule 
amends the application of the RCRA Subtitle C ``base'' program to 
certain wastes and is thus a non-HSWA rule.
    Because, today's conditional exclusions are not HSWA regulations, 
today's regulatory provisions are not immediately effective in 
authorized states. They are only immediately applicable in those states 
and territories that do not have final authorization for the base (non-
HSWA) portion of the RCRA program, including Indian country.
    Today's rule includes requirements and conditions that are less 
stringent than those required under the base RCRA hazardous waste 
program. Thus, states, except as described below, are not required to 
adopt the conditional exclusions. However, the Agency encourages states 
to adopt this rule as soon as possible to reduce regulatory burden on 
businesses and maximize national consistency, while maintaining 
protection of human health and the environment. In addition, if a state 
were, through implementation of state waiver authorities or other state 
laws, to allow compliance with the provisions of today's rule in 
advance of adoption or authorization, EPA would not generally consider 
such implementation a concern for purposes of enforcement or state 
authorization.
    Of course, states cannot implement requirements that are less 
stringent than the federal requirements in today's rule. As we stated 
in the November 2003 proposal, the 1994 Shapiro memo established 
federal policy with regard to solvent-contaminated wipes that deferred 
the determination of their regulatory status to the states and EPA 
regions (68 FR 65617). This deferral has resulted in the development of 
various state programs for reusable wipes. Today's conditional 
exclusion for reusable wipes is generally consistent with many of these 
state policies; however, some conditions required by today's final rule 
may be more stringent than some existing state programs. As a result, 
authorized states whose programs include less stringent requirements 
than today's final rule are required to modify their programs to 
maintain consistency with the federal program per the provisions of 40 
CFR 271.21(e). In addition, any states that delineate their program for 
reusable wipes in guidance documents or interpretive letters will need 
to promulgate enforceable regulations, as required by 40 CFR 271.7. 
Because today's rule is a non-HSWA rule, the current state requirements 
remain in place until the state adopts the equivalent to these federal 
requirements.

C. Enforcement

    Under today's final rule, reusable wipes are excluded from the 
definition of solid waste and disposable wipes are excluded from the 
definition of hazardous waste provided certain conditions are met. To 
retain the conditional exclusion, each party operating under the 
conditional exclusion is responsible for ensuring that all the 
conditions in the final rule are met. Failure to maintain all of the 
required conditions at all times will result in loss of the exclusion. 
Facilities taking advantage of the conditional exclusion that fail to 
meet one or more of the conditions may be subject to enforcement 
action, and the solvent-contaminated wipes will be considered to be 
hazardous waste from the point of their generation (i.e., from the 
point when the generator finished using them). EPA could choose to 
bring an enforcement action under RCRA section 3008(a) for violations 
of the hazardous waste requirements. States could choose to enforce for 
violations of state hazardous waste requirements under state 
authorities.
    As with any violation, EPA and authorized states have enforcement 
mechanisms available that range in severity. In addition, EPA and 
authorized states have flexibility in applying these mechanisms to the 
various responsible parties as appropriate to the specific 
circumstances. Some of the enforcement mechanisms include sending a 
notice of violation, ordering that the situation be remedied, or 
assessing fines or other penalties as appropriate.
    Generators, transporters, laundries, dry cleaners, disposal, 
combustion, or other handling facilities claiming the conditional 
exclusions must be able to demonstrate to the appropriate regulatory 
agency that the applicable conditions are being met. In an enforcement 
action, the facility claiming the conditional exclusion bears the 
burden of proof pursuant to 40 CFR 261.2(f), to demonstrate conformance 
with the conditions specified in the regulation.
    Additionally, the conditional exclusions in today's rule do not 
affect the obligation to promptly respond to and remediate any releases 
of solvents and wipes managed within the conditional exclusion. If a 
hazardous solvent is spilled or released, then the solvent would be 
discarded. Any management of the released material not in compliance 
with applicable federal and state hazardous waste requirements could 
result in an enforcement action. For example, a person who spilled or

[[Page 46481]]

otherwise released a hazardous solvent, and failed to immediately clean 
it up, could potentially be subject to enforcement for illegal disposal 
of the hazardous waste. The hazardous waste could also potentially be 
addressed through enforcement orders, such as orders under RCRA 
sections 3013 and 7003.

