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Fact Sheet: Proposed Listing Exemption for F019 Wastewater Treatment Sludge

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the F019 hazardous waste listing in order to encourage the use of aluminum in motor vehicles, which will decrease exhaust air emissions and increase gas mileage. EPA has determined that the proposed changes are fully protective of human health and the environment.


EPA is proposing to amend the F019 hazardous waste listing to facilitate the use of aluminum in automobiles, light trucks and utility vehicles. Using aluminum parts instead of heavier steel or iron parts produces lighter vehicles capable of decreased exhaust air emissions and increased gas mileage.

Aluminum automotive parts must go through a metal finishing or conversion coating process before being included in a motor vehicle. This process generates F019, an F-code waste, that currently must be managed and disposed of as a hazardous waste. Specifically, F019 waste is defined as wastewater treatment sludge from the chemical conversion coating of aluminum. Zirconium phosphating in aluminum can washing is exempt from regulation when such phosphating is an exclusive conversion coating process.

The proposed amendment exempts F019 waste from regulation as hazardous waste on the condition that the waste is disposed of in a landfi ll unit that meets certain liner design criteria. This flexible approach to managing F019 waste encourages the use of lighter aluminum parts in motor vehicles, while fully protecting human health and the environment.

The motor vehicle industry has incorporated aluminum into vehicle parts and bodies since the 1970s. Between 1997 and 2005, EPA granted 15 petitions for individual U.S. plants to exempt F019 from regulation. This proposal responds to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Aluminum Association, which asked EPA to standardize the F019 listing for all motor vehicle manufacturing plants, and remove the barriers to using aluminum in automotive manufacturing.

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