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Chapter 6: Overview of USEPA, Federal RCRA Regulations and NYSDEC Part 370 Series


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the USEPA is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, USEPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. USEPA develops and enforces regulations. When Congress writes an environmental law, USEPA implements it by writing regulations. Often, USEPA sets national standards that states and tribes enforce through their own regulations. If they fail to meet the national standards, USEPA helps them. They also enforce USEPA regulations, and help companies understand the regulatory requirements. USEPA also coordinates grants with state environmental programs, non-profits, educational institutions, and others. They study environmental issues at laboratories located throughout the nation, and identify and try to solve environmental problems.


The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was passed in 1976. RCRA gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled USEPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances.

NYS State Authorization:

A state typically adopts the federal regulations by either incorporating federal rules into the state's rules or by creating state rules that are equivalent to federal rules. After a state has submitted an acceptable application, the state can then be granted final authorization. A state's program must be at least as stringent as the federal program.

However, the state programs can be more stringent or broader in scope than the federal regulations. After states have been authorized for the Base RCRA program, they are authorized for and have primacy for all RCRA final rules published in the Federal Register between 1976 though April 1, 1983. HSWA refers to the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of RCRA, enacted in 1984. Whether the rule has a HSWA or non-HSWA legal basis determines whether the USEPA can enforce the rule in that state before the state adopts the rule. If a rule is based on non-HSWA legal authority, then this rule is not effective until the state adopts it.

NYS is an authorized state. A discussion on NYS DEC's Hazardous Waste Management program can be found at

NYS DEC Hazardous Waste Regulations:

As an authorized state, NYS DEC has enacted the following regulations for proper management of hazardous waste:

The following regulations all leave DEC's website.

Part 370 Hazardous Waste Management System, General
Part 371 Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste, including requirements for CESQGs
Part 372 Hazardous Waste Manifest System and Related Standards for Generators, Transporters and Facilities
Part 373 Hazardous Waste Management Facilities
Part 374 Management of Specific Hazardous Waste, including Used Oil, Universal Wastes and Mercury Wastes
Part 376 Land Disposal Restrictions

Link Back to Table of Contents for Hazardous Waste Manifesting Training.