New Hazardous Waste Rules Approved, Take Effect in October

Updated hazardous waste management rules will take effect on Oct. 5, 2020. Known as the generator improvement rules package, the new rules align Ohio’s rules with their federal counterparts.

Many of the rules in this package were designed to achieve consistency with U.S. EPA’s program for generators of hazardous waste and increase regulatory flexibility. This rule package also includes standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that will align Ohio’s rules with federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) requirements for handling pharmaceuticals, prohibit disposal of pharmaceuticals in sewers, and update rules for managing over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy wastes.

Additionally, this package includes rules which will exclude undeployed airbag modules and inflators from being a hazardous waste provided the generator meets specified conditions (e.g., limiting quantity and duration waste can be stored on premises). This will allow automotive repair shops to more easily manage these airbag wastes, again bringing Ohio regulations in line with new federal regulations.

For further information and to review the final rules, click here for the adopted rules and the public notice of adoption. The rules are available as a zipped package, and as individual rules.

Ohio EPA developed the rules through early outreach to stakeholders followed by a public comment period and an Aug. 17 public hearing.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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