Mixed waste regulation

A dual regulatory framework exists for mixed waste, which is waste that the EPA considers to be hazardous and radioactive. The EPA or authorized states regulate the hazardous waste component and the NRC, NRC

Agreement States, or DOE regulate the radioactive component. The NRC and DOE regulate mixed waste radiation hazards using Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA) authority. The EPA regulates mixed waste chemical hazards under its Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) authority. The NRC is authorized by the AEA to issue licenses to commercial users of radioactive materials.

The EPA issued regulations in 2001 that apply to:

• storage at the generator site or another site operating under the same license

• treatment in a tank or container at the generator site or another site operating under the same license

• transportation to a licensed treatment facility or LLW disposal facility

• disposal at a licensed LLW disposal facility, as long as the waste meets RCRA treatment standards for hazardous constituents.

The EPA has also established National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) under the Clean Air Act for airborne radionu­clide emissions from a variety of industrial sources. Various subparts apply to underground uranium mines, inactive uranium mill tailings piles, and active uranium mill tailings piles, respectively.

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