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EPA proposes new rules for hazardous waste imports, exports

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with new rules to ensure that shipments of hazardous waste are safely imported and exported.

The proposed rule would consolidate and streamline the current regulations into one set of requirements that apply to all imports and exports. When finalized, EPA said the rule would affect the approximately 3,000 hazardous waste import shipments and 49,000 hazardous waste export shipments that largely occur within North America.

The rule would also require all shipments to be reported electronically to the EPA and include a link to the consent to export with the exporter declaration submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“When hazardous waste is shipped across multiple countries there can be a higher risk of mismanagement from unsafe transport, recycling and disposal practices,” Mathy Stanislaus, the assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, said in a news release. “This proposal will provide greater protection to communities and the environment through increased transparency, better data sharing and more efficient compliance monitoring.”

The public has 60 days to comment on the rule once its published in the Federal Register.