Overburden Exemption Petition
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On October 10, 2002, EPA denied an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) petition to modify its definition of ‘‘overburden’’ to include both consolidated and unconsolidated material. Currently, unconsolidated material is eligible for the overburden exemption to reporting required under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). EPA denied the petition because EPA’s review of the petition and available information resulted in the conclusion that consolidated rock includes materials that often contain toxic chemicals above negligible amounts, often in significant quantities.
EPA received a petition from the National Mining Association (NMA) on December 22, 1998, and additional information in a letter on May 7, 1999. NMA petitioned the Agency to modify the EPCRA Section 313 definition of ‘‘overburden’’ to include both consolidated and unconsolidated material. Currently, only unconsolidated material is considered as overburden under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program, and therefore only unconsolidated material is eligible for the overburden exemption under EPCRA Section 313.