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RCRA  | Solid/Hazardous Waste & Pollution Prevention Program Compliance

Federal and state waste management program regulations cover a vast array of businesses. The scope of these requirements is broad and complex. As with the majority of regulatory programs, the requirements are designed to be self-implementing. As such, regulated entities must carefully examine the applicability of the rules – particularly when considering the various elements of the definition of a “waste” and how to determine when/if particular materials are subject to regulation. The federal regulations commonly known as RCRA, or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, can be overwhelming and require Generator responsibility for the management of their hazardous waste from “cradle to grave.” Many states, although commonly adopting these federal regulations, may also implement their own programs. For example, in addition to hazardous waste, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s residual waste regulations encompass a broad array of non-hazardous industrial, mining and agricultural waste streams. To be in compliance, facilities must examine the wastes generated and perform a determination, i.e., waste characterization, of each material as the first step in defining a material and deciding how it is to be managed, i.e., as residual or hazardous waste. Depending upon the regulatory authority and the material, a number of requirements must be followed to ensure proper management. As a Generator, are you reviewing your program to ensure compliance?

  • Is the generated material really a waste? Can the waste be legitimately reused or recycled?
  • Could it be an exempted solid waste or should it be managed as a residual or hazardous waste?
  • Can the material be processed under a “Permit-by-Rule” provision or managed under a Beneficial Use Permit?
  • If the material is not a listed hazardous waste, does it exhibit an ignitable, corrosive, reactive or other toxic characteristic?
  • Are procedures and training in place to manage facility waste streams on a day-to-day basis or in case of an emergency?
  • Is necessary and appropriate documentation on file to support waste management decision-making activities?  Specifically:
    • Inventory recordkeeping and inspections,
    • Waste characterization support documentation, e.g., MSDS and waste analysis,
    • Manifests and Bills of Lading,
    • Land disposal notifications and certifications, and
    • Biennial reports and source reduction strategies.

ESC provides our clients the necessary support and guidance to enable them to identify and manage the potential hazards and risks associated with the solid and hazardous waste generated at their operating facilities. We look forward to assisting you.

The following links provide you access to waste program information within our service area.

US EPA Waste Programs

US EPA Region 2

US EPA Region 3

DE DNREC

MD MDE

NJ DEP

NY DEC

PA DEP

VA DEQ


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