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You will write an essay that discusses the following components:

the four characteristics of a hazardous waste, of which ignitability is one;

the four lists of hazardous waste, of which one is the P list;

the manifest system of tracking hazardous waste;

treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in your area;

two features of a hazardous waste landfill that are not in a municipal solid waste landfill; and progress made by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)-otherwise known as the Superfund.

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Introduction

Hazardous waste management comprises of the practices that aim towards the minimization of the amount of hazardous substances that are produced, along with the treatment of these hazardous wastes so as to reduce their toxicity as well as application of the sound engineering processes for the reduction or elimination of the exposures to these wastes (PegEx, 2014). The following discussion would focus on exploring the various aspects of the management of hazardous wastes, along with the progress that has been made by Superfund towards the same.

Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous wastes are categorized based on the characteristics of the waste. The four major categories of hazardous wastes, as per EPA (Environment Protection Agency) include ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity (PegEx, 2014). Ignitable forms of wastes are of three types that comprises of liquids with the flash point of 60 degrees Celsius, solids that have the characteristics of spontaneous combustion, and compressed gasses and oxidizers. Corrosive wastes include corrosive substances such as nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, which can eat through containers and cause leakage of the materials (PegEx, 2014). Reactive wastes include the wastes that are unstable under the normal conditions. Toxic wastes comprise of those wastes that are fatal or harmful when ingested.

As per Environment Protection Agency (2012), the hazardous wastes listed under four major lists, namely the F-list that comprises of the non-specific source wastes, the K list that encompasses of the source specific wastes and the P list and the U list that includes the discarded products that are of commercial chemical origin. The F list designates those hazardous particular solid wastes that arise from certain manufacturing or industrial processes (Environment Protection Agency, 2012). The K list designates those particular solid wastes that arise from certain explicit industries. The P and U lists comprise of similar kinds of hazardous wastes that arise from the discard of the commercial chemical products. The difference that lies between the two lists is that the P list identifies the chemicals that are acute hazardous wastes, while the U list identifies those that are toxic wastes (Environment Protection Agency, 2012).

For tracking the hazardous wastes, right from the moment it leaves the facility of its generator, that is, where it was produced, until it arrives to the off-site of the waste management facility where the hazardous wastes would be stored, treated or disposed (Environment Protection Agency, 2019a). The hazardous waste manifest system that was designed by EPA, focuses towards fulfilling this aspect of the waste generation and storage. Lately, EPA has developed and established a national system that is used for tracking the hazardous waste shipments via the electronic means. This is known as the e-manifest system (Environment Protection Agency, 2019b).

Treatment, storage and disposal facilities of the hazardous wastes comprise of those facilities that follow the generator and transporter within the chain of the activities of the waste management. At the treatment facilities, various processes such as oxidation and incineration to alter the composition or character of the hazardous wastes. At the storage facilities, the hazardous wastes are held until their treatment or disposed of. At the disposal facilities, the hazardous wastes are permanently contained, such as landfills, which are constructed in such manner that the chemicals or the wastes would not reach the resources of groundwater or surface water (ENVIS Centre on Control of Pollution Water, Air and Noise, 2016).

The site of the hazardous waste landfill depends primarily on the topography as well as geohydrology. Other considerations comprise of land use, proximity to the producers of waste and the environmental conditions. Within the facility, the hazardous wastes are sorted ass per their compatibility and then they are stored in cells, that are between the heights of 5-6 meters. The wastes are then placed in these cells that are commonly stored within 55 gallon drums. Moreover, every day, a layer of compacted soil of 0.3 meter is placed on the top of the landfill so as to reduce the emission of the dusts and gases from the hazardous substances. Another characteristic of the hazardous waste landfills include the aspect that the soil of the facilities makes up the lowermost layer of the site being clay, as it is considered as a natural barrier for slowing down and preventing the leakage of leachates.

CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) or superfund was passed for identification of the sites where the hazardous materials have been threatening the public health or the environment, due to spillage, leakage or plain mismanagement and thereby the responsible party is identified. The Superfund has been successful to a large extent, with regards to the management of the hazardous wastes and prevention of its spread within the environmental factors (PegEx, 2013).

Conclusion

Based on the discussion, it can be determined that there are various processes that are associated with the waste management system that is required to be followed for ensuring the global, environmental and human health and safety.

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