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Rcra's Solid Waste Regulation and Its Impact on Resource Recovery in the Minerals Industry.

Peterson SD
MISSING :13 pages
In this U.S. Bureau of Mines report, the application and impact of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's (RCRA) regulations on the minerals industry's efforts at resource recovery were analyzed; some major regulatory conflicts that hinder these efforts are discussed. One major conflict was the ambiguity in determining materials considered to be solid wastes under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) jurisdiction. In addition, it was found that some rules have combined effectively to discourage reuse efforts and that EPA has provided only a few limited exclusions for recyclable materials. As a case study, aluminum industry spent potliner was examined to demonstrate these adverse impacts. Prior to regulation, this material was being recycled for legitimate economic and resource recovery purposes to extract its energy and fluoride values through environmentally sound processes. However, virtually all efforts to reuse the material ceased after regulation, which has resulted in increased land disposal of mineral resources and increased costs to industry. Presently, the fully utilized reuse of this material could produce estimated avoidable costs and savings for industry of about $24 million. However, this amount may greatly understate the potential savings as hazardous waste land disposal costs increase through the anticipated imposition of increased state taxation.
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Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division