WSR 98-15-156


[Filed July 22, 1998, 11:35 a.m.]

Notice of New Review Process for

Waste-Derived and Micro-Nutrient Fertilizers

Background and Summary of Issue

Beginning July 1, 1999, all requirements for registration and labeling of fertilizers under The Fertilizer Regulation Act (SSB 6474) will be fully implemented by the Departments of Agriculture and Ecology (WSDA and ecology, respectively).

On July 1, 1999, WSDA will begin routing all applications for waste-derived fertilizer1 or micro-nutrient fertilizer2 registration to the Department of Ecology for review. Ecology's hazardous waste and toxics reduction program will review applications to determine if the material passes dangerous waste criteria. Within sixty days of receiving the completed application, ecology shall advise WSDA as to whether the application complies with the requirements of RCW 15.54.800. Final decisions regarding registration and compliance will be made by WSDA.

This review will help ensure fertilizers meet the applicable requirements of federal hazardous waste (HW) and state dangerous waste (DW) regulations. When hazardous wastes are either used as fertilizers or to manufacture fertilizers, the HW and DW regulation requirements must be met. For example, fertilizers made from certain hazardous wastes must meet concentration-based standards, known as land disposal restrictions (LDR), prior to their use. Both the companies generating the HW and the fertilizer manufacturers share the responsibility of complying with these regulations.

Review Criteria

Product Screening Tests

Ecology's review criteria are based on the dangerous waste regulations, chapter 173-303 WAC. If a fertilizer product does not pass the tests described below the Department of Ecology will recommend that the product not be registered. However, the registrant may provide information to rebut the presumption that the dangerous waste regulations apply to the fertilizer product and the product is not in compliance with the regulations. Registrants of waste-derived or micro-nutrient fertilizer products will provide copies of:

Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) Certification, as described in 40 CFR Part 268 or Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP)3 and

Total Halogenated Organic Compounds (HOC)4 and

Total Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)5.

Raw Materials Evaluation

If a fertilizer product fails any of the above tests, it will not be recommended for registration unless ecology determines: 1) The fertilizer product is not subject to the state DW regulations or 2) the product is in compliance with the state DW regulations. The applicant must provide the following information before the Department of Ecology may make this determination:

A complete description of the fertilizer manufacturing process, including the location. A complete list of all ingredients used in manufacturing the fertilizer and a complete description of the sources6 of those ingredients, and

Evidence the waste(s) used in manufacturing the product do not designate as dangerous waste according to procedures described in WAC 173-303-070.7

If the product fails the Product Screening Tests, the company must provide and pass the above Raw Materials Evaluation for each waste used in the fertilizer product.

Staff Contacts

Department of Agriculture

Deborah Bahs

Tel: (360) 902-2080

Fax: (360) 902-2093

Department of Ecology

Dennis Bowhay

Tel: (509) 454-7866

Fax: (509) 575-2809

1Means a commercial fertilizer that is derived in whole or in part from solid waste as defined in chapter 70.95 or 70.105 RCW, or rules adopted thereunder, but does not include fertilizers derived from biosolids or biosolids products regulated under chapter 70.95J RCW or wastewaters regulated under chapter 90.48 RCW.

2Means a produced or imported commercial fertilizer that contains commercially valuable concentrations of micronutrients but does not contain commercially valuable concentrations of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, available phosphorus, potash, calcium, magnesium, or sulfur. Micronutrients are boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, and zinc.

3Test method SW-846, Method 1311, is described in Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, Publication #97-407. The fertilizer must be analyzed for TCLP arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and silver. Maximum concentrations are described in WAC 173-303-090(8).

4HOC means any organic compound that includes at least one atom of either fluorine, chlorine, or iodine which is/are bonded directly to a carbon atom. Use the method(s) appropriate for the matrix being tested as described in Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, Publication #97-407. The fertilizer product may not contain more than 1% total HOC.

5PAH means the twenty compounds identified in WAC 173-303-040. Use the method(s) appropriate for the matrix being tested as described in Chemical Testing Methods for Designating Dangerous Waste, Publication #97-407. The fertilizer product may not contain more than 1% total PAH.

6Means the location and process that was the origin of the ingredient.

7Designation test results for each waste as described in WAC 173-303-070 (3)(c) must be submitted. "Process knowledge" as described in WAC 173-303 [173-303-070] (3)(c)(i) may not be substituted for test results.  

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