The Environmental Protection Agency gave notice yesterday that it is starting a wide review of hazardous waste regulations, a move that some agency insiders said was an attempt to derail congressional attempts to plug "loopholes" in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The Federal Register notice (FR 55880) was submitted before a House-passed amendment to RCRA died in a Senate committee last week. But Joseph A. Cannon, associate administrator for policy, said the review was under way "before we even heard about the amendment. We just decided to be a little more public about it."
In its notice, EPA said it may propose new rules to control waste oil and the burning of hazardous wastes in low-temperature boilers, and that it will take another look at generators of small quantities of toxic wastes, which are exempt from RCRA regulations.
Legislation that would have required regulation in all three of those areas was shelved last week by Sen. Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Stafford said there wasn't time in the current lame-duck session to deal with the amendment, introduced by Rep. James J. Florio (D-N.J.).