The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) establishes the outline for the appropriate treatment and care of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. The act defines the waste management program established by Congress that gives the EPA the ability to develop the RCRA program. This program protects communities and resource conservation by implementing regulations, guidance, and policies that ensure the safe management and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste. It also allows the EPA the capacity to develop programs that encourage source reduction and beneficial reuse.

The EPA has developed regulations to set minimum national technical standards for how disposal facilities should be designed and operated, but it is the responsibility for States to issue permits to ensure compliance with EPA protocol. Currently, 50 states and territories have been granted authority to implement the initial program. Many are also authorized to perform additional portions of the RCRA program that the EPA has since publicized. State RCRA programs must be at least as stringent as the federal requirements, but states can administer more rigorous requirements as well.

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