42 U.S.C. § 6901

Current through P.L. 116-226 (12/20/2020)
Section 6901 - Congressional findings
(a) Solid waste

The Congress finds with respect to solid waste-

(1) that the continuing technological progress and improvement in methods of manufacture, packaging, and marketing of consumer products has resulted in an ever-mounting increase, and in a change in the characteristics, of the mass material discarded by the purchaser of such products;
(2) that the economic and population growth of our Nation, and the improvements in the standard of living enjoyed by our population, have required increased industrial production to meet our needs, and have made necessary the demolition of old buildings, the construction of new buildings, and the provision of highways and other avenues of transportation, which, together with related industrial, commercial, and agricultural operations, have resulted in a rising tide of scrap, discarded, and waste materials;
(3) that the continuing concentration of our population in expanding metropolitan and other urban areas has presented these communities with serious financial, management, intergovernmental, and technical problems in the disposal of solid wastes resulting from the industrial, commercial, domestic, and other activities carried on in such areas;
(4) that while the collection and disposal of solid wastes should continue to be primarily the function of State, regional, and local agencies, the problems of waste disposal as set forth above have become a matter national in scope and in concern and necessitate Federal action through financial and technical assistance and leadership in the development, demonstration, and application of new and improved methods and processes to reduce the amount of waste and unsalvageable materials and to provide for proper and economical solid waste disposal practices.
(b) Environment and health

The Congress finds with respect to the environment and health, that-

(1) although land is too valuable a national resource to be needlessly polluted by discarded materials, most solid waste is disposed of on land in open dumps and sanitary landfills;
(2) disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste in or on the land without careful planning and management can present a danger to human health and the environment;
(3) as a result of the Clean Air Act [ 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.], the Water Pollution Control Act [ 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.], and other Federal and State laws respecting public health and the environment, greater amounts of solid waste (in the form of sludge and other pollution treatment residues) have been created. Similarly, inadequate and environmentally unsound practices for the disposal or use of solid waste have created greater amounts of air and water pollution and other problems for the environment and for health;
(4) open dumping is particularly harmful to health, contaminates drinking water from underground and surface supplies, and pollutes the air and the land;
(5) the placement of inadequate controls on hazardous waste management will result in substantial risks to human health and the environment;
(6) if hazardous waste management is improperly performed in the first instance, corrective action is likely to be expensive, complex, and time consuming;
(7) certain classes of land disposal facilities are not capable of assuring long-term containment of certain hazardous wastes, and to avoid substantial risk to human health and the environment, reliance on land disposal should be minimized or eliminated, and land disposal, particularly landfill and surface impoundment, should be the least favored method for managing hazardous wastes; and
(8) alternatives to existing methods of land disposal must be developed since many of the cities in the United States will be running out of suitable solid waste disposal sites within five years unless immediate action is taken.
(c) Materials

The Congress finds with respect to materials, that-

(1) millions of tons of recoverable material which could be used are needlessly buried each year;
(2) methods are available to separate usable materials from solid waste; and
(3) the recovery and conservation of such materials can reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign resources and reduce the deficit in its balance of payments.
(d) Energy

The Congress finds with respect to energy, that-

(1) solid waste represents a potential source of solid fuel, oil, or gas that can be converted into energy;
(2) the need exists to develop alternative energy sources for public and private consumption in order to reduce our dependence on such sources as petroleum products, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric generation; and
(3) technology exists to produce usable energy from solid waste.

42 U.S.C. § 6901

Pub. L. 89-272, title II, §1002, as added Pub. L. 94-580, §2, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2796; amended Pub. L. 95-609, §7(a), Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3081; Pub. L. 98-616, title I, §101(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3224.

REFERENCES IN TEXTThe Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of this title and Tables.The Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), probably means act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92-500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

CODIFICATIONThe statutory system governing the disposal of solid wastes set out in this chapter is found in Pub. L. 89-272 as amended in its entirety and completely revised by section 2 of Pub. L. 94-580, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2795. See Short Title of 1976 Amendment note below. The act, as set out in this chapter, carries a statutory credit showing the sections as having been added by Pub. L. 94-580 without reference to amendments to the act between its original enactment in 1965 and its complete revision in 1976. The act, as originally enacted in 1965, was classified to section 3251 et seq. of this title. For a recapitulation of the provisions of the act as originally enacted, see notes in chapter 39 (§3251 et seq.) of this title where the act was originally set out.

PRIOR PROVISIONSProvisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 3251 of this title prior to the general amendment of the Solid Waste Disposal Act by Pub. L. 94-580.

AMENDMENTS1984-Subsec. (b)(5) to (8). Pub. L. 98-616 added pars. (5) to (7), struck out former par. (5) providing that "hazardous waste presents, in addition to the problems associated with non-hazardous solid waste, special dangers to health and requires a greater degree of regulation than does non-hazardous solid waste; and", redesignated former par. (6) as (8), and substituted a period for the semicolon at end. 1978-Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 95-609 substituted "solid waste" for "solid-waste".

SHORT TITLE OF 2012 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 112-195, §1, Oct. 5, 2012, 126 Stat. 1452, provided that: "This Act [enacting section 6939g of this title] may be cited as the 'Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act'."

