The Georgia Hazardous Waste Management Act (HWMA) describes a comprehensive, Statewide program to manage hazardous wastes through regulating hazardous waste generation, transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal. Hazardous waste is defined by the Board of Natural Resources, and it includes any waste that the Board concludes is capable of posing a substantial present or future hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, transported, stored, disposed, or otherwise managed, based on regulations promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Hazardous Waste Management Act is administered and implemented by the Environmental Protection Division. No person shall and it shall be unlawful and a violation of the HWMA to construct, install, operate or substantially alter a hazardous waste facility without first obtaining and possessing a hazardous waste facility permit from the Director of the EPD.
The Georgia Hazardous Waste Management Act covers the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes and supplements the federal RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act). Violators are classified based on an analysis of the facility’s overall compliance with RCRA, which includes prior recalcitrant behavior, or a history of non-compliance. This establishes two categories of violators: Significant Non-Compilers (SNC) and other Secondary Violators (SV). SNCs are those facilities that have caused actual exposure or a substantial likelihood of exposure to hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents; are chronic or recalcitrant violators; or deviate substantially from the terms of a permit, order, and agreement or from RCRA statutory or regulatory requirements. The actual or substantial likelihood of exposure can be evaluated using facility specific environmental and exposure information whenever possible. This may include evaluating potential exposure pathways and the mobility and toxicity of the hazardous waste being managed. However, environmental impact alone is sufficient to cause a facility to be a SNC, particularly when the environmental media affected require special protection (e.g., wetlands or sources of underground drinking water). Facilities are evaluated on a multi-media basis; however, a facility may be found to be a chronic or recalcitrant violator based solely on prior RCRA violations and behavior.