952 F.2d 473 (D.C. Cir. 1991), 89-1629, Solite Corp. v. U.S. E.P.A.

Docket Nº:89-1629, 89-1665, 89-1696, 89-1722, 89-1724, 89-1727 to 89-1729, 89-1731, 89-1732, 90-1029, 90-1086, 90-1125, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1198, 90-1200, 90-1203, 90-1206, 90-1207 and 90-1216.
Citation:952 F.2d 473
Party Name:SOLITE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, and William K. Reilly, Administrator, EPA, Respondents, The Aluminum Association, et al., Intervenors.
Case Date:December 31, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 473

952 F.2d 473 (D.C. Cir. 1991)

SOLITE CORPORATION, Petitioner,

v.

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, and William K. Reilly,

Administrator, EPA, Respondents,

The Aluminum Association, et al., Intervenors.

Nos. 89-1629, 89-1665, 89-1696, 89-1722, 89-1724, 89-1727 to 89-1729, 89-1731, 89-1732, 90-1029, 90-1086, 90-1125, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1198, 90-1200, 90-1203, 90-1206, 90-1207 and 90-1216.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

December 31, 1991

Page 474

Order on Denial of Rehearing Feb. 26, 1992.

Argued Sept. 16, 1991.

Page 475

Petition for Review of an Order of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Donald J. Patterson, Jr., with whom John N. Hanson, Aaron H. Goldberg, Nancy D. Tammi, Edward M. Green and Roderick T. Dwyer, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for American Min. Congress, petitioner in 89-1724 and 90-1200, and intervenor in 89-1629, 89-1665, 89-1696, 89-1722, 89-1727, 89-1728, 89-1729, 89-1731, 89-1732, 90-1029, 90-1086, 90-1125, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1198, 90-1203, 90-1206, 90-1207 and 90-1216.

Samuel A. Bleicher, Washington, D.C., for Allied-Signal, Inc., petitioner in 89-1665 and 90-1029, and intervenor in 89-1629, 89-1722, 89-1724, 89-1727, 89-1728, 89-1729, 89-1731, 89-1732, 90-1086, 90-

Page 476

1125, 90-1149, 90-1200, 90-1203, 90-1206, 90-1207 and 90-1216. Amy L. Edwards, Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance for this petitioner.

Jeremiah J. Jewett, III, Richmond, Va., for Solite Corp., petitioner in 89-1629 and 90-1086 and intervenor in 89-1665, 89-1722, 89-1724, 89-1727, 89-1728, 89-1729, 89-1731, 89-1732, 90-1029, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1198, 90-1200, 90-1206 and 90-1216.

Corinne A. Goldstein, Washington, D.C., for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., petitioner in 89-1696 and 90-1125.

Charles F. Lettow, with whom Janet L. Weller, Washington, D.C., was on the brief, for SCM Chemicals, Inc., petitioner in 90-1206 and intervenor in 89-1696, 89-1724, 89-1729 and 90-1125.

Michael W. Steinberg and Hunter Prillaman, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for PPG Industries, Inc., petitioner in 89-1732 and 90-1195.

John D. Fognani, Denver, Colo., was on the brief for ASARCO Inc., petitioner in 89-1731 and 90-1198, and intervenor in 90-1029, 90-1086, 90-1125, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1203, 90-1206, 90-1207 and 90-1216.

Paul E. Gutermann and John N. Moore, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for Zinc Corporation of America, petitioner in 89-1722.

Jeffrey S. Holik and Gwendolyn Logan, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for The Aluminum Ass'n, petitioner in 89-1728 and intervenor in 89-1029, 89-1665, 89-1722, 89-1727, 89-1731 and 89-1732. M. Barry Meyer, Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance for this petitioner.

Kevin A. Gaynor, Baltimore, Md., was on the brief for Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, petitioner in 89-1729 and 90-1203.

Karla J. Letsche, Washington, D.C., was on the brief for Norlite Corp., petitioner in 90-1149 and 90-1207.

Richard A. Flye, Carole Stern and Gordon D. Quin, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for The Fertilizer Institute, petitioner in 89-1727 and intervenor in 89-1629, 89-1665, 90-1029, 90-1086, 90-1125, 90-1149, 90-1195, 90-1198, 90-1200, 90-1203 and 90-1206. John C. Chambers, Jr., Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance for this petitioner.

Scott A. Schachter, Atty., Dept. of Justice and Randolph L. Hill, Atty., E.P.A., with whom Richard B. Stewart, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D.C., was on the brief for respondent in 89-1629 and all consolidated cases.