XI. Administrative Requirements for This Rulemaking

A. Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563--Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this 
action is a ``significant regulatory action'' because it raises novel 
legal or policy issues under section 3(f)(4) of Executive Order 12866. 
Accordingly, EPA submitted this action to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 
3821, January 21, 2011) and any changes made in response to OMB 
recommendations have been documented in the docket for this action.
    In addition, EPA prepared an analysis of the potential costs and 
benefits associated with this action. This analysis is contained in 
``Regulatory Impact Analysis for Conditional Exclusions from Solid and 
Hazardous Waste for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' A copy of the 
analysis is available in the docket for this action and the analysis is 
briefly summarized here.
    Entities that may be affected by the final rule include facilities 
that use reusable and/or disposable wipes in conjunction with solvents 
that are hazardous wastes when discarded. EPA identified approximately 
90,549 facilities in 13 economic sub-sectors (based on five- or six-
digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes) \45\ 
that generate solvent-contaminated wipes and, therefore, will be 
affected by the final rule. This estimate includes 576 large quantity 
generators (LQGs) and 89,973 small quantity generators (SQGs). 
Collectively, these LQGs and SQGs generate approximately 2.2 billion 
solvent-contaminated wipes each year. Note that conditionally exempt 
small quantity generators (CESQGs) are conditionally exempt from 40 CFR 
parts 262 through 270 provided they comply with the requirements at 40 
CFR 261.5. Therefore, we have assumed that they are not affected by the 
final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies 
in classifying business establishments for the purpose of 
collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to 
the U.S. business economy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Handlers of solvent-contaminated wipes are also affected by today's 
rule. These include solid waste management facilities that manage 
solvent-contaminated disposable wipes once they have been discarded 
(i.e., hazardous and non-hazardous landfills/combustors), and 
industrial laundries and dry cleaners that clean solvent-contaminated 
reusable wipes. EPA identified eight industries (based on five- or six-
digit NAICS codes) with facilities that handle solvent-contaminated 
wipes and, therefore, will be affected by the final rule. In 
particular, EPA estimates that approximately 3,730 solid waste 
management facilities and 359 industrial laundries and dry cleaners 
will be affected by the final rule.
    Excluding non-monetary benefits, EPA estimates that the final rule 
will result in a net savings of approximately $18.0 million per year 
(2011 dollars). The net savings of $18.0 million per year factored in 
the annualized total one-time cost of the final rule across all 
facilities of approximately $123,000 to $164,000 in the first-year 
after promulgation of the final rule, total annual costs of 
approximately $6.4 million and total annual savings of approximately 
$24.4 million across all affected entities. EPA evaluated these costs 
and savings over a 10-year period.
    The primary benefit of the final rule is the annual savings 
associated with RCRA regulatory compliance. However, EPA also 
anticipates that the final rule will result in other expected benefits, 
including (1) pollution prevention and waste minimization benefits, (2) 
fire safety benefits, and (3) potential benefits to industrial 
laundries and dry cleaners by excluding solvent-contaminated reusable 
wipes from the definition of solid waste--that is, removing the 
``waste'' label. The other expected benefits of the final rule are 
estimated at between $3.7 million and $9.9 million per year (2011 
dollars).
    Pollution prevention and waste minimization benefits of the final 
rule take the form of avoided future purchases of virgin solvents if 
captured spent solvent ``free liquids'' are recycled.\46\ The final 
rule excludes disposable wipes from hazardous waste requirements, 
provided the solvent-contaminated wipes contain no free liquids. 
Therefore, the final rule provides a strong economic incentive for 
generators to remove free liquid spent solvent, which is then made 
available to be recycled. Furthermore, under the hazardous waste 
regulations, LQGs may have had only 90 days to accumulate solvent-
contaminated wipes. However, under the final rule, generators may 
accumulate solvent-contaminated wipes, along with free liquids, for up 
to 180 days. Longer accumulation periods increase the potential for a 
generator to accumulate sufficient amounts of spent solvent to make 
recycling more economically feasible. The total annual pollution 
prevention and waste minimization benefits are estimated to be between 
$0.21 million and $0.96 million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ EPA only estimates this benefit for disposable wipes, 
because reusable wipes are already required to contain no free 
liquids under most existing state programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fire safety benefits of the final rule are attributed to several 
specific rule conditions, including (1) wipes must be stored in 
non[hyphen]leaking, closed containers, which ensures that the wipes are 
contained and are not exposed to the environment and potential ignition 
sources; (2) wipes must be labeled ``Excluded 
Solvent[hyphen]Contaminated Wipes,'' which ensures that the generators, 
handlers, as well as other personnel, such as state and EPA 
enforcement, are aware of the contents of the containers and can handle 
them appropriately (e.g., not store the wipes next to an open flame); 
and (3) wipes must not contain free liquids, which reduces the 
likelihood of fire ignition. The total annual fire safety benefits from 
reusable wipes are estimated to be between $0.23 million and $2.31 
million.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ Solvent-contaminated disposable wipes are currently subject 
to the hazardous waste requirements, including the hazardous waste 
container standards in 40 CFR 265 Subpart I. Therefore, EPA expects 
there would be no incremental fire safety benefits associated with 
solvent-contaminated disposable wipes from this rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Excluding reusable wipes from the definition of solid waste--that 
is, removing the label of ``waste,'' may increase the economic value of 
a product. The total annual benefits from these impacts are estimated 
to be between $3.3 million and $6.6 million per year.
    Adding the net savings to the other expected benefits, the net 
benefits of the final rule are estimated at between $21.7 million and 
$27.8 million per year (2011 dollars).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (Information Collection Request)

