The EPA, Environmental Regulations, and Online Environmental Training Options

The United States EPA enforces regulations intended to reduce pollution in the United States.

These regulations include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which creates a framework for the proper management of solid waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous; oil spills prevention and preparedness regulations, including the Spill Prevention Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules and the Facility Response Plan (FRP) rule; and stormwater rules.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of those rules, provide some additional information, and make some online training suggestions for you as well.



The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

According to the EPA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) “is the public law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste.”

The term RCRA is used to refer to a couple of related things. First, the law created by the US Congress to set up a waste management program giving the EPA the authority to regulation RCRA. And in addition, RCRA is often used to refer to the actual EPA regulations, policy, and guidance about hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste management.

The RCRA regulations are contained in 40 CFR 239282.

If you want to check these yourself, here’s:

Non-Hazardous Waste: Subtitle D

Subtitle D is concerned with non-hazardous waste and includes 40 CFR 239-259. In particular, those regulations include:

Hazardous Waste: Subtitle C

Subtitle C is focused on hazardous wastes and includes 40 CFR parts 260-273. In particular, those regulations include:

Universal Waste

As noted above, Part 273 covers standards for universal waste management.

The regs in part 273 apply to four types of universal waste:

  • Batteries
  • Pesticides
  • Mercury-containing equipment
  • Mercury lamps

Underground Storage Tanks

Regulations for underground storage regulations include 40 CFR parts 280 and 281. In particular, these regulations include:

Deliver. Report. Manage. Convergence Training EHS Course Library

Helpful EPA Documents on Solid Waste Management

The EPA provides a series of guidances for complying with Hazardous Waste Generator regulations by industry. You can find the EPA/RCRA Hazardous Waste Generator Guidance by Industry here.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Orientation Manual, according to the EPA, “provides introductory information on the solid and hazardous waste management programs under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Designed for EPA and state staff, members of the regulated community, and the general public who wish to better understand RCRA, this document constitutes a review of the RCRA program and is not a substitute for RCRA or its implementing regulations.” You can read the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Orientation Manual here.

The EPA also offers helpful resources on Sustainable Materials Management here.

RCRA Online Training Courses

You may find the following online training courses helpful at your workplace:

RCRA-Introduction

RCRA-Generator, Container, and Tank Requirements

RCRA-Preparing for Transportation, Manifesting, and LDR

RCRA-Special Wastes and Other Requirements

RCRA-Emergencies, Inspections, and Training

Universal Waste Storage and Handling

Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations

The EPA’s oil spill prevention programs includes both the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules and the Facility Response Plan (FRP) rules, as explained below.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rules

According to the EPA, “The SPCC rule helps facilities prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.”

The SPCC rule can be found at 40 CFR 112.

The EPA provides a helpful guide to help you determine if the SPCC Rule applies to your facility here.

If your facility has smaller oil storage capacity and has not had oil spills in the past, you may meet the criteria as a “qualified facility.” The owner of a “qualified facilty” can prepare and self-certify an SPCC plan instead of having a Professional Engineer review and certify the plan. Learn more about qualified facilities here.

Farms may also have to comply with the SPCC rule. Read more about spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) for agriculture here.

Facility Response Plans (FRP) Rules

According to the EPA, “The FRP rule requires certain facilities to submit a response plan and prepare to respond to a worst case oil discharge or threat of a discharge.”

The FRP rules can be found at 40 CFR 112.20 and 40 CFR 112.21.

As the EPA puts it, “Facilities that could resaonably be expected to cause “substantial harm” to the environment by discharging oil into or on naviagable waters are required to prepare and submit Facility Response Plans (FRPs). Facilities that could cause “significant and substantial harm” are required to have thier plans approved by an EPA Regional Administrator (RA). Click to learn what substantial harm and significant and substantial harm mean in this context.

SPCC  Online Training Courses

You may find the following online training courses helpful at your workplace:

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures

SPCC Secondary Containment

SPCC Inspections

SPCC Run-On and Runoff

Stormwater Rules and Notices

According to the EPA, “Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries, and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.”

The EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)  regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities.

Proposed and final stormwater rules are listed here. They include:

In addition, the EPA/NPDES includes web pages where you can keep up with the following notices:

Stormwater  Online Training Courses

You may find the following online training courses helpful at your workplace:

Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control

Conclusion: The EPA, Environmental Regulations, and Online Environmental Training Courses

There’s your overview–hope you found it helpful.

We’ll be taking more detailed, deeper dives into each of these sections in future blog posts, so stay tuned.

OEE-guide-btn

Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

Download Free Guide

OEE-guide-btn
Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *