RCRA Corrective Action
Congress amended the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in November 1984, expanding the Act's cleanup provisions and prompting EPA and its state partners to develop the RCRA Corrective Action Program. Tennessee was authorized by EPA to oversee Tennessee’s Corrective Action program in 2000. The program oversees the investigation and cleanup of hazardous waste sites across the state, including many with risks comparable to Superfund sites.
RCRA Corrective Action facilities include many current and former chemical manufacturing plants, oil refineries, lead smelters, wood preservers, steel mills, commercial landfills, and a variety of other types of entities. Due to poor practices prior to environmental regulations, Corrective Action facilities have contaminated the area comprising the facility so that a more comprehensive cleanup is required. At these sites, the Corrective Action Program ensures that cleanups occur.
State regulators work with facilities and communities to design cleanup remedies based on the contamination, geology, and anticipated use unique to each site. Program goals, however, are the same for all sites: (1) to protect human health and the environment, and (2) to keep or return land to productive use, thereby supporting jobs, a healthy tax base, and other values from the land, as determined by local communities.
Owners and operators are required to provide information regarding the placement of hazardous waste and any resultant releases. These regulations are designed to prevent or remediate releases into the environment from land-based solid waste management units (SWMUs). This information is then used as part of the corrective action process.