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September 07, 2012
Manifesting changes to PCB regs

In a direct final rule provisionally effective December 5, 2012, the EPA is amending federal regulations for manifesting polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes to match the requirements for manifesting hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 
PCBs are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  However, generators, transporters, and designated facilities are required to manifest PCB wastes using the RCRA Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.  According to the EPA, the current action is needed to update PCB manifesting requirements to align with regulatory changes made in 2005 to the RCRA manifest.  The Agency adds that the amendments will still account for certain unique PCB manifest regulations. 
PCB waste generators and handlers are already using the RCRA manifest, states the EPA, so all the changes to be included in the PCB regulations are already being implemented.  One exception, described below, involves an exemption from the manifesting requirement when transporting PCBs wastes on a right-of-way. 
Approximately 12 RCRA manifesting requirements will be added to the PCB regulations at 40 CFR 761, including designating an alternative facility on the manifest; multiple requirements governing shipments rejected and returned by the receiving facility; and maintaining a copy of an exception report for 3 years.  
The RCRA regulations contain an exception to manifesting when hazardous waste is transported on a public or private right-of-way within or along the border of contiguous property.  The EPA says it believes this manifesting exception is relevant to PCB wastes and thus has incorporated it for the first time into the PCB regulations.  The Agency adds that in the event of a spill of PCB wastes, cleanup and disposal are still required under the PCB regulations.
Unique to PCBs
As noted, the EPA emphasizes that certain manifesting requirements unique to PCBs will be retained.  These include indicating the date for removal from service for disposal and the PCB article’s serial number on the manifest; specific manifest requirements for imports and exports of PCBs for disposal; instructions for the disposal facility to contact the EPA regional administrator for guidance when the generator of an unmanifested shipment cannot be contacted; information to be included with an unmanifested PCB waste report; and maintaining the one-year exception report for PCB wastes. 
The EPA issues direct final rules when it believes the action is noncontroversial and anticipates no adverse comments.  However, if the Agency receives a significant comment opposing the action, the direct final rule is withdrawn.  Typically, the Agency then issues a formal final rule in which it responds to the adverse comment.  The EPA has also been known to suspend the rulemaking entirely if adverse comments raise issues that the Agency has not anticipated or is not prepared to address.
The direct final rule covering the PCB waste manifesting requirement was published in the September 6, 2012, FR.

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