For nearly 30 years, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), Bel Air, Md., has awaited final publication of federal regulations governing the storage, handling and disposal of solvent-soiled industrial wiping cloths. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published in the Federal Register its final “solvent-contaminated wipes rule,” a.k.a. the “wiper rule.”
As the international trade association of for-profit clothing and textile recycling companies, many of which manufacture and sell industrial wiping cloths, SMART has played a key role in the crafting this new regulation. Non-laundered wiping cloths are made by cutting them from recycled clothing or from the remnants generated during the manufacturing of new clothing and cloth products.
“The final regulatory language from the EPA allows users of industrial wiping cloths a wider choice of options when selecting materials for their specific wiping applications,” said Jackie King, executive director of SMART. “For many years, products sold by SMART members were unnecessarily subject to overly burdensome federal regulation, putting our members at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. We are very pleased with the new language and encourage all states to adopt it as quickly as possible.”
In its preamble to the regulation, the EPA explicitly encourages all states to implement the rule in its entirety as quickly as possible to enhance regulatory uniformity for businesses that use wipes. To view the final EPA rule, download it here. A summary chart of the final rule and a FAQs document answering questions about rule can be found online.