Land Disposal Restrictions Regulation Update

Environmental Training Resource
May 23, 2012 — 1,112 views  
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Hazardous and non-lethal waste are the by-products of many different mechanical and industrial operations. As technology has become more sophisticated, disposal methods have been modified to deal with more dangerous waste. Current government legislation defines proper waste management practices and also encourages energy conservation through recycling and other green technology. If you need to dispose of industrial garbage, familiarize yourself with the techniques and regulations outlined below.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) has its roots in the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. The RCRA was signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976, and updated its predecessor's language to reflect the increasing amount of commercial and industrial waste being produced at the time.

The official RCRA document is divided into many subtitles that deal with every different kind of disposal. These sections include, but are not limited to, provisions on hazardous waste management, non-hazardous solid wastes and underground storage tanks. The bill also outlines federal and consumer responsibilities for proper dumping.

Subtitle C - "Cradle to Grave"

While most of the RCRA deals with non-hazardous waste, any dangerous materials are specifically addressed by Subtitle C, which has come to be known as "Cradle to Grave." This refers to the creation, transportation and eventual disposal of hazardous waste. For example, all nuclear waste must be shipped in appropriate containers and tracked at all times, or else the affiliated parties will receive hefty fines. If you are transporting any materials that could in any way be considered hazardous, be sure to scrutinize this particular section of the RCRA.

Land Disposal Restrictions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically updates the RCRA, and the Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) program is one of the more recent changes, first implemented in 1984.

The LDR governs the actual storage spaces and containers used to store hazardous waste. Although all facilities have specific safeguards against environmental damage, if any waste contaminates the groundwater it can destroy a local ecosystem and have negative effects on nearby residents.

There are three major sections of the LDR program that professionals must comply with when disposing of waste. First, the Disposal Prohibition governs the treatment of hazardous waste before it is transported and stored. Second, the Dilution Prohibition explains that waste cannot simply be saturated with large amounts of water and other liquid to be considered "safe". Finally, the Storage Prohibition lays down regulations mandating that all waste must be properly treated and not stored indefinitely.

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