Passage of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1976 signaled the federal government’s entry into the regulation of hazardous waste disposal
RCRA was amended in 1984 for hazardous and solid waste provisions that included an increase in the number of businesses under regulation, schedule to ban land disposal of 400 hazardous chemicals, and a process for classifying and determining hazardous materials
Superfund, CERCLA, and SARA are all federal legislations focusing on regulating hazardous waste disposal
Often works in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments
Duties include initial feasibility studies, testing, lab analysis, designing solutions, actual cleanup, and coordinating public participation.
Some firms take on a company’s entire waste problem while others may be called in to analyze one of several hazardous waste streams In a developing field such as hazardous waste management experience and skills are often obtained on the job and non-technical skills such as project management, communications, and efficiency are valued
States are continuing to do the federal government’s bidding by serving as implementers and enforcers of federal environmental statutes
States often pass additional hazardous waste legislations, Illinois is currently phasing in a ban on land disposal of liquid hazardous wastes
State formulate their own superfund programs to clean up sites not listed on the National Priority List
They take the lead in developing emergency response plans in the event of toxic releases.
Minnesota provides on-site and telephone waste reduction consultation, a waste reductions resource bank, and research grants for waste reduction projects
Hazardous waste remains a local issue because its located in our towns and counties.
Includes programs by local departments and agencies to take inventory of abandoned facilities to discover contaminants, investigation of fly-by-night dumping, and violators acquiring old buildings and stuffing them with hazardous wastes.
Job titles include: environmental control samplers, director of toxic pollution control, and environmental coordinators
County governments such as Washtenaw County in Michigan are establishing emergency response teams, collecting household hazardous waste, and starting groundwater mapping projects.