SEP 1988

Kurt E. Whitman, Project Coordinator
P.O. Box B
Saukville, WI 53080

Dear Mr. Whitman:

This is in response to your July 1, 1988 letter requesting
clarification on EPA's current interpretation on whether the
depressurization of aerosol cans on-site would be considered
treatment, requiring a RCRA permit. You also requested
pertinent information on Ril #43 and on whether or not it has
been rescinded. I am enclosing per your request a copy of Ril
43 and the 1985 memorandum which I believe is the one you are

You revealed in a July 26, 1988 telephone conversation with
Doreen Sterling of my staff that your main interest in this
issue was to determine the requirements for disposal of a wide
variety of aerosol cans located at a number of Department of
Defense facilities throughout the country.

The Agency is aware that conflicting interpretations have
been given by the EPA Regional Offices, EPA Office of Solid
Waste, and the RCRA Hotline regarding whether certain aerosol
can disposal methods constitute treatment and whether or not a
permit is required for this activity. The Agency is currently
evaluating this problem and may decide to issue more specific
guidance in the future if it is warranted. It is our policy,
however, to refer issues of this nature to the Region in which
the facility is located since they are normally best able to
make a case-by-case determination on whether: (1) the waste in
question is hazardous according to our regulations and
(2) treatment is occurring.

According to our regulations, cans are hazardous if: (1)
they contain a commercial chemical product on the 40 CFR
261.33(e) or (f) lists or exhibit one or more of the hazardous
waste charactreistics, and are not empty as defined under Sec.
261.7; and/or (2) they exhibit any of the characteristics of
hazardous waste identified in Part 261, Subpart C.

Treatment, as defined in 40 CFR 260.10, means any method,
technique, or process, including neutralization, designed to
change the physical, chemical, or biological character or
composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize such
waste, or so as to recover energy or material resources from the
waste, or so as to render such waste nonhazardous, or less
hazardous; safer to transport, store, or dispose of; or amenable
for recovery, amenable for storage, or reduced in volume.

It should be noted that if any of the aerosol cans are
included as part of household waste (i.e., from military
housing), those cans are exempt from RCRA Subtitle under
Section 261.4(b)(1).

If you have any further questions, you may contact Doreen
Sterling of my staff at 202-475-6775.


Original Document signed

Sylvia K Lowrance, Director
Office of Solid Waste