Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

American Petroleum Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20038
Nos. 09-1038, (D.C. Cir., 03/08/2018)

The D.C. Circuit clarified an earlier ruling vacating portions of a 2015 rule that defined when certain hazardous materials were deemed discarded—as opposed to legitimately recycled—and therefore subject to EPA's oversight under RCRA. In 2017, the court upheld some aspects of the rule and vacated others. In its amended opinion, the court vacated "Factor 4" in its entirety rather than as it applied to certain exclusions. Factor 4 seeks to prevent "sham recyclers" from adding hazardous constituents into a product solely to avoid proper disposal of that material. Petitioners’ attack on the legitimacy factors was broader than what the court entertained in its original opinion, and the reasons for vacating Factor 4 equally apply in situations where it is expressly incorporated into particular exclusions. The court also clarified the regulatory regime that replaces the now-vacated Factor 4. And it affirmed EPA's decision to remove the "spent catalyst" disqualifier in the 2015 rule.