Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law and Legal Definition

The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is an office within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that has the responsibility for all EPA hazardous waste-related programs. The OSWER provides policy, guidance, and direction for the EPA’s emergency response and waste programs.

The OSWER also develops guidelines for the land disposal of hazardous waste and underground storage tanks. To establish safe practices in waste management, the OSWER provides technology based assistance to all levels of government.

Additionally, the OSWER manages the Superfund program, which responds to abandoned and active hazardous waste sites and accidental oil and chemical releases. It also administers the Brownfields program which supports state and local governments in redeveloping and reusing potentially contaminated sites. It also encourages innovative technologies to address contaminated soil and groundwater.