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November 06, 2007

The Environment: The Universal Waste Rule

You can expect to hear more from industry and government in the next few years on the issues of responses to global warming, nuclear energy, energy security, non-fossil alternative fuels, waste disposal, and the environment generally. We'll see more federal environmental law enforcement, which waned under both Ds and Rs in the past fifteen years. Remember Jimmy Carter? Remember the "cradle-to-grave" waste management scheme of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 ("RCRA")? Okay, well then, how about the

Universal Waste Rule (original) issued in 1995? Under federal UWR, which is being amended further still, certain hazardous wastes generated by a wide variety of businesses--companies which generally generated no other hazardous wastes--were given a uniform but relaxed treatment: light bulbs (e.g., fluorescent, mercury vapor, sodium vapor, neon); batteries such as nickel cadmium, silver oxide, and lithium; mercury-containing devices (thermostats, barometers, thermometers, switches); and expired, collected or recalled pesticides. For a good primer on the Universal Waste Rule, see in the recent issue of Environmental Protection magazine "Universal Waste: Bulbs, Batteries, Bugs and Barometers" by Mike King of Excal Visual LLP.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzb├╝hel Desk) at November 6, 2007 02:52 PM

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