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Solvent-Contaminated Wipes: Conditional Exclusions

December 20, 2013 - Kestrel Management

This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that excludes disposable solvent-contaminated industrial wipes from being regulated as a hazardous waste under RCRA. The rule also excludes certain reusable wipes from solid waste regulations (disposable wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene will not be eligible for the exclusion).

This exemption clarifies the issue of whether rags need to be managed as hazardous waste. Many companies started laundering rags because that was the clearest way to manage without triggering hazardous waste.  After January 2014, they will have other options for exempting rags from hazardous waste determination.

To qualify for the exclusion, businesses will have to manage the wipes in closed, labeled containers. The wipes cannot contain free liquids when sent for cleaning or disposal. Businesses also cannot accumulate the wipes for more than 180 days and must comply with certain recordkeeping requirements. The final rule is effective Jan. 31, 2014.

Read the Federal Register notice:

Submitted by: Sarah Burton

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