Environmental Regulatory Framework
This chapter provides an overview of key environmental protection laws and subsequent regulations that affect the environment in the United States, particularly from a risk perspective. Environmental regulation has become a system in which laws, regulations, and guidelines have become interrelated. The history and development of this regulatory system has led to laws that focus principally on only one environmental medium independently at a time, that is, air, water, or land. Some environmental managers feel that more needs to be done to manage all of the media simultaneously and in an integrated way. The chapter discusses the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended in 1978, 1980, and 1986; the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. A distinction exists between a hazardous waste and a hazardous substance within the statutory authorities.