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EPA Releases Updated Risk Analysis for Solvent-Contaminated Industrial Wipes

Release Date: 10/15/2009
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway, petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a revised risk analysis developed for the 2003 proposed Solvent-Contaminated Industrial Wipes Rule. The agency has revised the risk analysis in response to comments received when the rule was proposed. The rule is meant to improve the clarity and consistency of the regulations for wipes and reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, while maintaining the same level of protection for the environment.

The revised risk analysis, which was peer reviewed, includes updated data and information, including the use of a newly developed landfill model. The revised risk analysis shows that 8 of the 20 solvents evaluated could pose a potential health risk if disposed of in an unlined municipal solid waste landfill. The revised risk analysis also shows one (tetrachloroethylene) of the 20 solvents evaluated has a potential health risk if the wipes or laundry sludge are disposed in a composite lined landfill.

In 2003, EPA proposed to conditionally exclude from the definition of hazardous waste disposable industrial wipes that are contaminated with hazardous solvents and are going to disposal. EPA also proposed to conditionally exclude from the definition of solid waste reusable industrial shop towels and rags that are contaminated with hazardous solvents and are sent for cleaning.

The public comment period will be open for 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

More information on commenting on the risk analysis: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/wasteid/solvents/wipes.htm