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EPA Finalizes Amendment to the F019
Hazardous Waste Listing

Aluminum ShelbyThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is amending the F019 hazardous waste listing to facilitate the use of aluminum in automobiles, light trucks and utility vehicles. This action is expected to encourage motor vehicle manufacturers to use more aluminum parts, producing vehicles that are lighter. Lighter vehicles are capable of increased gas mileage and decreased exhaust air emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions.

F019 is one of EPA's F-code Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous waste listings, which include waste that is generated from common industrial and manufacturing processes. The amendment excludes from hazardous waste regulation F019 waste generated in the auto manufacturing industry provided the waste:

  • is not placed outside on the land prior to shipment to a landfill for disposal; and
  • is disposed of at an appropriately lined landfill. EPA has determined that these changes to the F019 listing are protective of human health and the environment.

EPA has determined that these changes to the F019 listing are protective of human health and the environment.

When aluminum is incorporated into the body of a vehicle, the chemical conversion coating step in the vehicle manufacturing (assembly) process generates F019 hazardous waste, according to the current F019 listing description. However, wastewater treatment sludges generated from the conversion coating of vehicle bodies made of steel without aluminum are not F019 hazardous wastes. Therefore, according to the motor vehicle manufacturing industry, the existing F019 hazardous waste listing provides a disincentive for using aluminum in motor vehicle manufacturing because the manufacturer would become a hazardous waste generator of aluminum is used during vehicle manufacturing.

Additionally, the toxic constituents formerly used in conversion coating of aluminum (hexavalent chromium and cyanide) are no longer used by motor vehicle manufacturers. In an effort to seek an exclusion from the F019 hazardous waste listing, the motor vehicle manufactures submitted facility-specific “delisting” petitions. The industry later asked EPA to consider the equivalent of a national exemption for the F019 hazardous waste listing. Industry claimed that such an exemption would result in considerable savings without affecting environmental protectiveness. EPA decided to address this nationally by amending the F019 hazardous waste listing after evaluating the wastes and determining that there was no significant risk to human health or the environment when these wastes are not placed outside on the land prior to shipment for disposal in an appropriately lined landfill.

The final rule should be published in the Federal Register in June 2008.

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