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EPA Revises Exemptions for Wastewater Treatment

Release Date: 09/28/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Kerry Humphrey, 202-564-4355 /

(9/28/05) EPA announced that it has finalized revisions to the wastewater treatment exemptions for hazardous waste mixtures, an action also known as the "Headworks Rule Exemptions." The agency is taking steps to provide flexible and environmentally sound regulatory management through the following four revisions: (1) the addition of two solvents (benzene and 2-ethoxyethanol) to a list of solvents whose mixtures are exempted from the rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); (2) the addition of an option to directly measure solvent chemical levels at the headworks of the wastewater treatment system to the current requirement; (3) a clarification in the preamble that scrubber waters generated from the incineration of spent solvents listed in the headworks rule would be eligible for the exemption; (4) the addition of listed hazardous wastes as eligible for the exemption, as well as the addition of non-manufacturing facilities to those that qualify for this exemption if certain conditions are met. Many of these changes are based on the public comments that EPA received during the public comment period. The headworks exemptions have been revised occasionally as new wastes have been added to the lists of hazardous wastes. For more information on the headworks rule, see: