Maine DEP Proposes Updates to Hazardous Waste Rules

In its first comprehensive review in many years, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing changes to the Hazardous Waste regulations for the identification of hazardous waste and for the “land disposal restrictions” (LDRs).  Among other changes, DEP is proposing to incorporate by reference certain updated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

The state’s slow progress in updating its hazardous waste rules precipitated EPA’s special focus on Maine, and the federal agency has been pressing DEP to adopt rules that are up-to-date and no less stringent than EPA’s rules. This is the first installment; more DEP rule updates will be coming for other chapters of the rules.

Among the highlights:

  • The list of toxicity characteristic wastes in the Maine rules will now be the same as federal rules.  Other EPA hazardous waste identification rules as of 1994 are incorporated.
  • Maine is proposing an exemption from hazardous waste rules for certain metalworking cutting oils.
  • A more complete description of exempt scrap metal has been added.   
  • The more recent version of waste Test Methods (SW-846) as of 2005 is incorporated by reference.
  • EPA’s LDR rules are incorporated by reference as of 2016. This will allow generators to avoid providing an LDR form to transporters for every shipment.

Comments on the proposals must be received by DEP by the close of business March 23, 2018.

If you have any questions about these proposed changes or would like a copy of the proposed rules, please contact Ken Gray (207-791-1212 or KGray@PierceAtwood.com) or Lisa Gilbreath (207-791-1397 or LGilbreath@PierceAtwood.com).