• Laws, Regulations, and Policies

    • Executive Order 13514

      EO 13514 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance expands on the energy reduction and environmental performance requirements for Federal agencies identified in EO 13423.  The goal of EO 13514 is "to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) a priority for Federal agencies." In addition to guidance, recommendations, and plans which are due by specific dates, EO 13514 lays out a number of numerical targets for agencies that the Department addresses in its Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan.  For more information on EO 13514 click here.

      Reference: FedCenter


    • Executive Order 13423

      According to EO 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, pollution prevention primarily consists of:

      • Reducing the quantity of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials acquired, used, or disposed of by the agency

      • Increasing diversion of solid waste as appropriate

      • Maintaining cost effective waste prevention and recycling programs in its facilities

      EO 13423, Section 3(a) further stipulates that pollution prevention is done by implementing sustainable practices for pollution waste prevention and recycling, as well as the reduction or elimination of acquisition and use of toxic or hazardous chemicals.

      Reference: FedCenter


    • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

      The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances.

      HSWA - the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments - are the 1984 amendments to RCRA that focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste as well as corrective action for releases. Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program. For more information click here.

      For Access to the RCRA Online Database click here
      . The RCRA Online database is designed to enable users to locate documents, including publications and other outreach materials, that cover a wide range of RCRA issues and topics.

    Reference: EPA


  • Departmental Goals - Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan

    Engaging in waste prevention and recycling activities are a key part of the Department's Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP).  One of the goals of the SSPP, titled Pollution Prevention and Waste Reduction, states that the Department will meet the following objectives in accordance with Executive Order 13514:

    • Increase source reduction of pollutants and waste.

    • Divert at least 50 percent nonhazardous solid waste by FY 2015, excluding construction and demolition (C&D) debris.

    • Divert at least 50 percent C&D materials and debris by FY 2015.

    • Reduce printing paper use.

    • Increase use of uncoated printing and writing paper containing at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.

    • Reduce and minimize the acquisition, use, and disposal of hazardous chemicals and materials.

    • Increase diversion of compostable and organic materials from the waste stream.

    • Implement integrated pest management and landscape management practices to reduce and eliminate the use of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials.

    • Increase agency use of acceptable alternative chemicals and processes.

    • Decrease agency use of chemicals to assist agency in achieving FY 2020 GHG reduction targets.  See Section II – goals 1 and 2 above.

    • Report in accordance with Sections 301-313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986.

Another goal of the SSPP, titled Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Develop and Maintain Agency Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Inventory, also relies upon waste prevention and recycling to achieve some of its objectives.  By 2020, the Department has established a scope 3 GHG emissions reduction goal of 9 percent relative to FY 2008.  By keeping waste out of landfills, the Department can effectively reduce its scope 3 emission levels.

Reference: DOI Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan