The rule is the latest push from the Biden-Harris Administration, which has advanced environmental justice efforts to protect indigenous and disadvantaged communities throughout the country. The proposed measure would curb open burning and open detonation of waste explosives such as fireworks, munitions, and flares which carries “serious and environmental and public health impacts,” commented EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

Stefanie Valentic, Editorial Director

March 13, 2024

1 Min Read
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the details of a new rule aimed at disposal of waste explosives.

The rule is the latest push from the Biden-Harris Administration, which has advanced environmental justice efforts to protect indigenous and disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

The proposed measure would curb open burning and open detonation of waste explosives such as fireworks, munitions, and flares, which carry “serious and environmental and public health impacts,” commented EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

“In close coordination with federal, state and local partners, EPA’s proposal will work to better protect local communities from environmental and health harm while ensuring facilities are supported in the transition to new alternative technologies that safely manage explosive wastes,” he added.

The new rule would bolster existing regulatory requirements, mandating the use of alternative technologies to open burning and detonation and adding new technical standards.

Safe disposal methods that do not include open burning or open detonation were previously unavailable, according to the EPA. The 2019 study completed in conjunction with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, alternative technologies identified measures to dispose of waste explosives.

The proposed rule addresses potential exposure to air pollutants and those in soil, surface water, and groundwater.

“Communities raised additional concerns about noise and vibration from facilities using OB/OD to treat waste explosives,” the EPA stated.

The agency noted that open burning of hazardous waste was banned in 1980 under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), with an exception for explosives “which cannot safely be disposed of through other modes of treatment.”

The EPA previously published a policy memorandum to address compliance and provide guidance to affected communities.

The agency is seeking public comment for 60 days following publication of the proposed rule.

Source: EPA

About the Author(s)

Stefanie Valentic

Editorial Director, Waste360

Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360. She can be reached at [email protected].

 

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