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How To Use RCRA Online

Overview
How To Perform a Topics Search
How To Perform a Full Text Search
How To Perform an Advanced Search
Commonly Used Acronyms List
RCRA Online is an electronic database that indexes thousands of letters, memoranda, publications, and questions and answers issued by EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). These documents represent past EPA Headquarters interpretations of the RCRA regulations governing the management of solid, hazardous, and medical waste. RCRA Online allows users to locate documents through topical, full text, and advanced search functions. RCRA Online also allows users to view the actual text of the documents identified in a search.

RCRA Online is made up of documents from three distinct sources: Selected ORCR Correspondence letters and memoranda (SOCs), RCRA Permit Policy Compendium guidance documents (RPPCs), and Monthly Call Center Report Q&As (MRQs). Oftentimes a document may be from more than one original source, as the following diagram represents:




Searching:

To perform a search of the RCRA Online database, the user must first decide what type of search will best serve their needs. A topical search will find all the documents that deal with that particular topic. A full text search allows the user to search for and word or phase contained in the actual text of the document as well as the Title, Description, and Topics fields of each document stored in the database. An advanced search lets the user search by specific variables like date or document number, as well as full text searching of words and phrases.

Tips on Word Searching:
    • For word searching, type the word or words into the search field, separating each word with a space (e.g., generator closure). This type of search will look for the string of words in that particular order in the database. This is the same as if you typed: "generator closure". This is the most refined search.
    • To search for documents that contain both the words 'generator' and 'closure' anywhere in the document, but the words do not necessarliy need to be next to each other, use the AND operator (e.g., generator AND closure)
    • To search for documents that included either the word 'generator' or the word 'closure', or both, you would search for the string, generator OR closure.

      Note: Words with hypens and/or parentheses need to be enclosed in double quotes when used in a search in conjunction with a search operator. Some examples include:
      "lead-acid" AND battery
      hazardous waste AND "CERCLA 104(c)(9)"
    • Three other operators are available to use when searching for words. You can search using the NEAR, SENTENCE, and PARAGRAPH operators (e.g., generator NEAR closure).
      Their uses are described as follows:
        NEAR - The closer the words are to each other, the higher their relevance ranking when the search results are displayed.
        SENTENCE - Same as the NEAR operator, but the words must be in the same sentence.
        PARAGRAPH - Same as the NEAR operator, but the words must be in the same paragraph.
Viewing Details:

After performing a search, RCRA Online will provide a list of all the documents that meet the user's search parameters. To view the detailed information on any particular document, the user can simply click on the title of the document and the system will display the detailed information for the selected item. The detailed information contains the relevant document numbers, regulatory citations, and ordering information among other things.

Accessing the Document:

Once the user has reviewed the detailed information on a particular document, he or she can view the actual text of the document by clicking on the VIEW icon from the Record Detail page. The user may then print out a hardcopy version of the document.
Using the Topic Search function is the simplest way for a user to locate documents in the database. The topics cover a wide range of RCRA issues. To search the database by topic, choose the Topic Search icon on the tool bar, then click on the blue arrow next to the desired topic. RCRA Online will generate a list of all the documents that discuss the selected topic. To view detailed information on a particular document, simply click on the document title.Using the Full Text Search function enables the user to search the RCRA Online database and the attached documents for any string of letters and numbers. Search strings can contain letters, numbers and the characters: colon (:), backslash (\), period (.), and ampersand (&). You can also search for citations that contain parentheses, For example, you could search the Regulatory Section for the number: 261.6(c)(3). However, the phrase containing the parentheses must have double quotes around it. Therefore, you would enter "261.6(c)(3)" to search for this number in the Regulatory Section. To search the database for a string of letters or numbers, choose the Full Text Search icon on the tool bar. Type the word or phrase into the search field, separating each word with a space (e.g., battery lead plate). To search for a string of words in a particular order, or to search for an exact phrase, group the words within quotation marks (e.g., "solid waste"). The user can limit the number of documents the database will find by using the pull down menu and choosing the desired limit. The Full Text Search also gives the user the option to search for word variants (e.g., battery will find references to battery and batteries), and for word synonyms. To perform the search, click on the "Search" button adjacent to the keyword field. The database will display a list of all the documents that meet the search parameters and the number of documents found at the bottom of the Search Results page. To view detailed information on a particular document, simply click on the document title.

For more on searching see the Tips on Word Searching Using the advanced search function allows the user to search the database using specific criteria. The user may locate documents by date, author, recipient, title, regulatory section, statutory citation, RCRA Online Number, RPPC number, NTIS number, or EPA document number. The user can limit the number of documents the database will find by using the pull down menu and choosing the desired limit. The advanced search will also allow the user to search the database and the attached documents for any string of letters and numbers (this searches the title field, description field, and the full text of all documents). When searching for full text, the advanced search gives the user the option to search for word variants (i.e., regulate will find references to regulation and regulatory), and for word synonyms. The database will display a list of all the documents that meet the search parameters and the number of documents found at the bottom of the Search Results page. To view detailed information on a particular document, simply click on the document title.

For more on searching see the Tips on Word Searching

Note: A RCRA Online full text search can contain only letters, numbers, and the characters: colon (:), backslash (\), period (.), and ampersand (&). You can also search for citations that contain parentheses, For example, you could search the Regulatory Citation for the number: 261.6(c)(3) if you enclosed the number in double quotes (e.g. "261.6(c)(3)").


What is "Date"?
All items cataloged in RCRA Online are dated. Format for the date is mm/dd/yy. For letters and memos, RCRA Online uses the date the letter or memo was written. For MRQs, the date indicates the month the MRQ was published. All MRQ dates are formatted as mm/01/yy.


What is "Title"?
RCRA Online includes titles only for items with a previously identified title.


What is "To"?
The "To" field identifies the recipient of each letter and memo cataloged in RCRA Online. MRQs do not have individual recipients.


What is "From"?
The "From" field identifies the author of each letter and memo cataloged in the RCRA Online. MRQs do not have individual authors.


What is "Organization of Recipient"?
The "Organization of Recipient" field identifies the company, firm, agency, or other organization of the recipient. MRQs do not have individual Recipients.


What does "Search the RCRA Online Database for the following word(s)" mean?
Each piece of guidance cataloged in RCRA Online is assigned various keywords and phrases that describe the regulatory issues discussed in the piece of guidance. The user can search for specific regulatory issues by searching for keywords related to the topic of interest. Every effort is made to include all appropriate keywords. To make sure the user finds every appropriate piece of guidance, however, the user should perform multiple searches to ensure complete research. For instance, if you are interested in F006 electroplating waste, search for the string "F006", if this brings back too many hits, you can narrow the search by searching for "F006 electroplating" enclosed in quotation marks. When you search for documents using the Keyword field, RCRA Online searches four fields in the RCRA Online database; the title field, description field, RCRA Online Number field, and the full text of all documents.

Note: A RCRA Online keyword search can contain only letters, numbers, and the characters: colon (:), backslash (\), period (.), and ampersand (&)

<DD>]This field identifies the 40 CFR regulatory citations of RCRA subjects discussed by this document. This field in the detail screen now displays values as hyperlinks that link you to the Section for that value in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) found at the Access GPO website for e-CFR, Part 40, Chapter I (
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html). An example of a regulatory citation is 261.2(a)(2). When viewing the regulations, please be aware that RCRA Online navigates to the section (e.g., 261.2) in the e-CFR, as opposed to the appropriate subsection (e.g., 261.2(a)(2)). Please scroll down the page until you find the corresponding regulatory text.

Note: A RCRA Online search can contain only letters, numbers, and the characters: colon (:), backslash (\), period (.), and ampersand (&). You can also search for citations that contain parentheses, For example, you could search the Regulatory Citation for the number: 261.6(c)(3) if you enclosed the number in double quotes (e.g. "261.6(c)(3)").


What is "Statutory Citation"?
The "Statutory Citation" field indicates those specific citations referenced in the document text. Please note, however, even in the absence of a citation, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. s/s 6901 et seq (1976), forms the legal basis for the entire RCRA program, including all rules, regulations, and RCRA Online guidance. You can also link to http://www.epa.gov/region5/defs/html/rcra.htm.
The "Statutory Citation" field in the detail screen now displays the values as hyperlinks that link to the specific public laws found at the Legal Information Institute web site (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/ch82.html)


What is "RCRA Online Number"?
The RCRA Online Number is a unique five digit document code assigned to each memo and publication in the RCRA Online database. Memo's have a 5 digit code that begin with the number one (1). Publications have a 5 digit code that begin with the number five (5). Users may retrieve memo's and publications using this number through the Full Text and Advanced Search screen.


What is "RPC Number"?
The RPC number is an identification number unique to RCRA Online. Each number is comprised of two fields. The first field corresponds to the date the document was issued, and the second field differentiates between documents issued on the same day (i.e., 1/23/95-01 represents the first memo received that was dated January 23, 1995). Users MUST use both components in order to retrieve documents by RPC number.


