EPA Removes Saccharin From Lists Of Hazardous Wastes Under RCRA, CERCLA

The Environmental Protection Agency will remove saccharin and its salts from its lists of materials that are considered hazardous wastes when discarded in response to a petition from an industry group, according to a final rule published in the Federal Register Dec. 17 (75 Fed. Reg. 78,918).

The final rule will remove saccharin and its salts from the lists of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, easing the regulatory burden on companies that manufacture or handle products containing saccharin.

According to EPA, saccharin and its salts, such as sodium saccharin or calcium saccharin, “do not meet the criteria in the hazardous waste regulations for remaining on EPA's lists of hazardous constituents, hazardous wastes, and hazardous substances.”

After reviewing recent research on the health effects of saccharin, EPA determined the substance is not acutely toxic in animal studies, has not been shown to be toxic in longer-term health studies, and is not discarded in sufficient quantities to pose a hazard to human health or the environment.

As a result, businesses that generate or manage unused commercial products that contain saccharin or its salts as the sole active ingredient will be able to dispose of the waste in a nonhazardous (Subtitle D) landfill, rather than in a hazardous-waste (Subtitle C) landfill under RCRA.

The final rule revises 40 C.F.R. Parts 261, 268, and 302 and will take effect Jan. 18.

EPA proposed removing saccharin and its salts from the list of hazardous wastes in April in response to a petition from the Calorie Control Council (75 Fed. Reg. 20,942; 34 CRR 405, 4/26/10).

Saccharin, which is used primarily as a non-nutritive sweetener, has been included in EPA's lists of hazardous wastes, hazardous constituents, and hazardous substances since the 1980s because it was identified as a potential carcinogen. Saccharin also is used in medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. It had been listed as EPA Hazardous Waste No. U202.

EPA said the treating saccharin as a nonhazardous waste is likely to result in reduced waste management costs to affected industries, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and soft drink makers.

By Andrew Childers

For more information, contact Narendra Chaudhari in EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery at (703) 308-0454 or chaudhari.narendra@epa.gov.