PROPOSED REVISIONS TO CRITERIA FOR MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL LANDFILLS
The following pages were received as a letter from the Headquarters
office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They were dated 22
August 1988 and are reproduced here in their entirety.
SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES CRITERIA:
Through Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, EPA is establishing a framework
for Federal, State, and local government cooperation for the
management of solid waste. The Federal role is to establish
the overall regulatory direction, provide minimum standards
for the protection of human health and the environment, and
provide technical assistance to States for planning and
developing sound solid waste management. The actual planning,
enforcement, and direct implementation of solid waste
management programs under Subtitle D of RCRA remain State and
This Federal framework currently is contained in the
Criteria for the Classification of Solid Waste Disposal
Facilities and Practices (40 CFR Part 257), which were
developed in 1979. These Criteria establish general environ-
mental performance standards addressing eight major topics:
floodplains, endangered species, surface water, ground water,
land application, disease, air, and safety. Under the
Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), Congress
directed EPA to assess, and revise as necessary, the Criteria
for facilities that may receive household hazardous waste
(HHW) and small quantity generator (SQG) hazardous waste,
particularly with respect to ground-water contamination.
To fulfill its responsibilities under HSWA, EPA conducted
a series of studies and analyses of solid waste
characteristics, waste disposal practices, and environmental
and public health impacts resulting from solid waste disposal.
Final results, which form the basis for the Agency decision-
making on this rule, are incorporated in EPA's Subtitle D
report to Congress, scheduled to be issued shortly.
EPA's studies reveal that there were more than 11 billion
tons of solid waste generated in 1986 and managed in some
227,000 solid waste disposal facilities. This included 160
million tons of municipal solid waste, 126 million tons of
which were disposed of in 6,034 municipal solid waste
landfills (MSWLFs). The remaining waste was recycled,
incinerated, or managed by some other method.