Industrial Waste: Saving the Worst for Last?

19 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2009 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

See all articles by John C. Dernbach

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: 1990


This article explains why industrial waste that is not legally hazardous must be given greater attention and regulatory oversight. Industrial waste (including coal ash) may represent as much as 94 percent of municipal, hazardous, and industrial wastes combined. The article explores the existing federal framework for industrial waste and looks at innovative state approaches, particularly the approach taken in Pennsylvania. The article recommends four national goals for addressing industrial waste: energy and materials conservation, environmental protection at waste management facilities, prompt and significant results, and genuine state and federal partnerships. The author suggests changes to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that would help achieve these goals.

Keywords: [comma separated] industrial waste, industrial solid waste, coal ash, bottom ash, fly ash, disposal impoundment, solid waste, waste disposal, groundwater contamination, groundwater pollution, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, residual waste, Pennsylvania

JEL Classification: K19, K23, K32, K39, 013, Q24, Q25, Q28, Q38, Q48, Q01

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C., Industrial Waste: Saving the Worst for Last? (1990). Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 20, No. 10283, 1990, Available at SSRN:

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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