Advocacy in Action: Beneficial Use and Sustainability
Verdantas has been actively involved in the development and implementation of Ohio EPA’s beneficial use rules for decades. Our sustainability team advocated for beneficial use of wastes and byproducts as a sustainable practice that focused on sound scientific, engineering, and economic principles. By doing this, we have moved the regulations away from the outdated concept that “a waste is a waste is always a waste.” When it’s properly characterized and meets specific quality and performance standards, we believe waste can be so much more.
When the first beneficial use rules were passed in Ohio in 2017, just five waste streams were considered viable for beneficial use (foundry sands, drinking water treatment materials, dredged material from federal channels, sewage sludge incinerator ash, and waste materials burned for energy recovery). These streams were considered to be high volume, low toxicity waste of which industry and stakeholders had a significant volume of testing data readily available. We saw the potential for more and worked with Ohio EPA, Ohio Manufacturers Association and other stakeholders to open the program to more waste streams. As these rules were implemented, our team worked on characterizing and integrating beneficial uses for a full spectrum of waste and successfully implemented beneficial use projects. Additionally, our team wrote two international ASTM standards focused on the characterization and harvesting of coal combustion products for beneficial use. These successes led to working to expand Ohio EPA’s beneficial use program to include nearly all solid non-hazardous wastes and byproducts (some exclusions apply).
Ohio EPA News Release
Ohio EPA, Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), has finally filed the beneficial use rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-599. These rules will become effective on February 11, 2024.
To view the official rules and public notice, please visit the Register of Ohio.
Agency Number: 3745, Chapter Number: 599
Benefits of using Ohio EPA’s new program may include:
- Advancement of sustainability goals
- Conservation of natural resources
- Economic benefits
- Prolonged waste and landfill lifecycles
- Decreased greenhouse gas/CO2 emissions
- Enhanced risk and liability management .
While we see this has a major milestone for the advancement of beneficial use, our work does not stop in Ohio! We are working with more states, all with varying levels of beneficial use programs. We are hoping to take the momentum of experience gained from our work in Ohio and help advance meaningful regulatory programs related to sustainability across the country.
If you or your organization is interested in discussing or learning more on how beneficial use can fit into your sustainability efforts, please reach out to our team of sustainability experts:
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