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EPA Releases Clarification on Spent Oil Shale

Release Date: 12/22/2008
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway, (202) 564-4335 / petteway.latisha@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – Dec. 22, 2008) EPA has released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) on the regulatory status of spent oil shale generated by above ground retorting or heating of oil shale.

The NODA clarifies that oil shale from above ground operations is not considered a Bevill waste excluded from the pertinent regulations under RCRA Subtitle C. The NODA also makes available analytical data on the characteristics of spent shale from above ground retorting operations that indicate that such waste is unlikely to exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic, and thus, is unlikely to be a hazardous waste.

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that can be heated, vaporized, cleaned and upgraded to form synthetic crude oil. This synthetic oil can be used as an alternative energy source for traditional crude oil.

Comments on the NODA will be accepted for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected within the next two weeks.

More information on the oil shale NODA: epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/special/oil/oilshale.htm