Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Law and Legal Definition

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste. The Act gives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances.