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Academic Laboratories Rulemaking (Subpart K)

Highlights
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Hazardous Waste at Academic Laboratories: Technical Correction

This action makes six technical corrections to the December 2008 Academic Laboratories final rule.

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Hazardous Waste at Academic Laboratories: Final Rule

EPA added a new subpart — Subpart K — to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste generator regulatory requirements in Part 262. The new Subpart is applicable to eligible academic entities, which are colleges and universities, and teaching hospitals and nonprofit research institutes that are either owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university. The alternative set of regulations allows eligible academic entities the flexibility to make hazardous waste determinations in the laboratory; at an on-site central accumulation area; or at an on-site treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF).

This rule also provides incentives for eligible academic entities to clean-out old and expired chemicals that may pose unnecessary risk. Further, this rule requires eligible academic entities that opt into the rule to develop a Laboratory Management Plan (LMP) which is expected to result in safer laboratory practices and increased awareness of hazardous waste management.

Eligible academic entities may also choose not to opt into the new rule and remain subject to the pre-existing hazardous waste generator requirements.

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Hazardous Waste at Academic Laboratories: Proposed Rule

EPA proposed alternative hazardous waste generator requirements applicable to college and university laboratories as defined in this proposed rule. The proposal provides a flexible and protective set of regulations that address the specific nature of hazardous waste generation in college and university laboratories. The flexibility in today’s proposed rule will allow colleges and universities the discretion to determine the most appropriate and effective method of compliance with today’s requirements. Additionally, this proposed rule grants colleges and universities the choice to manage their hazardous wastes in accordance with today’s alternative set of regulations or remain subject to the existing generator regulations set forth in 40 CFR 262.11 and 262.34(c).

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Support Materials for Proposed & Final Rules

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA received on the proposal are available for public review on Regulations.gov.

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