The Congress intended RCRA to address the following

environmental problems:

     (1)  The ever-increasing amounts of waste material

          being generated as a result of National economic

          and population growth.

     (2)  Serious financial, management, intergovernmental,

          and technical problems in solid waste collection,

          treatment and disposal in urban areas resulting

          from population concentration.

     (3)  Open dumping of solid waste which needlessly

          pollutes valuable land resources as well as air

          and water resources.

     (4)  Human health and environmental dangers resulting

          from improper disposal of solid waste and especi-

          ally hazardous waste.

     (5)  Increasing amounts of pollution control residuals

          (sludges, etc.)  destined for land disposal as a

          result of the Clean Air Act, Water Pollution

          Control Act, and other Federal and State laws.

     (6)  The wasteful burial of recoverable resources with

          attendant increases in dependence on foreign

          energy and material sources, and in balance of

          payment deficits.

     (7)  The need to continue the development of solid

          waste as an energy source to conserve and reduce

dependence on alternate energy sources such as petroleum,

natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric generation.

     The goals and objectives of RCRA are to:

          °Promote the protection of health and the environ-

           ment ,  and

          °Conserve valuable material and energy resources.

     Congress intends that these goals and objectives be

achieved by:

     (1)  Providing technical and financial assistance and

          a broad-based information and public education

          program to State and local governments for devel-

          opment and implementation of solid waste manage-

          ment plans.

     (2)  Prohibiting future open dumping on land and

          requiring upgrading or closing of existing open


     (3)  Regulating the treatment, storage, transporta-

          tion, and disposal of hazardous wastes.

     (4)  Promulgation of guidelines for solid waste man-

          agement practices and systems.

     (5)  Conducting a research and development program for

          improved solid waste management and resource con-

          servation techniques.

     (6)  Demonstration of improved solid waste management

          and resource conservation and recovery systems.

     (7)  Establishing a cooperative effort among Federal,

          State,  and local governments and private enterprise,

     Thus, the new Act mandates a comprehensive Federal-
State-local approach to all aspects of waste management,
including resource conservation and recovery, land disposal
of municipal and industrial wastes, and authorizes a new
regulatory program for hazardous wastes.
     Highlights of the new Act are:
     (1)   Solid waste is redefined to include waste sludges,
          liquids, and contained gases from industrial,
          commercial, mining, and agricultural operations,
          as well as the more traditional garbage and
          refuse we have usually regarded as "solid waste."
          Thus, the scope of solid waste management activi-
          ties has been expanded significantly.  Also note
          that hazardous waste is a sub-set of the overall
          solid waste definition.
     (2)   The term "disposal" is broadly defined to include
          "the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping,
          spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste
          or hazardous waste into or on any land or water
          so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any
          constituent thereof may enter the environment or
          be emitted into the air or discharged to any
          waters, including groundwaters."  Thus, the multi-
          media impacts of solid waste disposal, including
          impacts on groundwater, are to be considered when
          EPA and State and local governments carry out the
          new Act's provisions.

(3)   New solid waste  management guidelines,  similar in

     nature to those  previously developed by the Office

     of Solid Waste,  are mandated by the Act.

(4)   Technical assistance panels are to be formed to

     provide State and local governments, upon request,

     with advice and  assistance regarding all aspects

     of solid waste management, including hazardous

     waste management.  Not less than 20 percent of

     general appropriation funds are to be set aside

     for this purpose.  This reinforces Congress's

     intent that technical assistance is a major thrust

     of the new Act and is not to be overshadowed by

     the regulatory provisions.

(5)   After consultation with the States, within one

     year EPA is to define criteria for sanitary land-

     fills and open dumps.  Given the expanded solid

     waste and disposal definitions, these criteria may

     well apply to many other land disposal practices

     besides the traditional "landfill" for garbage and


(6)   All open dumps are to be inventoried (probably by

     the States) and  a list of such open dumps is to

     be published (by EPA) within two years.  There-

     after, open dumping of solid waste or hazardous

     waste is prohibited unless such open dumps are

     under a timetable or schedule for compliance

     (meaning closure or upgrading to sanitary landfill

     status) established as part of a State's solid

     waste plan.   Compliance with the prohibition on

     open dumping can take no longer than five years

     after the inventory is published, in any event.

