Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/27/1976)

(Measure passed House, amended, in lieu of H.R. 14496)

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to revise "Title II: Solid Waste Disposal." Expresses the intent and findings of Congress that alternative energy sources for public and private consumption are necessary to reduce dependence on petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear and hydroelectric generations as a power source. Establishes the objective of establishing a cooperative effort to recover potential energy sources and other valuable materials from discarded material.

Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and publish guidelines for solid waste management.

Directs the Administrator to establish within the Agency an Office of Solid Waste to carry out administrative functions under the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

Stipulates that such Office shall be headed by a Deputy Assistant Administrator of the EPA.

Directs the Administrator of the EPA to perform enumerated functions including furnishing resource recovery and conservation personnel teams to States and local governments upon request. Authorizes Federal grants to public and private applicants to assist in the purchase of discarded tire shredders.

Directs the Administrator to report annually to Congress on the activities of the Office of Solid Waste.

Authorizes the appropriation of specified sums in fiscal years 1977 through 1979 to carry out the purposes of such Act.

Directs the Administrator to establish criteria for identifying hazardous waste materials. Authorizes the Governor of any State, not later than 18 months after the enactment of this title, to petition the Administrator to identify or list a material as a hazardous waste. Establishes procedures for the development of standards to seasonably protect human health from hazardous waste.

Directs the Administrator to establish a permit program to regulate the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Establishes requirements for application for such permits.

Directs the Administrator to establish standards for State hazardous waste programs. Establishes procedures for authorization and withdrawal of authorization by the Administrator for the operation of State programs.

Requires the operators of facilities regulated by this Act to allow authorized officials duly designated by the Administrator access to records relating to hazardous waste, and to enter and inspect facilities at any reasonable time upon the furnishing of a written statement as to the reason for the inspection by the authorized official.

Establishes procedures for Federal enforcement of hazardous waste regulations.

Directs the Administrator to publish guidelines identifying those areas which have common discarded materials problems and are appropriate units for planning the management of such problems. Lists factors to be considered by the Administrator in developing such guidelines.

Establishes minimum requirements for approval of plans by the Administrator.

Directs the Administrator to establish criteria for classification of facilities as sanitary landfills. Stipulates that each State or regional plan shall require disposal of all discarded material in a sanitary landfill.

Authorizes the appropriation of $30,000,000 for fiscal year 1978, and $40,000,000 for fiscal year 1979 for grants to States for the development and implementation of State plans.

Directs the Administrator to make grants to States to provide assistance to municipalities with a population of five thousand or less or counties with a population of ten thousand or less or less than twenty persons per square mile, and not within a metropolitan area, for solid waste management facilities.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish accurate specifications for recovered materials, to promote development of resource recovery technology, and to stimulate the development of markets for recovered materials.

Directs the Administrator to promulgate regulations which shall apply to any property, facility, or activity governing management of discarded materials. Requires Federal procurement agencies to maximize use of resource recovery and energy efficient methods in Federal procurement practices. Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish guidelines for procurement agencies with recommended practices designed to encourage energy conservation and resource recovery.

Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who seek to enforce legally protected rights under such Act. Authorizes citizen suits in Federal district courts for alleged violations of provisions of such Act.

Authorizes additional research and development designed to improve solid waste management practices in an environmentally sound manner. Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a management program to coordinate solid waste research and development activities.

Directs the Administrator to make special studies and reports on: (1) resource recovery from glass and plastic waste; (2) potential utility of future components of the solid waste stream; (3) promising techniques of energy recovery from solid waste; (4) systems of small-scale solid waste management; (5) compatibility of front-end source separation systems with high technology resource recovery systems; (6) solid waste from mining; (7) sludge; (8) discarded motor vehicle tires; (9) economics of resource recovery; (10) environmental, social, economic, and other impacts of alternative waste reduction systems; and (11) hazards to aviation caused by birds congregating on landfull sites near airports.

Directs the Administrator to collect and coordinate information on solid waste, resource recovery, and management practices, to be housed in a central reference library.

Authorizes the Administrator to make grants for the construction and operation of full-scale demonstration facilities.

Requires the President to direct such executive agencies or departments as he deems appropriate to determine the best overall procedures for removing existing solid waste on Federal lands in Alaska.