How To Dispose of Hazardous Waste--A Serious Question That Needs To Be Resolved

CED-79-13: Published: Dec 19, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 1978.

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The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 was enacted to regulate management of hazardous wastes which pose a threat to human health and the environment. The development of environmentally sound treatment and disposal facilities is essential to this purpose. Adequate capacity is not available to handle the increasing volumes of waste being generated, and public opposition is seriously hindering development of new disposal facilities. Even existing environmentally safe facilities are being jeopardized at a time when the volumes of waste are increasing. How to obtain needed disposal capacity and make sure the funds will be available to correct problems which may occur after site closure are formidable issues for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should: monitor and evaluate closely the development of State solid waste management plans to (1) identify the magnitude of the problems in locating suitable disposal sites early in the process, and (2) propose alternative solutions including, if necessary to protect national interests, a stronger Federal role; and propose legislation to create a self-sustaining national trust fund, supported by fees assessed on the disposal of hazardous wastes, to cover all post closure liability and any necessary remedial actions for sites permitted under the act to prevent continued contamination. In developing the fee schedule, an effort should be made to reflect the degree and duration of risk posed by specific wastes.

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