Resources on Public Participation in the Hazardous Waste Permitting and Corrective Action Processes

EPA is committed to involving the public in the development and implementation of solid and hazardous waste decisions. One of the Agency’s central goals is to provide equal access to information and an equal opportunity to participate. EPA regards public participation as an important activity that empowers communities to become involved in local Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) related activities.

One area in which RCRA requires public participation is the hazardous waste permitting process. The public interaction occurs during pre-application meetings, public comment and response periods, and public hearings. RCRA includes specific provisions to involve the public in all stages of the hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF) permitting process: prior to the initial permit application; after draft permit issuance; and during permit modifications, permit renewals, post-closure permits, and trial burns.

In addition, RCRA requires public involvement during the RCRA corrective action process, whether such cleanups are instituted through a permit or order, or conducted voluntarily. The RCRA Corrective Action Workshop Communication Tools consists of documents assisting in: working effectively with others and developing group participation skills; conducting effective meetings with representatives of facilities and developing working relationships with them; and working with challenges and resistance among facilities, the public and even colleagues.

The following resources are available regarding public participation in hazardous waste management issues.

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