OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

May 11, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR: R. DAVIS LAYNE

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

THROUGH: LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS

FROM: PATRICIA K. CLARK, ACTING DIRECTOR DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT: North Carolina Request for Another Definition for Hazardous Waste

This is in response to your inquiry on behalf of Michael D. Ragland, Deputy Commissioner for Health and Safety, State of North Carolina, requesting a definition of "hazardous waste" under 29 CFR 1910.120 that is easier to understand and apply.

As you are aware, the definition for "hazardous waste" has been taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. This has been done to assure consistency and compatibility between the OSHA standard and the rules and regulations of the EPA and DOT. It was not possible to simplify the definition while remaining consistent with these other regulations.

The definition of "hazardous waste operation" under 29 CFR 1910.120 incorporates both "hazardous waste" and "hazardous substances." All substances that are "hazardous waste" are also classified as "hazardous substances." The intent of the standard is for "hazardous substances" to include all substances that exposure to which results or may result in adverse effects on the health and safety of employees.

I hope this information is helpful.

February 8, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR: THOMAS SHEPICH, DIRECTOR

Directorate of Compliance Programs

THRU: LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR Office of Field Programs

ATTENTION: DAVE SMITH Office of Health Compliance Assistance

FROM: R. DAVIS LAYNE Regional Administrator

SUBJECT: North Carolina Request for another Definition for Hazardous Waste

Enclosed please find a letter from Michael D. Ragland, Deputy Commissioner for Health and Safety, State of North Carolina, requesting a definition of "hazardous waste" that is easier to understand and apply. Please respond to us and we will forward the response to Mr. Ragland.

We also enclosed a copy of our interim letter to Mr. Ragland for informational purposes.

If you have any questions, please call Cynthia P. Wolfe, Assistant Regional Administrator for Technical Support at (FTS) 257-2281.

Enclosure

January 30, 1989

R. Davis Layne Regional Administrator Occupational Safety and Health Administration U.S. Department of Labor 1375 Peachtree Street, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30367

Dear Mr. Layne:

We have recently received a number of questions concerning the application of the interim final Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, 29 CFR 1910.120, to substances, and to employers and employees that do not clearly fall within the scope and application paragraphs of that standard. For example, it is not clear to us which employees are covered when they are installing wells to detect or monitor known or suspected hazardous wastes or hazardous substances at locations that are not defined as "Superfund" sites or as Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) "major corrective actions."

The application of the standard is also affected by the chemicals involved because the standard applies only to a "hazardous substance" or "hazardous waste." The definition of "hazardous substances is complex as you can see in Attachment #1, but we are told that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have published lists of chemicals that meet this definition. Your assistance in obtaining, distributing and updating such lists would be appreciated.

The definition of "hazardous waste" in Attachment #2 is even more confusing. We understand from state hazardous waste personnel who apply this definition that it cannot be converted into a list of chemicals because in some cases inclusion or exclusion depends on the processes involved. This characteristic makes this definition very difficult to use, especially in emergency response operations. We would appreciate your help in arriving at some definition of "hazardous waste" that is easier to understand and apply.

If members of your staff would like to discuss these definitions further, please ask them to contact Mercer Doty at (919) 733-2486.

Sincerely,

Michael D. Ragland

MDR:ckh Attachments: 1 & 2