The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Environmental Laws

Compliance Partners

EHS Program Manager

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976

42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq.; 40 C.F.R. § 260.1 et seq., 40 C.F.R. § 148.1 et seq.; 61 Fed. Reg. 15,566 (Apr. 8, 1996)

Regulates the generation, transportation, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Could be criminal penalties for improper disposal of hazardous substance by a student or an employee. See the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Civil Penalty Policy issued by Environmental Protection Agency in October 1990 for guidance when responding to a notice of violation.

Final Rule: Proposed Rule: Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste; Standards Applicable to Academic Laboratories, 73 Fed. Reg. 72911, Dec. 1, 2008

This rule is effective 12-31-08 for those states (Iowa and Alaska) that do not have final authorization of their RCRA programs. The final rule is effective in RCRA authorized states (the other 48) after the state adopts the rule.

EPA is adding a new subpart -- Subpart K -- to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste generator regulatory requirements. The alternative set of regulations allows eligible academic entities the flexibility to make hazardous waste determinations in the laboratory; at an on-site central accumulation area; or at an on-site treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF). Also, this rule provides incentives for eligible academic entities to clean-out old and expired chemicals that may pose unnecessary risk. Further, this rule requires the development of a Laboratory Management Plan (LMP) which is expected to result in safer laboratory practices and increased awareness of hazardous waste management. Eligible academic entities may also choose to remain subject to the pre-existing hazardous waste generator requirements. Eligible academic entities are colleges and universities, and teaching hospitals and nonprofit research institutes that are either owned by or formally affiliated with a college or university.

Schools choosing to use the option set forth in this rule must inform the state director (or EPA regional administrator in Alaska and Iowa) of the intent to follow the alternative requirements by submitting the

EPA Form 8700-12.

Part 1 of the LMP must include:

  • Procedures for container labeling that adequately describes the material as unwanted waste and gives emergency responders info as to the contents in the container;
  • Info associated with the container that will allow a trained professional to make the hazardous waste code designation;
  • A description of the method to be used for regularly scheduled removal of unwanted material from the lab.

Part II of the LMP, the best management practices, must address:

  • Container labeling and management standards;
  • Training for lab workers and students;
  • Training to ensure safe on site transfers of unwanted material;
  • Removing unwanted materials from labs, including schedule and procedures to address when maximum volumes are exceeded;
  • Best practices for making hazardous waste determinations;
  • Procedures for lab clean outs; and
  • Procedures for emergency preparedness and response that includes a list of chemicals that are likely to be more dangerous when they exceed their expiration date, procedures for safe disposal, and procedures for characterization of unknown chemicals.

See the EPA topical page on this subject.


Lab Waste at Educational Institutions: EPA Page
***** web page on RCRA


CCR updated CFR links 6/30/15