RCRA/Hazardous Waste

B&D has been at the forefront of hazardous waste issues under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and its state counterparts since the inception of the federal regulatory program in 1980. We have represented countless companies on these issues, in industries as diverse as chemicals, petroleum, mining, electronics, consumer products, retail, transportation/logistics, and waste treatment/recycling, as well as local, state, and even federal government entities.


We counsel clients nationwide on the full range of hazardous waste issues, including determining whether particular materials qualify as solid or hazardous wastes; identifying regulatory exemptions that reduce or eliminate applicable requirements; evaluating specific regulatory obligations under the rules for generators, transporters, and treatment, storage, or disposal facilities (TSDFs); and developing strategies for modifying existing operations or designing new operations so that regulatory compliance can be ensured as cost-effectively as possible. We also frequently work on hazardous waste issues in the context of site remediation, for example with respect to facility-wide “corrective action” requirements for interim status or permitted TSDFs, as well as RCRA requirements for handling contaminated soil and debris at sites being cleaned up pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) or state voluntary remediation programs.

Rulemakings and Enforcement Defense

We have participated in virtually every major RCRA rulemaking, and have had considerable success in advocating for regulatory changes that are favorable to our clients’ interests. When necessary, we have also successfully challenged RCRA regulations in the courts. Similarly, we have successfully defended countless RCRA civil, criminal, and administrative enforcement actions brought by EPA and the states. In many cases, we have obtained dismissal of the actions, while in others we have negotiated highly favorable settlements.


In addition to working on hazardous waste issues under RCRA and its state analogues, we regularly help clients with similar issues under foreign and international law. For example, we have assisted clients in determining whether various materials are subject to the rules for hazardous wastes or hazardous recyclable materials on all seven continents, including in the European Union and over 30 other countries (working with local counsel as needed). We also frequently counsel clients on how to ship recyclable materials between countries under the Basel Convention and related international agreements. Examples of the materials we have addressed include batteries of various types and sizes, glass cullet, used electronics, petroleum refining catalysts, and recalled toys.