What's Being Reclassified

What is harmless today may be hazardous tomorrow - at least that's the precedent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears to be setting with its recent decision to reclassify certain types of petroleum waste materials as "hazardous."

The reclassifications, which were enacted on August 6, 1998, are part of an amendment to EPA regulations on hazardous waste management under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The materials include:

* crude oil storage tank sediment and/or in-line filter/separation solids from petroleum refining operations;

* clarified slurry oil storage tank sediment and/or in-line filter/separation solids from petroleum refining operations;

* spent hydro treating catalysts from petroleum refining operations, including guard beds used to desulfurize feeds to other catalytic reactors (excluding inert support media); and

* spent hydro refining catalysts used in the above process.