Frequent Questions

What is the RCRA omnibus authority and how does it relate to the CAA and the hazardous waste combustor MACT standards?

Section 3005(c)(3) of RCRA (codified at 40 CFR 270.32(b)(2)) requires that each hazardous waste facility permit contain the terms and conditions necessary to protect human health and the environment. This provision is commonly referred to as the "omnibus authority" or "omnibus provision." It is the means by which additional site-specific permit conditions may be incorporated into RCRA permits should such conditions be necessary to protect human health and the environment. SSRAs have come to be used by permitting authorities as a quantitative basis for making omnibus determinations for hazardous waste combustors. 

The Clean Air Act does not have a counterpart to RCRA's omnibus authority. Promulgation of the MACT standards for hazardous waste combustors does not duplicate, supersede, or otherwise modify the RCRA omnibus provision or its applicability to sources subject to the final rule. As indicated in the April 1996 proposed rule, a RCRA permitting authority (such as a State Agency) has the responsibility to supplement the national MACT standards as necessary, on a site-specific basis, to ensure adequate protection under RCRA. We expect the MACT standards to be adequately protective of human health and the environment as a matter of national policy but there remains the possibility that there may be a need for omnibus permit conditions (under RCRA authority) for individual facilities in appropriate cases. We recognize that this could result in a situation in which a source may be subject to emission standards and operating conditions under two regulatory authorities (i.e., CAA and RCRA). Although our intent, consistent with the integration provision of RCRA section 1006(b), is to avoid regulatory duplication to the maximum extent practicable, we may not eliminate RCRA requirements if a source's emissions are not protective of human health and the environment when complying with the MACT standards.

For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/combust/.

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