Managing Hazardous Waste (RCRA)
National RCRA Information
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Overview of the Hazardous Waste Program
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C establishes a federal program to manage hazardous wastes for its entire existence to ensure that hazardous waste is handled in a manner that protects human health and the environment. Therefore, EPA has established regulations and procedures for the generation, transportation, storage and disposal of hazardous waste handlers. EPA also has established technical standards for the design and safe operation of treatment, storage and disposal facilities to minimize the release of hazardous waste into the environment. These regulations serve as the basis for developing and issuing permits.
Regulated waste handlers apply for a hazardous waste RCRA identification (ID) number by registering their activities and reporting their volumes either annually or biennially.
RCRA’s corrective action program is designed to investigate and guide the cleanup of any contaminated air, groundwater, surface water, or soil from hazardous waste management of spills or releases into the environment as a result of the past and present activities at RCRA-regulated facilities. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), referred to as Superfund is a related statute that deals with cleaning up inactive and abandoned hazardous waste sites.
The goals of EPA’s RCRA Enforcement Program are to ensure that RCRA rules and regulations are met, and to take necessary action to correct violations. The EPA and the authorized states achieve these goals by inspecting hazardous waste handlers, closely monitoring hazardous waste handler activities, taking legal action when handler is in noncompliance, and providing compliance incentives and assistance.
RCRA also regulates underground storage tanks under Subtitle I and medical wastes under Subtitle J. The Underground Injection Control Program implements portions of RCRA with respect to underground disposal of hazardous waste.
Background, Key Statutes, Regulations and Policies
State Agencies and Contacts
Other Useful Websites and Information