Laws, Regulations, and Guidance
The regulation of mixed-waste is complex. Multiple federal as well as state regulations apply.
On this page:
- Federal Laws
- Federal Regulations
- Federal Guidelines
- Shipping Regulations
- Choosing the Right Regulations: Federal vs State
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
This is the primary statute governing the hazardous portion of mixed-waste.
- Guidance on the Land Disposal Restrictions' Effects on Storage and Disposal of Commercial Mixed-Waste
These regulations restrict land disposal without treatment.
- Atomic Energy Act
This is the primary statute governing the radioactive portion of mixed-waste.
- Federal Facilities Compliance Act
This statute makes all federal agencies subject to all substantive and procedural requirements of federal, state, and local solid and hazardous waste laws.
- Mixed-Waste Rule:40 CFR 266: Storage, Treatment, Transportation, and Disposal of Mixed-Waste
This regulation exempts low-level mixed-waste (LLMW) from some RCRA storage and treatment regulations, and LLMW or eligible technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring and/or accelerator-produced radioactive material from RCRA hazardous waste transportation and disposal regulations.
- Joint NRC-EPA Guidance on the Definition and Identification of Commercial Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste
This page summarizes the guidance which provides a method that generators of commercial LLW can use to identify LLMW.
NRC-EPA Memo Regarding Guidance on Identifying Low-Level Mixed-Waste
- Joint NRC-EPA Draft Storage Guidance
summarizes the general requirements that licensees must meet to store mixed-waste in accordance with NRC and EPA regulations, and addresses specific storage issues that have been brought to the Agencies' attention by mixed-waste generators.
Storage Guidance Notes
- Joint NRC-EPA Siting Guidelines for Disposal of Commercial Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Wastes
This page summarizes the combined NRC and EPA siting guidelines for a commercial LLMW disposal facility.
Joint NRC-EPA Memo on Siting Guidelines for LLMW
- Joint NRC-EPA Guidance on a Conceptual Design Approach for Commercial Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities
This page summarizes the conceptual design approach that meets the regulatory requirements of both agencies for the safe disposal of LLMW.
- Department of Transportation: Office of Hazardous Materials Safety
These regulations cover hazardous materials definitions and classifications, hazard communications, shipper and carrier operations, training and security requirements, and packaging and container specifications.
- Department of Energy: National Transportation Program (PDF) (2 pp, 105K About PDF)
This document describes DOE's program for the transportation on of hazardous waste.
- Department of Energy Orders
DOE Orders establish requirements, authorities, and responsibilities for assuring DOE compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
- Department of Energy Orders
- Regulatory History of Mixed-Waste
history of laws and regulations since 1976
Choosing the Right Regulations: Federal vs. State
EPA RCRA Authorized States
In general, facilities that manage mixed-waste are subject to one of two sets of hazardous waste regulations:
- the federal RCRA Subtitle C requirements for hazardous waste in 40 CFR part 124 and parts 260-270
- comparable regulations of states or territories that have RCRA mixed-waste authority.
You can learn more about the authorization process on EPA's RCRA State Authorization page. You can determine whether your state has EPA RCRA and mixed-waste authorization from EPA's State Authorization Tracking System (StATS).
Knowing whether your state has RCRA authorization and even RCRA mixed-waste authorization may not alert you to all requirements. You should also contact the following organizations:
- your state radiation control program to identify any state regulations that apply to mixed-waste.
- the appropriate EPA Region to determine whether there are aspects of the RCRA program for which the state has not been authorized and for which the region shares responsibility. (For example, certain requirements under the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984, such as corrective actions and land disposal restrictions
NRC Agreement States
Many states have signed agreements with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorizing them to regulate source, by-product and small quantities of special nuclear material within their boundaries. They have agreed to adopt programs that are at least as stringent as NRC's and may have additional requirements.
Most Agreement States have requirements that apply to most source, special nuclear, and byproduct material. (Exceptions are materials from nuclear utilities and fuel cycle facilities, which are regulated by NRC, and materials from DOE facilities, which are regulated by DOE Orders.)You can determine whether your state is an NRC Agreement State and determine the scope of the program that has been relinquished by NRC to the state by contacting the radiation control program for your state .