RCRA, or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, authorizes the EPA to regulate the waste management and disposal activities of industrial and municipal waste generators; hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs); and hazardous waste transporters. Thousands of individuals and facilities, from the local dry cleaner to hazardous waste incinerators, are regulated by RCRA. It should not be confused with CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), often referred to as Superfund, which among other things regulates the accidental release and cleanup of hazardous wastes.
Under Subtitle C of RCRA, all hazardous waste must be managed from its generation to final disposal, known as “cradle to grave.” The waste is tracked with a hazardous waste manifest—a shipping document that travels with hazardous waste from the point of generation, through transportation, to the final TSDF. This tracking form is at the heart of the EPA hazardous waste management system.
RCRA also authorizes states to develop and enforce their own waste management programs once they are approved by the EPA.
Subtitle D of RCRA governs the management and disposal of solid (nonhazardous) waste, especially the design and operation of municipal solid waste landfills and other solid waste disposal facilities. It regulates the management of household garbage and nonhazardous industrial solid waste.
Subtitle I of RCRA regulates the storage of petroleum products and hazardous substances in underground storage tanks.
If you violate RCRA hazardous waste rules, you can be fined up to over $95,000 per day per violation. If you knowingly break RCRA regulations, you can be fined $50,000 per day per violation and be sentenced to 5 years in prison. States that run their own RCRA programs can impose their own penalties in addition to the federal penalties.
Enviro.BLR.com® provides comprehensive state and federal RCRA compliance analysis. It also offers extensive RCRA compliance and training guidance documents, sample plans, forms, and checklists.
Some of the most used RCRA compliance tools available from BLR include:
- RCRA regulatory analysis, including the complete RCRA law and EPA regulations
- EPA guidance documents
- Employee training materials
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If you need a RCRA compliance solution, BLR has it!
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