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Managing Hazardous Solid Waste and Waste Sites Chapter 17 © 2004 Thomson Learning/South-Western.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Hazardous Solid Waste and Waste Sites Chapter 17 © 2004 Thomson Learning/South-Western."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Hazardous Solid Waste and Waste Sites Chapter 17 © 2004 Thomson Learning/South-Western

2 2 Characterizing the Hazardous Waste Problem Hazardous solid wastes – any unwanted materials or refuse capable of posing a substantial threat to health or the ecology Waste stream – a series of events starting with waste generation and including transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal of solid wastes

3 3 Characterizing the Hazardous Waste Problem Magnitude and Source of the Problem  Extent of the Problem The problem of hazardous waste is worldwide, and there is no question that there are serious risks in ignoring it  Sources of Hazardous Waste Negative externalities

4 4 Evolution of U.S. Solid Waste Policy Federal Recognition of the Solid Waste Problem  Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) of 1965  Resource Recovery Act of 1970

5 5 Evolution of U.S. Solid Waste Policy Developing Policy To Control Risks of Hazardous Wastes  Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 “cradle-to-grave” management system – a command-and-control approach to regulating hazardous solid wastes through every stage of the waste stream  Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984

6 6 Evolution of U.S. Solid Waste Policy  Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information (CERCLIS) – a national inventory of hazardous waste site data National Priorities List (NPL)  Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 Feedstock taxes – taxes levied on raw materials used as productive inputs  Recent Policy and Brownfields Brownfields – abandoned or underutilized industrial sites where redevelopment is discouraged by actual or perceived contamination

7 7 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA Source reduction – preventive strategies to reduce the quantity of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant released to the environment at the point of generation Waste management – control strategies to reduce the quantity and toxicity of hazardous wastes at every stage of the waste stream

8 8 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA The “Cradle-to-Grave” Management Approach  Identification of Hazardous Wastes Characteristic wastes – hazardous wastes identified as those exhibiting certain characteristics that imply a substantial risk Listed wastes – hazardous wastes that have been preidentified by government as having met specific criteria

9 9 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA Figure 17.2 U.S. Characteristic and Listed Wastes in 1999

10 10 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA  The National Manifest System for Tracking Wastes Manifest – a document used to identify hazardous waste materials and all parties responsible for its movement from generation to disposal  The Permit System Permitting system – a control approach that authorizes the activities of TSDFs according to predefined standards

11 11 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA  Standards General regulatory standards – apply to all types of TSDFs and control generic functions like inspections, emergency plans, and participation in the manifest program Technical regulatory standards – outline procedures and equipment requirements for various types of waste facilities

12 12 Controlling Hazardous Wastes: RCRA Moving Toward Pollution Prevention  Several references in the 1984 Amendments speak to the policy shift away from land disposal and toward preventive solutions

13 13 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Risk-Based Uniform Rules of Identification  Risk Based Criteria Law requires that hazardous waste be identified according to characteristics and criteria that are risk based  Applying Criteria Uniformly Identifying criteria are applied uniformly Allocatively inefficient

14 14 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Benefit-Based Uniform Standards  Benefit Based Lack of cost considerations is problematic  Uniform Standards Offers states no flexibility in how they administer RCRA’s hazardous waste program

15 15 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Failures of the Manifest System  Benefit Based  Limited in Scope  High Compliance Costs

16 16 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Market Implications of the 1984 Land Restrictions  Pre-1984 Market Equilibrium  Post-1984 Market Equilibrium

17 17 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Figure 17.3 Impact of Land Restrictions Under the RCRA 1984 Amendments

18 18 Analysis of U.S. Hazardous Waste Policy Market Instruments in Hazardous Waste Control Policy  Pollution charge – a fee that varies with the amount of pollutants released  Waste-end charge – a fee implemented at the time of disposal based on the quantity of waste generated

19 19 Managing Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites: CERCLA Response and Cleanup  Superfund cleanup process – a series of steps used to determine and implement the appropriate response to threats posed by the release of a hazardous substance  Removal Actions – official responses to a hazardous substance release aimed at restoring immediate control  Remedial Actions – official responses to a hazardous substance release aimed at achieving a more permanent solution National Priorities List (NPL) – a classification of Hazardous waste sites posing the greatest threat to health and the ecology

20 20 Managing Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites: CERCLA Figure 17.4 Superfund Cleanup Process

21 21 Managing Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites: CERCLA Compensation, Liability, and Enforcement  Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) – any current or former owner or operator of a hazardous waste facility and all those involved in the disposal, treatment, or transport of hazardous substances to a contaminated site Emergency Planning  Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) – a national database that gives information about hazardous substances released into the environment

22 22 An Analysis of a Superfund Assessing Superfund’s Performance  Based on the NPL data, Superfund’s Remedial Program has moved at a snail’s pace by most accounts

23 23 An Analysis of a Superfund What’s Wrong with Superfund?  Information Problems EPA had to start with very little data on the extent of the problem Insufficient federal control, direction, and financial support  Lack of Incentives Strict liability – the legal standard that identifies individuals as responsible for damages even if negligence is not proven Joint and several liability – the legal standard that identifies a single party as responsible for all damages even if that party’s contribution to the damages is minimal


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