Resource and Recovery Act
In the process of environmental cleanup, RCRA and CERCLA are the
most common Federal statutes. Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 instituted regulations
on the handling of hazardous wastes. It established a regulatory system to track hazardous
substances from their generation to their disposal. The law requires
the use of safe and secure procedures in treating, transporting,
storing, and disposing of hazardous substances. RCRA's goal is to
prevent future releases of hazardous substances into the environment.
As a result of several environmental disasters in the 1970's, Congress
passes the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA,
commonly known as Superfund). CERCLA has served as the national
framework for addressing hazardous waste problems. The 1980 law
created a special tax that funds a trust fund, commonly known as
Superfund, to be used to investigate and clean up abandoned or uncontrolled
hazardous waste sites. It is designed to ensure that those who caused
the pollution, rather than the general public, pay for the cleanup.
CERCLA provided for strict, joint, several and retroactive liability
Strict: Liability may exist without fault.
Joint and several: If two or more parties contributed to the
release and unless a party can show that the injury or harm at
the site is divisible, any one or more of the parties can be held
liable for the entire cost of the cleanup.
Retroactive: Liability may exist even if the contamination
occurred before CERCLA was enacted in 1980.
Individual States manage
their federal programs as long as the state must prove that their
program is at least as stringent as the federal program in order
for them to be permitted to manage a state level program. In many
cases, state level programs are more stringent than the federal
Consolidated list of chemicals (by CAS number) based on EPCRA, CERCLA, RCRA, EHS.
Consolidated list of chemicals (by name) based on EPCRA, CERCLA, RCRA, EHS.
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