A Complete Introduction to Hazardous Waste- Free

A Complete Introduction to Hazardous Waste

A Free Tutorial to RCRA Hazardous Waste

  • Management of Hazardous Wastes
  • Human Health Risk Assessment and Environmental Effects
  • Sampling and Analysis
  • Risk Management: Options for Control
  • Proper Storage bulletUnderground Storage Tanks bulletOther Hazardous Waste Storage Issues
  • Minimizing Waste
  • Treatment and Site Characterization Technologies bulletOn-line Information bulletPublications on Site Characterization and Treatment
  • General Information Resources
  • Additional Reference Documents
  • Requesting Additional Information from EPA
  • US EPA Environmental regulations

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    The issue of environmental contamination by hazardous wastes has several dimensions. One of the most crucial aspects is the discovery and clean-up of abandoned hazardous waste dumps, many dating back decades. Another is the changing nature of the contaminants; with the development of new chemical products, new sources of waste continue to be created. Every year 700 to 1,000 new chemical compounds join the 90,000 already in commercial use, of which some 4,000 account for 99.9% of the total production volume. Industrial processes (for example, steel manufacturing, metal plating and finishing, Natural resources such as surface water, soil, ground water, and air have become contaminated with these oftentimes hazardous chemicals and their associated products. Staying abreast of the potential health and ecological effects of these chemicals and their production wastes is a difficult task.

    "Hazardous waste" refers to chemical, petrochemical and other industrial wastes which, because of their characteristics, can cause significant hazards to human health or the environment when treatment and disposal methods are inadequate. The major characteristics of hazardous wastes include: acute or chronic toxicity to humans; ignitability (low flash point); corrosivity (pH < 2.0 or pH > 12.5); reactivity (instability), infectiousness, potential for ecological damage, and leaching potential. Heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and dioxins are examples of hazardous waste.

    An estimated 300 and 400 million tons of hazardous waste are produced globally each year. If not properly managed, these wastes eventually find their way into the environment. Methods of disposal have often been inappropriate. Waste liquids have been pumped into unlined pits on factory sites, allowing percolation into the soil and the fouling of groundwater aquifers. Both solid and liquid wastes have been dumped in the countryside, on public grounds, in vacant city lots and buildings, and along roadsides. Companies specially hired to dispose of hazardous wastes have, at times, opted for the "cheapest solution," pouring the wastes into sewers and streams or incinerating them without proper safety filters. Because of such disposal methods, many harmful substances have entered the environment, endangering human health and threatening ecosystems.

    In the United States, there are two main Federal laws which regulate hazardous wastes. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) defines hazardous waste and sets forth standards for its proper management and disposal. RCRA also establishes a system for managing solid (primarily non-hazardous) waste. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (referred to as CERCLA or Superfund) is a related statute which governs the remediation of inactive and abandoned hazardous waste sites. To read more about these laws, refer to the following EPA web site (note that though the site primarily addresses Superfund issues, it also provides access to RCRA hazardous waste regulations):


    Additional information on RCRA can also be found in the following publication:

    Understanding the types and quantities of hazardous waste produced by various industries is integral to proper disposal strategies. Knowing the potential human health and environmental effects of these wastes is also important. To aid in characterization and disposal of hazardous wastes, EPA cooperated with several United Nations organizations to produce the following document:

    World Bank Technical Paper Number 93, April 1989 (Vol. I, II, III), "The Safe Disposal of Hazardous Wastes: The Special Needs and Problems of Developing Countries" - Information presented includes the classification of hazardous waste, its potential effects on health and the environment, the planning and implementation of programs in hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment and disposal technologies, including economic and institutional considerations, and case studies. Waste streams are identified for the different industries; their toxic, flammable, corrosive, and odorous characteristics are noted. In addition, recommendations are given for treating and disposing of the different waste streams.

    The document may be obtained from any international or country office of the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Information on World Bank publications is also available on the Internet at the following address:


    For additional general information on hazardous waste assessment principles, refer to:

    WHO Offset Publication No. 62, "Rapid Assessment of Sources of Air, Water, and Land Pollution," Geneva, 1982 - This publication presents a procedure for making rapid assessments of the amount of air, water and land pollution in a given region or country based upon industrial output figures. It may be obtained from any office of the World Health Organization. WHO documents may also be ordered through the Internet at:


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    Almost every country has operating or abandoned waste sites. Since such sites have traditionally been located in industrial areas near major centers of population, the potential for harm to human health can be significant if the site is not properly managed. A mismanaged site can contaminate surface and ground water, emit irritating and noxious gases, discolor vegetation and increase the risk of fire or explosion.

    Though a number of health studies have estimated the results of chronic exposure to hazardous wastes, direct cause-and-effect relationships are difficult to establish. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the statistically significant effects on the health of humans or laboratory animals associated with hazardous wastes.

    TABLE 1. Acute Effects of Certain Hazardous Wastes
    Type of WasteNervous System
    System Damage
    System Damage
    System Damage
    Pesticide Wastes
    Halogenated organic pesticidesX XX
    Methyl bromide X
    Halogenated organic phenoxy herbicides X
    2, 4-DX
    Organophosphorous pesticidesX XX X
    Organonitrogen herbicides (Paraquat and Diquat) X X
    Carbamate insecticidesX XX X
    Dimethyldithiocarbanate fungicide compounds X
    Aluminum phosphide X
    Rotenone X X
    Polychlorinated biphenyls X
    Cyanide wastesX XX X
    Toxic metals
    Zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, nickel X XX
    Arsenic X XX
    Organic lead compoundsXXX X
    MercuryXXX X
    Cadmium X X X
    Halogenated organicsX X X
    Nonhalogenated volatile organics XX
    DERIVED FROM: Hazardous Waste Management, Reducing the Risk, Island Press (1986), by B.A. Goldman et al.