    The information collection requirements in this rule will be 
submitted for approval to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 
U.S.C.

[[Page 46482]]

3501 et seq. The information collection requirements are not 
enforceable until OMB approves them. The information collection request 
has been updated since the November 2003 proposed rule to reflect the 
final rule requirements and to respond to public comments.
    The information requirements established for this action are 
voluntary to the extent that the conditional exclusions being finalized 
today are voluntary and represent an overall reduction in burden, as 
compared with the alternative information requirements associated with 
managing the solvent-contaminated wipes as hazardous waste. The 
information requirements help ensure that (1) entities operating under 
today's rule are held accountable to the applicable requirements; and 
(2) inspectors can verify compliance with the conditions of today's 
rule when needed.
    For the information collection requirements applicable to 
conditionally excluded solvent-contaminated wipes, the aggregate annual 
burden to respondents over the three-year period covered by this ICR is 
estimated to be 65,064 hours, with a cost to affected entities of 
$3,384,436. This cost includes an estimated labor cost of $1,604,680 
and an operation and maintenance cost of $1,779,756, which includes the 
purchase of container labels. EPA estimates that the burden savings 
under today's rule as compared to the existing hazardous waste 
requirements will be 14,497 hours and $557,706 per year. Thus, the net 
impacts under the final rule are estimated to be 50,567 hours and 
$2,826,730 per year. There are no capital/startup costs and no costs 
for purchases of services. There are no reporting requirements 
associated with today's rule. EPA estimates that 67,851 respondents 
will be required to keep records. The average annual recordkeeping 
burden is estimated to be almost one hour per respondent. This estimate 
includes time for reading the regulations, affixing labels to 
containers, and maintaining at the site specified documentation that 
the excluded solvent-contaminated wipes are being managed in accordance 
with today's final rule. There are no administrative costs to the 
Agency. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9. When this ICR is 
approved by OMB, the Agency will publish a technical amendment to 40 
CFR part 9 in the Federal Register to display the OMB control number 
for the approved information collection requirements contained in this 
final rule.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency 
to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative 
Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, 
small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small 
entities, small entity is defined as (1) a small business as defined by 
the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 
121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of 
a city, county, town, school district or special district with a 
population of less than 50,000; and, (3) a small organization that is 
any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated 
and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's final rule on 
small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The small 
entities that are affected by this final rule include entities that use 
or handle solvent-contaminated reusable and disposable wipes. EPA's 
analysis estimates that 57,786 small entities are located in states 
that are expected to adopt the final rule, which includes 55,327 
generators and 2,459 handlers. We have determined in our ``Regulatory 
Impact Analysis for Conditional Exclusions from Solid and Hazardous 
Waste for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes'' that the economic impacts of the 
final rule on the smallest of the small entities, firms with only one 
employee, range from only 0.01 percent to 0.54 percent of total annual 
revenue. These results are well below the one percent screening 
criterion used to identify firms that might experience significant 
economic impacts. Furthermore, all affected entities generating or 
handling solvent-contaminated disposable wipes are expected to incur 
savings as a result of the final rule.
    Although this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities, EPA nonetheless has 
tried to reduce the impact of this rule on small entities. Today's rule 
establishes consistent regulations for reusable wipes with the 
intention that these requirements complement existing industry 
practices and thus minimize any additional burden on small entities. 
Additionally, EPA plans to develop and/or support user-friendly 
compliance assistance tools, such as the summary chart available in the 
docket for today's rule, which provides an overview of the exclusion 
for reusable wipes and disposable wipes.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action contains no federal mandates under the provisions of 
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538 for state, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any State, local or 
tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this action is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of the UMRA.
    This action is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 
of UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Under the final 
rule, EPA is modifying its hazardous waste management regulations under 
RCRA to (1) conditionally exclude from the definition of hazardous 
waste solvent-contaminated disposable wipes and (2) conditionally 
exclude from the definition of solid waste solvent-contaminated 
reusable wipes. The conditional exclusions are considered less 
stringent than the current Federal regulations because they exclude 
certain materials now regulated by RCRA Subtitle C. Thus, authorized 
states are not required to adopt the final rule, provided their program 
is at least as stringent as the federal program. In addition, even if 
the final rule is adopted by their state, generators of solvent-
contaminated wipes may opt to continue to manage such wipes under the 
current federal hazardous waste regulations rather than under the 
conditional exclusions.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as 
specified in Executive Order 13132. RCRA, (42 U.S.C. 6901 to 6992k) 
establishes the relationship between states and the federal government 
with respect to

[[Page 46483]]

hazardous waste management, including provisions for authorized state 
hazardous waste programs (42 U.S.C. 6926, section 3006) and retention 
of state authority (42 U.S.C. 6929, section 3009). Under section 3009 
of RCRA, states and their political subdivisions may not impose 
requirements less stringent for hazardous waste management than the 
federal government. Therefore, although the final rule prevents state 
and local laws that are less stringent with respect to management of 
solvent-contaminated wipes, the final rule does not have federalism 
implications beyond those already established by RCRA. Thus, Executive 
Order 13132 does not apply to this action.
    In the spirit of Executive Order 13132, and consistent with EPA 
policy to promote communications between EPA and State and local 
governments, EPA specifically solicited comment on the proposed action 
from State and local officials.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Subject to the Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 
2000) EPA may not issue a regulation that has tribal implications, that 
imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required 
by statute, unless the federal government provides the funds necessary 
to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by tribal governments, or 
EPA consults with tribal officials early in the process of developing 
the proposed regulation and develops a tribal summary impact statement.
    EPA has concluded that this action may have tribal implications. 
However, it will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on 
tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. This action may have tribal 
implications to the extent that generating facilities on tribal lands 
use solvents on wipes or handling facilities located on tribal lands 
may receive solvent-contaminated wipes.
    EPA did not consult directly with representatives of tribal 
governments early in the process of developing this regulation; 
however, EPA did conduct extensive outreach with the public, which 
included two public comment periods and a public meeting. Additionally, 
we specifically solicited comment on the November 2003 proposed rule 
from tribal officials.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to EO 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 
1997) because it is not economically significant as defined in EO 
12866, and because the Agency does not believe the environmental health 
or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate 
risk to children. This action's health and risk assessments are 
contained in section III.D.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. Further, we have concluded that this 
rule is not likely to have any adverse energy effects because the rule 
addresses management of solvent-contaminated wipes under RCRA and will 
not have significant impacts on energy supply, distribution, or use.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law 104-113, 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) 
directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies. NTTAA directs EPA to provide 
Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use 
available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This rulemaking includes environmental monitoring or measurement 
consistent with the Agency's Performance Based Measurement System 
(``PBMS''). For certain conditions, such as today's container standard, 
EPA has decided not to require the use of specific, prescribed 
technical standards. Rather, the rule will allow the use of any method 
that meets the prescribed performance criteria. The PBMS approach is 
intended to be more flexible and cost-effective for the regulated 
community; it is also intended to encourage innovation and improved 
data quality. EPA is not precluding the use of any method, whether it 
constitutes a voluntary consensus standard or not, as long as it meets 
the performance criteria specified.
    The rulemaking does involve a technical standard for one condition 
of today's exclusions. For the definition of ``no free liquids,'' EPA 
has determined that the Paint Filter Liquids Test, (SW-846, Method 
9095B) is most appropriate to determine whether solvent-contaminated 
wipes contain no free liquids (although the no free liquids standard 
may also be determined using another standard or test method as defined 
by an authorized state). This test is included in EPA's official 
compendium of analytical and sampling methods entitled ``Test Methods 
for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods'' (EPA 
Publication SW-846), which have been evaluated and approved for use in 
complying with the RCRA regulations.\48\ The Paint Filter Liquids Test 
was specifically chosen because it is currently being used by the 
majority of states to determine whether solvent-contaminated wipes 
contain free liquids and is also the test used to implement the 
restrictions on disposal of free liquids in the MSWLF regulations (40 
CFR 258.28). The Paint Filter Liquids Test is also simple and 
inexpensive to perform and typically produces clear results.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/testmethods/sw846/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

