Why was the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) enacted?

RCRA, which was enacted in 1976, is essentially a codification of common law public nuisance remedies and, therefore, incorporates the legal theories used for centuries to assess liability for creating a public nuisance (including the theories of tort, negligence, and strict liability) and to determine the appropriate remedies.  RCRA focuses on limiting waste production and ensuring that when waste is produced, it is treated and disposed of properly.

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