The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the comment period for its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Used Drum Management and Reconditioning until Nov. 22, 2023. The agency is soliciting feedback to assist in the potential development of initiatives that would ensure the proper management of used industrial containers that held hazardous chemicals or hazardous waste, up to and including the drum reconditioning process. Options could include revising Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations or other non-regulatory options.

Management issues across the lifecycle of used containers can occur at industrial facilities, with hazardous waste generators, and with generators of used containers, as well as with transporters and receiving facilities (i.e., drum reconditioners).

The EPA ANPRM does not propose any regulatory requirements or change any existing regulatory requirements. The agency is using the ANPRM to explore the regulatory and/or non-regulatory options for dealing with the issues surrounding the management of used containers, such as metal or plastic drums, across their lifecycle.

EPA is soliciting input on the following:

  • Eliminating the RCRA “empty” exemption at 40 CFR 261.7 for hazardous waste residues in containers;
  • Establishing more stringent requirements, such as rinsing, for all containers to qualify as “RCRA empty;”
  • Imposing structural integrity requirements for used containers before they are shipped offsite;
  • Expanding labeling, record-keeping, and certification requirements for used container generators;
  • Establishing requirements for drum reconditioners to qualify for Subtitle C permit exemptions, such as drum screening procedures, separate storage areas for non-RCRA “empty” containers, rejected shipment procedures, discrepancy reports, and container management plans;
  • Requiring a Subtitle C permit or variance for drum reconditioners;
  • Enhancing requirements for characterizing, managing, and disposing rinsate from drums that have held hazardous waste; and
  • Encouraging the development and implementation of industry-coordinated standard operating procedures for used container generators, transporters, and reconditioners.

ACA will coordinate any member input received on this ANPRM from its Environmental Management and Transport Committees. Additional information can be found on EPA’s website.

Contact ACA’s Suzanne Chang or Rhett Cash for more information.