Before RUTH BADER GINSBURG, D.H. GINSBURG and RANDOLPH, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

CONTENTS Page I. BACKGROUND ........................................................ 477 II. DISCUSSION ........................................................ 482 A. Standard of Review .......................................... 482 B. High Volume Criteria ........................................ 483 1. Congressional Intent ................................... 483 2. APA Compliance ......................................... 484 3. Methodological Objections .............................. 485 (a) Consideration of Other Special Wastes ............. 485 (b) Overly Stringent High Volume Measurement .......... 486 C. Low Hazard Criterion ........................................ 488 D. The 50 Percent Rule ......................................... 490 E. Future Waste Streams ........................................ 491 F. Application of Section 3004(x) to Non"Bevill Wastes ......... 492 G. The Mixture Rule ............................................ 493 H. The Treatment Permit Requirement ............................ 494 I. Du Pont's Chloride"Ilmenite Process ......................... 494 J. Chrome Tailings ............................................. 495 1. Background ............................................. 495 2. Analysis ............................................... 496 K. Lead Process Wastewater 497 1. Background ............................................. 497 2. Analysis ............................................... 498 L. Lightweight Aggregate Air Pollution Control Dust/Sludge 498 1. Background ............................................. 498 2. Analysis ............................................... 499 III. CONCLUSION ........................................................ 500 ---------- Page 477

In Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA, 852 F.2d 1316 (D.C.Cir.1988), cert. denied, 489 U.S. 1011, 109 S.Ct. 1120, 103 L.Ed.2d 183 (1989) ("EDF II "), this court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") to determine the ore and mineral processing wastes that qualify under the Bevill Amendment "mining waste exclusion," 42 U.S.C. § 6921(b)(3)(A)(ii), for exemption, at least temporarily, from the hazardous waste management regime of Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6921-6939b. 1 This case is the follow up to that 1988 decision. Upon the EPA's completion of the rulemaking we ordered in EDF II, members of the mineral and chemical processing industry, urging broader interpretation of the Bevill Amendment mining waste exemption from regulation, petitioned for our review.

We uphold the EPA's determinations in principal part. On two matters, however, we conclude that reconsideration by the Agency is necessary: (1) we vacate EPA's determination that lightweight aggregate residuals do not meet the Agency's high volume criterion, for the record shows that EPA decided that matter without providing due notice and opportunity to comment; (2) we remand for EPA to provide a more adequately reasoned explanation of its denial of the Bevill Amendment exclusion for the wastes from Du Pont's chloride-ilmenite process. Finally, we remand without opinion two aspects of this rulemaking that EPA based upon the Subtitle C mixture rule, which we vacated recently in another case.

I. BACKGROUND

Subtitle C of RCRA, enacted in 1976, requires EPA to develop a comprehensive regulatory scheme for the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 6921-6931. Section 8002 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6982, directs EPA to conduct special studies and research on certain categories of waste, including mining waste. See 42 U.S.C. § 6982(f) (requiring EPA to conduct "a detailed and comprehensive study" of adverse environmental effects of "solid wastes from active and abandoned surface and underground mines," addressing adequacy of current means of disposal and utilization of such wastes). In its first proposal for regulations governing hazardous waste management under Subtitle C, EPA noted a category of "special waste," for which "special standards" might be appropriate. 43 Fed.Reg. 58,946, 58,992 (1978). EPA's "limited information" indicated that "such waste occurs in very large volumes, that the potential hazards posed by the waste are relatively low, and that the waste generally is not amenable [to the Subtitle C controls developed for industrial and manufacturing wastes]." Id. at 58,991-92. EPA identified, as one category of special waste, hazardous wastes "from the extraction, beneficiation, and processing of ores and minerals." Id. at 59,016. 2

Page 478

In final regulations released in May 1980, EPA identified the characteristics of hazardous waste and listed as subject to Subtitle C regulation specific hazardous wastes. 45 Fed.Reg. 33,084 (1980). EPA concluded that the less inclusive definition of hazard and more relaxed regulatory requirements adopted in the final rule "accomplish[ed] the objective of, and eliminate[d] the need for, a special solid waste category." Id. at 33,174. Consequently, EPA's final regulatory scheme abandoned the concept of special waste, and would have subjected all wastes meeting EPA's modified hazard criteria to Subtitle C regulation. Id. at 33,175.

A month before the Subtitle C regulations were to take effect, Congress altered EPA's course by enacting the Bevill Amendment as part of the Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980. In pertinent part, the Bevill Amendment directed EPA to study any adverse health and environmental effects "of solid waste from the extraction, beneficiation, and processing of ores and minerals," and to submit a report to Congress by October 21, 1983. 42 U.S.C. § 6982(p). 3 The Amendment...

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