    X=Statistically verifiable effects on human beings

    TABLE 2. Chronic Effects of Certain Hazardous Wastes
    Type of WasteCarcinogenic EffectsMutagenic EffectsTeratogenic EffectsReproductive System Damage
    Pesticide wastes
    Halogenated organic pesticidesOOOX
    Methyl bromide
    Halogenated organic phenoxy herbicidesOOOO
    2, 4-D
    Organophosphorous pesticidesOOO
    Organonitrogen herbicides (Paraquat and Diquat)OOO
    Carbamate insecticides
    Dimethyldithiocarbanate fungicide compounds
    Aluminum phosphide
    Polychlorinated biphenylsO O
    Cyanide wastes
    Toxic metals
    Zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, nickelX
    Organic lead compounds
    Mercury X
    Halogenated organicsXX
    Nonhalogenated volatile organicsOO
    DERIVED FROM: Hazardous Waste Management, Reducing the Risk, Island Press(1986), by B.A. Goldman et al

    X=Statistically verifiable effects on human beings
    O=Statistically verifiable effects on laboratory animals

    Long-term exposure to hazardous substances --- especially in sensitive populations such as infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, the malnourished, or people with serious illnesses -- may result in the development of chronic, sometimes irreversible health problems or in the exacerbation of existing diseases. In recent years there has been increasing concern about the possible toxicologic, carcinogenic, reproductive, teratogenic, and/or mutagenic effects of long-term exposure to hazardous wastes (e.g., chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans). Some of these compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are known to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, and exposure to them may increase susceptibility to infectious diseases or cause allergic reactions. Similarly, long-term exposure to organochlorine pesticides might cause neurological disorders, while the presence of heavy metals in drinking water might have nephrotic effects or impair normal development of the embryo and fetus in pregnant women.

    U.S. EPA develops methods for health and ecological risk assessment, for performing key risk assessments, and for providing consultation and guidance to those needing risk assessment expertise. EPA produces methods documents and risk assessment guidelines for both cancer and non-cancer assessment methods. Support documentation and software for acute and chronic non-cancer dose-response assessment and cancer dose-response assessment is produced along with exposure assessment support documentation and risk assessment software. Cancer and non-cancer dose-response assessments can be found in EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Key assessments are developed in the form of criteria documents, chemical based assessments, and site-based assessments. Research to reduce uncertainty in risk assessment is conducted and applied to the assessment methods and guidelines.

    The following EPA publications provide information on the health effects of exposure to hazardous substances:

    EPA/530/K-97/004 RCRA: Reducing Risk From Waste (September, 1997) -- This document provides an overview of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) solid and hazardous waste regulations. It describes the history of RCRA, the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the states, the hazardous waste definitions and management requirements, including the roles of generators, transporters, and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. In addition, it presents information on hazardous waste minimization. It covers municipal and industrial solid waste as well, providing information on reducing, reusing and recycling; it also addresses household hazardous waste.

    EPA/540-R-93-081 Guidance Manual for the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model for Lead in Children (February, 1994) -- This manual has been developed to assist the user in appropriate input to the integrated uptake biokinetic (IEUBK) for lead. The IEUBK is designed to model exposure from lead in air, water, soil, dust, diet and paint and other sources with phamacokinetic modeling to predict blood lead levels in children from six months to seven years old. This publication is also available from the National Technical Information Service at (703)487-4650 [publication number: PB93 963510].

    EPA/600/FR-91/001 Guidelines for Developmental Toxicity Risk Assessment; Notice, Federal Register, Thursday, December 5, 1991 -- These Guidelines outline principles and methods for evaluating data from animal and human studies, exposure data, and other information to characterize risk to human development, growth, survival, and function because of exposure prior to conception, prenatally, or to infants and children. These Guidelines amend and replace EPA's 1986 Guidelines for the Health Assessment of Suspect Developmental Toxicants by adding new guidance on the relationship between maternal and developmental toxicity, characterization of the health-related data base for developmental toxicity risk assessment, use of the reference dose or reference concentration for developmental toxicity and use of the benchmark dose approach.

    EPA/600/P-92/003Ca Proposed Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment; Notice, Federal Register, Tuesday, April 23, 1996 -- The proposed Guidelines are a revision of EPA's 1986 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment (51 FR 33992-34003). The Agency's experience with the 1986 Guidelines has revealed several limitations in their approach to cancer risk assessment. The 1996 proposed Guidelines emphasize a more complete discussion of the issues and an evaluation of all relevant information and provide more guidance on the use of information on the way an agent produces cancer (mode of action). The emphasis on mode action is to help reduce the uncertainties associated with assessing and characterizing human cancer risk. Further, the proposed Guidelines are structured on an analytical framework that recognizes a variety of conditions under which the cancer hazard may be expressed (e.g., route or magnitude of exposure to the agent). They provide several alternative methods for quantifying risk, and are flexible to consider scientific advances we cannot yet describe. The scientific basis of these proposed Guidelines is in keeping with the significant gains that have been made in understanding of the carcinogenic process.

    EPA/630/R-96/009 Guidelines for Reproductive Toxicity Risk Assessment, 1996-- The procedures outlined in the Guidelines for Reproductive Toxicity Risk Assessment provide guidance for interpreting, analyzing, and using the data from studies that follow Agency and OECD testing guidelines. In addition, the Guidelines provide information for interpretation of other studies and endpoints (e.g., evaluations of epidemiologic data, measures of sperm production, reproductive endocrine system function, sexual behavior, female reproductive cycle) that have not been required routinely, but may be required in the future or may be encountered in reviews of data on particular agents. The Guidelines will promote consistency in the Agency's assessment of toxic effects on the male and female (nonpregnant and pregnant) reproductive systems, including outcomes of pregnancy and lactation, and inform others of approaches that the Agency will use in assessing those risks.