J. Executive Order 12898: Environmental Justice

    Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States.
    EPA has determined that this final rule will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not 
affect the level of protection provided for human health or the 
environment. Specifically, EPA has concluded that today's action will 
not result in disproportionate adverse impacts to the communities of 
concern because (1) the results of the 2012 final risk analysis 
demonstrate that solvent-contaminated wipes and sludge from laundries 
and dry cleaners disposed in MSWLFs do not pose significant risk to 
human health and the environment; (2) the conditions of the rule (such 
as

[[Page 46484]]

ensuring that solvent-contaminated wipes are stored in non-leaking, 
closed containers and that such wipes contain no free liquids at the 
point of being sent for disposal or cleaning) address potential hazards 
during accumulation, storage, transportation, and handling; and (3) we 
do not anticipate any increased affects from transportation as, to the 
extent this rule changes the destination of solvent-contaminated wipes, 
they would likely be disposed with other solid wastes and thus, 
transported along well established solid waste hauler routes.

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2). This rule will be effective January 31, 2014.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 260

    Environmental protection, Hazardous waste.

40 CFR Part 261

    Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, Solid waste.

    Dated: July 22, 2013.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, parts 260 and 261 of title 
40, Chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations, are amended as 
follows:

PART 260--HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: GENERAL

0
1. The authority citation for part 260 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6921-6927, 6930, 6934, 6935, 
6937, 6938, 6939, and 6974.

Subpart B--Definitions

0
2. Section 260.10 is amended by adding in alphabetical order the 
definitions of ``No free liquids,'' ``Solvent-contaminated wipe,'' and 
``Wipe'' to read as follows:


Sec.  260.10  Definitions.

* * * * *
    No free liquids, as used in 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26) and 40 CFR 
261.4(b)(18), means that solvent-contaminated wipes may not contain 
free liquids as determined by Method 9095B (Paint Filter Liquids Test), 
included in ``Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/
Chemical Methods'' (EPA Publication SW-846), which is incorporated by 
reference, and that there is no free liquid in the container holding 
the wipes. No free liquids may also be determined using another 
standard or test method as defined by an authorized state.
* * * * *
    Solvent-contaminated wipe means--
    (1) A wipe that, after use or after cleaning up a spill, either:
    (i) Contains one or more of the F001 through F005 solvents listed 
in 40 CFR 261.31 or the corresponding P- or U- listed solvents found in 
40 CFR 261.33;
    (ii) Exhibits a hazardous characteristic found in 40 CFR part 261 
subpart C when that characteristic results from a solvent listed in 40 
CFR part 261; and/or
    (iii) Exhibits only the hazardous waste characteristic of 
ignitability found in 40 CFR 261.21 due to the presence of one or more 
solvents that are not listed in 40 CFR part 261.
    (2) Solvent-contaminated wipes that contain listed hazardous waste 
other than solvents, or exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, 
corrosivity, or reactivity due to contaminants other than solvents, are 
not eligible for the exclusions at 40 CFR 261.4(a)(26) and 40 CFR 
261.4(b)(18).
* * * * *
    Wipe means a woven or non-woven shop towel, rag, pad, or swab made 
of wood pulp, fabric, cotton, polyester blends, or other material.
* * * * *

PART 261--IDENTIFICATION AND LISTING OF HAZARDOUS WASTE

0
3. The authority citation for part 261 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6921, 6922, 6924(y), and 
6838.

