Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Hazardous Waste Revisions Under Consideration

DEC has issued an enforcement discretion letter regarding the regulation of vehicle airbags. This will be in effect until rescinded or adopted into regulation. See DEC's Management of Waste Airbags webpage for more information.

DEC has issued an enforcement discretion letter allowing the use of the amended P075 nicotine and salts hazardous waste listing that exempts FDA-approved over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies in New York State, effective August 21, 2019. EPA's nationwide ban on the sewering of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals also begins on August 21, 2019. Please see DEC's Management of Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals webpage for more information.

FedReg 6 Rulemaking

Federal Rules

Since 2012, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published some major regulation changes that DEC is considering adopting. DEC is seeking comments on potential revisions to the New York State hazardous waste management regulations to adopt the following EPA rules:

  • Solvent Contaminated Wipes Rule (2013) - Revises the definition of solid waste to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes that are cleaned and reused and revises the definition of hazardous waste to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes that are disposed.
  • Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Rule (2014) - The Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Rule provides a conditional exclusion for carbon dioxide (CO2) streams in geological sequestration activities. This rule would conditionally exclude CO2 streams that are hazardous waste from the definition of hazardous waste, if they are captured from emission sources and are injected into Class VI Underground Injection Control wells for geological sequestration, provided that certain requirements are met.
  • Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest (e-Manifest) Rules (2014; 2018) - EPA's e-Manifest Rules provide the legal and policy framework to authorize the use of electronic manifests. The e-Manifest system went into effect throughout the United States at the same time, even if authorized states had not yet amended their regulations. The e-Manifest system launched on June 30th, 2018. DEC must adopt these provisions to maintain conformance with the federal regulations.
  • EPA's 2008 Definition of Solid Waste Rule (As amended in January 2015) - Redefines "hazardous secondary materials." It streamlines regulation of hazardous secondary material to encourage beneficial recycling and helps conserve resources. By removing unnecessary regulatory controls, it is expected to make it easier and more cost-effective to safely recycle hazardous secondary materials. EPA published substantial revisions to this rule on January 13, 2015. As amended, the rule provides greater safeguards from mismanagement. Certain parts of the 2015 Final Rule are more stringent than current DEC regulations. DEC must adopt these provisions, which include a revised definition of "legitimate recycling," a prohibition on sham recycling, and new recordkeeping requirements related to speculative accumulation provisions.
  • Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities (2015) - EPA created this rule to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) as solid waste under subtitle D of RCRA. This rule establishes a national minimum criteria for existing and new CCR landfills, existing and new CCR surface impoundments, and all lateral expansions. This rule primarily addresses regulation under solid waste rather than hazardous waste provisions. In the CCR rule, EPA revised an existing exclusion to allow certain low-volume wastes commonly produced in conjunction with the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity to be excluded from the hazardous waste regulations if co-disposed with the fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag or flue gas emission control wastes from coal combustion. On December 16, President Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WINN) Act into Law. The law includes amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Section 4005, to address the regulation of CCR. EPA expanded their exclusion in 40 CFR 261 to include wastes that are commonly co-disposed with these wastes. DEC is not planning to expand the exclusion in 6 NYCRR 371.1(e)(2)(iv), Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste. There are currently two coal-fired power plants in the state that operate on an intermittent basis.
  • Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions (2016; 2017) - These rules amend existing regulations regarding the export and import of hazardous wastes from and into the United States (US). The rules make existing export and import related requirements more consistent with the import-export requirements for shipments between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), enable electronic submittal to EPA of all export and import-related documents (e.g., export notices, export annual reports), and enable electronic validation of consent in the Automated Export System (AES) for export shipments subject to RCRA export consent requirements prior to exit from the US.
  • Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (2016) - Reorganizes and restructures the hazardous waste regulations to make them more user-friendly for the regulated community. This rule also includes revisions that are intended to address existing gaps in the hazardous waste regulations including container labeling, preparedness and prevention, and closure. The rule also contains some less stringent provisions designed to provide flexibility to the regulated community including procedures for episodic generation events, the waiver from the 50-foot setback for large quantity generators, and consolidation of waste from very small quantity generators by a large quantity generator under the control of the same entity.
  • Safe Management of Recalled Airbags Interim Final Rule (2018) - This rule facilitates the more expeditious removal of defective Takata airbag inflators and improve safe and environmentally sound disposal of collected airbag wastes from vehicles by dealerships, salvage yards and other locations.
  • Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine Rule (2019) - This rule adds regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors. Healthcare facilities and reverse distributors will manage their hazardous waste pharmaceuticals under this new set of sector-specific standards in lieu of the existing hazardous waste generator regulations. These new regulations exclude certain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) (e.g., nicotine gums, patches, lozenges) from regulation as hazardous waste. These provisions also prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the drain, this ban on sewering hazardous waste pharmaceuticals goes into effect nationwide on the effective date of the federal rule, regardless of adoption status of the rule by authorized states.
  • Modernizing Ignitable Liquids Determinations (2020) - this rule modernizes the RCRA test methods used to determine the flash point of waste. Flash point is used to identify waste that is characteristically hazardous for ignitability. These revisions will provide more flexibility with regard to the testing requirements and greater clarity for the regulated community with respect to hazardous waste identification.