SHORT TITLE OF 2005 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 109-58, title XV, §15211521,, 119 Stat. 1092, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle B (§§1521-1533) of title XV of Pub. L. 109-58 enacting sections 6991j to 6991m of this title, amending sections 6991 to 6991f, 6991h, and 6991i of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 6991b of this title] may be cited as the 'Underground Storage Tank Compliance Act'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1996 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 104-119, §1, Mar. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 830, provided that: "This Act [amending sections 6921, 6924, 6925, 6947, and 6949a of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 6949a of this title] may be cited as the 'Land Disposal Program Flexibility Act of 1996'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1992 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 102-386, title I, §101, Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1505, provided that: "This title [enacting sections 6908, 6939c to 6939e, and 6965 of this title, amending sections 6903, 6924, 6927, and 6961 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 6939c and 6961 of this title] may be cited as the 'Federal Facility Compliance Act of 1992'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1988 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 100-582, §1, Nov. 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 2950, provided that: "This Act [enacting sections 6992 to 6992k of this title and section 3063 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, and amending section 6903 of this title] may be cited as the 'Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1984 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 98-616, §1, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3221, provided that: "This Act [enacting sections 6917, 6936 to 6939a, 6949a, 6979a, 6979b, and 6991 to 6991i of this title, amending this section and sections 6902, 6905, 6912, 6915, 6916, 6921 to 6933, 6935, 6941 to 6945, 6948, 6956, 6962, 6972, 6973, 6976, 6982 and 6984 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 6905, 6921 and 6926 of this title] may be cited as 'The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1980 AMENDMENTS Pub. L. 96-482, §1, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2334, provided: "This Act [enacting sections 6933, 6934, 6941a, 6955, and 6956 of this title, amending sections 6903, 6905, 6911, 6912, 6916, 6921, 6922, 6924, 6925, 6927 to 6931, 6941 to 6943, 6945, 6946, 6948, 6949, 6952, 6953, 6962, 6963, 6964, 6971, 6973, 6974, 6976, 6979, and 6982 of this title; and enacting and repealing provisions set out as a note under section 6981 of this title] may be cited as the 'Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980'."Pub. L. 96-463, §1, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2055, provided: "This Act [enacting sections 6901a, 6914a and 6932 of this title, amending sections 6903, 6943 and 6948 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 6363 and 6932 of this title] may be cited as the 'Used Oil Recycling Act of 1980'."

SHORT TITLE OF 1976 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 94-580, §1, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2795, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter and provisions set out as notes under this section and section 6981 of this title] may be cited as the 'Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976'."

SHORT TITLEPub. L. 89-272, title II, §1001, as added by Pub. L. 94-580, §2, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2795, provided that: "This title (hereinafter in this title referred to as 'this Act'), together with the following table of contents, may be cited as the 'Solid Waste Disposal Act' " [table of contents omitted].

FEDERAL COMPLIANCE WITH POLLUTION CONTROL STANDARDSFor provisions relating to the responsibility of the head of each Executive agency for compliance with applicable pollution control standards, see Ex. Ord. No. 12088, Oct. 13, 1978, 43 F.R. 47707, set out as a note under section 4321 of this title.

NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MATERIALS POLICY Pub. L. 91-512, title II, §§201-206, Oct. 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1234, known as the "National Materials Policy Act of 1970", provided for the establishment of the National Commission on Materials Policy to make a full investigation and study for the purpose of developing a national materials policy to utilize present resources and technology more efficiently and to anticipate the future materials requirements of the Nation and the world, the Commission to submit to the President and Congress a report on its findings and recommendations no later than June 30, 1973, ninety days after the submission of which it should cease to exist.

Federal facility
The term "Federal facility" means any building that is constructed, renovated, leased, or purchased in part or in whole for use by the Federal Government.
The term "State" means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The term "demonstration" means the initial exhibition of a new technology process or practice or a significantly new combination or use of technologies, processes or practices, subsequent to the development stage, for the purpose of proving technological feasibility and cost effectiveness.
The term "disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including ground waters.
hazardous waste management
The term "hazardous waste management" means the systematic control of the collection, source separation, storage, transportation, processing, treatment, recovery, and disposal of hazardous wastes.
hazardous waste
The term "hazardous waste" means a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may- (A) cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or(B) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
The term "manifest" means the form used for identifying the quantity, composition, and the origin, routing, and destination of hazardous waste during its transportation from the point of generation to the point of disposal, treatment, or storage.
The term "practices" means design, financing, permitting, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and other practices that contribute to achieving zero-net-energy buildings or facilities.
The term "recoverable" refers to the capability and likelihood of being recovered from solid waste for a commercial or industrial use.
resource conservation
The term "resource conservation" means reduction of the amounts of solid waste that are generated, reduction of overall resource consumption, and utilization of recovered resources.
The term "sludge" means any solid, semisolid or liquid waste generated from a municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility or any other such waste having similar characteristics and effects.
solid waste
The term "solid waste" means any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities, but does not include solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges which are point sources subject to permits under section 1342 of title 33, or source, special nuclear, or byproduct material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (68 Stat. 923) [ 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.].
used oil
The term "used oil" means any oil which has been-(A) refined from crude oil,(B) used, and(C) as a result of such use, contaminated by physical or chemical impurities.