Presentation on theme: "Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. RCRA Overview RCRA enacted in order to address serious dangers arising from hazardous waste generation, management,"— Presentation transcript:
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RCRA Overview RCRA enacted in order to address serious dangers arising from hazardous waste generation, management, and land disposal. Statutory objectives: To ensure that hazardous waste management practices be conducted in a manner which protects human health and the environment; Minimize the generation and land disposal of wastes.
RCRA Overview Subchapter C: Nationwide “cradle to grave” system governing generation, transport, storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes. Subchapter D: States use federal financial and technical assistance to develop solid waste management plans.
Solid Waste Solid waste: any garbage, refuse, sludge... And other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous material.... 42 U.S.C. § 6903(27).
Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste: a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may— (A) cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or (B) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed. 42 U.S.C. § 6903(5).
Hazardous wastes EPA provided with authority to identify and list hazardous wastes. 42 U.S.C.§ 6921. EPA established two classes of hazardous waste: “listed” hazardous wastes “characteristic” wastes exhibiting one or more of characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity. 40 C.F.R. Part 261.
“Cradle to Grave” Regulation RCRA requires EPA to issue regulations with respect to: Generators Transporters Operations of treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (TSDFs) Permitting of TSDFs Standards for state hazardous waste programs
Land Disposal of Hazardous Wastes To discourage land disposal of hazardous wastes, such disposal banned unless: Wastes meet EPA treatment standards; or EPA finds there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the disposal unit or injection zone for as long as wastes remain hazardous. Wastes subject to the land ban phased in.
Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities – Permitting standards Applicable to new and existing facilities Detailed requirements regarding: Siting and construction Groundwater and other monitoring Recordkeeping Emergency plans, security, and financial assurance Technical requirements
RCRA—Administrative Enforcement Tools Information Gathering EPA and authorized states have right to records, to enter property, gather samples, and inspect for violations. RCRA Section 3007(a). EPA must inspect federal and state facilities each year, private TSDF facilities every two years.
RCRA—Administrative and Civil Enforcement Tools Order Authority EPA may order current or past owner to perform testing, monitoring, or other actions to assess risk. U.S. can bring civil suit for failure to comply with order—court may order compliance and award penalties of up to $5,000 per day. RCRA Section 3013, 42 USC 6934
RCRA—Administrative and Civil Enforcement Tools Order Authority, cont. EPA may issue compliance order to any person in violation of any RCRA requirement. EPA may also order penalties not to exceed $32,500 per day for violation, and for failure to take corrective action within time specified in compliance order. EPA may also suspend or revoke violator’s permit. RCRA Section 3008(a), 42 USC 6928(a)
RCRA—Administrative and Civil Enforcement Tools Civil judicial enforcement for violations The U.S. may commence a civil action for any violation of RCRA. RCRA Section 3008(a), 42 U.S.C. 6928(a) States may bring suit under state law, or under RCRA as a citizen suit. Citizens may bring suit against violators under citizen suit provision. RCRA Section 7002, 42 USC 6972
RCRA—Administrative and Civil Enforcement Tools Imminent and Substantial Endangerment EPA may issue administrative order, or U.S. may file civil action Against present or former generators, transporters, owners or operators who contributed to disposal Where EPA believes that there may be an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment. RCRA Section 7003, 42 USC 6973.