assessment [RFA]), data are collected to define the nature and extent of the release (often referred to as a RCRA facility investigation [RFI]). If the release poses a risk that requires corrective action, a study of alternatives is conducted (often referred to as a corrective measures study [CMS]), and selected measures are then implemented (often referred to as corrective measures implementation [CMI]). In addition, interim measures may be taken at RCRA SWMUs to reduce risk sooner before more comprehensive cleanup approaches are considered. Interim measures can be part of a final corrective measure, but they were intended as a means of stabilizing releases to reduce risk pending more definitive corrective measures (55 FR 30798, July 27, 1990).
An RCRA corrective action is implemented through the permit process. EPA initially proposed the above-described RFA-RFI-CMS-CMI prescriptive process for implementing RCRA corrective actions, but opted instead for a less prescriptive approach that allows for some flexibility. Still, many of the states authorized for RCRA corrective actions require a more structured approach, which, although it has some advantages, can be a deterrent to progress. States differ in how they implement RCRA corrective actions.
Another important RCRA amendment pertinent to recovered CWM (RCWM) involves the Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs), which were also mandated by the 1984 HSWA. The LDRs establish requirements for hazardous-waste treatment before land disposal. LDRs include application of specific treatment technologies but also establish numerical treatment standards for a number of constituents. Although no LDRs exist for listed chemical-agent wastes, these wastes may exhibit one or more of the RCRA characteristics. Treatment of RCWM that exhibits RCRA characteristics may need to meet LDRs for the applicable characteristics. In addition, and with some exceptions, remediation wastes, such as munition bodies and contaminated media, may need to meet LDRs for debris and contaminated soil.
Another regulatory development pertinent to this discussion is EPA’s creation of the corrective-action management unit (CAMU) and temporary unit (TU) (EPA, 2002).3 A CAMU is a type of waste-management unit that is designed specifically for the management of waste created during the cleanup of RCRA and CERCLA hazardous-waste sites, known as remediation waste. CAMUs can be used for treatment and storage and for disposal of remediation wastes. They are ideal when facilities will be generating a large amount of remediation waste and when such waste can be managed on site near the area from which the remediation waste was removed and in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment. CAMUs can also be established at off-site locations. For example, if a CAMU is established at Redstone Arsenal, pending regulatory approval, remediation waste generated at Camp Sibert could be accepted. A CAMU can be especially effective when wastes from multiple SWMUs or CERCLA units can be managed in the same location. One important advantage of a CAMU is that management of remediation waste within these units would trigger RCRA LDR requirements tailored for remediation wastes.
TUs are used to either treat or store remediation waste on site. They must be shown to be protective of human health and the environment and have an operating life of 1 year, which may be extended for 1 year if that is determined to be necessary. An ideal application of a TU might be for the IHFs used for storage of RCWM.
Another concept that is important to mention in connection with management of remediation waste is what is known as the Area of Contamination Policy (EPA, 1998). This policy was actually introduced in the original preamble to the National Contingency Plan under CERCLA (55 FR 8758, March 8 1990). An area of contamination is a designated area of an RCRA or CERCLA site where management of remediation waste—including treatment, storage, or disposal—is allowed without triggering LDRs or requirements for design of specific types of hazardous-waste management units (such as liners and leachate-collection systems).
Clearly, management of remediation waste—including consideration of CAMUs, TUs, treatment requirements, and areas of contamination—is a highly complex subject. Also, because RCRA is largely state-implemented, the states often implement these types of requirements differently. Although it is important to mention the various options for management of remediation waste, it is beyond the scope of this report to evaluate the intricacies of the regulatory requirements for remediation wastes that may come out of CWM sites.
Emergency provisions and other enforcement mechanisms are available under RCRA to address releases of hazardous waste and constituents. EPA can issue Section 3008(a) compliance orders; Section 3008(h) interim status corrective-action orders; Section 3013(a) monitoring, analysis, and testing orders; and Section 7003 imminent-hazard orders.4 Many states have incorporated similar emergency provisions and enforcement mechanisms into their state RCRA programs.
Another important RCRA amendment was the Federal Facility Compliance Act of 1992 (PL 102-386), which required EPA, in consultation with the Department of Defense (DOD), to identify when waste military munitions become subject to RCRA and to provide for their safe transport and storage. The Military Munitions Rule (MR) was promulgated in 1997 (62 FR 6622). It defined when conventional and chemical munitions become subject to RCRA requirements. Although the MR provided many clarifications regarding classification of military munitions
367 FR 2961, January 22, 2002. Available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2002-01-22/html/02-4.htm. Accessed April 10, 2012.