First published in 1994, as part of the AAAS Selected Symposia Series. National strategies to minimize pollution, including that from hazardous waste, are evolving in both the United States and Canada. Recent federal hazardous waste regulations in the United States, promulgated under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), encourage the states to develop their own waste management programs, patterned after federal specifications; some states have developed progressive options. Canadian hazardous waste management programs originate in the provinces. However, the federal government is increasingly involved in developing new treatment technologies, guidelines for consistent management, and control of waste across political boundaries. The authors of this volume find that disposal is still the most common practice for handling hazardous waste in both countries, despite the potential for alternative methods such as industrial process redesign for waste reduction, waste detoxification, recycling, or incineration. Nonetheless, some waste will remain. Sound disposal site selection criteria are prerequisite for industry and government credibility in site selection. Only after accountability is established and recognized will the public lose symptoms of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome. Even so, public involvement in site selection in these countries should be expected for a site to be accepted. All the while, the three parties— industry, government, and the public— must balance the risk of potential waste hazards with the cost of avoiding adverse effects.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976— 2 A Canadian Federal Perspective — 3 Methods for Assessing Health— 4 Selecting Sites for Radioactive Waste Repositories— 5 Siting Nonradioactive Hazardous Waste Facilities— 6 Public Participation in Siting — 7 An Industrial Viewpoint— 8 Waste Disposal/Management Options— 9 Cleaning Up Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites— 10 Superfund— Keystone Center, 11 Striking a Reasonable Balance
Michalann Harthill is an energy policy analyst for the Minerals Management Service of the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. A biogeochemist by training, she helped design the hazardous waste management program for the Bureau of Reclamation, and she specializes in the rehabilitation of disturbed lands. Since 1981 she has taught courses in the politics of environmental regulation at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland•