The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to add hazardous waste aerosol cans to "universal wastes" regulated under 40 CFR 273. This change is expected to:

  • Ease regulatory burdens for persons who generate, transport, treat, recycle, or dispose of hazardous waste aerosol cans,
  • Promote the collection and recycling of aerosol cans, and
  • Encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.

EPA is proposing that small and large quantity universal waste handlers follow specific universal waste requirements regarding waste management standards, labeling and marking, accumulation time limits, employee training, response to releases, requirements related to off-site shipments, and export requirements. The proposed requirements are similar to the existing universal waste requirements present in 40 CFR 273, including requirements for universal waste batteries, lamps, and mercury-containing equipment. This includes the following:

  • Accumulate waste aerosol cans in a container that is structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the aerosol cans, and lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions
  • Label each waste aerosol can or the container holding waste aerosol cans one of the following:
    • Universal Waste - Aerosol Can(s),
    • Waste Aerosol Can(s), or
    • Used Aerosol Can(s).
  • Accumulate waste aerosol cans for no longer than one year from the date the waste is generated, unless additional time is necessary to facilitate proper recovery, treatment, or disposal.
  • Demonstrate the length of time that waste aerosol cans have been accumulated from the date the aerosol cans became a waste. This may include:
    • Dating each waste aerosol can
    • Dating each container holding waste aerosol cans with the earliest date that any waste is added to the container
    • Maintaining an inventory system

The proposed rule also outlines requirements for aerosol can puncturing devices. These requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Establish a written procedure detailing how to safely puncture and drain universal waste aerosol cans (including proper assembly, operation and maintenance of the unit; segregation of incompatible wastes; and proper waste management practices to prevent fires or releases)
  • Maintain a copy of the manufacturer's specification and instruction onsite.
  • Ensure employees operating the device are trained in the proper procedures.

The full proposed rule outlining the proposed requirements for aerosol cans handled under the universal waste rule can be found under 83 FR 11654. The comment period for the proposed rule ended in April 2018 but there has been no final rule released as of December 2018.

Keep up to date with NDEQ proposed rulemakings as well as additional regulatory actions in USEPA Region 7 by visiting Trinity's State News page. If you have any questions, contact Trinity's Kansas City office at (913) 894-4500.