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Hazardous Waste

Key Rulemakings Related to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program

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Timeline of Key Rulemakings

  • In 1990, EPA proposed a regulatory structure for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action program, but that proposed rule never became final in its entirety. Instead it serves as guidance for the Corrective Action program. The proposed structure was designated as Subpart S within title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 264 and titled Corrective Action for Solid Waste Management Units.
  • In 1993, EPA finalized regulations in 40 CFR Subpart S for two units, corrective action management units (CAMUs) and temporary units (TUs), used to facilitate remediation waste management activities during RCRA corrective action.
  • In 1996, EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), which replaced the 1990 proposed rule as the primary guidance for the Corrective Action Program.
  • In 1998, EPA finalized the Hazardous Remediation Waste Management Requirements (HWIR-Media) rule establishing new requirements for RCRA hazardous waste remediation wastes treated, stored or disposed of during cleanup actions including creating a unit called a "staging pile" that allows more flexibility in storing remediation waste during cleanups and a special form of RCRA permit, a remedial action plan or RAP.
  • In 1999, EPA withdrew some provisions of the 1990 proposed rule.

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While the Subpart S rulemaking was never finalized, a number of documents related to the rulemaking actions are considered useful resources including:


ANPR Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) (33 pp, 360 K, About PDF) This notice introduces the EPA’s strategy for development of Corrective Action regulations and guidance, requests comments on a broad range of Corrective Action issues, provides a status report on the Corrective Action Program, and emphasizes areas of flexibility within current Corrective Action implementation.
Use of the Corrective Action Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as Guidance (PDF)(4 pp, 16.5 K, About PDF)

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) has several purposes: it introduces EPA’s strategy for improving the Corrective Action Program (the Subpart S Initiative), requests information to assist in identifying and developing program improvements, provides a status report on the Corrective Action Program and guidance on program implementation, and highlights areas of flexibility within the program and program improvements currently underway. This memorandum emphasizes our expectation that the ANPR will be used as guidance.

Proposed Rule for Subpart S(1 pg, 769 K)

The purpose of Proposed Subpart S is to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for implementing EPA’s Corrective Action Program under RCRA. This proposal serves to promote national consistency in implementing this important component of the RCRA program, and establishes standards to which States seeking authorization for the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA) section 3004(u) Corrective Action must demonstrate equivalence.

Subpart S Withdrawal (PDF) (4 pp, 26 K, About PDF)

As part of the RCRA Cleanup Reforms, EPA announced its intention to withdraw most provisions of the 1990 Subpart S proposal (under 40 CFR Part 264), thereby paving the way for implementation of more flexible Corrective Action approaches.

Fact Sheet: History of Corrective Action

This fact sheet provides an overview of the main events that have shaped the current RCRA Corrective Action program. It also provides a brief history of the statutory authorities, regulations, and policy that form the framework for the program.

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