What is "RPPC Number"?
The RPPC number is a unique identification number assigned to each document contained in the RCRA Permit Policy Compendium. Some SOCs and MRQs may also have RPPC numbers if they have been incorporated into the compendium. Each RPPC number has three parts: 9444.1986(01).
The first four digits correspond to a particular topic within the compendium. The second four digits correspond to the year in which the guidance was issued. The numbers in parenthesis differentiate between memos issued in the same year dealing with the same topic.


What is "NTIS Number"?
The NTIS number is an identification number assigned to Monthly Call Center Reports for ordering from the National Technical Information Service (800-553-6847). Entire Monthly Call Center Reports containing MRQs are available for purchase from NTIS using this document number. NTIS numbers may be in one of two formats: PB94-234 456 or SUB-9224-97-006.


What is "EPA Document Number"?
The EPA Document Number is an identification number assigned to Monthly Call Center Reports. In RCRA Online, only documents that are MRQs will have an EPA document number. Searching by an EPA document number will generate a list of all the MRQs that were published in that particular Monthly Call Center Report. When searching by EPA document number, use the complete document number (e.g., 530-R-93-004a).


What is "Memo/Letter"?
The "Memo/Letter" field identifies a wide array of EPA documents, including memoranda issued by the Agency to the states and regions on how to implement a RCRA regulation or policy, letters in response to public concerns about hazardous and solid waste management, and letters written to explain to the regulated community how to follow the promulgated regulations and policies.


What is "Question and Answer"?
Every month, the RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA Call Center publishes a report that includes frequently asked regulatory questions and answers that have been approved by EPA, commonly referred to as Monthly Report Questions (MRQs). The "Question and Answer" field identifies these questions and answers.


What is "Publication"?
This field indicates RCRA publications (usually assigned an identification number, e.g., 530-R-93-004) in RCRA Online. Examples include technical manuals, industry-specific publications, and other RCRA-related documents.


What is "Official ORCR Policy"?
The "Official ORCR Policy" field indicates policy, guidance, and interpretive documents that the Agency intends to use or rely on for the implementation and enforcement of its statutes and regulations.
RCRA Online often uses an acronym in place of a proper name (e.g., EPA instead of Environmental Protection Agency) or common term (e.g., SQG instead of small quantity generator). To avoid confusion, the database consistently uses certain acronyms. Users experiencing difficulties finding a particular proper name or term may want to examine the acronym list to determine if RCRA Online has assigned an acronym in its place. Below is a list of the acronyms that RCRA Online uses consistently:

API - American Petroleum Institute
ARAR - Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements
ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
BIF - Boiler and Industrial Furnace
CAMU - Corrective Action Management Unit
CAS - Chemical Abstract Service
CCP - Commercial Chemical Product
CDD - Chlorodibenzodioxin
CDF - Chlorodibenzofuran
CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act of 1980
CESQG - Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator
CFC - Chloroflourocarbon
CWA - Clean Water Act
DDT - Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
DOD - Department of Defense
DOE - Department of Energy
DOT - Department of Transportation
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
FFCA - Federal Facility Compliance Act
First Third - August 17, 1988, Federal Register (53 FR 31138)
HSWA - Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984
ID (as in ID number) - Hazardous Waste Identification Number assigned to RCRA generators, transporters, and TSDFs
Implementing Agency - refers to the State or Regional office implementing RCRA
LQG - Large Quantity Generator
MARPOL - International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
MCL - Maximum Concentration Limit
MRQ - Monthly Call Center Report Q&A
NCP - National Contingency Plan
NPL - National Priorities List
ORD - Office of Research and Development
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration
ORCR - Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
PCB - Polychlorinated biphenyl
PCE - Tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethylene
PCP - Pentachlorophenol
QA/QC - Quality Assurance/Quality Control
RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
SDWA - Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974
Second Third - June 23, 1989, Federal Register (54 FR 26594)
SIC - Standard Industrial Classification
SQG - Small Quantity Generator
SW-846 - Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods
TCDD - Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin
TCLP - Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure
Third Third - June 1, 1990, Federal Register (55 FR 22520)
TSCA - Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976
TSDF - Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Facility
USPS - United States Postal Service
UST - Underground Storage Tank



If you want more information on the RCRA program, please visit the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
Contact us page. This page provides, among others, links to EPA's Regional Offices, State environmental offices and the RCRA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) database.

If you need help in troubleshooting an error or have encountered a bug while using the RCRA Online database, please direct them to the RCRA Online Administrators, or download the RCRA Online Brochure Adobe Acrobat PDF File [45 K] || About....

 

 
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