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PCB Guidance Reinterpretation

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Children"s Health

Protecting children’s health from environmental risks is fundamental to EPA’s mission. Caulk containing PCBs were used in building some schools from 1950 to 1978. The proposed reinterpretation will help to promote healthy school environments by reducing exposure to PCBs in schools.

The final reinterpretation memorandum has been issued regarding Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) contaminated building materials: PCB Bulk Product Waste Reinterpretation (PDF) (3pp, 396K).

EPA proposed and finalized a reinterpretation of its position regarding Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) contaminated building materials. The reinterpretation is specifically addressing the definitions of bulk product waste (e.g., PCB contaminated caulk or paint) and remediation waste (e.g., PCB contaminated masonry or concrete). This distinction is important as it determines the appropriate cleanup requirements and disposal options. The reinterpretation allows building material (i.e., substrate) “coated or serviced” with PCB bulk product waste (e.g., caulk, paint, mastics, sealants) at the time of disposal to be managed as a PCB bulk product waste, even if the PCBs have migrated from the overlying bulk product waste into the substrate. The below diagram highlights these changes to the definitions.

image of different waste interpretations


The reinterpretation impacts the highlighted segments of the following documents:

To learn more about the reinterpretation, see the Federal Register Notice – PCBs Bulk Product v. Remediation Waste – (February 29, 2012). The comment period closed on March 30, 2012.

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