Ohio EPA Continues to Work on ‘Universal Waste’ Rulemaking


Last week, at ACA’s Ohio Paint Council meeting, staff from Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addressed members about the agency’s “Universal Waste” rulemaking. On Nov. 21, 2016, the agency released proposed amendments to its Universal Waste Regulations, which included defining aerosols and paint and paint related waste (PPRW) as universal waste in Ohio. In advocating for this proposed rule, ACA underscored to Ohio EPA, 1) the environmental benefits that would result from classifying PPRW as universal waste; 2) how classifying PPRW as universal waste would create better facility management; and 3) provided specific examples of why classifying PPRW as universal waste would alleviate regulatory burdens, costs, and encourage more recycling and reuse.

Over the past year, ACA’s Ohio Paint Council has been working with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and Ohio EPA to develop universal waste regulations for PPRW.

At the paint council meeting, the agency acknowledged that it is still working on a response-to-comments document and is hoping to have a rule out as early as May. In the meantime, ACA will continue to assist Ohio EPA throughout this rulemaking process.

ACA submitted comments to the agency on its proposal in December 2016. ACA’s comments addressed the proposal’s definitions of “aerosol” and “paint,” methods for puncturing, shredding or crushing containers, and capturing of VOCs. ACA has long maintained that paint and paint-related waste satisfy the criteria for designating a new universal waste. Paint is used by a wide range of different manufacturing industries and establishments, and does not pose a significant risk when accumulated and transported. This designation as a universal waste will promote the proper recycling or disposal of the hazardous waste and divert it from non-hazardous waste management systems.

ACA hopes this new regulation will serve as a model that can now be used to promulgate analogous regulations in other interested states. Currently, only Texas and New Jersey have universal waste rules for paint and paint-related waste.

ACA has also noted that including both paint and paint-related waste is very important as certain materials are not incorporated into the actual product itself, but are nonetheless critical for paint application and should be listed along with paint.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.