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TCEQ New Rule: Revision to the Definition of Solid Waste

Revisions to the definition of solid waste, exclusions, non-waste determination and variance for hazardous secondary materials.

HOT The TCEQ has recently incorporated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule revision to the definition of solid waste (January 13, 2015). The revision applies to hazardous secondary materials (HSM) which may be excluded from the definition under certain conditions.

These materials may be exempted from being regulated as hazardous waste and allowed to be managed as non-solid waste through three new exclusions, a non-waste determination, or a variance if granted. (Effective June 16, 2016) See 30 TAC 335.1(146) Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

New DSW Rule Overview

  • Revises several recycling provisions
  • Encourages recycling of hazardous secondary materials
  • Requires legitimate recycling and prohibits sham recycling
  • Ensures no increased risk to human health and the environment

New Solid Waste Exclusions

  1. generator controlled exclusion
  2. verified recycler exclusion
  3. remanufacturing exclusion

If you engage in legitimate recycling under the new solid waste exclusions you don’t need to submit an application or seek approval, provided certain conditions are met including notification requirements. See 30 TAC 335.1 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document and 40 CFR 261.4Exit the TCEQ Exit the TCEQ.

Legitimate Recycling Factors

Must meet ALL FOUR factors:

  1. The hazardous secondary material must provide a useful contribution to the recycling process or to a product or intermediate of the recycling process.
  2. The recycling must produce a valuable product or intermediate.
  3. The hazardous secondary material must be managed as a valuable commodity.
  4. The product of recycling must be comparable to a legitimate product or intermediate.

See 30 TAC 335.27 and 40 CFR 260.43Exit the TCEQ Exit the TCEQ.

Non-waste Determination and Variance

As an HSM generator, to be granted a non-waste determination or a variance, you must apply and be approved by the TCEQ Industrial and Hazardous Waste Permits Section. Once approved, you must re-apply for the variance or non-waste determination after a fixed term of up to 10 years.

See 30 TAC 335.18–21 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, 335.32 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document and 40 CFR 260.30–34Exit the TCEQ Exit the TCEQ.

A cartoon diagram using Pandas to illustrate the Waste Universe under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). It shows how hazardous secondary material (HSM) generators can go from Solid Waste Land over two bridges, both leading to the generators being allowed to manage these materials as non-solid waste in Non Solid Waste Land. To cross the Non Waste Determination and Variance Bridge, they may apply to the TCEQ (shown as a tiger) to be approved for a variance and reapply for the variance. To cross the Legitimate Recycling Bridge, they may engage in legitimate recycling under a generator controlled exclusion (GCE), a verified recycler exclusion (VRE), or a remanufacturing exclusion (RME). For details, please see the Definition of Solid Waste page.

How you might be excluded from regulations for hazardous secondary material under the Resources Conservation Recovery Act.