Mixed waste falls under two federal statutes: the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). RCRA regulates the hazardous waste portion of the waste as any other hazardous waste, while the AEA regulates the RCRA-exempt radioactive portion. If waste is categorized as “mixed waste,” the handlers must comply with both AEA and RCRA statutes and regulations, which are usually compatible. In the cases where AEA and RCRA contradict each other, the provisions in Section 1006(a) of RCRA allow the AEA to take precedence over RCRA.
For more information about how the EPA categorizes hazardous waste and mixed radiological wastes, visit Defining Hazardous Waste.