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Realistic standard methods are needed by both the regulatory agencies and the regulated communities to measure parameters for evaluating the degree of hazard of solid wastes and the degree of control of proper management techniques. Current regulations issued under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) contain nonconsensus testing procedures for four characteristics of hazard and determinations of certain species in solid wastes.
Petition may be made for an equivalent testing method. The American Society for Testing and materials (ASTM) is currently developing an equivalent standard method to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extraction procedure. Petition also may be made to exclude a specific waste produced at a particular facility if listing is found to be inappropriate. ASTM is presently active in providing standard methods for obtaining data for delisting. Standard methods also are needed for measuring the containment of wastes in tanks; the migration of constituents from impoundments, landfills, and landfarms; the destruction and removal efficiency in incineration processes; and the extent of conversion of hazardous constituents in physical, chemical, and biological treatment processes. Demonstration of equivalent performance for these processes for storage, treatment, and disposal of solid wastes using standard methods is a third area of ASTM involvement.
There are two parallel activities involving standard methods: the development of realistic standard methods for measuring effects and exposures of solid wastes; and the evaluation of reproducible results to establish regulatory limits on hazardous constituents and performance guidelines for waste management facilities. The development of realistic tests for effects and exposures of solid wastes is within the province of ASTM. Such tests must also include consideration of toxicity, partition, and fate of hazardous constituents. The evaluation of results is the joint responsibility of the regulatory agency and the regulated community.
hazardous solid waste, acute hazardous wastes, characteristics, corrosivity, degree, effect, extraction procedure toxicity, exposure, fate, hazard, ignitability, listings, partition, reactivity, toxicity, toxic wastes, wastes from specific and nonspecific sources
Research specialist, Environmental Sciences Research Laboratory, Dow Chemical U.S.A., Midland, Mich.