Saturday, February 29, 2020

EPA unveils plan to increase safety in hazardous-waste shipping procedures

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed changes late last week in how imported and exported hazardous-waste shipments are managed to improve safety.

The risk of mismanagement rises when hazardous waste is shipped through several countries' ports. That mismanagement can be the result of unsafe transport, recycling and disposal practices.

Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, said in a statement that this proposal would "provide greater protection to communities and the environment through increased transparency, better data sharing and more efficient compliance monitoring."

Every year worldwide, about 3,000 hazardous-waste shipments are imported and 49,000 are exported -- many of them within North America. The proposal would consolidate hazardous-waste shipping regulations into one set of protective requirements. Additionally, it would make electronic reporting to the EPA mandatory and would require linking the consent to export with the exporter declaration submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"These changes will provide for more efficient compliance monitoring and will enable increased sharing of hazardous-waste import and export data with state programs, the general public, and individual hazardous-waste exporters and importers," Stanislaus said.

The EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

For additional information on the proposed rule or to submit comments, visit

EPA Testimony Statements --

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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