If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
COMPARABLE FUELS EXCLUSION: VACATED BY A COURT OF APPEALS
On June 27, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club v. EPA, No. 98-1379, vacated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Comparable Fuels Exclusion codified at 40 C.F.R. section 261.38.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), in its section 6924(q), provides that EPA shall promulgate standards applicable to facilities that produce, burn for energy recovery or distribute or market fuels which otherwise contain any hazardous wastes. Under the Comparable Fuels Exclusion, wastes that meet EPA regulatory specifications in terms of concentrations of hazardous constituents and physical properties that affect burning (i.e., heating value and viscosity) comparable to currently used fossil fuels are not wastes. At the time EPA exercised its discretion to classify a hazardous waste derived fuel as a product, not as a waste, it was understood that using such wastes as fuel would reduce the amount of hazardous wastes to be treated and disposed of, and would save energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Comparable Fuels Exclusion is inconsistent with RCRA section 6924(q).
On August 7, 2014, the Court granted a stay of the mandate until September 17, 2014, in response to EPA’s allegation that vacating the Comparable Fuel Exclusion will immediately subject facilities that generate or burn comparable fuels to RCRA and Clean Air Act (CAA) stringent regulations, and that some time was needed for an orderly transition. During the stay period, EPA will investigate the nature and number of facilities affected by the stay, as well as the steps and time required by the facilities to comply with the federal regulations, including the potential application of storage, financial assurance and closure requirements under RCRA, and further control on air emissions. EPA may seek a second stay if it determines that additional time is necessary to allow facilities to come into compliance with the RCRA and CAA requirements.
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©2014 Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. This Watch has been prepared by Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and its members assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to the matters discussed in this e-mail.
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