Changes to Requirements for Hazardous Waste Generators for 2017

Altiras pic

Chemical engineering professional Todd Pencarinha is the president of Altiras, a Houston, Texas-based beneficial reuse company. In his role at Altiras, Todd Pencarinha keeps abreast of changes in the regulatory environment and keeps clients informed about upcoming changes. Mr. Pencarinha was recently asked whether there were any changes pending for 2017 and his response is posted below.

On October 28, 2016, the EPA Administrator signed the final “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.”
According to the EPA, the rule changes the “hazardous waste generator regulations to make the rules easier to understand, facilitate better compliance, provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed, and close important gaps in the regulations.” The changes to the regulations will go into effect on May 30, 2017.

Here is an overview of the changes that can impact waste generators:
1. Reorganization of the Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations and modifies the organization of the Preamble.
2. Changes to 40 CFR Part 260, which covers definitions
3. Changes to 40 CFR Part 261, which covers the identification and listing of hazardous wastes
4. Changes to 40 CFR Part 262, which covers the standards applicable to generators of hazardous waste
5. Additional changes to 40 CFR Part 262 for generators that would ordinarily have changed status due to an episodic event
6. Additional changes to 40 CFR Part 262 clarifying expectations related to Preparedness, Prevention, and Emergency Procedures for SQG’s and LQG’s
7. Technical corrections and changes to 40 CFR Part 257
8. New discussion of “Electronic Tools to Streamline Hazardous Waste Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements”

The above information can also be found on the Altiras website blog pages, where Mr. Pencarinha initiated a series to further discuss and elaborate on each of the eight changes listed above. A link to that blog is here:



mainimage5-274x300Houston TX – Altiras Recovery, a wholly owned subsidiary of Altiras Holdings, announced today that it will build a new research and development laboratory in Houston, TX near the company’s headquarters.

According to Altiras President Todd Pencarinha, “The new lab will provide critical research and project development support for various company projects across North America.”  The new lab will be located in Houston’s energy corridor, near the company’s headquarters.  It will be equipped with all the necessary research tools and instrumentation and Altiras will also build a pilot distillation system capable of batch or continuous operation to support it’s solvent recovery projects in Puerto Rico and the continental US.  Altiras Research and Development Manager Mark Myers will head up the Lab and manage its operation.  Pencarinha added “this new lab is core to Altiras’ strategy to grow through new solvent recovery beneficial use projects.”


Altiras is a beneficial use company in the chemical and fuels marketplaces, headquartered in Houston, Texas, that finds value in chemicals and fuels that might otherwise be disposed. Altiras provides innovative chemical and fuel solutions for customers throughout the world by providing quality-assured products to help our customers maintain product quality at significant savings to traditional prime product purchases. For more information, please visit:


Todd Pencarinha, President
T: (713) 568-3651

New Process for Addressing Mercaptan Odor in Fuels


A respected Houston-based entrepreneur, Todd Pencarinha guides Altiras Recovery, LLC, as its president and focuses on innovation-driven processes for the beneficial reuse of fuel and chemical byproducts and co-products. In early 2016, Todd Pencarinha and his team announced the creation of a new treatment process for deodorizing light fuel products that contain mercaptans.

Also known as methanethiols, mercaptans are foul smelling but harmless organic substance comprised of hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur. Found naturally in the human body and other living organisms, mercaptans are generated naturally through a metabolic process that create bodily waste. The putrid odor of mercaptans has been described as similar to rotting cabbages.

Mercaptans are frequently used in industrial processes to add the distinctive putrid odor to hazardous gases with little or no odor, such as natural gas, for safety purposes. Humans can detect mercaptans in industrial processes in quantities as small as one part per billion. Because of this low odor threshold, recyclers who recover products containing mercaptans must have effective methods to treat them.

Mr. Pencarinha indicated that this treatment methodology will allow Altiras Recovery to address a supplier’s mercaptan issues, which previously required the disposal of many light fuel-blend stocks with a strong odor.

Altiras’ Innovative Method of Extracting Fuel Oil from Acid Tar

Refinery Asphalt or Acid Tar

As the president of Altiras Holdings, LLC, Todd Pencarinha guides a wholly owned subsidiary, Altiras Recovery, that has a mission of creating marketable materials from large volume chemical and fuel coproducts that might otherwise be wastes. In 2014, Todd Pencarinha’s firm announced the development of in-house systems and equipment for the extraction of derived fuel oil from Acid Tar streams.

Before the company could produce any products from the material, it had to resolve some major, technical operational problems. As Mr. Pencarinha described it, companies that had attempted to reuse the material over the past three decades had all failed. Specifically, Pencarinha stated that the primary reasons for the prior competitor failures had to do with a lack of understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the material. At the onset of the project, Altiras Recovery experience several major equipment failures within days of starting. Hardened steel parts were failing in as little as 2 days of use. The difference for Altiras Recovery, according to Pencarinha, was that its engineers looked closely at the way the material was originally produced, assesses the specific chemical make-up of the material, and evaluated various reaction mechanisms and pathways that could lead to the failures observed. Once the fundamental chemistry and mechanisms were understood, the solutions were evident.

A second problem Altiras had to solve was odor. Whenever handled, the material produced extremely pungent odors that could be noticed from significant distances and could also pose health concerns for employees. Again, according to Mr. Pencarinha, the solution was found by understanding the fundamental chemistry and then selecting methods and equipment to solve the problem.

The final challenge was to put high asphaltene content, solid material back into a liquid form. Altiras developed two distinct processes for producing fuel oil from the material, while neutralizing the acidity of the Acid Tar. Pencarinha indicated the processes developed for this project were directly applicable to similar Acid Tar projects elsewhere in the world.

Altiras Recovery’s success in creating innovative reuse processes was characterized as reflecting a core commitment to developing technological solutions for beneficial use and waste minimization.