Monday, May 7, 2012

Confidential Business Information Regarding Hazardous Waste Imports & Exports

EPA has published notification to affected businesses and is seeking comments on changes to certain aspects of trade secrets in hazardous waste imports and exports. From time to time EPA receives requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for documentation received or issued by EPA or for other data contained in EPA database systems that pertain to the export and import of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste from or to the U.S. This includes the export of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and spent lead acid batteries (SLABs) from the U.S., and the export and import of RCRA universal waste from or to the U.S. The documents and data may identify or reference multiple parties, or describe specific transactions.

The notice, published in the April 30, 2012 Federal Register, informs affected businesses about the documents or data sought by these types of FOIA requests. Importers and exporters of the RCRA wastes may wish to assert claims that the information sought is entitled to treatment as confidential business information (CBI). These businesses should send comments to EPA informing them of their claims of confidentiality. However, EPA says some businesses do not qualify as affected businesses, if they submitted documents or data to EPA but did not assert a CBI claim at the time of the submission. If another business was referenced in the documentation, that business may have a right assert a CBI claim, and may do so in response to EPA's notice.

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