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Hazardous Waste Resources for Tribal Nations in the Midwest

Waste DrumsHazardous waste on tribal lands presents a unique set of opportunities and obstacles. This website is intended to be a host for resources that can help Tribal Nations understand the dynamics of hazardous waste and provide guidance on building tribal hazardous waste programs to suit individual needs.

THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT (RCRA)

EPA's main Resource Conservation and Recovery Act website

Hazardous Waste Regulations

Hazardous Waste Generator Regulatory Summary
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations establish basic hazardous waste management standards for persons who produce hazardous waste, called hazardous waste generators. These standards are found in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in part 262. The generator regulations ensure that hazardous waste is appropriately identified and handled safely to protect human health and the environment, while minimizing interference with daily business operations. 

Hazardous Waste Handling Guide
This document is intended to provide a broad overview of what tribal representatives can look for when inspecting facilities that accumulate hazardous waste. It is not a complete list of everything tribes need to know when managing hazardous waste. It is intended as general guidance for generators of hazardous waste and is meant to assist in compliance with the hazardous waste regulations. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Orientation Manual
This 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.

RCRAonline
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 represent past EPA Headquarters 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.

Toxics Release Inventory for Tribal Communities
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment. (A "release" of a chemical means that it is emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal.) The information submitted by facilities is compiled annually by EPA. TRI helps support informed decision-making by industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. The information presented here is part of a larger effort to inform tribes of the availability of TRI data and other resources that may help assess tribal environmental and health concerns.

EPA's Pollution Prevention Program
Pollution prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source, also known as "source reduction." This website allows users to learn more about P2, find grant programs for P2, determine P2 strategies, and provides additional P2 resources.

EPA Redevelopment Resources
This resource guide includes voluntary resources that facilitate community redevelopment and revitalization.

BUILDING A HAZARDOUS WASTE PROGRAM

2013 Guidance on the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia
This guidance provides a consistent national framework for building tribal environmental program capacity under GAP and is designed to improve the management of GAP resources.

Tribal Waste Management Program Sustainability Evaluation Tool
The Tribal Waste Management Program Sustainability Evaluation Tool is used to evaluate how a tribal waste management program is currently operating and to identify specific areas where additional support is needed in developing a sustainable tribal waste management program. The Tool consists of a spreadsheet, which addresses seven key indicators that are representative of a sustainable tribal waste management program. The Tool allows tribal managers to self-evaluate, or agree to a third-party evaluation of the sustainability of their waste management programs in these areas. Results of the evaluation can be used to diagnose and target areas to strengthen, assess improvements over time, and to aid in funding decisions. In August 2015, the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery announced the release of the Tool. 

National Tribal Waste Management Peer Matching Program
EPA coordinates the National Tribal Waste Management Peer Matching Program, which aims to strengthen tribal capacity and develop sustainable waste management programs. Peer matches are voluntary, structured opportunities for tribes and Alaska Native Villages who are working on similar issues to exchange experiences and practical knowledge through a mentoring program. This program allows tribes and Alaska Native Villages to address a particular challenge, such as designing and supervising construction of a transfer station.

WASTE MANAGEMENT FUNDING

Tribal Solid Waste Program Costing Tool
This tool is intended to help tribal leaders make decisions about solid waste collection and disposal & to determine feasibility for implementing solid waste programs.

Tribal Waste Management Funding Resources Directory
The Tribal Waste Management Funding Resources Directory is a searchable resource listing financial waste management assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) available to tribes and nonprofit organizations.

Implementation Activities Related to Solid Waste and Recovered Materials that are Allowable for GAP Funding Under the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act
The document below is a resource for GAP Project Officers and grantees negotiating solid waste program implementation work plan components and commitments associated with funds appropriated during FY 2016 through FY 2020. The document provides a non-exclusive list of example allowable and unallowable tribal solid waste program implementation activities.

HAZARDOUS WASTE ENFORCEMENT

Developing Tribal Waste Management Codes and Ordinances
Waste codes and ordinances are a formal legal method of promoting or preventing behaviors in the area of waste management. For example, one might develop a code to promote recycling and another to prevent illegal dumping. Codes and ordinances can be used to promote tribal waste management goals to protect public health and the environment and to protect natural resources. Developing tribal waste management codes and ordinances is the first step in developing a waste management regulatory program.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Civil Penalty Policy
This policy stipulates how RCRA penalties calculated. The penalty calculation system established through U.S. EPA’s RCRA Civil Penalty Policy is based upon Section 3008 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6928. Under this section, the seriousness of the violation and any good faith efforts to comply with applicable requirements are to be considered in assessing a penalty. Issued June 23, 2003.

EPA Enforcement Program
EPA’s main enforcement program website provides information on enforcement actions taken in your community, allows users to report violations of environmental laws, and provides guidance on EPA’s waste, chemicals, and cleanup enforcement program.

TRIBAL INSPECTOR CREDENTIALING

Federal Credentialing for Tribal Inspectors
This guide details RCRA program training requirements for RCRA inspector credentials.

