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RCRA Guidance, Policy and Resources

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Significant Guidance Documents – EPA maintains a list of significant guidance documents as called for by the Office of Management and Budget.

EPA develops and issues guidance documents to provide instructions for implementing and complying with regulations. Guidance documents also elaborate on the Agency’s interpretation of the requirements of the Act. Policy statements outline a position on a topic or specify procedures that should generally be followed. In many cases, policy statements are addressed to EPA staff, but some are addressed to the regulated community.

RCRA: Critical Mission & the Path Forward highlights the critical role the RCRA program continues to play in protecting communities, restoring land and conserving resources across the nation.

RCRA Online is an electronic database that indexes thousands of letters, memoranda, publications, and questions and answers issued by EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). These documents include EPA interpretations of the RCRA regulations governing the management of solid, hazardous, and medical waste. RCRA Online allows users to locate documents through topical, full text, and advanced search functions. RCRA Online also allows users to view the actual text of the documents identified in a search.

RCRA Orientation Manual provides introductory information on the solid and hazardous waste management programs under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Designed for EPA and state staff, members of the regulated community, and the general public who wish to better understand RCRA, this document constitutes a review of the RCRA program and is not a substitute for RCRA or its implementing regulations.

RCRA Training Modules provide overviews of specific RCRA regulatory topics, for example, corrective action, exclusions, financial assurance, and permits. Two modules in particular provide a statutory overview of RCRA (PDF) (34 pp, 83K, about PDF) and an overview of other laws that interface with RCRA (PDF) (27 pp, 114K, about PDF).

RCRA in Focus (RIF) is a series of publications providing overviews of the RCRA regulations affecting specific industry sectors. Intended as a guide for small businesses, RIF presents the life cycle of a typical waste for each industry and focuses on recycling and pollution prevention options. Each issue contains a hazardous waste table of RCRA requirements for small businesses and answers frequently asked questions.

RCRA: Reducing Risk from Waste provides an overview of the RCRA solid and hazardous waste regulations. The document describes the history of RCRA, the role of EPA and the states, and hazardous waste definitions and management requirements (including the roles of generators, transporters, and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities). Information on hazardous waste minimization is also provided.

25 Years of RCRA: Building on Our Past to Protect Our Future (PDF) (21 pp, 838K) provides an historical overview of the evolution of RCRA and it major accomplishments.

Beyond RCRA: Prospects for Waste & Materials Management in the Year 2020 is a discussion paper developed jointly by EPA and state environmental agencies to open and inspire discussion on the future for the RCRA program during the next 20 years. It identifies a number of trends that could affect the future of waste and materials management, resource conservation, and human and environmental health, and suggests general strategies and tools that might be used to build a new vision for the future of the RCRA program.

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