This assignment introduces the student to the different profiles of municipal non-hazardous and hazardous wastes. The technologies and practices that were developed during the 1900s to treat these wastes are a major contributor to the quality of life that U.S. citizens enjoy today. The assignment also introduces students to a keystone regulation that set the stage for the regulatory foundation that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established since its inception in the 1970s.
Part A
Review Table 2.3, p. 37 in the textbook, and describe the differences between waste disposal practices at the turn of the century with current practices.
What technologies and practices were needed to develop these differences in order to be achieved? In your opinion, which of the technologies had the biggest impact? Why?
How different would life be in the United States if the waste practices in place at the turn of the century were still in effect today?
Part B
Go to
, and research the Solid Waste Disposal Act (1965).
Reference: Congressional Research Service. (1980). S. 1156 (96th): Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980: Summary. Retrieved from
Identify the key elements of the act, and describe the specific issues that each regulatory element addresses.
In your opinion, how did the SWDA (1965) help in building the regulatory framework of EPA?
Your essay should be a minimum of two pages not counting your reference page. Ensure you include an introduction. You should include at least two outside sources such as the references listed above for this assignment besides your textbook. Please ensure that all outside sources, including your textbook, are cited and referenced using correct APA-style formatting. You should combine Part A and Part B into one document
S. 1156 (96th): Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
10/1/1980–Conference report filed in House. (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 96-1444) Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980 – Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to redefine the terms “open dump” and “recovered materials.” Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to review regulations applicable to coal mining wastes promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977 and to transmit suggested revisions of such regulations to the Secretary. Transfers to the Secretary exclusive responsibility for carrying out any requirement under the hazardous waste management provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Act with respect to coal mining wastes or overburden for which a surface coal mining and reclamation permit is issued or approved under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations, with the concurrence of the Administrator, for such purpose. Establishes an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Activities to coordinate all activities dealing with conservation and recovery from solid waste carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and all other Federal agencies which conduct such activities. Sets forth the composition of the Committee, including representatives from all affected agencies. Requires the Committee to establish five-year plans to enhance resource conservation and resource recovery. Authorizes the Administrator to delegate to the Secretary of Transportation the performance of any inspection or enforcement function under the Solid Waste Disposal Act relating to the transportation of hazardous waste where such delegation would avoid unnecessary duplication of activity and would carry out the objectives of such Act and of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Adds a specific dollar limitation on the authorized appropriations which may be used for purposes of the Resource Recovery and Conservation Panels. Sets forth a minimum amount of the total amount appropriated under this Act which must be used for support to State, regional, local, and interstate agencies for the development and implementation of Solid Waste Plans. Suspends, for a minimum of 24 months, regulations on disposal of drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil or natural gas or geothermal energy, provided that existing State or Federal programs provide mechanisms for obtaining certain information on disposal sites which are to be closed, and include provisions for identification and chemical and physical analysis. Specifies that such suspension will apply until the Congress acts affirmatively to endorse any proposed EPA regulations which are recommended as necessary in the study of any such wastes required by this Act. Requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a study of the adverse effects of coal ash and other fossil fuel wastes, uranium mining waste overburden, phosphate and other mining wastes, and cement kiln dust wastes on the environment. Authorizes the EPA to enter any establishment to inspect, take samples, and conduct monitoring and testing and to have access to and copy records relating to such wastes. Prescribes criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of any confidential information obtained. Requires the Administrator to report the results of such study to specified congressional committees. Directs the Administrator, six months after such study, to determine whether regulation of such wastes is necessary. Expands the standards applicable to generators of hazardous waste requiring that such generators be responsible for assuring the arrival of wastes at an appropriate facility. Directs the Administrator, where appropriate, to distinguish between new facilities and facilities in existence on the date of promulgation of regulations related to performance standards for hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. Permits hazardous waste facilities in existence on November 19, 1980, to qualify for “interim status” with respect to permit requirements. Provides that regulations and permit requirements promulgated under this Act shall not apply to coal mining wastes and overburden which are covered by a permit and reclamation plan issued by the Office of Surface Mining. Expands the Administrator’s authority to request information or examine the records of a person handling solid waste. Extends EPA’s access, entry, and inspection authority to persons or sites which have handled hazardous waste in the past but are not presently doing so. Authorizes EPA contractors as well as officers and employees to obtain samples, perform inspection, and examine records at hazardous waste facilities. Imposes a fine of up to $5,000 and possible imprisonment on any person who knowingly and willfully discloses any information entitled to confidential treatment under the inspection of records provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Authorizes the Administrator to issue an order suspending or revoking an operating permit in any compliance order issued under such Act. Doubles the maximum criminal penalties for first violations of specified provisions, relating to conduct engaged in without a permit or in violation of a permit. Sets forth criminal penalties for knowingly failing to comply with a material condition of the permit. Specifies that only false “material” statements under such Act are subject to criminal penalty provisions. Provides criminal penalties for knowingly destroying, altering, or concealing specified records required to be maintained in connection with the handling of such wastes. Creates a new criminal offense of “knowing endangerment” related to the activities regulated by the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Sets penalties for such offense, depending on whether the conduct manifests: (1) “extreme indifference” to human life (maximum five years imprisonment and/or $250,000 fine); or (2) “unjustified and inexcusable disregard for human life” (maximum two years imprisonment and/or $250,000 fine). Sets forth definitions and defenses related to such offense. Amends the enforcement provisions of such Act to impose a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day for each violation of the provisions of such Act dealing with hazardous wastes. Permits States or local governments to establish standards more stringent than Federal standards with regard to the selection of sites for the disposal of hazardous waste material. Changes the requirement that specified persons file preliminary notifications upon revision of regulations from an automatic one to one at the discretion of the Administrator. Allows the grant program for State hazardous waste programs to include grants for the development and execution of programs to protect health and the environment from inactive hazardous waste facilities. Directs each State to undertake a continuing program to compile, publish, and submit to the Administrator an inventory of hazardous waste storage and disposal sites, including: (1) their locations; (2) the amount, nature, and toxicity of the hazardous waste at each such site; (3) the name and address, or corporate headquarters of, the owner of each such site; (4) an identification of the types or techniques of waste treatment or disposal which has been used; and (5) information concerning the current status of the sites. Directs the Administrator to conduct an inventory program in any State which fails to provide, or adequately provide, such information. Authorizes the Administrator to make grants to State for the purpose of carrying out inventory programs. Authorizes appropriations for such purposes. Permits the Administrator, upon determining that a hazardous waste facility may present a substantial hazard to human health or the environment, to issue an order requiring the individual who owns or operates the facility to perform monitoring, testing, analysis, and reporting necessary to ascertain the extent of the threat. Provides that, in the case of a facility not in operation at the time of such determination, the most recent previous owner or operator who has actual knowledge of the presence of hazardous wastes shall carry out such testing. Allows the Administrator to carry out or authorize a State or local authority to carry out such testing when the owner or operator is unable to do so or if such action by the owner or operator is unsatisfactory. Sets forth civil penalties for violations of such an order. Requires that State plans provide that no State or local government within the State be prohibited under State or local law from entering into long-term contracts for the supply of solid waste to resource recovery facilities, or for the operation of such facilities, or from securing long-term market for material and energy recovered from such facilities. Prohibits open dumping of solid waste and hazardous waste after promulgation of criteria defining this practice. Revises the requirement that State and local officials identify their respective responsibilities regarding solid waste “functions,” to one regarding solid waste “management activities”. Revises provisions for assistance to “special communities” to direct the Administrator to identify local governments: (1) which own a solid waste disposal facility for which the State has issued an order to cease receiving solid waste and which is subject to a State-approved end-use recreation plan; and (2) which are located over an aquifer which is a drinking water source and which has serious environmental problems resulting from the disposal of such solid waste, including possible methane migration. Authorizes appropriations in specified amounts for fiscal years 1980 through 1982 for grants to be used for the containment and stabilization of solid waste located at such disposal sites. Makes such grants applicable only to sites 65 acres or less in size. Sets two years after September 1, 1979, as the deadline for the Department of Commerce to publish guidelines for the development of specifications for recovered materials and to take actions to identify potential markets and economic obstacles to materials recovery. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to consider whether to establish the same or similar policies or impose the same or similar monitoring or other controls with regard to virgin materials as are established or imposed with regard to recovered materials. Requires each Federal procuring agency, to procure products composed of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable, consistent with maintaining competition, pursuant to guidelines to be promulgated by the Administrator for the use of such agencies. Directs contracting officers to require vendors to certify adherence to contract specifications and requirements with respect to the percentage of recovered materials to be used in performance of the contract and to estimate the percentage of the total material utilized for such performance which is recovered material. Extends from 18 months to five years the deadline for changing procurement specifications to allow use of recovered materials. Requires that such specifications include the use of recovered materials to the maximum extent possible without jeopardizing the intended end use of a procured item. Modifies the components of the procurement guidelines to be issued by the Administrator for the use of procuring agencies in complying with the requirements of such Act. Sets May 1, 1981, as the deadline for the promulgation of guidelines for at least three product categories including paper, and September 30, 1982, for two additional product categories, including construction materials. Authorizes the EPA to seek injunctive relief or to take such other necessary action against any practice presenting a substantial endangerment to health or the environment. Extends the applicability of solid waste disposal guidelines to include the legislative branch of the Federal Government. Directs the Administrator to provide to the Secretary of Labor and the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety information identifying hazardous waste facilities and the hazards to which a person working at such facilities may be exposed, to assist such officials in carrying out their duties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Expands the authority of the Administrator to take emergency action with respect to situations where the handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal of any solid or hazardous waste may present an imminent and substantial threat to public health and the environment. Empowers the Administrator to issue orders as necessary to protect public health and the environment. Imposes fines upon anyone who violates such orders. Requires public notice and hearings before a permit is issued to any person for a hazardous waste facility. Modifies the judicial review provisions of such Act: (1) to permit review of the Administrator’s denial of any petition for the promulgation, amendment, or repeal of any regulation under such Act; and (2) to permit review of the Administrator’s action (A) in issuing, denying, modifying, or revoking any treatment, storage, or disposal permit; and (B) in granting, denying or withdrawing authorization of State hazardous waste programs. Makes it the Administrator’s responsibility to determine whether construction project applications under such Act contain reasonable assurances that specified labor standards will be met. Directs the Administrator to prepare and submit to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and to the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce a study on: (1) the adverse health and environmental effects, if any, of drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with crude oil, natural gas, or geothermal energy exploration, development, or production; and (2) the adequacy of means and measures currently employed by the oil and gas and geothermal drilling and production industry, Government agencies, and others to dispose of and utilize such wastes and to prevent or substantially mitigate such adverse effects. Requires the Administrator to prepare a plan for research, development, and demonstration respecting the findings of such study and to submit appropriate recommendations. Authorizes appropriations for such study, report, and plan. Requires similar studies and reports with respect to: (1) wastes and materials generated primarily from the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels; (2) cement kiln dust wastes; and (3) wastes and materials generated from the extraction, beneficiation, and processing of ores and minerals, including phosphate rock and overburden from uranium mining. Repeals the provisions of the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act of 1976 concerning solid waste cleanup on Federal lands in Alaska. Authorizes appropriations for various provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Act for fiscal years 1980 through 1982. Establishes minimum requirements for approval of State plans for energy and materials conservation and recovery feasibility. Provides financial and technical assistance to States and municipalities for programs to recover and conserve energy and materials from solid wastes. Authorizes appropriations for such assistance for fiscal years 1981 through 1986. Prohibits the use of such funds for land acquisition, final facility design, equipment purchase, construction, startup or operation activities. Directs the Administrator of the EPA to collect, maintain, and disseminate information on energy and materials conservation and recovery from solid waste. Establishes a National Advisory Commission on Resource Conservation and Recovery. Directs the President to appoint the members of such Commission. Directs such Commission to review resource conservation and recovery programs and to submit interim and final reports, with recommendations, to the President and the Congress. Terminates the Commission upon submission of its final report.

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