Storage

Many early disasters and current Superfund sites grew from uncontrolled accumulation of hazardous wastes. Congress and the EPA sought to impose rigorous controls and accountability on all who accumulate and store hazardous wastes through the RCRA statutes and EPA regulations.

The RCRA defines storage as holding hazardous waste for a temporary period, after which the hazardous waste is treated, disposed of, or stored elsewhere. The accumulation of hazardous waste beyond a prescribed period, usually 90 days, is considered storage. The owner or operator of a facility where waste is held for more than 90 days must apply for a permit before starting accumulation, and must comply with regulations pertaining to storage facilities.

Since the primary function of containers and tanks is storage, this overview of 40 CFR Parts 264/265 Subparts I and J includes permitted and interim status standards for container and tank use. The four general types of land disposal or long-term storage facilities—surface impoundments, waste piles, landfills, and underground injection, are discussed briefly.

Many concerns about storage facilities can be addressed by following proper procedures for storage of materials. Table 11.12.1 lists fundamental storage and handling procedures.

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