Under a settlement agreement with the Sierra Club, EPA has agreed to revisit a rule titled “Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste,” 73 Fed. Reg. 64,668 (10/30/08), to address environmental justice issues raised in the organization’s 2009 petition. Sierra Club v. EPA, No. 09-1041 (D.C. Cir. 9/10/10). As part of the agreement, EPA also committed to issue a final rule by December 31, 2012, addressing these issues.
In its petition, the Sierra Club argued that the 2008 rule would have a disproportionate negative impact on disadvantaged communities. The rule declared that certain materials destined for recycling are not waste, and therefore RCRA does not regulate them. Affected wastes included spent materials, listed sludges and listed by-products that are generated, legitimately reclaimed and stored in non-land-based units such as tanks, containers and containment buildings. In the settlement agreement, EPA also agreed to address other issues in the rule raised by the Sierra Club.