State Initiatives

  • Adding Solar Panels to the Universal Waste Regulations - As the growth in usage and installation of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic modules, continues so will the need to properly manage these solar panels as they reach their end of life. This waste is often misidentified as non-hazardous solid waste and often goes to landfills for disposal despite the presence of heavy metals in the cells that could classify them as hazardous waste (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, lead, silver). DEC is considering adding solar panels as a universal waste category to streamline the collection
    and recycling of these wastes and to divert these wastes from improper disposal outlets.
  • Updating secondary containment and closure requirements for storage of liquid hazardous waste
  • Adding a three day staging period for recycling under the "no prior storage" provisions
  • Adding cold crushing of used oil filters as an acceptable oil filter draining method

Outreach Information

Public Workshops

DEC held public workshops statewide from December 2019 through April 2020 on the hazardous waste revisions that DEC is currently considering. These revisions include the Generator Improvements Rule, state-initiated changes regarding secondary containment requirements and the creation of uniform LQG requirements, the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, and the addition of aerosol cans and paint to the Universal Waste Rule. There are currently no workshops or webinars scheduled. If DEC schedules more outreach events or webinars in the future that information will be posted here.

Additional Information

DEC's outreach consisted of multiple webinars and public workshops. The presentation slides created as a part of that outreach are available below.

Presentation Slides & Fact Sheets

Submit Written Comments on These Potential Revisions

A formal public comment period will be provided at a later date once the regulations are officially proposed.

DEC is interested in information, data, and comments about any issues or concerns with these potential revisions. Please submit all information, data, or comments by:

Email: (Include "Comments on FedReg6" in the subject line of the email)


RCRA Compliance and Technical Support Section
625 Broadway,
Albany, NY 12233-7256Federal Rules

More about Hazardous Waste Revisions Under Consideration:

  • Rulemaking - Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Rule - DEC is considering amending the hazardous waste regulations to conditionally exclude CO2 streams, if they are captured from emission sources and are injected into Class VI Underground Injection Control wells for geological sequestration.
  • Rulemaking - Definition of Solid Waste Rule - EPA's Definition of Solid Waste Rule, as amended in January, 2015, redefines "hazardous secondary materials". It streamlines regulation of hazardous secondary materials to encourage beneficial recycling and help conserve resources.
  • Rulemaking - Electronic Manifest Rules - The e-Manifest Rule authorizes the use of electronic manifests for hazardous wastes.
  • Rulemaking - Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule - EPA's Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule reorganizes and restructures the hazardous waste regulations to provide the regulated community with a clearer understanding of the RCRA program and to increase regulatory compliance. This rule also provides more options and flexibility for generators to manage their hazardous waste.
  • Rulemaking - Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule - EPA's Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule adds regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors. These new regulations also revise the hazardous waste listing for nicotine and prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the drain.
  • Rulemaking - Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule - DEC is considering adopting EPA's Solvent Contaminated Wipes Rule. EPA's Rule conditionally excludes solvent contaminated wipes from the hazardous waste regulations, if certain requirements are met.
  • Rulemaking - Adding Solar Panels to the Universal Waste Regulations - DEC is considering adding photovoltaic modules, also known as solar panels, to the New York State Universal Waste regulations to streamline the collection and recycling of hazardous waste photovoltaic modules and is seeking comment from the public on these changes.