September 11, 1986

SUBJECT:  Application of RCRA Corrective Action Requirements
       to POTWs

FROM:     Martha G. Prothro, Director
       Permits Division (EN-336)

TO:       Water Management Division Directors
       Regions I - X


 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA)
imposes requirements upon facilities which treat, store, or
dispose of hazardous waste.  Certain POTWs which receive
such waste may be subject to RCRA requirements.  This
memorandum outlines the applicability of RCRA to POTWs and
contains a model letter, to be sent to POTWs, requiring them
to notify EPA whether RCRA "hazardous waste" is received by
the POTW.  The mailing to POTWs is intended to identify
those POTWs for which the Office of Water Enforcement and
Permits and the Regional Water Management Divisions will
subsequently implement RCRA requirements.  We ask all
Regional Offices to conduct the mailing October 1986,
following an opportunity for discussion and comment on this
memorandum and attachments.  Conference calls to discuss
this memorandum and attachments with Regional hazardous
waste coordinators are being arranged for Monday, September
12, 1986.
Applicability of RCRA to POTWs Receiving RCRA Hazardous

 Generally, sewer line influents to POTWs will fall
under the domestic sewage exclusion of 40 CFR 261.4(a)(1)
and therefore are not considered to be "hazardous waste"
under RCRA.  However, waste received at a POTW by truck,
rail or by a dedicated pipe (i.e., where the waste does not
mix with domestic waste in the pipe before entering the
POTW) is not covered by the domestic sewage exemption.  If
that waste is a listed hazardous waste or exhibits a
hazardous waste characteristic, the POTW is required to
obtain a RCRA permit for the treatment, storage and disposal
of such waste.
 For example, wastewater treatment sludge from the
chemical conversion coating of aluminum is a listed hazardous
waste in the RCRA regulations.  If this waste is sent to a
POTW via a sewer where the waste mixes with domestic sewage
prior to reaching the POTW's treatment plant, then the waste
would be covered by the domestic sewage exemption, and
therefore would not subject the POTW to a RCRA permit.  If,
however, the same waste is trucked directly to the POTW, then
the waste would still be considered "hazardous waste" and the
POTW would be required to have a RCRA permit to accept such
 Generally, POTWs which receive hazardous waste by truck,
rail or dedicated pipe are eligible for a simplified
permitting process under RCRA, which is similar to the NPDES
general permits program under the Clean Water Act.  
Individually issued RCRA permits are not required of such
POTWs; rather, the RCRA regulations provide that a POTW is
deemed to have a RCRA "permit by rule" if it complies with
certain conditions, including compliance with its NPDES
permit, compliance with certain reporting and record-keeping
RCRA Part 264 requirements, and compliance with all Federal,
State, and local pretreatment requirements (i.e., the waste
received by truck, rail, or dedicated pipe meets all
pretreatment limits).
 Among the changes to RCRA made by the Hazardous and
Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 is a requirement for permitted
RCRA facilities to address continuing releases.  This
requirement, known as the 'corrective action' provision.  
applies to POTWs subject to the RCRA permit by rule.  
Implementation of the corrective action provision will
involve the RCRA permitting authority in determining whether
there was a release of hazardous waste from the facility and
prescribing necessary clean-up actions to protect human
health and the environment.  Since there are currently no
States approved under RCRA for implementation of this
requirement.  SPA has the responsibility to implement
corrective action for all RCRA facilities, including POTWs
under the permit by rule.
FY '87 Activities
 In FY '87, SPA will focus on high priority POTWs, which
are POTWs that either receive RCRA hazardous waste
accompanied by a RCRA manifest, or receive RCRA hazardous
waste without a RCRA manifest and are known by the Regional
Office to have releases which threaten public health and the
environment (for example, POTWs with known significant
groundwater leachers, volatilization, or other environmental
problems).  In accordance with the Agency's FY '87 operating
guidance (see item II.D.3.e), the Office of Water and the
Regional Water Management Divisions are responsible for
implementing RCRA permit by rule requirements (including
corrective action).  Thus, the first RCRA corrective action
activity in FY '87 for EPA Regions is to identify high
 POTWs in their States that should be covered by the RCRA
permit by rule requirements.  The second RCRA corrective
action activity in FY '87 is to implement the initial stages
of corrective action for these facilities.
 On or about October 1, 1986, Regional Offices should
begin to identify high-priority POTWs in their States.  
Letters should be sent by the Regions to all major and minor
POTWs informing them of their obligations under RCRA and
requiring them to notify EPA whether they receive hazardous
waste by truck, rail or dedicated pipe.  An example letter
for this purpose is enclosed.  The mailing, at a minimum, is
intended to identify those high priority POTWs which receive
hazardous waste accompanied by a RCRA manifest.  EPA Regions
are also encouraged to use any other approach, including
examination of RCRA manifest reports and consultation with
States, to identify high-priority POTWs that should be
covered by the RCRA permit by rule.  Headquarters will be
asking Regional Offices for the results of this facility
identification effort by no later than the end of the second
quarter of FY '87, so that we can estimate the national
workload and to provide the most effective guidance and
assistance possible in light of the size and type of universe
 The second RCRA corrective action activity for EPA
Regions, to occur in the second half of FY '87, is to begin
to implement the initial stage(s) of corrective action
requirements for identified high-priority POTWs.  
Implementation of corrective action is a step-by-step process
which will entail the collection of information from POTWs,
and, as necessary, subsequent site investigations, sampling
visits, remedial investigations, and corrective measures.  
Detailed guidance is now being prepared to assist the Regions
in implementing the initial stages of the corrective action
process.  Contractor assistance will also be available upon
request to help Regions and POTWs conduct these initial
 The Permits Division is currently working on several
fronts intended to assist you in implementation of RCRA
requirements for POTWs.  Proposed regulations intended to
clarify the current corrective action regulatory requirements
are being prepared, and a technical guidance document is
being developed to assist POTWs in identifying RCRA hazardous
wastes and in developing monitoring and sampling programs to
help keep hazardous waste out of POTWs that choose not to
receive it.  Attached to this memorandum for your information
is a copy of the RCRA Orientation Manual, a document prepared
by the Office of Solid Waste which provides an overview of
the RCRA program.
 I expect you and your staff to have many comments and
questions on the attached draft letter, the RCRA permit by
rule and the Regional activities to be undertaken in FY '87.  
For this reason, we will be scheduling conference calls with
the Regional Water Division hazardous waste coordinators on
September 22, 1986.
 We will soon be contacting your coordinator to arrange
the time of the conference call for your Region.  Because the
conference calls will necessarily focus only on major issues,
if you have any preliminary questions or minor issues to
raise, please call me at FTS 475-9545, or have your staff
contact Gary Cohen of my staff at FTS 475-7050, prior to the
conference call.
  In addition, in November or December 1986, we expect to
have a national meeting with the coordinators to discuss our
draft program operating guidance and follow-up activities.  
Further information on these activities will be forthcoming.