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.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
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.
- Units that burn non-hazardous secondary materials that are not solid waste under RCRA would be subject to the section 112 Clean Air Act requirements.
- Units that burn non-hazardous secondary materials that are solid waste under RCRA would be subject to the section 129 CAA requirements (see details on CAA requirements).
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:
- The material is used as a fuel that remains within the control of the generator (whether at the site of generation or another site the generator has control over) and meets the legitimacy criteria. (For definition of legitimacy criteria, please see 40 CFR 241.3 (d) ).
- The material is used as an ingredient in a manufacturing process (whether by the generator or outside the control of the generator) that meets the legitimacy criteria.
- The material has been sufficiently processed to produce a fuel or ingredient product that meets the legitimacy criteria.
- The material that has been determined through a case-by-case petition process not to have been discarded and to be indistinguishable in all relevant aspects from a fuel product.
- The material has been identified as a categorical non-waste fuel. Materials that have received a categorical non-waste
determination from the Agency are listed in
40 CFR 241.3(b) and include:
- scrap tires that are managed under established tire collection programs;
- resinated wood;
- coal refuse that has been recovered from legacy piles and processed in the same manner as currently-generated coal refuse;
- dewatered pulp and paper sludges burned on-site at facilities that use a significant portion of materials as fuels where such dewatered sludges are managed in a manner that preserves the meaningful heating value of the materials.
These provisions are codified into regulations at 40 CFR part 241.
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:
Implementation of the NHSM Regulations
- Contaminant Concentrations in Traditional Fuels: Tables for Comparison, November 29, 2011 (PDF) (5 pp, 53K)
- Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule: Comparable Contaminant Guidance Concept Paper, July 11, 2011 (PDF) (3 pp, 87K)
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.
- Evergreen Fuel; response to Evergreen Recycling Solutions, November 12, 2015 (10 pp, 2.5 Mb)
- Pulp and paper digester rejects; response to Finch Paper, July 2, 2015 (5 pp, 275 K)
- Pellet America Corporation Fuel Pellets – response to Pellet American Corporation; October 31, 2014 (8 pp, 450 K)
- Activated Coke Fines; Response to Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC), October 9, 2014 (8 pp, 2.66 MB)
- Process Engineered Fuel - Response to WERC-2 Inc., September 29, 2014 (PDF) (10 pp, 3.3 MB)
- Biosolids – Response to N-Viro International Corporation, June 4, 2014 (PDF) (8 pp, 2.7 MB)
- Solid Refuse Fuel (SRF); Response to Entsorga, December 9, 2013 (PDF) (10 pp, 2.8 MB)
- SpecFUEL; Response to Waste Management, August 22, 2013 (PDF) (11 pp, 1.2 Mb)
- Coal Ash; We Energies, June 26, 2013 (8 pp, 2.6 MB)
- Engineered Fuel from Industrial Sources; VEXOR Technology, May 8, 2013 (PDF) (9 pp, 2.7 MB)
- Paper fluff pellets; Strategic Materials, Apr 17, 2013 (PDF) (6 pp, 2 MB)
- Poultry Litter; Response to Wellons Energy Solutions, March 11, 2013 (PDF) (5 pp, 315 KB)
- Fuel Cubes; Response to Roaring Springs, February 6, 2013 (PDF) (6 pp, 658K)
- ReEngineered Feedstock; Response to ReCommunity, August 24, 2012 (8 pp, 2.51 MB)
- Engineered Fuel Products; Response to Lhoist, April 3, 2012 (PDF) (8pp, 463k)
- Biosolids; Response to DTEES, March 16, 2012 (PDF) (6 pp, 615k)
- Biogas; Response to NACWA, February 15, 2012 (PDF) (3 pp, 774K)
- Biosolids; Response to Delhi Charter Township (PDF) (6 pp, 276K)
- Fiber and Polymer-Based NHSM; Response Letter for Greenwood Fuels, November 14, 2011 (PDF) (6 pp, 1.4MB)
- Paper; Response Letter to IPPC, October 5, 2011 (PDF) (6 pp, 1.4MB)
- Coal Refuse Letter to ARIPPA, August 15, 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 369K)
- Scrap Tires; Response for RMA Regarding Factory Scraps, August 5, 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 650K)
- Landfill Gas Letter to Waste Management, August 5, 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 583K)
- Ash Recirculation/Reinjection and Carbon Burn-Out Units Letter, July 21, 2011 (PDF) (5 pp, 752K)
- Oil Filter Fluff Letter, June 30, 2011 (PDF) (4 pp, 977K)
- Contained Gas Letter, May 13, 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 375K)
- Memorandum; Combustion in a Cement Kiln and Cement Kilns’ Use of Tires as Fuel, April 25, 2011
EPA Regional Contacts
Regional Contacts for Non-Hazardous Secondary Material Waste Determination under 40 CFR part 241.
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:
- Fuels that have been historically managed as valuable fuel products rather than being managed as waste.
- Fossil Fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas
- Fossil Fuel Derivatives: petroleum coke, bituminous coke, coal tar oil, refinery gas, synthetic fuel, heavy recycle, asphalts, blast furnace gas, recovered gaseous butane, coke oven gas
- Cellulosic biomass: virgin wood
- Alternative fuels developed from virgin materials that can now be used as fuel products:
- Used oil which meets specifications outlined in 40 CFR 279.11
- Currently mined coal refuse that previously had not been usable as coal
- Clean cellulosic biomass*
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