Subpart A--General

0
4. Section 261.4 is amended by adding paragraphs (a)(26) and (b)(18) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  261.4  Exclusions.

    (a) * * *
    (26) Solvent-contaminated wipes that are sent for cleaning and 
reuse are not solid wastes from the point of generation, provided that
    (i) The solvent-contaminated wipes, when accumulated, stored, and 
transported, are contained in non-leaking, closed containers that are 
labeled ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' The containers must be 
able to contain free liquids, should free liquids occur. During 
accumulation, a container is considered closed when there is complete 
contact between the fitted lid and the rim, except when it is necessary 
to add or remove solvent-contaminated wipes. When the container is 
full, or when the solvent-contaminated wipes are no longer being 
accumulated, or when the container is being transported, the container 
must be sealed with all lids properly and securely affixed to the 
container and all openings tightly bound or closed sufficiently to 
prevent leaks and emissions;
    (ii) The solvent-contaminated wipes may be accumulated by the 
generator for up to 180 days from the start date of accumulation for 
each container prior to being sent for cleaning;
    (iii) At the point of being sent for cleaning on-site or at the 
point of being transported off-site for cleaning, the solvent-
contaminated wipes must contain no free liquids as defined in Sec.  
260.10 of this chapter.
    (iv) Free liquids removed from the solvent-contaminated wipes or 
from the container holding the wipes must be managed according to the 
applicable regulations found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273;
    (v) Generators must maintain at their site the following 
documentation:
    (A) Name and address of the laundry or dry cleaner that is 
receiving the solvent-contaminated wipes;
    (B) Documentation that the 180-day accumulation time limit in 40 
CFR 261.4(a)(26)(ii) is being met;
    (C) Description of the process the generator is using to ensure the 
solvent-contaminated wipes contain no free liquids at the point of 
being laundered or dry cleaned on-site or at the point of being 
transported off-site for laundering or dry cleaning;
    (vi) The solvent-contaminated wipes are sent to a laundry or dry 
cleaner whose discharge, if any, is regulated under sections 301 and 
402 or section 307 of the Clean Water Act.
    (b) * * *
    (18) Solvent-contaminated wipes, except for wipes that are 
hazardous waste due to the presence of trichloroethylene, that are sent 
for

[[Page 46485]]

disposal are not hazardous wastes from the point of generation provided 
that
    (i) The solvent-contaminated wipes, when accumulated, stored, and 
transported, are contained in non-leaking, closed containers that are 
labeled ``Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.'' The containers must be 
able to contain free liquids, should free liquids occur. During 
accumulation, a container is considered closed when there is complete 
contact between the fitted lid and the rim, except when it is necessary 
to add or remove solvent-contaminated wipes. When the container is 
full, or when the solvent-contaminated wipes are no longer being 
accumulated, or when the container is being transported, the container 
must be sealed with all lids properly and securely affixed to the 
container and all openings tightly bound or closed sufficiently to 
prevent leaks and emissions;
    (ii) The solvent-contaminated wipes may be accumulated by the 
generator for up to 180 days from the start date of accumulation for 
each container prior to being sent for disposal;
    (iii) At the point of being transported for disposal, the solvent-
contaminated wipes must contain no free liquids as defined in Sec.  
260.10 of this chapter.
    (iv) Free liquids removed from the solvent-contaminated wipes or 
from the container holding the wipes must be managed according to the 
applicable regulations found in 40 CFR parts 260 through 273;
    (v) Generators must maintain at their site the following 
documentation:
    (A) Name and address of the landfill or combustor that is receiving 
the solvent-contaminated wipes;
    (B) Documentation that the 180 day accumulation time limit in 40 
CFR 261.4(b)(18)(ii) is being met;
    (C) Description of the process the generator is using to ensure 
solvent-contaminated wipes contain no free liquids at the point of 
being transported for disposal;
    (vi) The solvent-contaminated wipes are sent for disposal
    (A) To a municipal solid waste landfill regulated under 40 CFR part 
258, including 40 CFR 258.40, or to a hazardous waste landfill 
regulated under 40 CFR parts 264 or 265; or
    (B) To a municipal waste combustor or other combustion facility 
regulated under section 129 of the Clean Air Act or to a hazardous 
waste combustor, boiler, or industrial furnace regulated under 40 CFR 
parts 264, 265, or 266 subpart H.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-18285 Filed 7-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P