The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.
History and goals
Congress enacted RCRA to address the increasing problems the nation faced from its growing volume of municipal and industrial waste. RCRA amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. It set national goals for:
- Protecting human health and the natural environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal.
- Energy conservation and natural resources.
- Reducing the amount of waste generated, through source reduction and recycling
- Ensuring the management of waste in an environmentally sound manner.
It is now most widely known for the regulations promulgated under RCRA that set standards for the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste in the United States.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published waste management regulations, which are codified in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations at parts 239 through 282. Regulations regarding management of hazardous waste begin in part 260. As noted below, most states have enacted laws and created regulations that are at least as stringent as the federal regulations. Furthermore, the RCRA statute authorizes states to carry out many of the functions of the federal law through their own hazardous waste programs (as well as their state laws) if such programs have been approved by the EPA.
Article used courtesy of Wikipedia