Haz waste acts

 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976(RCRA) 
 Defines hazardous waste by creating a regulatory framework that covered generation, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes. In other words this means that because of the RCRA act, hazardous wastes are defined, track wastes from generation to disposal and sets technical standards and rules for issuing permits to facilities that treat, store or dispose of wastes  Hazardous Waste:

  1. flammable 
  2. toxic 
  3. reactive 
  4. corrosive 


 Comprehensive Environment Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) 1980 
 Can also be known as Superfund which means the cleanup of abandoned waste sitesThe focus of this act was to “remedy problems that were created in the past rather than to reduce pollution as it is created” Directs the EPA to identify sites, rank them according to the hazards they present, create and maintain the NPL for cleanups, recover clean up costs and de – list the site.  Trust Fund is called the Superfund, but the polluter also pays to recover the costs the government expended and that is called PRPs potentially responsible parties.

 A Brownfield site is an area that isn’t going to generate exposure to the ;population, but it isn’t entirely cleaned up  

    National Priorities List 
EPA’s list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long – term remedial action under Superfund. A site must be on the NPL to receive money from the Trust Fund for remedial action.

The list is based primarily on the score a site receives from the Hazard Ranking system. EPA is required to update the NPL at least once a year.;

;;;SARASuperfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act;1986;
;;added community right – to – know provisions to the law;Maintain and make available data about harmful chemicals used and stored on site and;report annual emissions of such chemicals which is called the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI);
;;;Oil Pollution Act;OPA 1990;
;;Became enacted after the Exxon Valdez oil spill;

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  • Created spill response plans and pre – positioned response resources
  • imposed strict liability for damages from an oil spill (financial limits)
  • authorized federal government to direct and manage oil spill clean – ups;
  • requirements for vessels to prevent spills;


;;;Toxic Substance Control Act;;(TSCA);1976;
;;This act is different from CAA and CWA because the EPA is taking decisions based on a risk – benefit assesment;Was passed by Congress to cover a range of chemicals currently in production and in use that could present health or environmental risks and were not covered by any other laws To characterize and understand the risks that a chemical poses before it is introduced into commerce.; This Act requires EPA to collect data on chemical substances and mixtures, to require industry to test chemicals for harmful effects, and to regulate production or use of any chemicals that pose “an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” The EPA maintains an inventory of existing chemicals for which it can require testing or take regulatory action if there is evidence of an unresonable risk;;
;;;Pollution Prevention Act;(PPA 1990);;
;It was passed to be proactive in “source reduction” and not limited to one environmental medium (air, water, or waste);;There are several following strategies starting with the best one;;;Reduce, Recycle, Treatment, and Disposal;

  • When feasible, pollution should be prevented or reduced at source
  • when prevention is not feasible, pollution should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner
  • when prevention or recycling is not feasible, pollution should be treated in environmentally safe ways;
  • only when prevention, recycling, or treatment are not feasible should disposal or releases be used


;;Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act;;(FIFRA) 1947;;
;An amendment in 1972, shifted emphasis from safeguarding consumers against fraud to public health and the environment; focused more on a chemical’s effects on health and the environment The EPA also looks at this act in a risk – based assesment pattern The standard for registration is that under the directed use of the chemical it will not cause “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment” With the higher standards comes along with new products and the burden of proof is on registrants to show that the chemicals are safe 
   National Environmental Policy Act(NEPA) 1969 
  Declaration of national environmental policies and goalsEstablishment of action making provisions for federal agencies to implement those policiesA Council of Environmental Quality mandated by the PresidentEIS – an environmental impact statement is a document required of federal agencies by NEPA for major projects or legislative proposals significantly affecting the environment. A tool for decision making, it describes the positive and negative effects of the undertaking and list alternative actions. 
   Endangered Species Act ESA 
  Managed by the Department of Interior, but the EPA gets involved if water pollution is an issue Provisions

  • Species maybe listed
  • Must designate critical habitat
  • Prohibitions on the “take” of endangered animal species
  • Permits and consultations
  • Develop a recovery plan



This act was reauthorized as the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 



  • regulate new classes of facilities, like underground storage tanks (USTs)
  • generators of small quantities of hazardous wastes 
  • set limits on disposal of wastes on land