Any business operating in an industry where dangerous waste is created needs to develop a hazardous waste remediation plan. This plan should also follow Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) protocols, which help ensure safe “cradle-to-grave” management of solid waste materials.
If you’ve never created a hazardous waste remediation plan before, keep reading this article. In it, we’ll discuss the eight essential steps you need to take to develop and implement this type of plan.
1. Perform a Thorough Site Assessment
The first step to developing a hazardous waste remediation program is to meticulously assess your worksite. Because the solid waste identification process can be quite complex, you should consider working with a waste remediation specialist.
During the site assessment, you’ll want to identify and record the specific types of waste generated on your site, including all non-hazardous and hazardous materials, along with the appropriate waste reference codes defined by the EPA.
You’ll also need to create an accurate map of the area, noting the locations for each type of waste found. It’s important to understand all regulatory requirements for each waste product you identify.
Lastly, it’s critical to record the current methods to handle and dispose of these waste products and analyze how these disposal methods could be improved or changed.
2. Assign a Waste Management Team
Site managers need to assign responsible employees to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the waste management plan that’s developed. This team will also train all relevant employees on the new action plan. Everyone on the team should understand the project goals and the individual steps needed on each level to achieve or exceed these objectives. The primary goal of this team is to ensure constant regulatory compliance.
3. Identify Which Remediation Techniques Are Needed
Next, your waste management team will need to determine the specific techniques required to achieve safe and effective remediation. Some of the most common methods used, often in combination, include:
- Soil Vapor Extraction
- Thermal Desorption
Effective remediation must address sediment, soil, and ground and surface water restoration. You can read more about sediment, soil, and water remediation in this helpful guide. An environmental remediation specialist can also help you determine which techniques are needed in your specific situation.
4. Develop Goals & Create an Action Plan
Now that you have thoroughly assessed your workplace, assembled your waste management team, and identified and recorded the hazardous waste materials your company is generating, it’s time to finalize your plans and develop specific goals for remediation.
The primary intentions here are to:
- Protect the public and your employees.
- Understand the dynamics of your company’s hazardous waste generation.
- Minimize liabilities by complying with all federal, state, and local regulations.
- Implement compliant recordkeeping, packaging, storage, and general hazardous waste management.
To make the most of your plan, consider variables like how much waste your company plans to reduce and the timeline for reducing this waste. Your action plan should precisely define every type of solid waste your facility generates and the remediation techniques you have decided to use. And, of course, the plan needs to include specific details about storing, transporting, and disposing of all hazardous waste materials.
You can view an example hazardous waste management plan here.
5. Test Your Plan
It’s imperative to test your action plan before fully implementing it. This will help you identify potential errors and risks and make intelligent modifications as needed. Testing can be effectively accomplished in a simulated environment, which requires the assistance of an established environmental remediation company.
6. Help Your Waste Management Team to Succeed
At this point, it’s crucial that your waste management team works closely with environmental remediation specialists like the professionals at Archview Services. We test remediation plans in simulated environments to determine which elements are the most effective and which need to be modified or rethought completely.
7. Train All Employees
Members of your waste management team and other employees who handle or manage hazardous waste materials on-site are required to receive appropriate instruction and certification. You want to ensure that everybody is on the same page concerning:
- Your company’s responsibilities as a hazardous waste generator.
- A clear understanding of all EPA, state, and local regulations.
- Solid waste separation, storage, and labeling requirements.
- Best practices for cleaning up hazardous waste spills.
Additionally, all relevant staff should be trained on reducing, recycling, and reusing materials to limit hazardous waste generation. Instruction will also be required to fill out paperwork accurately and schedule and assist with waste pickup services. Ongoing training may also be required as regulations change within your industry.
8. Implement & Monitor
Lastly, once your waste management team and employees are familiar with the details of your remediation plan, it’s time for implementation.
Your waste management team members will be responsible for monitoring the progress achieved with your action plan. If mistakes or obstacles arise during the process, the team will be responsible for modifying the remediation plan and making relevant announcements to all employees about these changes. On-site implementation and monitoring will need to be performed constantly long-term.
Ensure Compliance by Partnering With Hazardous Waste Remediation Specialists
No matter which industry you operate in, if your company generates hazardous waste, the importance of effective remediation cannot be understated. If you need help developing your first remediation plan, get help from Archview Services.
We offer cost-effective, MBE-certified demolition, industrial cleaning, hazardous waste remediation, and tank cleaning and maintenance services to help your company operate safer, ensure compliance, and achieve higher long-term success rates.
Contact us today to learn more about our environmental remediation capabilities or to schedule an on-site consultation and assessment.