     Thus, seven  years from now, in 1984, all open

     dumping will be prohibited.  This provision will

     have a profound impact on solid waste management

     practices in this country, particularly in rural


(7)   In cooperation with regional and local governments,

     States are to develop new solid waste plans which

     encompass all aspects of solid waste management,

     including resource conservation and recovery,  and

     hazardous waste management.  A substantial new

     planning and implementation grant program for State

     and local governments is provided for this pur-

     pose.  These comprehensive solid waste management

     plans will represent a major new thrust in many


(8)   Under RCRA,  all Federal facilities engaged in

     solid waste  or hazardous waste activities, and all

     Federal agencies having jurisdiction over solid

     waste facilities,  are subject to all Federal,  State,

          interstate, and local requirements, both substan-

          tive and procedural.  This includes reporting and

          permit requirements.  Thus, for the first time,

          Federal facilities will require State or local

          solid waste permits.  This is a major departure

          from precedent established under air and water

          pollution control laws.

     The new Act contains many other important provisions,

but time, and, I suspect, your patience, will not allow me to

cover them here.  The highlights noted above should give you

a sense of the new scope and direction Congress intends for the

solid waste management activities in this country.'

Overview of Hazardous Waste Management Program

     With the enactment of RCRA last October, the U.S.

hazardous waste management program has entered a new phase.

For the first time, Congress has mandated Federal regulatory

control over land disposal of hazardous waste.  At the same

time, Congress made it clear that the States should imple-

ment the hazardous waste regulatory program as part of a compre-

hensive solid waste management program.  Special State grants

for development and implementation of hazardous waste manage-

ment programs are included in the new Act for that purpose.

     Before RCRA, the Federal hazardous waste management

program was aimed at developing a better data base concern-

ing hazardous waste characteristics, damage assessment, and

control technology options; translating these data into

advisory guidances; assisting the States to develop their

programs; and providing technical assistance as needed.

     After RCRA, most of these elements remain in the Federal

program, but the emphasis has shifted to developing a compre-

hensive, integrated set of national standards for the defi-

nition and "cradle-to-grave" management of hazardous waste.

What were to be guidances will now be Federal regulations.

Instead of saying "you should do so-and-so," EPA can now say

"you shall do so-and-so."

     With these new powers come added responsibilities.  We .

can no longer philosophize about the way hazardous wastes

should be managed.  We are now mandated to say how hazardous

wastes will be managed.  The program we develop has got to

be tough enough to adequately protect the public health and

environment, and yet be practical enough that State and local

governments can implement it, and the private sector can live

with it.  The program is to be developed and in operation

by October 1978.  This is a tall order.  Clearly, EPA cannot

do it alone.

     Most people would agree that the State government level

is the optimum level to implement a hazardous waste manage-

ment regulatory program.  Many hazardous wastes are trans-

portable, and are in fact transported for hundreds of miles

to treatment and disposal sites within the State, or outside

the State of origin.  Local and regional governments are

not well equipped to deal with this.  On the other hand,
the Federal government is not well equipped to deal with

State-by-State variations in climate, geology and other

factors influencing proper hazardous waste management.

     And yet the private sector, and many States, would like

to see uniform national standards for hazardous waste manage-

ment to remove the spectre of each State having different

standards, definitions, and criteria.

     All of this argues forcefully for a Federal/State

partnership in developing and implementing the national

hazardous waste management regulatory program.  Local govern-

ments also have a strong say in the matter, since the

hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities, which must

be developed to make the regulatory program work, will be

located in their jurisdictions.

     Fortunately, most States agree with this premise.

Several States have already begun to develop hazardous waste

management programs on their own, ahead of the Federal pro-

gram.  As has been the case in other environmental areas,

the State of California was the first to develop and operate

a hazardous waste management program.  The Federal government

and most other State and local governments have a lot to

learn from the California experience in this area.  Later in

the program we will get a full briefing by California State

and county personnel on how they did it and how

their program is working.  I will be taking notes.

RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Provisions

     Most of you by now probably have a reasonably good idea

of the hazardous waste management regulatory provisions in

RCRA.  They include a hazardous waste definition; national

standards for hazardous waste generators, transporters, and

treatment, storage and disposal facilities; a facility per-

mit program; guidelines for State assumption of the program;

and a one-time notification system to government by anyone

who generates, transports, treats, stores, or disposes of

hazardous waste.  Consequently, I won't dwell on these pro-

visions.  But perhaps it would be of interest to discuss how

all these provisions fit together into an integrated program.

Figure 1 is an attempt to pull all of the provisions together

on one page with an indication of their interrelationships.

     The keystone of the program is the definition of

hazardous waste.  This element determines the scope of the

program, and thus has an influence on whether or not States

choose to participate in the program.  Our goal is to base

the hazardous waste definition on objective criteria for

hazardous parameters such as flammability, corrosivity,

toxicity, etc.  This implies the development of standard

sampling and analysis methods by which a waste can be tested

against these criteria.   Wastes which are found to be

hazardous will then be placed on a list.

Determines Scope of Program
Influences State Participation
                            HAZARDOUS WASTE
                        NATIONAL STANDARDS
                      • Generators

                      • Transporters

                      • Facilities

Equivalent and
               Reporting, Labeling, Manifest>
               Reporting, Manifest
               Reporting, Design, Operation,
               Fiscal  Responsibility, etc.

    With EPA
Grant Assistance
Cut Off
                                    PERMIT SYSTEM


                                    Storage, Treatment
                                    8 Disposal Facilities
                                                                                         Permi t

     Next come  the national  standards  for hazardous waste

generators,  transporters, and operators of hazardous waste

treatment,  storage, and disposal  facilities.  We view  these

standards as minimum  levels  of performance somewhat analogous

to speed limits.  They are independent, enforceable standards;

various legal sanctions can  be applied to violators.   Note

that all parties subject to  the standards are required to

notify EPA,  or  the State if  they  have an authorized program,

during a 90-day period following  final publication of  the

hazardous waste definition.

     Common  elements  of all  the standards are recordkeeping

and reporting requirements,  and compliance with a manifest

system, which is a waste tracking and control mechanism to

ensure that  hazardous wastes are  transported to approved

treatment and disposal facilities.  Each hazardous waste ship-

ment will require a manifest.  Thus we are talking about tens

of thousands of transactions per year on a national basis.

This implies that the manifest must be compatible with ADP

systems.  Since hazardous wastes are often transported across

State lines, we are coming to the conclusion that the mani-

fest system  should be uniform across the nation, if at all


     A permit system  for hazardous waste treatment/storage/

disposal facilities is mandated,  in addition to the national

standards.   Note that permits are required only for treatment/

storage/disposal facilities.  Generators and transporters

who do not have such facilities do not require a permit.

     We look upon the permit system in a positive sense.

Whereas someone who violates a national standard can be

punished, a hazardous waste facility can only obtain a per-

mit if the Federal or State authorities believe the sur-

rounding community will be safe from harm.  If we can impart

this concept to the public, and preserve the integrity of

the permit system, we will go a long way towards overcoming

public opposition to siting new hazardous waste facilities.

     As mentioned before, the Congress clearly intended for

the States to implement the hazardous waste program.  Among

other things, implementation implies issuing hazardous waste

facility permits, along with inspection and compliance

enforcement activities.  Several  States, including California,

do these things already, at least to some extent.  One

potential problem is that State programs, in order to be given

implementation authority for RCRA, must be  "equivalent" to

the Federal program and  "consistent" with other State pro-

grams.  We are wrestling with the interpretation of these

terms now.  The Congress evidently foresaw  this problem,

however, and provided  for  interim authorization, of State

programs for a 24-month  period while the details of full

authorization are being  worked out.  We intend  to be  liberal

in our requirements for  interim authorization, with the

understanding that State programs will  achieve  equivalency

 in the 24-month transition period.   Federal grant funds are

 mandated for the development and implementation of these

 State  programs.

