[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 120 (Monday, June 23, 1997)]
[Pages 33868-33870]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-16353]




Notice of Availability of Waste Minimization Software and 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of availability for public comment of a draft software 
package and other draft documents pertaining to priorities for waste 


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the 
availability of a beta-test version of a software package which will 
prioritize chemicals according to their persistence, bioaccumulation, 
toxicity, and quantity; a draft list of chemicals derived from the 
software and ranked according to persistence, bioaccumulation, and 
toxicity; and a crosswalk identifying which RCRA waste codes are likely 
to contain these chemicals. These materials have been prepared in order 
to assist hazardous waste generators, government agencies, technical 
assistance centers, and others involved in waste minimization in making 
progress towards the goals of EPA's 1994 Waste Minimization National 
Plan, which calls for a fifty percent reduction in the presence of the 
most persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals in hazardous 
wastes by the year 2005.

DATES: Written comments will be received by August 7, 1997 to the 
addresses below.

ADDRESSES: Please send an original and two copies of comments, 
referencing docket number F-97-MPCA-FFFFF, to: RCRA Docket Information 
Center, Office of Solid Waste (5305G), U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency Headquarters (EPA, HQ), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460. 
Hand deliveries of comments should be made to the Arlington, VA, 
address listed below. Comments may also be submitted electronically by 
sending electronic mail through the Internet to: rcra-
[email protected]. Comments in electronic format should also be 
identified by the docket number F-97-MPCA-FFFFF. All electronic 
comments must be submitted as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special 
characters and any form of encryption.
    Commenters should not submit electronically any confidential 
business information (CBI). An original and two copies of CBI must be 
submitted under separate cover to: RCRA CBI Document Control Officer, 
Office of Solid Waste (5305W), U.S. EPA, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, 
DC 20460.
    Public comments and supporting materials are available for viewing 
in the RCRA Information Center (RIC), located at Crystal Gateway I, 
First Floor, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. The RIC is 
open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal 
holidays. To review docket materials, it is recommended that the public 
make an appointment by calling (703) 603-9230. The public may copy a 
maximum of 100 pages from any regulatory docket at no charge. 
Additional copies cost $0.15/page.
    Copies of the software package and the documents cited in this 
notice can be obtained by calling the RCRA/Superfund/CERCLA Hotline at 
(800) 424-9346, TDD (800) 553-7672 (hearing impaired), or (703) 412-
9810 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. 
Eastern time.
    The software package and documents are also available in electronic 
format on the Internet, and can be obtained by accessing:

WWW: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/minimize.
FTP: ftp.epa/gov
Login: anonymous
Password: your Internet address

    Files are located in /pub/gopher/OSWRCRA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions pertaining to 
waste minimization, specific aspects of this notice, or information on 
public meetings to discuss comments, contact the RCRA/Superfund/EPCRA 
Hotline at the telephone numbers cited above, or U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste, Waste Minimization Branch, 
401 M Street, SW., (5302W), Washington, DC 20460; telephone: (703) 308-
8402, fax: (703) 308-8433.


I. Background

    In November 1994, EPA released the Waste Minimization National Plan 
(National Plan, WMNP). The National Plan focuses on reducing the 
generation and subsequent release to the environment of the most 
persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals in hazardous wastes, 
and establishes three goals:
    (1) To reduce, as a nation, the presence of the most persistent, 
bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals in hazardous wastes by 25 percent 
by the year 2000 and by 50 percent by the year 2005.
    (2) To avoid transferring these chemicals across environmental 
    (3) To ensure that these chemicals are reduced at their source 
whenever possible, or, when not possible, that they are recycled in an 
environmentally sound manner.
    Persistent chemicals do not readily break down once they are 
released into the environment. Bioaccumulative chemicals tend to 
accumulate in plant and animal tissues. Toxic chemicals have the 
potential to harm ecological systems or adversely impact human health 
(e.g., can cause cancer, reproductive, and mutagenic health effects). 
These three characteristics of chemicals are considered important 
determinants of the human health and environmental risks associated 
with environmental releases, or potential releases, or chemicals. 
Chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, therefore, 
have the potential to accumulate in the environment and cause harm to 
human health and the environment, even when released in small amounts. 
The National Plan seeks a voluntary reduction of these chemicals in 
hazardous waste so as to reduce the potential for future harm to human 
health and the environment.

[[Page 33869]]

    During development of the Waste Minimization National Plan, 
stakeholders indicated a need for assistance in setting waste 
minimization priorities, specifically, the need for a flexible 
screening tool to prioritize waste minimization activities. EPA 
committed in the National Plan to developing a software tool which 
would help establish waste minimization priorities based on the 
inherent hazard of chemicals based on characteristics of chemicals in 
wastes as generated, specifically on persistence, bioaccumulation, and 
toxicity characteristics of chemicals in hazardous wastes, as well as 
chemical quantity. EPA will also use the software tool to establish 
national waste minimization priorities by selecting certain chemicals 
and measuring national reductions in the presence of these chemicals in 
hazardous wastes.
    Today's notice announces the availability of: (1) The Draft Waste 
Minimization Prioritization Tool, a software package which ranks 
chemicals according to persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, and 
allows users to add chemical quantity data into the ranking process; 
(2) The Draft User's Guide and System Documentation; (3) The Draft 
Prioritized Chemical List, a list of chemicals that have gone through 
the persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity prioritization process 
and their relative rankings; and (4) The Draft Chemical/RCRA Waste Code 
Crosswalk, a crosswalk of RCRA hazardous waste codes and the chemicals 
they are likely to contain.

II. Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool

    The Prioritization Tool is a Windows-based computer program that 
houses available persistence, bioaccumulation, and human and ecological 
toxicity data and provides a relative ranking of nearly 900 chemicals 
based on their persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity scores. The 
software also allows users to import their own data on chemical 
quantities for use in the scoring algorithm.

A. Scoring Aspects of the Prioritization Tool

    The Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool was developed by 
modifying the Use Cluster Scoring System, which EPA's Office of 
Pollution Prevention and Toxics developed as a screening mechanism to 
rank the relative risk of chemicals that can substitute for one another 
within certain chemical and technology use categories (e.g., solvents 
that can be used for metal degreasing). EPA added a larger subset of 
chemicals found in hazardous wastes into the software's database and 
made other modifications to make the Use Cluster Scoring System more 
useful as a waste minimization prioritization tool.
    The persistence, bioaccumulation, toxicity, and quantity scoring 
algorithm is the primary component of the Waste Minimization 
Prioritization Tool. The scoring algorithm assigns chemical-specific 
scores based on the chemicals' potential to pose risk to human health 
and aquatic ecosystems. The scoring algorithm is a screening tool and 
is not intended to be used as a substitute for detailed risk analysis. 
The Prioritization Tool provides a relative risk ranking of chemicals 
rather than an absolute measure of risk (i.e., it provides a chemical 
score or ranking that indicates potential concerns relative to other 
scored chemicals).
    Four factors were used to develop the overall chemical score: Human 
toxicity (including cancer and non-cancer effects); human exposure 
potential (based on persistence and bioaccumulation potential); 
ecological toxicity (determined by aquatic toxicity); and ecological 
exposure potential (based on the same scores persistence and 
bioaccumulation potential scores as for human exposure potential). Sub-
scores of 1 (lowest), 2, or 3 (highest) are assigned for each of the 
components based on an evaluation of chemical data and then summed to 
create an overall score ranging from 18 (highest) to 6 (lowest). For 
example, dioxin is assigned a score of 18 as follows:

             2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin               Score 
Human Health Risk Potential:                                            
  Persistence..................................................        3
  Bioaccumulation..............................................        3
  Human Toxicity...............................................        3
Ecological Risk Potential:                                              
  Persistence..................................................        3
  Bioaccumulation..............................................        3
  Aquatic Toxicity.............................................        3
Overall Score..................................................       18

    The software also allows users to add chemical quantity data into 
the scoring algorithm. Because the software is flexible, a variety of 
types of chemical quantity data can be added, ranging from facility-
level data to national data, depending on user needs.
    Complete data sets (i.e., data sets for human toxicity, aquatic 
toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation potential) existed for 
nearly 900 chemicals, which were then ranked in the Waste Minimization 
Prioritization Tool. EPA used the Waste Minimization Prioritization 
Tool to generate a Draft Prioritized Chemical List, discussed below. 
The software also includes partial data sets for an additional 3800 

B. Supplementary Information in the Prioritization Tool

    The Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool also provides 
supplementary information relevant to risk-based decision-making, 
including information on which RCRA hazardous wastes are likely to 
contain the scored chemicals (i.e., Chemical-RCRA Waste Code 
Crosswalk), as well as whether the chemicals appear on other national 
environmental regulatory and non-regulatory lists of concern.
1. Draft Chemical/RCRA Waste Code Crosswalk
    The Draft Chemical-RCRA Waste Code Crosswalk portion of the Waste 
Minimization Prioritization Tool links each of the nearly 600 RCRA 
hazardous waste codes with about 500 chemicals likely to be found in 
these wastes. The crosswalk feature in the Prioritization Tool can be 
used two different ways: To identify RCRA waste codes that are likely 
to contain a particular chemical, and to identify which chemicals are 
likely to be found in a particular RCRA waste code. EPA used background 
analysis for hazardous waste listing rulemakings, Land Disposal 
Restrictions rulemakings, and the proposed Hazardous Waste 
Identification Rule to identify linkages between the chemicals and RCRA 
hazardous wastes.
    Hard-copy versions of the Draft Chemical/RCRA Waste Code Crosswalk 
can also be obtained through the addresses above.
2. Lists of Concern
    Each chemical in the Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool is also 
cross-referenced with seventeen regulatory and non-regulatory lists, 
including the Clean Air Act Amendments Title III Hazardous Air 
Pollutants, the Clean Water Act section 307 Priority Pollutants, RCRA 
section 3001 Hazardous Wastes, Appendix VIII Hazardous Constituents and 
Appendix IX Ground Water Monitoring List, and RCRA P and U Wastes 
3. Draft Prioritized Chemical List
    The list of chemicals with available persistence, bioaccumulation, 
and toxicity data and, therefore, able to be scored by the Waste 
Minimization Prioritization Tool is known as the Draft Prioritized 
Chemical List. The Draft Prioritized Chemical List is a relative 
ranking of the nearly nine hundred

[[Page 33870]]

chemicals based on the chemicals' persistence, bioaccumulation, and 
toxicity. EPA will draw from the chemicals on the Draft Prioritized 
Chemical List to create a National Waste Minimization Measurement List, 
which EPA will track nationally against the goals of the Waste 
Minimization National Plan and will report as part of Government 
Performance and Results Act reporting. The Prioritized Chemical List is 
included in the appendices of the documentation for the Waste 
Minimization Prioritization Tool. Additional hard copy versions of the 
Prioritized Chemical List can be obtained through the addresses above.

III. Topics for Public Comments

    EPA is interested in getting public comment on the following topics 
and questions. Please separate any comments into these topic 

A. Technical Aspects of Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool Software

    This includes comments on the substance of the software, including 
the underlying chemical data, the algorithms used for chemical scoring 
and ranking, and the basic functions and products provided by the 
software (i.e., the Chemical/RCRA Waste Code Crosswalk and the 
regulatory lists).
--Are there specific improvements that EPA could make to the chemical 
data and algorithms to improve the software's scientific foundation, 
keeping in mind the intended purpose of the software, the rationale for 
EPA's chemical screening approach, and the context for application of 
the software discussed in Chapter 1 of the WMPT User's Guide and System 
Documentation (e.g., to provide relative rankings of chemicals 
according to persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity and to select 
priority chemicals for national waste minimization activities?)
--Which functions and products provided by the software are most useful 
(e.g., scoring and ranking chemicals based on PBT; scoring and ranking 
chemicals, waste streams, facilities, and sectors based on PBT and 
chemical quantity; translating between chemicals and RCRA hazardous 
waste codes; and identifying regulatory and non-regulatory lists that 
chemicals appear on)? What additional functions and products should be 
provided by the software?

B. Presentation Aspects of Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool 

    This includes comments on the ease of use of the software and the 
presentation of the different screens in the software.
--How could the functions provided by the software be made easier to 
use and understand (e.g., editing/viewing scores and underlying data; 
importing chemical quantity data and conducting rankings based on PBT 
and quantity; and generating reports and printing/saving them)?
--How could the appearance of the menus and screens in the software be 
--What kinds of help information should be incorporated in the 
software? What kinds of technical support or training should EPA 
provide separate from the software (e.g., training courses, telephone 
hotline assistance, on-line assistance)?
--Does your organization have sufficient computer hardware and staff to 
operate and apply the software?

C. Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool User's Guide and System 

    This includes any comments related to the supporting written 
documentation for the software.

--What other information could be provided in the documentation to make 
it more useful in applying the software and understanding its 
scientific foundations? How could the written documentation be made 
easier to read and use?

D. Potential Applications of the Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool

--Related to the potential applications of the software that are 
discussed in Chapter 3 of the WMPT User's Guide and System 
Documentation (e.g., identifying source reduction priorities for waste 
streams at a facility level or priority chemicals for waste 
minimization outreach at a state level), how would your organization 
apply the software? How would results from the WMPT fit in with your 
current waste minimization and management priorities? What other 
specific applications would the software be useful for?

    Dated: May 29, 1997.
Elizabeth A. Cotsworth,
Acting Director, Office of Solid Waste.
[FR Doc. 97-16353 Filed 6-20-97; 8:45 am]