Frequent Questions

If I am in the process of obtaining my RCRA permit, do I have to continue now that the Phase 1 HWC MACT standards are effective?

Yes, hazardous waste combustors remain subject to RCRA permitting even after the Phase 1 HWC MACT standards are effective. This applies whether you are renewing a RCRA permit or are obtaining one for the first time. If you are proposing to build a new hazardous waste combustion unit, you are required to obtain a RCRA permit prior to construction of that unit. This permit must contain the appropriate RCRA combustion requirements. (See 40 CFR 264.340(b), 265.340(b), and 266.100(b).) After demonstrating compliance with the MACT standards, you can request a modification to your RCRA permit to remove any duplicative conditions related to your combustor. You should check with your RCRA permit writer to discuss the possibility of including a sunset clause in your permit so that once you demonstrate compliance with the MACT standards, any duplicative conditions in your RCRA permit will automatically become inactive. If you are a RCRA interim status facility or are renewing your RCRA permit, you must continue the RCRA permitting process. See the answer to number 7 (above) for a discussion on interim status and renewal permit processes.
 
The content of your RCRA permit will depend on whether or not you have already demonstrated compliance with the MACT standards. If you have demonstrated compliance, your RCRA permit will not need to address your combustor emissions. Instead, it will focus on basic hazardous waste management requirements such as: general facility standards, corrective action, financial responsibility, closure, and other combustor-specific concerns such as materials handling and other hazardous waste management units. An exception will be if additional risk-based emissions conditions are necessary under the RCRA omnibus authority (RCRA section 3005(c)(3)) to supplement the MACT requirements. We expect that in most cases such conditions will reside in RCRA permits. However, some states may have the flexibility to place the additional conditions in Title 5 permits, if they have a provision in their state air statute or regulations that is equivalent to the RCRA omnibus authority. 

Other exceptions may include if a source elects to comply with RCRA permit conditions during start-up, shutdown, and malfunctions (SSMs). If this option is chosen, rather than complying with the CAA option, the RCRA permit conditions to address SSMs will be retained in the RCRA permit and enforced only when operating under the SSM plan (40 CFR 270.235). Also, a source that chooses to comply with the alternative to the particulate matter (PM) standard will likely have these alternative requirements in its RCRA permit (40 CFR 63.1206(b)(14)).
 
For more information, see the sections entitled "11. What Are the Permitting Requirements for Sources Subject to this Rule?" in the preamble to the final rule at 64 FR 52973, September 30, 1999, and the Permit Transition: Moving From RCRA to the CAA Fact Sheet (PDF, 569 KB)

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