The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

42 U.S.C. §6901 et seq. (1976)

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA, pronounced “rick-rah”) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the “cradle-to-grave.” This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances.

HSWA (pronounced “hiss-wa”) – the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments – are the 1984 amendments to RCRA that focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste as well as corrective action for releases. Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program.

Read the full text of RCRA, or a PDF Version provided by the U.S. Senate (163 pp, 420K, About PDF).

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