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Determination of Contaminated Soils
An initial determination must be made on all excavated petroleum-contaminated soil as to whether or not it is a hazardous waste. The hazardous waste determination typically involves laboratory analysis to quantify contaminant concentrations in the waste material. The DEC and EPA regulations, however, allow the generator of the waste to use knowledge of the waste and/or laboratory analysis to make a hazardous waste determination. Petroleum-contaminated soils are generally stored on site while laboratory analysis results are obtained and evaluated. As long as the material is segregated from the environment by impervious material, such as polyethylene sheeting, the petroleum-contaminated soil may remain on site until appropriate laboratory results are available and interpreted. A petroleum-contaminated soil is considered a characteristic hazardous waste when it exhibits any of the following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity, as defined in 6NYCRR Part 371, Section 371.3, or 40 CFR Section 261. Knowledge of soils contaminated with virgin petroleum products indicates that those waste materials do not demonstrate ignitability, corrosivity, or reactivity characteristics. Therefore, the only characteristic of concern for virgin petroleum-contaminated soil is toxicity. The Toxicity Characteristic (TC) Rule identifies benzene and lead as compounds which may cause petroleum-contaminated waste to be hazardous. Analysis of additional parameters may be necessary for petroleum-contaminated soil located at sites where other contaminants may be present. Refer to Appendix A for more specific information regarding the procedures for hazardous waste determination, and the TC Rule regulatory levels.

If the contaminated soil has been excavated and if the hazardous waste criteria apply, then the contaminated soil is classified as a hazardous waste. Excavated soil which is hazardous due to any non-petroleum component will be referred to the Division of Hazardous Waste Remediation, and the Division of Hazardous Substances Regulation to determine appropriate remedial actions.

If in-situ soil is contaminated by a petroleum product, and if the above hazardous waste criteria are met, the site will be remediated under the direction of the Bureau of Spill Prevention and Response to provide for protection of human health and environmental quality. In-situ soil, which violates any of the hazardous waste criteria due to any non-petroleum component, will be referred to the Division of Hazardous Waste Remediation, and the Division of Hazardous Substances Regulation to determine appropriate remedial actions.
Hazardous Waste Disposal & Contaminated Soils
As stated by Congress, the objectives of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are "to promote the protection of health and the environment and to conserve valuable material and energy resources." With these goals in mind, EPA developed the hazardous waste recycling regulations to promote the reuse and reclamation of useful materials in a manner that is safe and protective of human health and the environment.
Many industrial hazardous wastes can be recycled safely and effectively. A hazardous waste is recycled if it is used, reused, or reclaimed. Furthermore, RCRA hazardous waste regulation makes an important distinction between materials that are used or reused without reclamation and those that must be reclaimed before reuse. A material is reclaimed if it is processed to recover a usable product, or if it is regenerated. Common hazardous waste reclamation activities involve recovery of spent solvents (e.g., recovery of acetone) or metals (e.g., recovery of lead).
  • Listed Wastes: Wastes that EPA has determined are hazardous. The lists include the F-list (wastes from common manufacturing and industrial processes), K-list (wastes from specific industries), and P- and U-lists (wastes from commercial chemical products).
  • Characteristic Wastes: Wastes that do not meet any of the listings above but that exhibit ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.
  • Universal Wastes: Batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment (e.g., thermostats) and lamps (e.g., fluorescent bulbs).
  • Mixed Wastes: Waste that contains both radioactive and hazardous waste components.
  • Waste Identification Process: Details about the process for identifying, characterizing, listing, and delisting hazardous wastes.
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