Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Land Quality Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Oregon adopts the federal regulations that allow for the chemical alteration of corrosive wastes known as elementary neutralization of wastes. This fairly common process is mentioned in the federal regulations at 40 CFR 260.10 and was incorporated by reference by state regulation. The neutralization procedure involves making adjustments to the pH level of the corrosive waste so that it has a neutral value of seven. The waste may still be hazardous, however, if it has other characteristic properties such as ignitability or toxicity.
Examples of industries that might use the neutralization of wastes process are automobile industries that use acids for cleaning engine parts, which creates an acidic corrosive waste, and cleaning industries that use caustics in their operations, which creates an alkaline corrosive waste.
Precautions. Although the neutralizing process is fairly simple in theory, in practice it can create some industry problems, including:
—Creating easily vaporized contaminants
—Producing excessive heat
—Corroding pipes and other apparatus used in the process
—Causing a waste that is too acidic or too basic by adding too much or too little of the neutralizing agent
—Creating an ignitable or reactive waste
For further guidance, see the national section NEUTRALIZATION OF ...