In one more “sue and settle” case, the U.S. Environmental Safety Company has proposed coming into right into a consent decree agreeing to rule on the Heart for Organic Variety’s (CBD) petition to categorise discarded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as a hazardous waste below the Useful resource Conservation and Restoration Act (RCRA). A part of a broader initiative to lower the quantity of plastic waste, this will likely end in a rule classifying a variety of PVC-containing industrial, business, and retail supplies and merchandise as hazardous wastes when discarded.
The consent decree would resolve CBD’s August 2021 complaint in Heart for Organic Variety v. U.S. Environmental Safety Company, through which CBD alleged that EPA unreasonably delayed performing on a 2014 petition to checklist discarded PVC as hazardous waste. The proposed consent decree requires that EPA suggest a call on CBD’s petition by Jan. 20, 2023. events might file feedback on this proposed determination, and EPA should situation a remaining determination by April 12, 2024. EPA revealed a notice within the Federal Register offering info on the proposed consent decree. Any written feedback on the consent decree have to be acquired by June 3, 2022.
CBD asserts that many merchandise starting from constructing supplies to meals packaging to youngsters’s toys include PVC, which it states can have a dangerous impact on human well being, the setting, and wildlife. Particularly, CBD asserts that PVC incorporates vinyl chloride and states EPA has acknowledged that vinyl chloride is a human carcinogen. CBD additionally asserts that PVC incorporates chemical components, such as phthalate plasticizers, which it states have poisonous and carcinogenic results on human and wildlife. Accordingly, CBD believes that PVC ought to be listed a hazardous waste below RCRA.
Moreover, CBD’s petition will not be aimed merely at PVC waste that may be generated on the preliminary chemical manufacturing stage: it seeks to have EPA declare that completed supplies and merchandise containing PVC are hazardous wastes when discarded. This might embody, for instance, discarded PVC pipe and even trimmings at a building website, or PVC-containing merchandise that may be discarded by retail shops (e.g., unusable or broken buyer returns). Such a classification may complicate the recycling of any plastics that include PVC and create headwinds for many who manufacture supplies or merchandise containing PVC.
Firms within the PVC worth chain, together with those that promote or use PVC-containing supplies and merchandise, might want to (1) consider their publicity to and the potential affect of this initiative on their enterprise; (2) think about alternatives to interact in advocacy associated to EPA’s preliminary consideration of CBD’s petition and any rulemaking or litigation which may come up from that call; and (3) start to evaluate alternatives to lower their potential publicity to any eventual classification of discarded PVC as a hazardous waste.