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EPA Releases Best Practices Guide on Industrial Waste

Release Date: 04/16/2003
Contact Information:

Contact: Dave Ryan, 202-564-7827

(04/16/03) Promoting pollution prevention and fostering significant upgrades to the nation’s waste management practices, EPA today announced the release of a comprehensive voluntary industrial waste management guide that identifies best management practices for the full range of non-hazardous industrial wastes – covering more than 60,000 industrial facilities in the United States that produce and manage an estimated 7.6 billion tons of this industrial waste.

“I challenge each state to work with its industrial partners and citizens to adapt and use these guidelines as standard practice,” said Marianne Lamont Horinko, EPA Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

Industrial wastes dwarf better known waste streams such as municipal solid wastes and regulated hazardous wastes. EPA joined with members of state governments, tribes, industry, and environmental groups to develop this guidance on how best to manage these wastes. The Guide for Industrial Waste Management is a practical resource, based on sound engineering and scientific principles. It can stand alone or be used to complement existing regulatory programs.

The Guide provides valuable assistance to anyone interested and involved in industrial waste management, from states to industry to citizens. States currently have varying industrial waste programs and can use the Guide to address any gaps in their programs or review their existing rules and guidance and replace them with parts of this Guide as they see fit.

The Guide was officially released today by Horinko and Jennifer Kaduck, president of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) at the association’s Mid-Year Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. Four members of the partnership accompanied Horinko and Kaduck at the announcement: William Pounds, Chief, Division of Municipal and Residual Waste, Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Paul Bork, Counsel, Dow Chemical Company; Amy Schaffer, Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager, Weyerhaeuser Company; and H. C. Clark, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Rice University.

The Guide encourages effective communications and pollution prevention, and it provides useful information on waste management topics such as siting, designing, operating, monitoring, taking corrective action, and closing industrial waste management units.

The Guide is available on CD-ROM and in hard copy. In addition to the Guide, the CD-ROM also offers:
          • Interactive audiovisual tutorials for each section of the Guide;
          • Fact sheets from the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to help readers better understand why specific chemicals may be of concern;
          • An internet-based mapping application to help identify the existence of potentially adverse site conditions, such as the presence of wetlands, flood plains and seismic instability, as well as demographic information. This innovative application will be of significant utility not only for industrial waste management sites, but also for siting of other types of facilities;
          • The Industrial Waste Management Evaluation Model, designed to provide guidance on appropriate landfill, waste pile, surface impoundment and land application system design;
          • The Industrial Waste Air Model, designed to help determine adverse risks from air emissions from industrial waste units; and
          • A comprehensive collection of references and resources targeted to help the user improve upon his/her understanding of pollution prevention opportunities, and technologies and tools available to address industrial waste management issues.
Future efforts include seeking input on how best to implement the recommendations contained in the Guide. The Guide is available on an interactive multi-media CD-ROM. It is available on the Web at Paper copies also are available, but quantities are limited. The general public can obtain copies of the CD-ROM or a hard copy by calling the RCRA Call Center at 800-424-9346.