RCRA - Storage/Disposal Details

Concerned about lead-based paint, numerous state and federal agencies are pursuing programs to identify lead poisoning and to remove lead-based paint from residential settings. Household wastes are exempt from RCRA hazardous waste management requirements. Households include single and multiple residences, and other residential units. In 1998, the EPA clarified that the household waste exclusion applied to all lead-based paint waste generated as a result of actions by residents of households to renovate, remodel or abate their homes on their own (63 FR 70233, 70241 Dec. 18, 1998).

In 2000, the EPA issued an additional clarification stating that lead paint debris generated by contractors in households was also household waste and thus excluded from RCRA hazardous waste regulations (July 31, 2000 Memo by Elizabeth A. Cotsworth, Director Office of Solid Waste). The EPA stated that this practice would simplify many lead abatement activities and reduce their costs. It would facilitate additional residential abatement, renovation and remodeling, and rehabilitation activities, thus protecting children from continued exposure to lead paint in homes and making residential dwellings lead safe for children and adults.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) contains certain requirements for how lead paint is to be removed from housing by contractors, including specific notification requirements contractors and landlords must make for pre-1978 housing. Some states (including Massachusetts at 165 CMR 468) have more stringent, state-specific requirements. While TSCA landlord/tenant requirements are not applicable to dormitories, colleges and universities should be informed about them because the TSCA lead-based paint requirements may apply to apartments used for off-campus housing.

Removal Methods

There are several methods available for removing lead-based paints; however, the conventional lead-paint removal techniques that are currently available are not 100 percent effective. They may, in fact, exacerbate the lead problem by dispersing lead-containing particles throughout the facility or residence. Newer, more effective abatement methods that may be used include:

  • "Peel Away"
  • "Off-site Dipping"
  • "High Efficiency Particle Accumulator (HEPA) Sander"
  • "Replacement"

These methods are further discussed in the Best Management Practices section of the tour. If the household waste exclusion does not apply, the wastes must be handled and disposed of in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR Parts 262, 263, 264, 265 and 270, as appropriate, the links to which are noted below. In addition, the link to TSCA is provided below.

40 CFR 262
40 CFR 263
40 CFR 264
40 CFR 265
40 CFR 270
40 CFR 745