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US Filter

The U.S. Filter Recovery Systems (USFRS) XL project addresses metal finishing, electroplating and similar operations. In most of these manufacturing processes today, wash and rinse water is used once, then treated on-site and discharged to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) or surface water pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA). Metal sludges are typically land disposed off-site. USFRS proposes to install an ion exchange canister resin system at certain approved customers' facilities. The deionization process causes the metals in the waste water to adhere to the resin material in the canister, rendering the water free of metal contaminants. The water can then be reused in the customer's process lines. USFRS would collect the spent ion exchange canister containing the metals, replace the spent canister with a fresh one at the generator facility, and treat to regenerate the spent resin at USFRS' facility. There would be no long-term storage of spent canisters at a generator facility. Recovered acid and hydroxide from resin regeneration can be reused at USFRS, and the resulting metal sludge will be recovered for reuse by a secondary metals recovery company.

The resin in the USFRS customer's ion exchange column would be typically considered a listed hazardous waste (F006) under RCRA if the customer's waste streams include wastewater from electroplating or other similar operations. F006 resins are regulated under RCRA's reporting, storage and transportation requirements. USFRS proposes that applying alternative waste management requirements will be less costly and will encourage its potential customers to pursue legitimate recycling of their waste streams rather than continuing to dispose of them by discharge to the local POTW.

EPA is proposing to implement the USFRS XL Project by providing the generators and transporters with a "temporary deferral" from certain RCRA requirements for USFRS XL waste. Generators and transporters who are approved to participate would handle, store and transport the ion exchange resin wastes in accordance with specific standards contained in a new site-specific rule in lieu of certain RCRA requirements. These new substitute requirements would assure management of the USFRS XL wastes in a manner which ensures protection of human health and the environment.

The USFRS XL project will provide superior environmental performance by promoting recycling of water and recovery and reuse of metals that would otherwise be land disposed.

The overall goals of this project are to: 1) encourage conservation of potable water; 2) encourage better metals recovery through waste segregation and use of ion exchange columns; 3) reduce energy and other costs associated with water treatment; and 4) reduce cost to generators for record-keeping, manifesting and transportation of F006 waste.

Evaluation Documents

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