    EPA Proposed Guidelines for Neurotoxicity Assessment. Washington, D.C. October 4, 1995. Federal Register (52032-52056) -- These proposed Guidelines provide Agency scientists and the public with a foundation for developing scientific principles, concepts, and methods to evaluate environmental contaminants that pose neurotoxic risks. The Guidelines describe the scientific basis for evaluating neurotoxic effects due to exposure to chemical agents, provide principles and methods for evaluating data from human and animal studies including adverse effects to neurological development and function in infants and children, provide guidance on characterizing the health-related data base for neurotoxicity risk assessment, and describe methods for calculating reference doses (RfDs) or reference concentrations (RfCs) when neurotoxicity is the critical effect.

    EPA/630/R-94/007 The Use of the Benchmark Dose Approach in Health Risk Assessment (1994) -- Presents a basic overview of the benchmark method and describes one step in developing the basis for an EPA consensus on the role of benchmark methods in the quantitative assessment of noncancer health risk.

    EPA/600/z-92/001 Guidelines for Exposure Assessment; Notice, Federal Register, Friday, May 29, 1992 -- These Guidelines establish a broad framework for Agency exposure assessments by describing the general concepts of exposure assessment including definitions and associated units, and by providing guidance on the planning and conducting of an exposure assessment.

    EPA/600/P-95/002A Exposure Factors Handbook(1995) -- This handbook addresses factors commonly used in exposure assessments and is intended to serve as a support document to EPA's Guidelines for Exposure Assessment by providing data on standard factors that may be needed to calculate human exposure to toxic chemicals, including drinking water intake, soil ingestion and pica, inhalation rates, factors related to dermal exposure, body weights and surface areas, intakes of various food types, activity patterns, occupational and population mobility, information on consumer products, and on residence and building characteristics.

    National Research Council. Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment-- A review of EPA's risk assessment and risk management practices and recommendations for improvements. To order a copy of this document, contact the National Academy Press at 1-800-624-6242. You may also order this document or view an electronic copy through the National Academy Press website at http://www.nap.edu

    EPA/540/1-89/002 Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume 1: Human Health Evaluation Manual(1989) -- This manual, developed for use at hazardous waste sites, presents a process of gathering and assessing human health risk information. Guidance is given on appropriate methods and data.

    EPA/630/R-92/001 Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment(1992) -- This report is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA. Although the Framework Report will serve as a foundation for development of future subject-specific guidelines, it is neither a procedural guide nor a regulatory requirement within EPA and is expected to evolve with experience. The Framework Report is intended to foster consistent approaches to ecological risk assessment within EPA, identify key issues, and define terms used in these assessments.

    EPA/630/R-95/002B Proposed Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment. Washington, D.C. September 9, 1996. Federal Register 61(175): 47552-4763, 1996--- The Proposed Guidelines are being developed to improve the quality of and consistency among EPA's ecological risk assessments. As a next step in a continuing process of ecological risk guidance development, the Proposed Guidelines expand upon the widely-used EPA report Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment.

    Ecological risk assessment is a process for organizing and analyzing data, information, assumptions, and uncertainties to evaluate the likelihood that one or more stressors are causing or will cause adverse ecological effects. Ecological risk assessment provides risk managers with a tool for considering available scientific information when selecting a course of action, in addition to other factors (e.g., social, legal, political, or economic) which might affect a final decision. A major theme of the Proposed Guidelines is the interaction between risk assessors and risk managers at the beginning and end of the risk assessment process. In problem formulation, the Proposed Guidelines emphasize the complementary roles of assessors and managers in determining the scope and boundaries of the assessment and selecting endpoints that will be the focus of the assessment. The risk characterization section discusses estimating, interpreting, and reporting risks and applies an ecological perspective to recent Agency policy encouraging clear, transparent, reasonable, and consistent risk characterizations. The interface between risk assessors and risk managers is critical for ensuring that the results of the assessment can be used to support a management decision.

    The proposed guidelines may be accessed through the Internet at:


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    With identification of potentially hazardous waste streams and possible resulting contamination, sampling is required to determine the extent of contamination. The following EPA documents provide hazardous waste sampling information:

    EPA/625/6-79/005 Technology Transfer Handbook: Continuous Air Pollution Source Monitoring Systems (1979) -- Detailed information is presented to develop a continuous emissions monitoring program at a stationary source facility and meet U.S. requirements, including design and performance specifications and monitoring and data reporting. Discussions of extractive sampling techniques and in situ methods are presented, along with explanations of the analytical techniques used in currently marketed instrumentation. Methods for monitoring opacity, pollutant gases, and combustion gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide are described. This document is not available online, but may be ordered from EPA's National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (NCEPI) .

    EPA-600/2-80/018 Samplers and Sampling Procedures for Hazardous Waste Streams (1980) -- This manual describes effective, safe, and simple sampling equipment and procedures for collecting, handling, storing and recording of hazardous wastes.

    EPA-600/2-85/104 Practical Guide for Ground Water Sampling (1985) -- This guide provides the essential elements of effective groundwater sampling. Well development, hydraulic performance and purging strategy are discussed along with quality assurance. The Guide also recommends sampling protocols.


    After collection of representative waste or receiving stream samples comes the need for proper analysis. The following EPA documents provide hazardous waste analysis information:

  • EPA/540-R-95-128 Soil Screening Guidance: Technical Background Document (May, 1996) -- This guidance document sets forth recommended approaches to soil screening based on EPA's best thinking to date. Alternative approaches for screening may be found to be more appropriate at specific sites (e.g., where site circumstances do not match underlying assumptions, conditions, and models of the guidance). This publication is also available from the National Technical Information Service at (703)487-4650 [publication number: PB96 963502].

    SW-846, 3rd edition, Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods - The manual provides methods for collecting representative samples of solid and/or hazardous wastes, and for determining the reactivity, corrosivity, ignitability, and composition of the waste and the mobility of toxic constituents present in the waste. Laboratory and field methods are given. This document is available on CD-ROM through the National Technical Information Service. For information on ordering the CD-ROM version, call 703-487-4140 and enter publication number 8698. Ordering information is also available on EPA's web site at:


    EPA 600/4-79/020 Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes (1979) - The manual contains the chemical analytical procedures used in USEPA laboratories for the examination of ground and surface waters, domestic and industrial waste effluents, and treatment process samples. It provides test procedures for the measurement of physical, inorganic, and selected organic constituents and parameters.

