EPA Announces Vision and Goals for RCRA Cleanups for the Next 10 Years
WASHINGTON (September 1, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Land and Emergency Management Assistant Administrator Peter Wright announced the 2030 Vision and Goals for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action hazardous waste facility cleanup program at the Association of State And Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials 2020 RCRA Corrective Action Virtual Conference. EPA also celebrated the immense progress made toward the program’s 2020 Cleanup Goals for cleaning up contaminated facilities.
“EPA, working with our state partners, has made tremendous progress towards achievement of key milestones set for 2020 in the remediation of historic contamination at hazardous waste sites,” said EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management Assistant Administrator Peter Wright. “I am confident this vision and accompanying goals for the next 10 years of the RCRA Corrective Action Program will provide clear direction and measurable milestones that will energize all stakeholders to achieve these cleanup measures that protect human health and the environment and support healthy communities.”
Signed into law in 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act set standards for responsible solid waste management and established safeguards for hazardous wastes, from generation to transportation, treatment, storage and disposal. Corrective Action under RCRA requires facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous wastes to investigate and clean up any contamination on or from the facility. EPA, states and tribal partners work together to implement the Corrective Action Program, to help ensure that cleanups are protective of human health and the environment at almost 4,000 facilities across the country.
To incorporate partner and stakeholder input into the new 2030 Vision and Goals, EPA hosted nine discussions with groups including federal, state, tribal, and local government officials, environmental justice representatives, and regulated industry representatives.
New Vision: RCRA Corrective Action cleanups support healthy and sustainable communities where people and the environment are protected from hazardous contamination today and into the future. The new vision provides inspiration and overall direction for the program. The new goals provide expectations and objectives for the RCRA Corrective Action Program to strive for and complete over the next ten years. EPA has laid out five goals for the program for this ten-year timeframe, related to:
- Ensuring that RCRA Corrective Action cleanups are initiated and completed expeditiously.
- Eliminating or controlling adverse impacts beyond the facility boundaries.
- Ensuring land within the facility boundaries will be safe for continued use or reasonably foreseeable new uses.
- Identifying and implementing the key elements of effective Long-Term Stewardship for Corrective Action.
- Regularly adjusting the universe of facilities in the cleanup pipeline to reflect current program priorities.
EPA is committed to continuously improving and streamlining the RCRA Corrective Action cleanup process to achieve human health and environmental protection sooner, save money and allow productive use of cleaned up properties. Over the next few months, EPA plans to engage stakeholders and develop an implementation plan around the new 2030 Corrective Action Vision and Goals.
For more information about the RCRA Corrective Action Cleanup Program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/hw/learn-about-corrective-action