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EPA Issues Draft Update to RCRA Public Participation Manual

EPA has issued a draft update of the RCRA* Public Participation Manual. The manual, which replaces a 1996 edition of the document, explains how public participation works in the RCRA permitting process (including corrective action), and how community members, regulators and industry can collaborate to make it more effective.

The revisions to the document reflect current regulations, policies, and practices, presenting new information about technical assistance, environmental justice, social media, and other topics that have come to the forefront since the 1996 edition. For many years, RCRA permitting programs have primarily focused on issuing permits. More recently, however, the majority of hazardous waste management facilities are already permitted. Permit maintenance and modifications now account for most of the permitting activity today. Thus, the 2016 manual includes updated and expanded information about permit modifications and best practices for site-specific public participation.

EPA is requesting input from the public about specific enhanced approaches, as well as innovative projects that will facilitate public participation and address the perception of diminishing public interest. Comments should be sent by Friday, September 9, 2016, to [email protected].

RCRA – the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the law governing management of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.