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    Proper management is needed to minimize the risks posed by hazardous wastes. Among the options for reducing the risk level are:

    (1) avoidance or minimization of hazards in production or processing by reducing waste generated;

    (2) reuse and recycling -- the use of waste products as raw material in production processes;

    (3) treatment prior to disposal -- pre-disposal treatment often involves creating categories for harmful and less harmful wastes and then detoxifying the most noxious substances before final disposal;

    (4) safe disposal, usually at a monitored and supervised landfill, or through incineration of the final waste product, or through some other form of controlled disposal.

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    Underground Storage Tanks

    Underground storage tanks (USTs) are tanks that are located at least partially underground and designed to hold gasoline or other petroleum products or hazardous substances. The most common causes of petroleum or hazardous substance releases from USTs are tank corrosion, corroded or failed piping, spills, and overfills. Releases can lead to fires, explosion, seepage of toxic fumes into homes and businesses, and contamination of groundwater--an important source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. These releases may contain substances that threaten human health and the environment, such as benzene, a known carcinogen.

    EPA regulations cover approximately 1.1 million underground storage tanks in use at over 400,000 facilities nationwide. Most of these storage tanks contain petroleum, and approximately 30,000 hold hazardous substances subject to EPA regulations.

    The following EPA publications discuss underground storage tanks:

  • EPA 510-R-96-001 How To Effectively Recover Free Product At Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites: A Guide For State Regulators (1996) -- Report designed to help state regulators review those parts of a petroleum underground storage tank corrective action plan that propose free-product recovery technologies. Focuses on site-specific considerations. Includes sections on the corrective action process, subsurface behavior of hydrocarbons, methods for evaluating the recoverability of free product, and hydrocarbon recovery systems and equipment. This document may be ordered from the Government Printing Office [Publication No.055-000-00553-2]. The text is also available on the publications section of the EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks website:


  • EPA 510-B-95-007 How To Evaluate Alternative Cleanup Technologies For Underground Storage Tank Sites: A Guide For Corrective Action Plan Reviewers (1997) -- Manual evaluates 10 alternative cleanup technologies that can be used as part of a corrective action plan (CAP) to address releases from underground storage tanks containing petroleum. Intended to provide technical guidance to state regulators who oversee cleanups and evaluate CAPs. Covers soil vapor extraction, bioventing, biopiles, landfarming, low-temperature thermal resorption, air sparging, biosparging, natural attenuation, in-situ bioremediation, and dual-phase extraction.
  • EPA 510-B-97-001 Expedited Site Assessment Methods For Underground Storage Tank Sites: A Guide For Regulators (1997) --Provides information on the use of expedited site assessment methods and tools at leaking underground storage tank sites. Includes information on the expedited site assessment process, geophysical methods for UST investigations; soil gas surveys, direct push technologies, and field analysis of petroleum hydrocarbons. This document may be ordered from the Government Printing Office [Publication No.055-000-00564-8]. The text is also available on the publications section of the EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks website:


  • Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Directive 9610.17 Use Of Risk-Based Decision-Making In UST Corrective Action Programs -- Provides guidelines to help agencies that implement UST cleanup programs develop and use risk-based decision-making consistent with Federal laws and regulations. Defines risk-based decision-making as it applies to UST corrective action measures; explains when and how a risk-based approach can be used; and summarizes how to prepare for implementing risk-based corrective action. Includes six state case studies.

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    Other Hazardous Waste Storage Issues

    The following technical report provides information on hazardous waste storage issues aside from underground storage tanks:

    United Nations Environment Programme, Industry and Environment Office, Technical Report Series No. 3, "Storage of Hazardous Materials: A Technical Guide for Safe Warehousing of Hazardous Materials" - Designed to protect human health and the environment, the report, prepared in conjunction with USEPA, describes key personnel responsibilities, provides examples of legal frameworks for regulations, discusses the hazards associated with wastes, siting of the storage and buildings, warehouse management and fire and environmental protection. Check lists are included. Refer to the UNEP World Wide Web site:


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    Every effort should be made to apply good housekeeping to an industrial process and minimize the need for resources, be they electricity or other fuel and water, land and air. Where possible, wastes should be reused as a resource in the parent process, a companion one, or in another industrial process. The following EPA publications provide basic information on pollution prevention programs for industry:

  • EPA/600/R-92/008 Facility Pollution Prevention Guide (1992) - The Guide summarizes the benefits of a company-wide pollution prevention program and suggests ways to incorporate pollution prevention into company policies and practices. The Guide describes how to establish a company-wide pollution prevention program. It outlines procedures for conducting a preliminary assessment to identify opportunities for waste reduction or elimination. Then, it describes how to use the results of the pre-assessment to prioritize different areas for detailed assessment, how to use the detailed assessment to develop pollution prevention options, and how to implement those options that withstand feasibility analysis. The Guide describes methods of evaluating, adjusting, and maintaining a pollution prevention program. Later chapters deal with cost analysis for pollution prevention projects and with the roles of product design and energy conservation in pollution prevention. Appendices consist of materials that will support the pollution prevention effort: assessment worksheets, sources of additional information, examples of evaluative methods, and a glossary.

    EPA/625/7-88/003 Waste Minimization Opportunity Assessment Manual (1988) - The manual concentrates on procedures that motivate people to search, screen, and put into practice measures involving administrative, material, or technology changes that result in decreased waste generation. Sections included are: planning and organization, assessment phase, methods for evaluating options and implementation. A sample assessment is presented, and worksheets are included for carrying out an assessment.

    EPA's Green Chemistry Program can also serve as a valuable guide for the minimization of hazardous wastes. Green Chemistry is the design, manufacture, and use of environmentally benign chemical products and processes that prevent pollution and reduce environmental and human health risks. The Green Chemistry Program recognizes and supports fundamental and innovative chemical technologies that are cost-effective, useful to industry, and prevent pollution. Information on the Program is available on EPA's web site at:

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    On-line Information

  • CLU-IN: The U.S. produces some of the world's most advanced technology for the characterization and treatment of hazardous waste sites. The EPA houses an extensive collection of information on site characterization and treatment and on related technologies. Much of this information is now available on the Internet through EPA's site on the World Wide Web.

    EPA's Technology Innovation Office maintains a web site known as CLU-IN. CLU-In allows hazardous waste cleanup professionals to communicate and exchange information. It also contains a variety of information about site remediation that is accessible in computer files or databases.

    To access CLU-IN by modem, call (301) 589-8366 (8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, vt-100 or ansi). The telnet address is clu-in.epa.gov. Voice help is available by calling (301) 589-8368.

    The CLU-IN Internet address is: http://clu-in.com .

  • SITE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program was established by EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and the Office of Research and Development (ORD) in response to the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, which recognized a need for an "Alternative or Innovative Treatment Technology Research and Demonstration Program."

    The SITE Demonstration Program encourages the development and implementation of (1) innovative treatment technologies for hazardous waste site remediation and (2) monitoring and measurement. In the SITE Demonstration Program, the technology is field-tested on hazardous waste materials. Engineering and cost data are gathered on the innovative technology so that potential users can assess the technology's applicability to a particular site. Data collected during the field demonstration are used to assess the performance of the technology, the potential need for pre- and post-processing of the waste, applicable types of wastes and waste matrices, potential operating problems, and approximate capital and operating costs.

    At the conclusion of a SITE demonstration, EPA prepares an Innovative Technology Evaluation Report, Technology Capsule, and Demonstration Bulletin. These reports evaluate all available information on the technology and analyze its overall applicability to other site characteristics, waste types, and waste matrices. Testing procedures, performance and cost data, and quality assurance and quality standards are also presented.

    Additional information on SITE can be found at the following address:


  • TechDirect - TechDirect is a monthly e-mail service to keep subscribers abreast of new EPA publications and events of interest to site remediation and site characterization professionals. To subscribe:

    * Send an e-mail message to "[email protected]"

    * Do not include a subject line in your message; you may add a period"." if your mailserver requires an entry.

    * The body of your message should say: subscribe techdirect firstname lastname

    * Exclude "[email protected]" from your AutoResponder if you are using one.

  • Vendor Field Analytical and Characterization Technologies System (Vendor FACTS) -- a PC-based system containing information provided by U.S. companies who offer innovative technologies that measure or monitor hazardous contaminants at contaminated sites. Technologies addresses air, water, and soil sampling and analysis. Technologies listed in Version 3.0 are grouped in four technology categories: analytical, geophysical, sampling and extraction. This version has 116 vendors and 154 technologies. The database is available free from USEPA/NCEPI at (800) 490-9198 or (513) 489-8190. It may also be downloaded from the CLU-IN homepage at:


  • Vendor Information System for Innovative Treatment Technologies (VISITT) -- a PC-based system that contains information provided by companies that offer innovative technologies for cleanup of soil and ground water contaminated by hazardous and petroleum waste. Technologies include soil vapor extraction, thermal desorption, and bioremediation. Version 6.0 lists 214 vendors (most based in the U.S.) covering 371 technologies that are grouped in 16 technology types (e.g., bioremediation, thermal desorption, soil washing, etc.). The VISITT software and user manual are also available free from USEPA/NCEPI at (800) 490-9198 or (513) 489-8190. The VISITT software may be downloaded from the CLU-IN homepage at:

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    In addition to EPA's web site, refer to the following documents for information on remedy selection at hazardous waste sites and on hazardous waste treatment and site characterization technologies:

  • EPA-540-R-97-013 Rules of Thumb for Superfund Remedy Selection (August, 1997) -- This guidance document describes the key principles and expectations with "best practices" based on program experience, that should be consulted during the Superfund remedy selection process. This publication is also available from the National Technical Information Service at (703)487-4650 [publication number: PB97 963301]
  • PB98-108590, Remediation Technologies Screening Matrix and Reference Guide, Third Edition, 1997 - The Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, in a cooperative effort lead by the U.S.Army Environmental Center, has updated this comprehensive guide to cleanup technologies. Its reference list of technology information sources includes more than 1200 reports- many with links to electronic copies. It is intended to be used by site managers to screen and evaluate candidate cleanup technologies, both containment and treatment, for contaminated waste sites. The document describes the most feasible remedies for eight types of contamination (e.g., inorganics, halogenated volatile organic compounds), and contains two-page descriptions of 32 soil, sediment and sludge technologies; 26 groundwater, surface water, and leachate technologies; and five air emission and off-gas technologies. The guide is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at (703) 487-4650. This guide is also available on-line at:


  • [publication number not yet available] Field Sampling and Analysis Technologies Matrix and Reference, 1998 Guide -- The Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable has published this guide to innovative site characterization technologies. The Matrix and Guide are intended as an initial screening tool to provide users with an introduction to innovative site characterization technologies and to promote the use of potentially cost-effective methods for on-site monitoring and measurement. To be listed on the Matrix, techniques and instruments must be: (1) fieldable, and (2) commercially available. The Reference Guide provides a description and additional background information on each technology. The use of this tool should help identify methods which emphasize the use of non-intrusive or minimally intrusive technologies in order to optimize sampling locations and to minimize well installation. When combined with the analytical field instruments listed, the user should be provided with timely and reliable data to guide sampling investigations and minimize costs. This guide is available on-line at:


  • EPA-542-B-98-001 Bibliography for Innovative Site Clean-Up Technologies (1998) -- This pamphlet provides a list of key references produced by EPA and other federal agencies on innovative site characterization and treatment technologies to remediate hazardous waste and petroleum-contaminated sites. Technologies covered include soil treatment technologies such as soil vapor extraction and enhancements, bioremediation, and thermal desorption; groundwater technologies including bioremediation; and site characterization techniques such as cone penetrometer/laser induced fluorescence, x-ray fluorescence, and immunoessays.
  • EPA-540-R-96-023 Presumptive Response Strategy and Ex-Situ Treatment Technologies for Contaminated Ground Water at CERCLA Sites(October, 1996) -- This guidance describes a presumptive response strategy for Superfund and other sites with contaminated ground water. The strategy integrates site response activities, facilitates selection of both short and long-term remediation objectives during remedy selection and allows the effectiveness of the remedy to be improved during implementation. The guidance also identifies presumptive technologies for treatment of extracted ground water, which will simplify and streamline the selection of this remedy component and shift the focus of the remedy selection process to other, more fundamental aspects of the ground water remedy. This publication is also available from the National Technical Information Service at (703)487-4650 [publication number: PB96 963508].

    - EPA/625/R-95/005 Pump-and-Treat Ground-Water Remediation: A Guide for Decision Makers and Practitioners (1995) -- This guide presents decision makers with a foundation for evaluating the appropriateness of conventional or innovative approaches. An introduction to pump-and-treat ground-water remediation, the guide addresses the following questions: When is pump-and-treat an appropriate remediation approach? What is involved in "smart" application of the pump-and-treat approach? What are tailing and rebound, and how can they be anticipated? What are the recommended methods for meeting the challenges of effective hydraulic containment? How can the design and operation of a pump-and-treat system be optimized and its performance measured? When should variations and alternatives to conventional pump-and-treat methods be used?

    EPA/625/6-89/022 Stabilization/Solidification of CERCLA and RCRA Wastes: Physical Tests, Chemical Testing Procedures Technology Screening and Field Activities (1989) -- This document discusses stabilization/solidification, state-of-the-art processes and their effectiveness for inorganic and organic contaminant streams, physical tests to characterize wastes before and after stabilization/solidification such as moisture content, density testing, strength testing and durability testing; chemical testing procedures, technology screening procedures and field activities.

    Land Treatment

    EPA-530-SW-874 Hazardous Waste Land Treatment, Revised Edition -- This document is a practical reference for people involved in design and design review, beginning with site selection and waste characterization and progressing through facility design, operation, and closure. Information on the fate of both inorganic and organic compounds in the soil environment is included and provides a basis for developing treatment demonstrations. Non-hazardous waste constituents are also discussed because they are likely to be important to the overall design and management of facilities. Waste site interactions that affect treatment processes are discussed as well as laboratory, greenhouse, and field testing protocols for assessing land treatment performance. Methods for calculating loading rates and determining limiting constituents are presented. Plot layout, water control, erosion control, management of soil pH and fertility, vegetation establishment, waste storage facilities, waste application methods and equipment, site inspection, and record-keeping requirements are discussed. Monitoring procedures for waste, soil cores, soil-pore liquids, runoff water, ground water, and vegetation are also presented.

    EPA/600/6-88/001 Treatment Potential for 56 EPA Listed Hazardous Chemicals in Soils (1989) -- The 56 chemicals studied were organized into four categories of substances: 1) polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), 2) pesticides, 3) chlorinated hydrocarbons, and 4) miscellaneous chemicals. Treatability screening studies were conducted to determine degradation rates, partition coefficients among air, water, soil and oil phases, and transformation characteristics. The quantitative information developed for a subset of the tested chemicals was input into two mathematical models specifically designed to describe the soil treatment process. This document is not available online, but may be ordered from EPA's National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (NCEPI).

    Land Disposal

    EPA/625/4-89/022 Technology Transfer Seminar Publication: Requirements for Hazardous Waste Landfill Design, Construction, and Closure" -- The publication presents current guidelines for construction of hazardous waste landfills, and offers practical and detailed information on the construction of hazardous waste facilities that comply with these requirements. Included are the use of clay liners, material and design considerations for flexible membrane liners, liquid management including leachate collection and removal, leak detection, collection and removal, and the surface water collection system; and the elements of a closure system for a completed landfill including flexible membrane caps, surface water collection and removal, gas control, and others.

    EPA/625/4-91/025 Technology Transfer Seminar Publication: Design and Construction of RCRA/CERCLA Final Covers (1991) -- Covers are an essential part of all land disposal facilities and control moisture infiltration from the surface into closed facilities and limit the formation and migration of leachate. This document provides guidance in design, construction, and evaluation requirements for proper selection of cover systems for both hazardous and nonhazardous waste landfills. Chapters are included on soils used in cover systems, geosynthetic design for landfill covers, alternative cover designs, construction quality assurance for soils and geomembranes, evaluation of different liquid management systems, gas management systems, postclosure monitoring and case studies.


    EPA/625/4-87/017 "Technology Transfer Seminar Publication: Permitting Hazardous Waste Incinerators - Seminars for Hazardous Waste Incinerator Permit Writers, Inspectors, and Operators" - This product provides guidance on incineration technology; developing a trial burn plan, conducting the trial burn and evaluating the results; indicators of incinerator performance; monitoring equipment and instrumentation; construction and retrofit guidelines for existing incinerators; and case studies for trial burns.

    EPA/625/6-89/023 Technology Transfer Handbook: Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Procedures for Hazardous Waste Incineration (1989) -- Trial burns and the incineration of hazardous wastes require a Quality Assurance Project Plan with QA/QC procedures to control and evaluate data quality. Guidance on the preparation of quality assurance objectives, design of QA/QC procedures, and assessment of trial burn results are presented in this handbook. Included are procedures for process monitoring, sampling, and analysis for both the initial trial burn and for continuing operation of the incineration facility. Pollutant categories discussed are: principal organic hazardous constituents, metals, particulates, acid gases, and combustion gases.

    EPA/625/6-86/014 Technology Transfer Handbook: Control Technologies for Hazardous Air Pollutants (1986) -- This publication assists technical personnel in selecting, evaluating, and costing air pollution control techniques for reducing or eliminating the emission of potentially hazardous air pollutants from industrial/commercial sources.

