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Ppwerpoint on career as Hazardous Waste Specialist

Ppwerpoint on career as Hazardous Waste Specialist

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  • 1. Hazardous Waste Specialist
  • 2. What is hazardous waste?
    • EPA defines a hazardous waste as any substance that is ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic – broad definition covers 354 million tons of material produced annually
    • Chemical industry – 60 percent
    • Electroplating/metal finishing – 20 percent
    • Other sources (military, small business, households) – 10 percent
  • 3. Where does it come from?
    • Air pollution devices such as scrubbers capture large amounts of hazardous waste
    • Wastewater treatment plants produce toxic sludge
    • Ironically, pollution prevention measures create new, more concentrated wastes
  • 4. Federal Response and Legislation
    • 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
  • 5. Job Opportunities
    • EPA’s ten regions have divisions charged with administration and enforcement of Superfund and RCRA
    • Research positions regarding treatment technology, toxicity of waste streams, waste minimization technology
    • Governmentt employers of hazardous waste professions include:
    • OSHA, Dept. of Defense, Energy, and Interior, and Army Corps of Engineers
  • 6. Job Opportunities
    • Often works in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments
    Consulting Firms
    • 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
  • 7. Job Opportunities
    • State Government
    • 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
    • Local Government
    • 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.
  • 8. Job Opportunities (private sector)
    • Overwhelmingly a private sector affair
    • Divided into two categories
    • - Companies that produce their own waste and dispose of it
    • - Companies that transport, treat and dispose of another company’s waste
    • Shift to pollution prevention has leveled off expenditures at $8.6 billion in 1996
  • 9. Job Opportunities (Non-profit)
    • Started with Lois Gibbs, a resident of Loves Canal, New York
    • She went on to form the Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, Inc., with 5 offices nationwide
    • National organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Environmental Action, Inc., and the National Wildlife Federation work extensively on haz. waste issues
    • Increased strengthening of grass roots organizations
  • 10. Education and Skills
    • People with technical backgrounds such as chemistry, engineering, and hydrology are in great demand
    • Minimum B.S. or B.A in environmental science, chemistry, engineering or a specific specialty is needed
    • Graduate and technical degrees focused on hydrology, toxicology, public health, economics, public policy, or statistics are also important
  • 11. Education and Skills
    • Opportunities for field work occur on the job
    • Once an applicant has field work, it is possible to become certified as a hazardous waste manager and rise quickly
  • 12. Salary
    • Starting salaries vary widely: hazardous waste engineers $28,000-35,000; technicians $19,000-25,000; supervisors $32,000-42,000
    • For more experienced technical personnel - $45,000+; senior managers $75,000-100,000+