NSWMA Opposes Proposed Financial Assurance Rules

Date: April 8, 2010

Source: The National Solid Wastes Management Association

NSWMA Comments on Proposed EPA Rules

  • Currently Operated Municipal Solid Waste Facilities Should Not Be Required to Obtain Financial Responsibility under CERCLA

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has filed comments regarding proposed rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) on the Identification of Additional Classes of Facilities for Development of Financial Responsibility Requirements Under CERCLA Section 108(b) (75 FR 816). NSWMA's comments argue that currently operated hazardous waste and municipal solid waste facilities should not be required to obtain financial responsibility under CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), because they do not share anything in common with past practices and are already covered by financial assurance program that are working under RCRA (the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act).

"The U.S. EPA should not unnecessarily burden the solid waste industry with these additional financial responsibilities. Rules already in place under RCRA require financial assurance, and the intent of Subtitles D criteria is to prevent these situations. Also, our industry no longer manages CERCLA wastes that these proposed rules are intended to cover," said Bruce J. Parker, president and CEO of NSWMA. "Our industry has a tradition of supporting reasonable regulation; unfortunately, these proposed rules seem to be a solution searching for a problem."

The facilities EPA currently regulates under RCRA Subtitles C and D have little in common with the facilities contained in the EPA National Priorities List. With the advent of the RCRA Subtitle C rules, hazardous wastes that were sometimes disposed of in municipal solid waste landfill facilities are now taken to regulated hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. In fact, MSW facilities (i.e., landfills, transfer stations, and recycling operations) have load checking and personnel training programs to prevent the acceptance of these CERCLA wastes. Because MSW facilities no longer accept or manage hazardous waste, these facilities should not have to bear the unnecessary and redundant costs of acquiring CERCLA financial assurance.

EIA is the trade association that represents the private sector solid waste and recycling industry through its two sub-associations, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC). NSWMA represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and waste disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. WASTEC represents companies that design, build, distribute, service and consult with respect to the equipment and technology systems that are used to collect, contain, transport, store, process, recycle, treat and dispose of the world's solid wastes and recyclable materials.

For more information, contact:
Thom Metzger, 202-506-0511 or tmetzger@envasns.org.

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