    EPA/625/6-89/024 Technology Transfer Handbook: Operation and Maintenance of Hospital Medical Waste Incinerators (1989) -- Concern about disposal of infectious wastes generated by hospitals is increasing. Incineration continues to be an attractive infectious waste disposal option for hospitals encountering high disposal costs, refusal of their waste at treatment and disposal facilities and tighter regulation. Proper incineration sterilizes pathogenic waste, reduces waste volumes by over 90 percent, and, in some cases, may provide economic benefits through waste heat recovery. This document identifies the operation and maintenance procedures that should be practiced on hospital waste incinerators and associated air pollution control equipment to minimize air emissions, improve equipment reliability and performance, prolong equipment life, and help to ensure proper ash burnout.

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    ORD Technology Transfer Highlights

    This newsletter provides a current listing of scheduled workshops, conferences, and seminars from EPA's Office of Research and Development. It also announces the availability of new publications, reports, databases, and expert systems. A publication order sheet is included. To be added to the Technology Transfer Newsletter mailing list, write to: CERI/Technology Transfer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268

    "Technology Transfer Highlights" is also available on-line through EPA's web site. The on-line version contains links to selected EPA software, technology transfer publications and reports. It also allows users to add their names to a mailing list for either the paper or electronic version of the newsletter. To access the on-line version of "Highlights", use the following address:



    The ORDBBS-ATTIC system is a combination of the Office of Research and Development Bulletin Board System (ORDBBS) and the Alternative Treatment Technology Information Center (ATTIC). The system includes:

    * Databases - Bibliography database of over 20,000 ORD citations (with ordering information)

    * Full-text Documents - review and/or download full text SITE documents.

    * Messaging - Communicate with your peers and learn from their experiences.

    * News - Keep up to date with the latest information on upcoming conferences and other events.

    * File Transfer - Download free software and monthly updates.

    You can access ORDBBS-ATTIC by:

    (1) using a PC with a modem and appropriate communications software. Set your communications software as follows:

    Number - 513-569-7610 or 7700
    Baud Supported - Up to 33,600
    Parity - None
    Data Bits - 8
    Stop Bits - 1
    Terminal Emulation - ANSI, VT100
    Duplex - Full

    (2) File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Telnet to: cinbbs.cin.epa.gov

    Please note that FTP and Telnet require you to have the appropriate client-side software. Check with your local network administrator.

    (3) Through the World Wide Web at:


    For further information call the ORDBBS-ATTIC support line at (513)-569-7272, or contact the program manager, Randy Revetta, at(513)-569-7358 or by email at: [email protected]


    The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) contains summaries of chronic human health risk information that represents EPA consensus opinion on the potential adverse health effects for approximately 500 chemicals and other agents. IRIS risk information includes summary sections on potential non-cancer effects resulting from oral and inhalation exposure (oral reference dose and inhalation reference concentration, respectively) and summaries of carcinogenicity risk information. IRIS is a useful initial resource for hazard identification and dose-response information and for directing the user to the underlying data on which the information is based. Other information in IRIS includes summaries of EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories and EPA regulations.

    For general information on IRIS, contact:

    Risk Information Hotline
    National Center for Environmental Assessment
    - Cincinnati Office
    Office of Research and Development
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    26 West Martin Luther King Drive
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45268, USA
    Telephone: (513) 569-7254
    FAX: (513) 569-7159

    Access to the on-line version of IRIS is available at:



    Environmental scientists and engineers are becoming overwhelmed by an increasing number of guidance documents and software products. People in the private sector, academia, and government are looking for convenient sources for this information. Integration of information for one particular facet of hazardous waste site investigations was a goal in the development of a "site characterization" CD-ROM by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research Laboratory, Characterization Research Division in Las Vegas. A prototype CD-ROM was developed to determine whether electronic-versions of guidance documents and related software would be a valuable aid to environmental professionals in the complex, multi-disciplinary process used to characterize hazardous waste sites.

    The CD-ROM contains a compilation of EPA-developed computer programs and documents developed to aid environmental professionals in the characterization of hazardous waste sites. The CD-ROM contains over 3200 pages of EPA's RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) and Superfund documents that may be searched by key words or printed.

    Minimum Systems Requirements: IBM PC or compatible; CD-ROM drive, MS DOS 3.0 or higher, 640K RAM; 3 MB of storage (Geo-EAS); math coprocessor is recommended but not required; minimum graphics hardware is EGA.

    To order the CD-ROM from the National Technical Information Service, contact:

    National Technical Information Service
    5285 Port Royal Rd.
    Springfield, VA 22161
    Telephone: (703) 487-4650

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    Air Emission

    Chitogopekar, N.P., D.D. Reible, and L.J. Thibodeaux. 1990. Modeling Short Range Air Dispersion from Area Sources of Non-Buoyant Toxics. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association. 40(8):1121-1128.

    Jayanty, R.K. and B.W. Gay, Jr. 1990. Measurement of Toxic and Related Air Pollutants. 1990 USEPA and the Air and Waste Management Association International Symposium at Raleigh, North Carolina, May.

    U.S. EPA. 1992. Organic Air Emissions from Waste Management. EPA/625/R-92/003.

    Vogel, G.A. 1985. Air Emission Control at Hazardous Waste Management Facilities. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association. 35(5):558-566.


    U.S. EPA. 1993. Report of Workshop on Geosynthetic Clay Liners. EPA/600/R-93/171.


    Fellows, K.T. and M.J. Pilat. 1990. Hydrochloric Acid Sorption by Dry Sodium Bicarbonate for Incinerator Emissions Control. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association. 40(6):887-893.

    Lee, C.C. and G.L. Huffman. 1989. Innovative Thermal Destruction Technologies. The Journal of Environmental Progress. 8(3):190-199.

    Taylor, P.H., B. Dellinger, and C.C. Lee. 1990. Development of a Thermal Stability Based Ranking of Hazardous Organic Compound Incinerability. Environmental Science and Technology. 24:385-415.

