Frequent Questions

Can leachate from a MSWLF be hazardous if it is not characteristic and there is no possible way it came from a listed waste?

Leachate from a municipal landfill is subject to the hazardous waste regulations if it is found to be hazardous by any of the hazardous waste criteria.  If the leachate is a hazardous waste by any of these definitions, the landfill becomes a hazardous waste generator and the leachate is subject to all the hazardous waste regulations unless the landfill can qualify as a small quantity generator.

Any solid waste generated from the treatment, storage or disposal of a listed hazardous waste, including leachate, is a hazardous waste.  Any solid waste generated from the treatment, storage, or disposal of a characteristic hazardous waste is a hazardous waste only if it exhibits a characteristic of hazardous waste in 40 CFR Part 261 Subpart C.

Management of Hazardous Waste Leachate provides guidance for permit officials and disposal site operators on available management options for controlling, treating and disposing of hazardous waste leachates and discusses the considerations necessary to develop sound management plans for surface impoundment and landfill leachate.

References:  Memo, Skiner to Vasuki, October 21, 1983 (RCRA Online # 12149)
40 CFR Section 261.3
Management of Hazardous Waste Leachate, Revised Edition (NTIS PB91-181 578) 

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