If improperly managed, both hazardous and non-hazardous waste can adversely affect Missouri's air, land and water and the people, plants and animals that rely on these resources. The department works with businesses; local, state and federal governments and the public to protect human health and the environment from improperly handled waste. One of the main ways we do this is through implementing and enforcing state regulations. Below is a broad overview of the different authorities that provide the foundation of support for implementing waste-related environmental rules and regulations. For information about other federal and state environmental laws and regulations, visit Laws, Rules and Regulations.
Federal Laws and Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops regulations that explain the technical, operational and legal details necessary to implement federal environmental laws. These federal regulations also form the underlying basis for state regulations which, for the most part, are a mirror image of the federal regulations. EPA is charged with administering all or a part of each of the following federal environmental laws relating to waste management. Federal regulations developed under federal laws are codified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40. For information about the federal rulemaking process, visit EPA's Regulations webpage.
- 1976 - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) - RCRA was passed by Congress in 1976 and amends and supersedes the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. RCRA is our nation’s main law governing solid and hazardous waste management. RCRA Subtitle C established a system for managing hazardous waste from the time it is created, until it is recycled, treated or disposed, including when it is transported and stored. RCRA Subtitle D encourages states to develop comprehensive plans to manage nonhazardous industrial solid waste and municipal solid waste, sets criteria for municipal solid waste landfills and other solid waste disposal facilities and prohibits open dumping of solid waste. RCRA Subtitle I regulates underground storage tanks containing hazardous substances and petroleum products. The RCRA regulations are contained in 40 CFR Parts 239 through 282. For more information, visit EPA's RCRA webpage.
- 1976 - Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) - TSCA was passed by Congress in 1976 and gave EPA the ability to track, test and regulate all industrial chemicals produced or imported into the United States. Many thousands of chemicals and products are developed each year with unknown potentially toxic or dangerous characteristics. TSCA requires any chemical that reaches the consumer marketplace be tested for possible toxic effects. EPA can then regulate these chemicals, as necessary, to protect human health and the environment. EPA can also ban the manufacture and import of chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk. For more information, visit EPA's TSCA webpage.
- 1980 - Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) - CERCLA, better known as Superfund, was passed by Congress in 1980. CERCLA created a federal Trust Fund through a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries. This Trust Fund or Superfund is used to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites when potentially responsible parties cannot be identified or located. The fund also covers chemical spills and other releases requiring immediate, emergency response. CERCLA also gives EPA the authority to search for the responsible parties, assure they cooperate in investigations and cleanups and recover costs once the cleanup is complete. The CERCLA regulations are contained in 40 CFR Part 300. For more information, visit EPA's CERCLA webpage.
- 1984 - Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendment (HSWA) - HSWA was passed by Congress in 1984 as an amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). HSWA required the phasing out of hazardous waste land disposal, outlined tougher hazardous waste management standards and increased EPA’s enforcement authority. Originally, RCRA required remediating only hazardous waste releases that presented imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment or that came from regulated land disposal units such as landfills and surface impoundments. HSWA authorized facility-wide investigation and remediation of all releases of hazardous waste and hazardous constituents attributable to a facility, including beyond the facility property boundaries. HSWA also included details for a complete underground storage tank program under RCRA Subtitle I. For more information, visit EPA's RCRA webpage.
- 1986 - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) - SARA was passed by Congress in 1986 as an amendment to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act. Initially it was believed that there were only a few Superfund sites; however, many more sites were identified nationwide. SARA made several important changes and additions to the program, including creating new enforcement authorities and settlement tools and increasing the size of the Trust Fund. SARA also required EPA to revise the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to make sure it correctly evaluated the degree of potential risk that uncontrolled hazardous waste sites posed to human health and the environment. The HRS “score” is used to determine if an uncontrolled hazardous waste site is eligible to be placed on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). A site must be on the NPL to receive money from the federal Trust Fund for cleanup action. For more information, visit EPA's CERCLA webpage.
- 1992 - Federal Facility Compliance Act (FFCA) - FFCA was passed by Congress in 1992 and is an amendment to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Among many other things, the RCRA regulations contain specific requirements for land disposing hazardous waste. These requirements include treatment standards that must be met in storing and land disposing hazardous waste. In general, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites that were managing mixed waste (hazardous waste "mixed" with radioactive waste) were historically not meeting RCRA requirements because they did not have the ability to treat and dispose mixed waste. The FFCA required the Secretary of Energy to create Site Treatment Plans for each facility where DOE stored or generated mixed wastes. These plans identify how DOE will manage mixed waste, including schedules for opening new treatment facilities. For more information, visit EPA's RCRA and Federal Facilities webpage.
State Laws and Regulations
EPA can authorize states to carry out all or part of the federal regulatory requirements under state equivalent programs, in lieu of the federal program. To receive authorization, the state regulations must be at least as strict as the federal regulations and the state must demonstrate that it has the resources to effectively carry out its regulatory programs in lieu of EPA. Missouri has adopted the majority of the federal regulations by incorporating them by reference in the Code of State Regulations. There are a few federal regulations that Missouri has either not yet adopted or has adopted but EPA has not yet given Missouri temporary or final authorization to administer. In those cases, EPA retains its regulatory oversight and enforcement authority for the requirements until EPA grants state authorization.
Missouri's environmental laws and regulations relating to waste management include federal requirements the department has adopted and other requirements Missouri has added. The Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission has the authority to adopt, amend or repeal standards, rules and regulations to implement, enforce and carry out the provisions of the state's hazardous waste laws. This includes any federal regulations where state adoption is required by EPA to ensure the state program remains equivalent to the federal program. The Solid Waste Advisory Board advises the department on various solid waste management issues. State regulations are codified in the Missouri Code of State Regulations (CSR). The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is charged with administering the state regulations found in Title 10 of the CSR. For information about the status of the department's proposed rules that are in the rule development process, please visit the department's Regulatory Action Tracking System.
- Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law - This law creates the state equivalent to the federal RCRA Subtitle C requirements, along with other requirements Missouri has added. This law addresses hazardous waste management, permitting, inspection, enforcement and investigation and cleanup of hazardous waste and hazardous substance releases. EPA delegated authority to the department to provide oversight for and enforce most of the RCRA Subtitle C equivalent requirements in Missouri. The department inspects RCRA Subtitle C regulated facilities to make sure they are following the state-equivalent of the federal requirements the department adopted.
- Missouri Solid Waste Management Law - This law creates the state equivalent to the federal RCRA Subtitle D requirements, along with other requirements Missouri has added. This law addresses solid waste management, permitting, inspection, enforcement and investigation and cleanup of solid waste. EPA delegated authority to the department to provide oversight for and enforce most of the RCRA Subtitle D equivalent requirements in Missouri. The department inspects RCRA Subtitle D regulated facilities to make sure they are following the state-equivalent of the federal requirements the department adopted.
- Petroleum Storage Tank Law - This law creates the state equivalent to the federal RCRA Subtitle I requirements, along with other requirements Missouri has added. This law addresses managing and removing petroleum storage tanks and cleanup of leaking petroleum storage tanks. EPA delegated authority to the department to provide oversight for and enforce most of the RCRA Subtitle I equivalent requirements in Missouri. The department inspects RCRA Subtitle I regulated facilities to make sure they are following the state-equivalent of the federal requirements the department adopted.