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OVERVIEW

When hazardous waste is shipped across multiple countries to be disposed of or recycled, there can be a higher risk to human health and the environment in the surrounding communities. This risk is due to the increased number of parties that handle and transfer the international shipments, the entry and exit procedures and temporary storage at ports and border crossings and the varying degrees of environmental controls and worker safety practices at the recycling and disposal facilities. The scope of this issue includes approximately 3,000 hazardous waste import shipments and 49,000 hazardous waste export shipments that occur largely within North America.

GOALS

Consolidate regulations so that one set of requirements, consistent with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council Decision applied to all imports and exports. Make electronic reporting to U.S. EPA mandatory to enable increased sharing of hazardous waste import and export data with state programs, the public, and waste exporters and importers. Link the consent forms to exports, with the exporter declaration submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection that will provide for more efficient compliance monitoring.

OUTCOMES

Following publication of the final rule:

  • Reduce uncertainty, cost and time to process export notifications to respond to needs of regulated community;
  • Promote data sharing between government and regulated community to ensure compliance and increase transparency; and
  • Facilitate export commerce by sharing consent information with U.S. Customs that can ensure that legitimate trade has fewer or no delays due to inspections