On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published Management of Exploration, Development and Production Wastes: Factors Informing a Decision on the Need for Regulatory Action. The document was drafted and published, in part, in response to a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that required USEPA to review and, if necessary, amend: (1) the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle D solid waste regulations for oil and gas waste; and (2) USEPA guidelines for state solid waste management plans for oil and gas waste. Through the document, USEPA announced its determination that no amendments to the Subtitle D solid waste regulations for oil and gas waste or to the state solid waste management plan guidelines are necessary at this time.
RCRA requires USEPA to review certain Subtitle D regulations applicable to oil and gas waste every three years, a task USEPA had not accomplished since 1988. Currently, oil and gas waste is exempted from the RCRA Subtitle C regulations, which impose stringent management, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements related to certain hazardous wastes.