Introduction -- Inspection procedures -- Findings and conclusions -- Proposed federal regulations -- Table Analytical results - comparison of waste oil constituents New Jersey, New York, Ohio -- Figure Known business relationships among New Jersey waste oil faciliites insepcted On May 19, 1980 the Environmental Protection Agency, in promulgating final and interim final regulations implementing RCRA, included an exemption (40 CFR 261.6) for certain hazardous wastes being beneficially used, reused, recycled, or reclaimed (hereinafter referred to as recycled). This exemption applies to hazardous wastes that are not sludges, that exhibit hazardous characteristics, and that are not listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or 261.32. Wastes that are listed or that are hazardous sludges are aubject to regulation until they are recycled. Wastes in either of these categories are not subject to regulation during the actual process of recycling. The Agency considers the burning of hazardous wastes as fuels to be recycling and, therefore, these wastes are exempted from regulation. The blending and burning must be legitimate, however, and not in actuality, sham recycling. What constitutes the latter depends on a number of factors. Of primary interest is the fuel value of the hazardous material being blended or burned with fuels. If the hazardous wastes being burned have low energy content, the blending of these materials with other fuels may be considered sham recycling because the primary purpose is to avoid the RCRA regulations and the associated disposal costs. Instances of the above-type of sham recycling have occurred posing a high potential for adverse environmental impact and health effects. Because of the potential serious problems from this means of hazardous waste disposal and the apparent exemption from RCRA regulations allowed to waste oil recycling operations, the Office of Waste Programs Enforcement (OWPE) and the Office of Legal and Enforcement Counsel (OLEC) published the RCRA enforcement guidance, BUrning Low Energy Hazardous Wastes Ostensibly for Energy Recovery Purposes, on January 18, 1983. OWPE and OLEC requested the NEIC to conduct investigations of the waste oil recycling facilities and their operations. The main objective of these investigations, pursuant to the RCRA enforcement guidance, was to determine if hazardous wastes were being deliberately mixed with waste oils for the express purpose of avoiding the RCRA regulations and to determine the use of the resulting blend. Three states, New Jersey, New York and Ohio were selected for these investigations because of widespread waste oil recycling operations. NEIC conducted 34 waste oil facility inspections including 11 facilities in New Jersey, 9 in New York (New York City only) and 14 in Ohio. The results of the New Jersey, New York and Ohio investigations are contained in three progress reports dated April, July and September 1983. In addition, technical assistance was provided to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution Control agency on waste oil facility inspection procedures and sampling methods. NEIC worked directly with these two agencies in conducting a total of 13 inspections. The states of Indiana and Michigan have also requested similar assistance as they develop their programs in this area.