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RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Complete Guide!

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RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Complete Guide!

What is RCRA?

RCRA stands for The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The RCRA is a combination of the first federal solid waste statutes and all amendments after that. The RCRA gives The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) a way to manage and control hazardous waste from “the cradle to the grave”.

The RCRA covers generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. The RCRA abbreviation is also commonly used with statutes and amendments like RCRA Subtitle D. The RCRA regulations are also covered under 40 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) parts 239-238.

RCRA History:

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was created on October 21. 1976 improving on the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. The RCRA has been changed/improved three times since it was instated.

  • 1984 Congress passed the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA): These amendments started to phase out land disposal of hazardous waste and improvements on waste minimization and corrective actions for releases.
  • 1992 Federal Facility Compliance Act: This act increased enforcement of The RCRA at federal facilities.
  • 1996 Land Disposal Program Flexibility Act: This act gave some flexibility for the land disposal of certain wastes.

What is RCRA Subtitle D? 

RCRA Subtitle D regulates non-hazardous solid waste. Subtitle D bans open dumping of waste and sets rules for the operation of the following facilities:

  • Municipal Waste Landfills
  • Industrial Waste Landfills 

This includes location restrictions, corrective actions (clean up), and closure requirements.

What is RCRA Subtitle C?

RCRA Subtitle C regulates the safe management of hazardous waste from “cradle to the grave” or from when it’s created to the final disposal. Subtitle C covers waste identification, classification, generation, management, and disposal of hazardous waste. Who is covered under RCRA Subtitle C? Subtitle C creates regulations for:

  • Hazardous Waste Generators
  • Hazardous Waste Transporters
  • Hazardous Waste Treatments Facilities
  • Hazardous Waste Storage Facilities
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities 
Generators of Hazardous Waste:

There are three different hazardous waste generator categories. These generators are divided up by the amount of waste they produce. They all fall under the RCRA and must receive Hazardous Waste Management Training!

Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG)

Amount of hazardous waste generated each month:

  • Less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste
  • Less than 2.2 pounds. or acutely hazardous waste

Small Quantity Generators (SQG)

Amount of hazardous waste generated each month:

  • Between 220 pounds and 2,200 pounds

Rules for Small Quantity Generators:

  1. You can accumulate no more than 13227.74 pounds of hazardous waste on site for up to 180 days
  2. You can only store the hazardous waste on site for up to 180 days before the waste must be shipped to a treatment, storage or disposal facility
  3. The only exception to this is if the only facility is over 200 miles away then you have up to 270 days.
  4. You must store hazardous waste in 55-gallon drums, tanks or other containers designed for storing of the specific hazardous waste

Large Quantity Generators (LQG)

Amount of hazardous waste generated each month:

  • Generate more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste
  • Generate more than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste 

Rules for Large Quantity Generators:

  1. You can accumulate waste on site for up to 90 days before it must be shipped to a treatment, storage or disposal facility
  2. You must store the hazardous waste in 55-gallon drums, 85-gallon overpacks, tanks or other containers designed for the soring of the specific hazardous waste

Both large are small quantity generators must follow the storage times or they will be considered a waste storage facility. This involves obtaining a hazardous waste storage permit and meeting all RCRA storage facility requirements.

Do you need RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Training?

Hazardous Waste Management Training
Hazardous Waste Management Refresher Training

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