News | January 18, 2010

In Renewed Effort On Environmental Justice, EPA To Assess Impacts Of Waste Rule On Disadvantaged Communities

Agency's draft plan on hazardous waste recycling rule open for public comment

Washington, DC - Consistent with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's commitment to reach out to communities historically underrepresented in EPA decision-making, the agency is requesting public input on a draft plan for assessing the potential impacts of its hazardous waste recycling rule on low-income, minority and tribal populations. To encourage safe recycling and to help conserve natural resources, EPA's Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule published in October of 2008, modified the regulations for hazardous materials that are recycled, also known as hazardous secondary materials. EPA is reaching out to stakeholders, including the environmental justice community, requesting public comment before the analysis begins.

"This week Administrator Jackson named environmental justice as one of her top priorities for EPA," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "This draft plan is one example of how EPA is bringing historically underrepresented communities into this process and giving everyone a seat at the decision making table."

EPA's goal is to ensure these materials are safely managed and the results of the evaluation will be used to decide whether additional action is necessary. Lessons learned from the analysis of the DSW rule will also be used to inform EPA's ongoing effort to strengthen the consideration of environmental justice in rulemakings.

EPA will discuss the draft methodology with the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) at its national public meeting and host a roundtable to gain public input on the draft methodology. Both meetings are scheduled to be held on January 28, 2010, in New Orleans, La.

A second public roundtable meeting will be held on February 23, 2010 at EPA's Potomac Yard Conference Center in Arlington, Va., and an online public roundtable will be held on February 25, 2010. The public may also submit written comments on the draft methodology until March 15, 2010.

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