Hazardous waste management involves complex rules and regulations that can change from time to time. The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), passed in 1976, was established to set up a framework for the proper hazardous waste management. Simply defined, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is produced from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries. Hazardous waste may come in many forms, including liquids, solids, gases and sludges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a regulatory definition and process that identifies specific substances known to be hazardous. EPA also provides objective criteria for including other materials in the regulated hazardous waste universe.
In Missouri, we follow these same principals and incorporate most of these same regulations by reference in our state regulations, but there are a few specific differences. We may not have incorporated the most recent updates due to the rulemaking process, so it is also important to check the state regulations for differences. For information about proposed rule changes, visit Regulatory Action Tracking System.
Both state and federal environmental laws regulate hazardous waste from "cradle-to-grave." This means hazardous waste is tracked and regulated from the time it is created "cradle," until it is recycled, treated or disposed "grave," including when it is transported and stored. For information about underground storage tank compliance, visit Underground Storage Tank Requirements. The environmentally sound management of hazardous waste helps protect human health and the environment.