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November 14, 2018

Inside EPA Features Comments By Christopher R. Bryant Regarding Conditional RCRA Exemptions for Airbag Removals

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On November 14, 2018, Inside EPA spoke with Christopher R. Bryant, Senior Regulatory Consultant, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), for the article “EPA Eases RCRA For Airbag Removals But Keeps Hazardous Waste Status.”

[W]hile dealers and others removing the airbags will be conditionally exempt under the new rule, others further down the waste stream will not, says Chris Bryant, a former EPA waste official who is now a senior regulatory consultant with Bergeson and Campbell.


Bryant, the industry consultant, notes EPA spends much space in the rule justifying issuing the rule as final now and justifying the conditional exemption. “It’s a way of blunting any challenges to it,” he says.

Bryant notes that the rule would require the dealers and initial handlers to ship the removed airbag components as hazardous materials, but not use a RCRA hazardous waste manifest. He says one question that remains unanswered in the rule is whether delays could still occur but at the collection facilities that receive airbags from dealers and scrap vendors. This could occur if the collection facilities are otherwise not RCRA hazardous waste generators and therefore would need to get up to speed on RCRA compliance now that they would be considered hazardous waste generators, he says.

While states authorized under RCRA would not have to adopt the new rule as it is less-stringent than existing rules, Bryant predicts states will adopt it due to the deadly explosions the recalled airbags can cause.

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