EPA announced two new rules which became effective on January 31, 2014 for the management of spent wipes. These new rules provide management procedures that if followed will allow spent wipes to be excluded from the classification of a hazardous waste whether they are cleaned onsite or offsite (40 CFR 261.4(a)(26)) or sent offsite for disposal (40 CFR 261.4(b)(18)).
MEDEP’s current Solvent Contaminated Wipes Management guidance document is currently less stringent than EPA’s rules. According to the MEDEP and verified by EPA, companies in Maine can follow either the EPA rules or the MEDEP guidance document until July 1, 2015, which is the deadline for the MEDEP to revise their current guidance document. In order to avoid potential confusion with the regulators, companies should document under which rule/guidance which they will be managing their spent wiper. EPA’s rules are discussed below.
EPA defines a wipe as a woven or non-woven shop towel, rag, pad, or swab made of wood pulp, fabric, cotton, polyester blends or other material. Both the EPA rules and MEDEP policy pertain to wipes contaminated with F-listed solvents (F001-F005) except for the solvent trichloroethylene.
Requirements for Exclusion from Hazardous Waste Rules
The following Conditions must be met: