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Enforcement

National Compliance Initiative: Reducing Hazardous Air Emissions at Hazardous Waste Facilities

Problem

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires effective control and monitoring of organic air emissions from treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and large quantity generators. Widespread air emission violations are associated with the improper management of hazardous waste. RCRA requires effective monitoring to identify and repair leaks from hazardous waste storage tanks, pipes, valves, and other equipment. Releases from hazardous waste facilities can include releases of constituents known or suspected to cause cancer or birth defects. In addition, leaks from these facilities can contribute to non-attainment with the NAAQS.

FY 2020-2023 Update

This NCI will continue in FY 2020-2023. After initiating this NCI in the last cycle, inspections revealed significant noncompliance and an ongoing need for additional training for both industry and regulators.

Goal

The EPA, in partnership with authorized states, is focusing on identifying and addressing violations of leak detection and repair requirements for related hazardous waste treatment equipment. This initiative will ensure a nationally consistent approach of returning facilities to compliance to reduce health and environmental exposure and ensure a level playing field for regulated facilities.

Results

In April 2018 the EPA issued a compliance advisory for facilities that are affected by the air emissions requirements under RCRA. The advisory focuses on inspection and monitoring requirements to ensure proper operation and maintenance, recordkeeping, and reporting to demonstrate compliance. The advisory also describes the benefits of using the EPA’s self-disclosure policies.

The following map and chart show the EPA’s actions in inspecting and addressing leaks of hazardous air emissions at RCRA facilities. These results were last updated at the end of FY 2018; the next update will be at the end of FY 2019.

Map of inspections and addressing actions for hazardous air emissions at hazardous waste facilities.