Question # 286

286. An EPCRA section 313 covered facility receives a waste from offsite for the purpose of recovering the waste’s silver content. The facility is only able to recover some of the silver from the waste, and the remaining waste that still contains some quantity of silver is ultimately disposed in an on-site landfill. The recovered silver is subsequently distributed in commerce. Must all of the silver in the incoming waste be counted towards the facility’s processing threshold for silver, or just the amount that actually gets recovered and distributed in commerce?
All of the silver in the incoming waste must be counted toward the processing threshold. Whenever a toxic chemical is processed, the entire quantity of the toxic chemical involved in that activity must be counted toward the processing threshold for that chemical, even if only some of the toxic chemical actually becomes distributed in commerce. It is not appropriate to discount quantities of the toxic chemical that are not actually distributed in commerce (e.g., quantities of the toxic chemical in overspray, scrap, dust, unreacted material, or unrecovered material) from the threshold determination. In the above scenario, the amount of silver left over (i.e., not recovered) that is disposed onsite must also be counted toward the otherwise use threshold, because it was brought onsite for the purpose of waste management (recycling) and was then disposed at the facility.