The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Draft Years: 1976 and 1989

Amendment Year: 1984
These amendments, the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments, increased the EPA's authority and strived to help minimize waste.

Legislation: National

Regulated by: EPA

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The RCRA was created to monitor the creation, use, and disposal of hazardous waste from 'cradle to grave'. All hazardous materials are kept in check and regulated so that there are no preventable incidents and to be sure that all waste is disposed of properly. The RCRA has made grants available for states to ensure that all waste is treated properly and dealt with according to RCRA standards.

external image Chemicals3.jpg Why was the law needed?
The law was made to ensure that wastes are managed in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment, as well as, to protect human health and the environment from the hazards posed by waste disposal. The law was also enacted to conserve energy and natural resources through waste recycling and recovery. The final reason the law was enacted was to reduce and eliminate, as fast as possible, the amount of waste produced, including hazardous waste.

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The RCRA has made humans more aware of the waste they are producing and the dangers of that waste. Approximately 6.5 billion pounds of hazardous waste was reduced, treated, or properly disposed of in fiscal year 2008. The operational costs for U.S. industry has increased because of compliance with this law. The reduction of hazardous waste dumps have decreased the harmful effects of chemicals on humans and the environment. It has helped to prevent diseases and land destruction caused by hazardous waste. The RCRA affects everyone who handles hazardous waste, including hazardous waste generators, transporters, and the facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste.


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