     In total,  then,  the  hazardous  waste  management program

 mandated by  RCRA is an  integrated,  comprehensive program

 keyed  to the definition of hazardous waste,  followed by a

 series of implementation  provisions.   These  provisions  con-

 sist of national standards,  a notification  system,  and  a

 facility permit  system  developed by the Federal government

 to  provide national consistency,  but intended to be imple-

 mented and enforced by  State governments with Federal finan-

 cial and technical assistance.   We  believe this is  a sensible

 and practical approach.   The interplay between  these program

 elements is  complex, however, and most likely will  require

 several  iterations as the  program develops and  matures.

 Current  Status of Regulation Development

     You may be  interested in our progress to date.  OSW has

 produced Development Plans for each hazardous waste  regula-

 tion.  The Development Plans contain a statement of  the

purpose  of the regulation; identify major issues; outline

how we will coordinate regulation development with other EPA

offices, and with State and local governments, other Federal

agencies, the Congress,  and the public; describe anticipated

requirements for environmental and economic impact appraisals;

and provide an anticipated schedule for regulation prom-

ulgation. At present we are projecting final promulgation of

the hazardous waste regulations in April 1978, or 18 months

after RCRA enactment as mandated by the new law.

     Next, we are now preparing Advanced Notices of Proposed

Rulemaking, which will be published in the Federal Register

in the next few months.  These documents are intended to

alert the public that EPA is embarking on the regulatory

development process, and to solicit public comment on a

number of issues and options being considered by the Agency.

We hope you will comment on the issues and options discussed

in them; we need your input.

     Each regulation will be developed by a Working Group

composed of representatives from EPA Headquarters and regional

offices, and where appropriate, from other Federal agencies and

State and local governments.  For example, the  Department of

Transportation will be represented on the hazardous waste

transporter standards Working Group.  State and local govern-

ment representatives will be invited to participate in  the

Working  Groups developing the State hazardous waste program

guidelines  and the facility permit regulations.  All of these

Working  Groups will be activated  this month.

Public Participation

     EPA intends  to provide ample  opportunities for public

participation  in  the development  of the hazardous waste regu-

latory program.   We have  already  held  a public  meeting  on  the

new Act  in  Washington, D.C., in December.   Similar  public

 meetings are scheduled in all 10 EPA regions throughout the

 country in late February and March of this year.

      Two sets of public hearings on each regulation are

 planned.   One series will be held after responses to the

 ANPRM's are received and before  proposed rulemaking is pub-

 lished in the Federal Register.   Another series  is planned

 after the proposed  regulations,  but before .final  regulations

 are  promulgated.

      Further,  OSW intends to form an Advisory  Committee which

 will  have a wide  range  of representatives  from the public  and

 private sectors.  We will look to the Advisory Committee for

 review and comment  on the hazardous  waste  regulations  as they


      In addition, there will be  a series of  conferences  and

 workshops  on  specific technical  issues  as  they crop  up.  For

 example,  we  are already planning  such a conference to  discuss

 the application of  standard  leaching  tests as  they relate  to

 the question of hazardous waste definition.

     Finally, we plan to  develop  a public education  program to

effectively communicate the essence of hazardous waste issues

to the  general public.  The public education program being

pursued by the State of Minnesota as  part of the Chemical

Waste Landfill Grant program will provide useful input to  the

national program.  Clearly, the hazardous waste management

program cannot succeed without public understanding  and


     In summary, the new Resource Conservation and Recovery

Act mandates a wide range of new initiatives in solid waste

management which will have a substantial impact on public

health and environmental protection, and on material and

energy conservation and recovery.  The hazardous waste manage-

ment program is a sub-set of this overall program.  While our

attention is now focused on developing the new hazardous

waste regulations and guidelines mandated by the Act, we also

will continue our technical assistance and public education

efforts.  In the long view, the regulations are but the first

step in the national hazardous waste management program.  It

will take a joint effort by Federal, State and local govern-

ments, by industry, and by the public to translate these

beginnings into an effective program to protect the public

health and environment from the potential damage inherent in

improper hazardous waste disposal practices.

     The Congress has given us the green light to proceed

with this program.  It will be up to all of us to make  it


     Thank you very much.
                               ,,           BefiWaV, library