The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a “reinterpretation of our position regarding PCB-contaminated building materials” on October 24, 2012. EPA’s revisions focus on building materials that have been in contact with “PCB bulk product waste,” such as caulk, paint, mastics, and sealants that contain PCBs. Under the reinterpretation, if the PCB bulk product waste remains connected to the substrate or other building material and there is no other source of PCB contamination of the underlying material, the building material can be managed as PCB bulk product waste. But if the mastic, caulk, paint, or other PCB bulk product has been removed from the substrate and PCBs have migrated into the substrate, the substrate itself must be handled as a PCB remediation waste.

EPA anticipates that allowing building materials to which PCB bulk product remains attached to be disposed of as bulk product waste will save money in PCB remediations involving building materials. “The reinterpretation finalized today allows building material (i.e., substrate) ‘coated or serviced’ with PCB bulk product waste (e.g., caulk, paint, mastics, sealants) at the time of designation for disposal to be managed as a PCB bulk product waste, even if the PCBs have migrated from the overlying bulk product waste into the substrate.” See BNA Daily Environment Report, November 20, 2012.