Frequent Questions

What is RCRA?

RCRA is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1976. RCRA's primary goals are to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste generated, and to ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner. 

RCRA regulates the management of solid waste (e.g., garbage), hazardous waste, and underground storage tanks holding petroleum products or certain chemicals. 

The RCRA hazardous waste program (Subtitle C) regulates commercial businesses as well as federal, State, and local government facilities that generate, transport, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste. Each of these entities is regulated to ensure proper management of hazardous waste from the moment it is generated until its ultimate disposal or destruction. 

The RCRA municipal solid waste program (Subtitle D) regulates owners and operators of municipal solid waste landfills. The regulations stipulate minimum criteria that each landfill must meet in order to continue operating. 

The RCRA underground storage tank program (Subtitle I) requires EPA to establish standards for the design and operation of underground storage tanks (USTs) to prevent leaks into the ground.

RCRA regulations require public participation, such as public meetings, throughout the permitting process for new hazardous and solid waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities. Public participation provides citizens with a forum to express their concerns over the construction of a new facility. 

The public may also discuss environmental problems and concerns over waste management with their local or State government waste management agency. Another resource for solid and hazardous waste issues is your EPA Regional office.

For more information:
RCRA Orientation Manual
Training Module: Introduction to Hazardous Waste Identification (PDF File, 438 KB)
Training Module: RCRA Solid Waste Programs (PDF File, 73 KB)
Training Module: Introduction to Tanks (PDF File, 388 KB)


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