Hazardous Waste:

Effect of Proposed Rule's Extra Cleanup Requirements Is Uncertain

GAO-01-57: Published: Oct 20, 2000. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2000.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed several amendments to its 1993 Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU) rule. The CAMU rule currently allows agencies to set aside part of their hazardous waste site to deposit wastes without triggering the requirements of the Recovery Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA's action is in response to a lawsuit alleging that the CAMU rule would allow for the management of wastes in violation of RCRA's land disposal restrictions. The 1993 rule and recently proposed rules governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste onsite in CAMUs differ primarily in the requirements for waste treatment and facility design. According to EPA, the proposed rules will increase the time and the costs of site cleanups using CAMUs because it is less flexible than the 1993 rule and adds technical and process requirements. Several state representatives expressed concern that the proposed requirements could be applied to cleanups done under their programs, regardless of whether they were using CAMUs, thereby deterring the progress states have been making in cleaning up sites.

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