August 18, 2014

The Future of RCRA

Enacted in 1976, the RCRA law is approaching 40 years of providing the framework for hazardous waste management in the United States. To recognize this milestone, EPA recently published a document establishing the role RCRA and its regulations will continue to play in protecting human health and the environment in our country. The document breaks down EPA’s mission under RCRA, in partnership with the states, into 4 areas:

  1. Protecting communities and the environment—EPA will continue to ensure facilities manage solid and hazardous waste in a manner protective of communities and the environment. The agency recognizes compliance with the RCRA regs can be expensive, and so is trying to streamline its regs to be efficient for implementation by industry.
  2. Cleaning up the land and water—The agency will continue to require facilities control and eliminate contamination using short-term stabilization and long-term cleanup remedies to return land and water to productive uses. Remediation can be quite expensive, so EPA is trying to structure cleanup to keep industries in business and preserve jobs.
  3. Conserving resources—EPA will continue to promote use and reuse across the life cycle of materials, reducing the need for waste disposal and minimizing the need to obtain new mineral resources.
  4. Partnering and innovating—The agency will continue to use electronic information distribution systems and communication tools to enhance the effectiveness of the RCRA program and enable citizens to engage in local environmental decisions.


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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 RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA 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.