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.You may need Adobe Reader to view files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Public Participation Manual (PDF)(81 pp, 1 MB,
2016 Edition of the RCRA Public Participation Manual
RCRA Public Participation Manual: Advantages of Public Involvement (PDF)(3 pp, 300 K,
EPA regards public participation as an important activity that empowers communities to become involved in local RCRA-related activities. This document summarizes the RCRA Public Participation Manual, 2016 edition.
Corrective Action Communication Tool: Effective Group Participation Skills (PDF)(2 pp, 185 K)
This is a tool for Corrective Action project managers that are looking to assess their current group participation skills.
Corrective Action Communication Tool: Effective Meetings with the Facility (PDF)(2 pp, 176 K)
This communication tool will assist you in helping promote or build productive meetings between the regulatory agencies and the facility to achieve a RCRA Corrective Action Result.
Corrective Action Communication Tool: Working with Resistance (PDF)(2 pp, 324 K)
This Communication Tool can help you both understand and reduce this natural resistance through increasing your knowledge and developing some specific skills.
Compendium of Key Community Engagement Practices at RCRA Sites (PDF)(35 pp, 297 K)
This is a tool that is designed to enhance EPA's engagement with local communities and stakeholders to help them meaningfully participate in government decisions and land cleanup, emergency preparedness and response, and the management of hazardous substances and waste.
RCRA Public Participation Manual, 1996 Edition (PDF)(344 pp, 2 MB)
1996 Edition of the RCRA Public Participation Manual
Manual de Participación Pública del Acta de Conservación y Recuperación de Recursos (RCRA) (PDF)(256 pp, 597 K,
1996 Edición de la Manual de Participación Pública de RCRA