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Rehearing Denied in Nonhazardous Secondary Materials Waste Case
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On September 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a July 20 request by environmental advocates to rehear arguments for an en banc hearing of the challenge to an EPA regulation exempting certain nonhazardous secondary materials from stricter air pollution requirements when burned in solid waste incinerators or boilers.  Environmental groups had argued the court's original June decision conflicted with previous Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act precedence.  They also said the burning of waste was an issue of “exceptional importance,” because it endangers human health and the environment.  EPA disagreed in its Aug. 27 response, writing “There is no basis for rehearing en banc because the panel's decision is entirely consistent with existing case law.”


At issue was the EPA's 2013 regulation (78 Fed. Reg. 9112) that exempted certain waste materials from stricter Clean Air Act controls when burned in incinerators of boilers.  That rule, known as the nonhazardous secondary materials, identified what materials can be burned as fuels and which are considered wastes.  Fuels are subject to regulation under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, while solid wastes must comply with stricter requirements under Section 129.

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