- 4:45 PM

The Evolution of Hazardous Waste Law and Regulation

Mary Ellen Ternes, McAfee & Taft, 10th Floor, Two Leadership Square, Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7103

This presentation will take the attendees from the history of solid waste regulation to regulation of wastes that are more hazardous. This discussion will review initial attempts to protect the public health and environment from hazardous substances through the period after World War II, when the volume and toxicity of waste streams from both industry and municipalities spiked with industrial growth and the robust development of synthetic chemical manufacturing, and then to the evidence of systematic mismanagement which gained national attention in the Niagara Falls, New York residential community known as "Love Canal" where residences floated on industrial sludge, followed by Times Beach, Missouri where horses died from exposure to used oil contaminated with dioxin sprayed on roads to control dust and then, of course, the infamous "Vally of the Drums" outside of Louisville, Kentucky.

The discussion will continue with the development of the 1976 Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or "Superfund"), and the 1990 Pollution Prevention Act (PPA).

The speaker will discuss these developments from her experience as an environmental attorney, but also, from her experience as a former chemical engineer and EPA Superfund On-Scene Coordinator with work history at several well-known NPL sites and also as a hazardous waste combustion permit writer for both EPA and industry.