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The Scope of the Bevill Exclusion for Mining Wastes

November 1994

Citation: ELR 10657

Author: Van E. Housman

Editors' Summary: In 1980, Congress adopted the Bevill Amendment, which amends RCRA to exempt temporarily from Subtitle C regulation solid waste from ore and mineral extraction, beneficiation, and processing. The Amendment directed EPA either to promulgate Subtitle C regulations for the waste or determine that the exemption should continue. This Article examines EPA's regulatory response to this directive and the major court cases that have addressed that response. It examines CERCLA liability for mining waste releases and EPA's regulation of hazardous waste mixtures containing Bevill waste. This Article concludes that EPA's scheme is essentially effective in determining which mining wastes merit Subtitle C regulation, and it proposes a checklist that regulators can use to determine whether waste is exempt from Subtitle C under that scheme.

Van E. Housman is a Chemical Engineer in the Mining Waste Section at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The views expressed in this Article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of EPA.

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