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Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste

Revisions to NHSM Regulations
Related Air Regulations

The NHSM rules have been issued in conjunction with the Clean Air Act rules.

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The non-hazardous secondary material (NHSM) regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) identifies which non-hazardous secondary materials are, or are not, solid wastes when burned in combustion units.

EPA re-examined the 2011 NHSM final rule and finalized certain amendments and clarifications to the 40 CFR part 241 regulations for which the agency received new information, as well as targeted revisions that are appropriate in order to allow implementation of the rule as originally intended. Those amendments included a list of NHSMs determined to be categorical non-wastes. These rules are now in effect. EPA also issued a proposed rule to add additional NHSMs to that list.

Proposed Amendments (March 25, 2014)

Revisions - Final Rule (February 7, 2013)

The Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) Units: Reconsideration and Proposed Amendments; Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials that are a Solid Waste: Final Rule (PDF) (103 pp, 1.28 mb)| Additional Information

The NHSM part of the preamble begins on page 9135 of the Federal Register notice for the consolidated rulemaking.

Final Rule (March 21, 2011)

Federal Register Notice | PDF (97 pp, 687 KB)

In general, non-hazardous secondary materials burned in combustion units are solid wastes unless:

These provisions are codified into regulations at 40 CFR part 241.

Information on accessing supporting documents in the docket.

Information developed for the 2013 NHSM Final Rule Revisions to the 40 CFR part 241 Regulations:
Fact Sheet on NHSM | PDF (4pp, 81k) | Response to Comments Document
Information developed for the NHSM revisions promulgated on February 7, 2013:

Final Rule Fact Sheet | PDF (2 pp, 236K) | Press Release | Frequent Questions

Implementation of the NHSM Regulations

Rule Clarification Materials for use in Implementation of the NHSM regulations 40 CFR part 241

Contaminant Comparisons
(per the legitimacy criteria in §241.3(d))
Part 241 Rule Clarifications and Response Letters

Disclaimer: The following letters are examples of EPA decisions regarding 40 CFR part 241 based on the information provided. They are included here for informational purposes only. EPA does not endorse or promote any particular product, service or entity.


EPA Regional Contacts

Regional Contacts for Non-Hazardous Secondary Material Waste Determination under 40 CFR part 241.

Traditional Fuels as Defined in the 2011 NHSM Final Rule (40 CFR 241.2)

Traditional fuels are materials that are produced as fuels and are unused products that have not been discarded and therefore are not solid waste (or secondary materials). These include the following:

* As defined in 40 CFR 241.2: "Clean cellulosic biomass means those residuals that are akin to traditional cellulosic biomass, including, but not limited to: Agricultural and forest-derived biomass (e.g., green wood, forest thinnings, clean and unadulterated bark, sawdust, trim, tree harvesting residuals from logging and sawmill materials, hogged fuel, wood pellets, untreated wood pallets); urban wood (e.g., tree trimmings, stumps, and related forest-derived biomass from urban settings); corn stover and other biomass crops used specifically for the production of cellulosic biofuels (e.g., energy cane, other fast growing grasses, byproducts of ethanol natural fermentation processes); bagasse and other crop residues (e.g., peanut shells, vines, orchard trees, hulls, seeds, spent grains, cotton byproducts, corn and peanut production residues, rice milling and grain elevator operation residues); wood collected from forest fire clearance activities, trees and clean wood found in disaster debris, clean biomass from land clearing operations, and clean construction and demolition wood. These fuels are not secondary materials or solid wastes unless discarded. Clean biomass is biomass that does not contain contaminants at concentrations not normally associated with virgin biomass materials."

The definition of clean cellulosic biomass is revised in the final rule revisions.

Non-Hazardous Secondary Material (NHSM) Rulemaking Synopsis:

1. Final Rule - February 7, 2013; 78 FR 9111
2. Proposed Revisions to Final Rule - December 23, 2011; 76 FR 80452
3. Final Rule - March 21, 2011; 76 FR 15456
4. Proposed Rule - June 4, 2010; 75 FR 31844
5. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - January 2, 2009; 74 FR 41

These are located under EPA docket # EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0329

Refer to the Rulemaking Synopsis page for more details on these actions.



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