Beware the Sediment Scare

by Jonathan Jones, Vice President; Wright Water Engineering, Inc., Denver,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 7, Pg. 56-57

Document Type: Feature article


Your municipal or industrial stormwater facility meets best management practices (BMPs) as outlined by EPA. It is designed to meet requirements under the Clean Water Act and the accompanying National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. So it's protected from hazardous waste sanctions, right? Maybe not. Because of the breadth and complexity of the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a number of unusual and perhaps unintended regulatory consequences can arise. For instance, retention ponds, infiltration basins, buried concrete vaults, created wetlands and other facilities not intended to contain or manage hazardous wastes could be characterized or identified as hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. Under current RCRA regulations, the mixture and derived-from rules may cause sediments with extremely low concentrations of certain constituents to be classified as hazardous waste. Designers and facility owners must recognize this and plan for it.

Subject Headings: Hazardous wastes | Disasters and hazards | Waste treatment plants | Waste storage | Storage facilities | Retention basins | Recharge basins

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