From: David Dunlap (Dunlap@utsa.com)
Date:Wed, 16 Apr 2003 12:39:02
All states have either regulations or policies governing the handling of reusable shop towels (some of these policies/regs also reference disposables, but not all). Most do not have specific requirements for containers, other than maybe a requirement that the containers be closed when not in use.
If you have a specific state in mind I can forward you that particular policy/regulation.
My experience has shown that the local fire marshall typically drives the more onerous container requirements for shop towels (reusable or disposable).
The USEPA is currently developing a national shop towel regulation. It will cover both reusables and disposables. The latest draft, with respect to containers, only requires that shop towels be stored in non-leaking covered containers. Based on discussions with EPA, many types of containers could meet this requirement, including plastic bags or even a drum with a piece of wood covering the top. EPA's intent is to limit emissions.
The draft rule will likely be proposed in the Federal Register this summer. Once finalized (maybe winter of 2004) it will need to be adopted by each individual state. So the federal rule will probably not be in play for at least another 15 to 18 months.