The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the primary regulatory driver for hazardous waste (HW) management. Passed in 1976 and amended twice in the early 1980's, Congress established the following goals for RCRA:
•Protect human health and the environment from the potential dangers of waste disposal
•Conserve energy and natural resources through waste recycling and recovery
•Reduce the amount of waste generated
•Ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner
Other laws exist to protect the public and the health of employees in the workplace from the hazards associated with the management and transportation of HW. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) mandates include the regulatory requirements for Hazard Communication Standards and the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Worker Protection Standard. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the transportation of Hazardous Waste.