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Handbook of Environmental Engineering by Myer Kutz

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19Hazardous Waste Management

Clayton J. Clark II1 and Stephanie Luster‐Teasley2

1 Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, FAMU‐FSU College of Engineering, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

2 Department of Civil, Architectural, & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA

19.1 Fundamentals

Hazardous waste is the classification of waste that has the potential to poses a substantial denture to human, plant or animal life. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) first defined the term in 1976 as part of the nation’s first hazardous waste law. This classification applies to solids, sludges, liquids, or gases that by nature of their chemical reactivity can cause danger to the environment or human health if released. They include chemicals which are toxic, explosive, or corrosive but do not include waste chemicals which may be radioactive or infectious. Radioactive and infections wastes, while hazardous, have special handling and management requirements.

Numerous examples of hazardous waste exposure to humans, animals, and in the environment. Examples such as the Love Canal, DDT bioaccumulation impacting Antarctic penguins, trichloroethylene plumes contaminating groundwater, lead in paint and gasoline, and mercury contamination of fish from contaminated waterways located near industries. Two recent examples of hazardous waste spills were the result of accidental releases of contaminants. ...

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