The Inspector Wiki Page
The Inspector Wiki is your "first-stop" comprehensive resource where EPA, state, local and tribal inspectors can access information about inspections, mandatory inspector training and credential requirements, health and safety policy and requirements, program specific and cross media inspection policy and guidance, inspection equipment and new technologies, and compliance assistance. Additionally, this Wiki will provide a collaborative workspace enabling users to share training resources.

National Enforcement Training Institute (NETI) eLearning Center

The NETI eLearning Center provides online eLearning, live webinar, and classroom training opportunities to environmental enforcement personnel (including government inspectors, the legal community, and investigators) in federal, state, tribal and local governments.

Hazardous Waste Facility Inspection Checklists

This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilities that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.

This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilities that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.

This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilities that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.

RCRA COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE

Resources and Guidance Documents for Compliance Assistance

Compliance Assistance Centers
Compliance Assistance Centers help businesses, colleges and universities, local governments, tribes and federal facilities understand and comply with environmental requirements and save money through pollution prevention techniques. 

Tribal Waste Management Technical Assistance Directory
This Tribal Waste Management Technical Assistance Directory provides information on both national and regional-specific assistance available to tribes. Activities include: technical assistance, mentoring programs, source reduction trainings, solid waste management trainings, tribal hazardous substances, websites and online resources, conferences and forums, and planning templates

Hazardous Waste Accumulation Requirements
This guide provides a summary of the hazardous waste container accumulation requirements. This document is intended to be used solely as a guide and does not constitute a regulation.

Managing Used Oil: Answers to Frequent Questions for Businesses
A wide variety of businesses such as service stations, fleet maintenance facilities, and "quick lube" shops generate and handle used oil. EPA's used oil management standards--a set of "good housekeeping" requirements for used oil handlers—are detailed in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 279. This Web page highlights essential information that businesses can use to manage their used oil while protecting human health and the environment.

Frequent Questions About Implementing the Regulations for Solvent-Contaminated Wipes
These frequent questions are intended for entities that generate, accumulate, clean, and/or dispose solvent-contaminated wipes in the United States. The frequent questions describe how solvent-contaminated wipes must be managed under the federal RCRA hazardous waste regulations.

E-Manifest Updates and Guidance
This website provides monthly updates to the e-manifest system that will begin nationally on June 30, 2018 to track hazardous waste shipments.

HAZARDOUS WASTE IDENTIFICATION

Hazardous Waste Identification Guide
To help make sense of what is and is not a hazardous waste, this module presents the steps involved in the process of identifying, or "characterizing," a hazardous waste.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) informs workers, employers, and occupational health professionals about workplace chemicals and their hazards. The NPG gives general industrial hygiene information for hundreds of chemicals/classes. The NPG clearly presents key data for chemicals or substance groupings (such as cyanides, fluorides, manganese compounds) that are found in workplaces. The guide offers key facts, but does not give all relevant data. The NPG helps users recognize and control workplace chemical hazards

Emergency Response Guidebook
The 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook provides first responders with a go-to manual to help deal with hazmat transportation accidents during the critical first 30 minutes.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
  • Hazardous Waste Accumulation Requirements Summary (PDF)(1 pg, 54 K)
    This guide provides a summary of the hazardous waste container accumulation requirements. This document is intended to be used solely as a guide and does not constitute a regulation.
  • Inspector Wiki Access Factsheet (PDF)(2 pp, 547 K)
    The Inspector Wiki is your "first-stop" comprehensive resource where EPA, state, local and tribal inspectors can access information about inspections, mandatory inspector training and credential requirements, health and safety policy and requirements, program specific and cross media inspection policy and guidance, inspection equipment and new technologies, and compliance assistance. Additionally, this Wiki will provide a collaborative workspace enabling users to share training resources.
  • EPA Redevelopment Resources (PDF)(6 pp, 224 K)
    This resource guide includes voluntary resources that facilitate community redevelopment and revitalization.
  • Credentialing Guide for RCRA Inspectors (PDF)(3 pp, 112 K)
    This guide details RCRA program training requirements for RCRA inspector credentials.
  • Proper Handling of Hazardous Waste Guide (PDF)(3 pp, 67 K)
    This document is intended to provide a broad overview of what tribal representatives can look for when inspecting facilities that accumulate hazardous waste. It is not a complete list of everything tribes need to know when managing hazardous waste. It is intended as general guidance for generators of hazardous waste and is meant to assist in compliance with the hazardous waste regulations. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.
  • Introduction to Hazardous Waste Identification Guide (PDF)(30 pp, 447 K)
    To help make sense of what is and is not a hazardous waste, this module presents the steps involved in the process of identifying, or "characterizing," a hazardous waste.
  • RCRA LQG Checklist (PDF)(31 pp, 963 K)
    This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilties that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.
  • RCRA SQG Checklist (PDF)(27 pp, 941 K)
    This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilties that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.
  • RCRA VSQG Checklist (PDF)(15 pp, 660 K)
    This document is intended to be used as a guidance document for developing a tribal inspection list to use at facilties that generate hazardous waste. The guidance is not meant to modify or replace the adopted regulations which undergo periodic revisions.