In the anticipation of such events, the United States government made the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976. Today, the act is being implemented under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); and mandates specific rules and regulations regarding the management of these materials. This paper would focus on the hazardous waste transportation as one of the important aspects of the act’s proposed “cradle-to-grave” program. This would start with knowing what the hazardous wastes are, why there is a need of properly transporting it, what are the specific provisions indicated in the RCRA on transporting these materials, its process and the people, or organizations involved.
There are four main things that deem wastes as hazardous. They are hazardous if they are toxic, can catch or readily start a fire, have high reactivity level when combined with other products, or are corrosive (Kovacs 71). The RCRA specifically defined these wastes under solid waste; although it can also include any form of matter. They are “any garbage, refuse, sludge or other discarded materials, including solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations, and from community activities” (Teets, Reis, and Worrell 21). Any of the materials that contain carcinogenic [can cause cancer], mutagenic [can induce mutation], or teratogenic [can cause malformation or even death to a fetus] elements are considered toxic. Corrosive substances “include inorganic acid and bases that have the ability to damage or destroy material and living tissue by direct chemical action.” Reactive materials, on the other hand, are those that readily react if combined with other products and “can cause burns, poisoning, fire or explosion” while flammable materials “include combustible liquids, flammable solids, flammable gases,