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Hazardous Waste Regulations

RCRA Docket

The RCRA docket provides users with all the materials critical to each stage in the development of a rule, such as Federal Register notices and technical documents. Regulations.gov – the government-wide centralized docket management system – allows users to search the Agency’s rulemaking dockets online, view the indices, and access those materials that are available online. Users may also submit comments online when a docket is open for public comment.

Hazardous Waste Laws

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a US law that provides, in broad terms, the general guidelines for the waste management program envisioned by Congress. It includes a Congressional mandate directing EPA to develop a comprehensive set of regulations to implement the law. The hazardous waste program, under RCRA Subtitle C, establishes a system for controlling hazardous waste from the time it is generated until its ultimate disposal — in effect, from “cradle to grave.”

In any given State, EPA or the State hazardous waste regulatory agency enforces hazardous waste laws. EPA encourages States to assume primary responsibility for implementing a hazardous waste program through State adoption, authorization, and implementation of the regulations.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

EPA regulations, or rulemakings, translate the general mandate of RCRA into a set of requirements for the Agency and the regulated community. The RCRA hazardous waste program regulates commercial businesses as well as federal, State, and local government facilities that generate, transport, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. In regulatory terms, a RCRA hazardous wastes fall into two categories:

  1. Listed Wastes, which appear on one of the four hazardous wastes lists established by EPA regulations:
  2. Characteristic wastes, which exhibit one or more of four characteristics defined in 40 CFR Part 261 Subpart C:

40 CFR Part 260 contains all of the RCRA regulations governing hazardous waste identification, classification, generation, management and disposal.

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