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Hazardous Waste Management and the Retail Sector

Executive Order 13563 Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, charges federal agencies to monitor regulatory effectiveness and to help make agency regulatory programs more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives.

In response to this Executive Order, EPA developed Improving Our Regulations: Final Plan for Periodic Retrospective Reviews of Existing Regulations (PDF)(62 pp, 456 K, About PDF). In this plan, EPA committed to analyze information and identify issues about the regulations applicable to hazardous waste generated in the retail industry, including what materials may be affected, what the scope of the issues are and what options may exist for addressing the issues.

On February 14, 2014, EPA released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) to collect information towards improving hazardous waste requirements for the retail sector. The purpose of the NODA is to collect information to help complete that commitment.

The NODA comment period closed on May 30, 2014 and EPA received feedback from 44 commenters. 

EPA carefully reviewed these comments to identify stakeholder concerns and suggestions for better managing hazardous waste in the retail sector under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). During this time, EPA also conducted various outreach activities in order to improve our understanding of the process used in the retail sector for managing consumer goods that cannot be sold at stores, including challenges faced in complying with RCRA regulations. 

Using this information, EPA developed a strategy for addressing the retail sector under RCRA that builds upon regulatory-related efforts already underway, including proposed updates and improvements to existing hazardous waste generator regulations and a proposed set of regulations designed to allow flexibility in the management and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. Both of these proposals have been finalized. EPA released this strategy on September 12, 2016. 

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