In 1976 Congress enacted the "Resource Conservation and Recovery Act" ("RCRA"), amending the "Solid Waste Disposal Act" to provide a framework for the proper management of currently generated hazardous and non-hazardous waste. In 1984 Congress enacted the "Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments" ("HSWA") to make owners or operators of treatment, storage and disposal ("TSD") facilities responsible for investigating, and, as necessary, cleaning up releases at or from their facilities, regardless of when the release occurred. EPA refers to the cleanup of TSD facilities under these statutory authorities as "RCRA Corrective Action." In 1992 Congress enacted the "Federal Facilities Compliance Act" to clarify that Federal agencies must comply with RCRA.
Congress intended for the states to implement the RCRA program. This is achieved through a process known as "delegation" or "authorization." When states incorporate the federal standards and processes into their state waste program, EPA evaluates each state's program for adequacy or equivalence with the federal program and then formally delegates the program to the state.