Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

What is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a federal law enacted the Environmental Protection Agency in 1976 that established a regulatory system to track hazardous wastes from the point of generation to disposal. It established a “cradle to grave” process for management of hazardous waste (spent oil, cleaning agents, pesticides, etc.). The law requires the use of safe and secure procedures in treating, transporting, storing, and disposing of hazardous wastes. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement RCRA.

RCRA Regulations

You may access the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations at this link - R.61-79.pdf.

DHEC periodically revises the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations to remain consistent with the EPA hazardous waste management regulations. Updates to the S.C. Hazardous Waste Management Regulations are described on this webpage - Hazardous Waste Management Regulations Update Status | SCDHEC.

Additional information on RCRA may be obtained at EPA’s RCRA website at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Laws and Regulations | US EPA

What does a RCRA permit do?

A RCRA permit establishes requirements for properly managing hazardous waste. RCRA Permits are issued for any one or a combination of the following activities:

  • Treatment- use processes to alter the character or composition of hazardous waste
  • Storage- temporarily store hazardous waste until it is treated or disposed
  • Disposal- permanently contain waste
  • Corrective Action - Cleanup of past contamination

What is the RCRA Corrective Action Process?

Establishes a framework for facilities (Commercial, DoD, etc.) to investigate and clean-up hazardous waste contamination. The facilities are required to clean up all affected media (soil, groundwater, surface water, and air). DHEC oversees all stages of the process.

RCRA Public Participation

The goal of Public Participation in RCRA is to involve the public early and often in the permitting process. This allows the public multiple opportunities to learn about the facility operations and to provide input both to DHEC and the facility. 

There are two types of public meetings held as part of the public participation process:

  • Facility-led
  • DHEC-led

Facility-led meetings

The RCRA regulations require the facility to hold a public meeting when:

  • An application for a permit is submitted for a new facility
  • A modification is requested for a current permit.

The Department is present at these meetings to help answer questions from the public and to hear public input prior to making a decision to issue a Permit.

DHEC-led meetings

DHEC holds public meeting or hearings, if requested, for draft permits issued for:

  • A new permit
  • Permit renewal
  • Permit modification

Where to submit comments?

For both facility-led and DHEC-led public meetings, comments should be submitted to:

Stacey French
Division of Waste Management
Bureau of Land and Waste Management
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 898-0238


Environment Land & Waste