FAQ: Can my Hazardous Secondary Materials be applied to the land?

The answer is “yes”.  Environmental professionals often believe that land application is not acceptable for any type of hazardous secondary material (ie. hazardous chemical coproducts, byproducts, or used chemicals), but this is simply not the case.  While RCRA and state regulations do ban land application as “use constituting disposal” for many materials, use of certain hazardous secondary materials in land application IS ACCEPTABLE under certain conditions.   Specifically, if the hazardous secondary material has a corresponding prime chemical that is normally used in such land application then use of the secondary material may be permissible.  the key to success is ensuring that the hazardous secondary material has no “toxics along for the ride” and that it is not a listed waste.  If these criteria can be met, then the material may be able to be used in a land application.  Careful evaluation of the ultimate disposition of each of the potentially hazardous constituents should be made to ensure risks are no different for use of the corresponding prime product.

For a specific example of this type of land application, please see our blog entitled “Can my former sulfuric acid waste be used to make fertilizer?

For more information on this topic or other issues associated with the beneficial use or recycling of chemicals or fuels, please email us or call us at 713-568-3651.