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EPA Issues Final Rule on Hazardous Waste Shipment Regulation (November 2016)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule regarding the nation’s movement toward protecting public and environmental health by monitoring hazardous waste transport. The updated Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions consolidates the requirements for hazardous waste traffic, creates a mandatory electronic reporting system, and improves shipment tracking.

Several risks arise when hazardous waste is handled across multiple countries to be disposed of or recycled. There is an increased chance that these shipments will be mismanaged, abandoned, and sent to unwarranted facilities, threatening the safety of the environment and neighboring residents. According to Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, the factors that lead to these risks include an increased number of parties handling the shipments, temporary storage of units, and fluctuations in environmental controls and worker safety practices.

The rule will go into effect in all states on December 31, 2016. However, the rule establishes that transition periods will be granted to help businesses phase in the appropriate changes with ease.

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