“Cradle-to-Grave” Legislation Covers Hazardous Wastes (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), providing for the “cradle-to-grave” management of hazardous wastes in the United States.
Summary of Event
In 1976, the 94th Congress enacted the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which proved to be the benchmark piece of legislation for the management of hazardous wastes. In June of that year, the Senate enacted its version, after which the House held hearings on the legislation. The House version eventually integrated the Senate’s version, and the bill passed by a vote of 367 to 8 and was signed by President Gerald R. Ford. The bill had a relatively short legislative history, and because of the limited time for debate and conference, the legislation was ambiguously formulated in many aspects. As a result, the bill would continue to be interpreted years after its passage.
The first amendments to the RCRA"the Quiet Communities Act of 1978 and the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1980"did little to interpret the myriad aspects of the complex legislation. The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 added many provisions that directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop new rules. The EPA was directed to develop regulations for waste generators and transporters and for facilities for treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) that managed less than 1,000 kilograms (kg) of hazardous waste per...
(The entire section is 1427 words.)
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