    Thurnau, R.C. 1990. Incinerability Index: A Measure of Incinerator Performance. Waste Management. 10:185-195.

    Risk Assessment

    Barnes, D.G. and M.L. Dourson. 1988. Reference Dose (RfD): Description and Use in Health Risk Assessment. Reg. Tox. Pharm. 8:471-486.

    DeRosa, C.T., J. Stara, and P. Durkin. 1985. Ranking Chemicals Based on Toxicity Data. Tox. Ind. Health. 1:177-191.

    DeRosa, C.T., M.L. Dourson, and R. Osborne. 1989. risk Assessment Initiative for Noncancer Endpoints: Implications for Risk Characterizations of Chemical Mixtures. Tox. Ind. Health. 5(5):805-824.

    Hattis, D., L. Erdreich, and M. Ballew. 1987. Human Variability in Susceptibility to Toxic Chemicals - A Preliminary analysis of Pharmacokinetic Data from Normal Volunteers. Risk Analysis. 7(4):415-424.

    Newill, V.A. 1987. Reducing Risk in Hazardous Waste Management. Journal of Air Pollution Control Association. 37(7):833-5.


    Anastos, G.J., J.W. Noland, N.P. Johnson, and R. Williams. 1988. Innovative Technologies for Hazardous Waste Treatment. Nuclear and Chemical Waste Management. 8(4):269-282.

    Barkley, N.P. 1990. Update on Building and Structure Decontamination. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association. 40(8):1174-1178.

    Blackburn, J.W. 1989. Improved Understanding and Application of Hazardous Waste Biological Treatment Processes Using Microbial Systems Analysis Techniques. Hazardous Waste & Hazardous Materials. 6(2):173-194.

    Conner, J.R., A. Li, and S. Cotton. 1990. Stabilization of Hazardous Waste Landfill Leachate Treatment Residue. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 24(2-3):111-122.

    Grosse, D.W. 1986. Treatment Technologies for Hazardous Wastes, Part IV. A Review of Alternative Treatment Processes for Metal-Bearing Hazardous Waste Streams. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association. 36(5):603-614.

    Heimbuch, J.A. and A.R. Wilhelmi. 1985 (Recd. 1986). Wet Air Oxidation: A Treatment Means for Aqueous Hazardous Waste Streams. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 12(2):187-200.

    Herzbrun, P.A., R.L. Irvine, and K.C. Malinowski. 1985. Biological Treatment of Hazardous Waste in Sequencing Batch Reactors. Journal of Water Pollution Control Federation. 57(12):1163-1167.

    MacNeil, J.C. 1988. Membrane Separation Technologies for Treatment of Hazardous Wastes. Critical Reviews in Environmental Control. 18(2):91-132.

    Skinner, John. 1991. Hazardous Waste Treatment Trends in the USA. Waste Management Res. 9(1):55-64.

    Turner, R. 1986. Treatment Technologies for Hazardous Wastes, Part. A Review of Treatment Alternative for Wastes Containing Nonsolvent Halogenated Organics. Journal of the Air Pollution control Association. 36(6):728-737.

    Warner, H.P. and R.A. Olexsey. 1986. Treatment Technologies for Hazardous Wastes, Part III. Treatment Technologies for Corrosive Hazardous Wastes. 36(4):403-409.

    U.S. EPA. 1992. Arsenic and Mercury Workshop. EPA/600/R-92/105.

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    If you are seeking additional information from the U.S. EPA on hazardous waste management, please refer to the following EPA site on the World Wide Web:


    The U.S. hub of INFOTERRA, which is housed in EPA's main library, can also provide additional information on hazardous waste management and other environment-related topics. You may contact INFOTERRA at

    US EPA, 3404
    401 M Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20460
    Telephone: 202-260-5917
    Fax: 202-260-3923
    Internet: [email protected]
    Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST Monday - Friday

    Though EPA's web site and INFOTERRA should be the first points of contact when seeking additional information, the following EPA staff can also help direct you to hazardous waste management information:

    Technical Area                      Contact               FAX No.
    Bioremediation (soil)               Fred Bishop           513-569-7629
    Bioremediation (groundwater)        John Wilson           405-436-8534
    Contaminant Transport               Carl G. Enfield       405-436-8528
    Exposure Assessment                 Rob B. Ambrose, Jr.	  706-355-8440
    Groundwater Modeling                Robert Carsel         706-355-8440
    Health Effects Research             Robert S. Dyer        919-541-4201
    Health and Environmental            Pat Daunt             513-569-7475
    Risk Assessment
    Incineration of                     Marta Richards        513-569-7676
    Hazardous Waste
    Incineration Research               Robert E. Hall        919-541-0554
    Industrial Wastewater               Glenn Shaul           513-569-7191
    Land Disposal                       Dave Carson           513-569-7879
    Land Treatment                      Scott Huling          405-436-8614
    Metal Speciation                    David S. Brown        706-355-8202
    in the Environment
    Monitoring Design and Site          Evan J. Englund       702-798-2107
    Phytoremediation                    Steve Rock            513-569-7149
    Soil Monitoring                     Brian A. Schumacher   702-798-2107
    Sampling Quality Assurance          Jeffrey J. van Ee     702-798-2637
    Site Characterization               Eric Koglin           702-798-2261
    Consortium                          Stephen Billets       702-798-2261
    SITE Demonstration Program          Annette Gatchette     513-569-7620
    Soil Vapor Extraction               Dominic Digiulio      405-436-8605
    Solidification/                     Ed Barth              513-569-7879
    Stabilization                       Ed Bates              513-569-7774
    Subsurface Monitoring and           Steven P. Gardner     702-798-2107
    Surface Water                       Rob B. Ambrose, Jr.   706-355-8440
    Thermal Desorption                  Paul dePercin         513-569-7797
    Treatment Walls                     Bob Puls              405-436-8543
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    Where can I get answers to more questions about RCRA?
    Call the
    RCRA Hotline at (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 (from the Washington, DC area). The Hotline is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, or click here to go to our list of topics

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