February 8, 2024

Implementing Climate Resilience in Hazardous Waste Permitting

On December 12, 2023, EPA published a draft memorandum that provides guidance on how to evaluate potential adverse climate change impacts in the RCRA hazardous waste permitting process. [RO 14962] The draft includes recommendations on conducting climate change vulnerability screenings and assessments for treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). These assessments will help identify any climate change vulnerabilities a facility’s RCRA permit should address during the expected active life of the facility continuing through post-closure.

The draft lists seven potentially relevant regulatory provisions to address climate change vulnerabilities during the permitting process:

  1. Facility design and operation [§264.31],
  2. Facility siting standards [§264.18(b)],
  3. Contingency plans [§§264.50–56],
  4. Omnibus authority under RCRA Section 3005(c)(3) [§270.32(b)(2)],
  5. Review of state permits [§271.19],
  6. Agency initiated permit modifications [§270.41(a)(2)], and
  7. Part B permit application [§§270.14–28]

EPA emphasized using its sea level rise projections tool to assist with climate vulnerability screenings. The agency also refers to its superfund climate resilience website, which does not cover RCRA but does provide additional information for superfund sites. Additional policies and guidance will be released as EPA continues to update the hazardous waste permitting process via the rulemaking process.


©2024 McCoy and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

McCoy and Associates has provided in-depth information to assist environmental professionals with complex compliance issues since 1982. Our seminars and publications are widely trusted by environmental professionals for their consistent quality, clarity, and comprehensiveness.



Considerable care has been exercised in preparing this document; however, McCoy and Associates, Inc. makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with the publication of this information. McCoy and Associates, Inc. expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state, or municipal law or regulation with which this information may conflict. McCoy and Associates, Inc. does not undertake any duty to ensure the continued accuracy of this information.

This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal environmental regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the environmental regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.