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EPA Announces Proposal to Withdraw the Emission Comparable Fuels Rule

Release Date: 12/02/2009
Contact Information: Skip Anderson,, 202-564-9551, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to withdraw the Emission Comparable Fuels (ECF) rule, which became effective on Jan. 20, 2009. The ECF rule governs fuel that would otherwise be regulated as hazardous waste, but that generates emissions that are comparable to fuel oil. EPA issued a rule in January 2009 that classifies ECF as a product rather than a hazardous waste. However, EPA is now proposing to withdraw the January 2009 rule due to the difficulty of ensuring that emissions from burning ECF are comparable to emissions from burning fuel oil, and the limited savings of burning ECF.

The January 2009 ECF rule sought to remove regulatory costs by reclassifying certain manufacturing byproducts as non-wastes. The rule has been criticized for allowing hazardous waste to evade the hazardous waste regulatory system, and for being difficult to administer. Industry members have also criticized it because of the detailed and prescriptive conditions for reclassification, which they believe will limit the rule’s use.

Today’s proposed rule presents the agency’s concerns and requests public comment. After evaluating public comments, EPA will make a decision on whether to repeal the exclusion.

More information:

To comment on the withdrawing the rule: (Docket No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2005-0017)