On July 27, 2017 the US EPA published a letter addressing various requests regarding off-specification (“Off-Spec”) used oil. The requests asked EPA to modify its description of off-spec used oil fuel to exclude the flashpoint criterion, that used oil be placed in the same category as on-spec used oil for purposes of determining whether the used oil is a waste or non-waste when burned for energy recovery under the non-hazardous secondary material (NHSM) rule found in 40 CFR 241, and that EPA confirm that off-spec used oil that is a hazardous waste solely because it exhibits a hazardous characteristic is not an NHSM.
In the letter EPA confirmed that off-spec used oil that is characteristically hazardous is considered a hazardous waste and not an NHSM as defined by 40 CFR 241.2. As a result, according to EPA, characteristically hazardous used oil that is recycled would be managed under 40 CFR 279 in accordance with 40 CFR 261.6(a)(4) and not eligible for the NHSM Part 241 standards. The EPA concluded and confirmed that any off-spec used oil with a low flashpoint is outside of the scope of the NHSM because it is characteristically hazardous for ignitability.