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The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) adopted rules on 20 July 2023 that help regulate the handling of waste tires and mattresses in the state. The commission adopted updates to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) waste tire rules that affect the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) Chapter 340, Division 64. In addition, the commission adopted rules to clarify and implement the Mattress Stewardship Act of 2022 (SB1576).
Both sets of rules entered into effect immediately.
In an attempt to reduce the number of products that enter the waste stream, many U.S. states have been adopting rules and regulations to regulate the life cycle of various products. These efforts are often known as extended producer responsibility (EPR) and seek to hold producers responsible for product management throughout the product’s life cycle.
The rules adopted by Oregon’s EQC in July 2023 are part of this effort. The adopted rules align and consolidate the permitting standards for waste tire storage sites and waste tire carriers with similar requirements in OAR 340. For the most part, the updates to the DEQ waste tire rules move some rules from OAR Division 64 to the following OAR divisions:
- 93 (Solid Waste: General Provisions): This move will allow the use of existing solid waste permitting criteria and procedures for waste tire rules.
- 96 (Solid Waste: Special Rules for Selected Solid Waste Disposal Sites): This move puts rules for waste tire storage sites and waste tire carriers under Division 96.
- 97 (Solid Waste: Permit Fees). This action moves the Waste Tire Storage and Waste Tire Carrier Permits and annual compliance fees to Division 97.
In addition, the rules also eliminate some permits, including the Beneficial Waste Tire Storage Permits and Combined Tire Carrier/Storage Permits. Active permits in operation would remain in effect and enforceable until the DEQ modifies them to the appropriate permit under the new rules.
In regard to mattress waste, the EQC adopted rules that establish an annual fee, delegate authority to the DEQ, and clarify the requirements of a stewardship organization. These rules were adopted to implement the Mattress Stewardship Act (2022), which requires mattress manufacturers to help establish an EPR program that will make it easier for consumers to recycle their unwanted mattresses. The act is an attempt to reduce the illegal dumping of mattresses and increase diversion from landfills through a program implemented by mattress producers.
As part of this Mattress Stewardship Program, mattress manufacturers must join a stewardship organization with an approved plan to develop, implement, and administer a statewide program for the financing, collection, and environmentally sound management of discarded mattresses in the state. The following fees will help finance this program:
Year One: 2024
Year Two (2025) and Onward
By 1 April of each year, the DEQ will notify a stewardship organization of the annual fee for the upcoming calendar year. The initial plan from a stewardship organization is due 1 October 2023. The annual fee is due from a stewardship organization on 1 July of each year, starting in 2024.
Stakeholders should review these adopted rules to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities. Interested parties can view the Waste Tire 2022 and Mattress Stewardship 2023 adopted rules for more information.