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How do you dispose of contaminated soil?

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Quick Answer

According to Phase IV soil treatment standards from the Environmental Protection Agency, you must reduce the hazardous elements in contaminated soil by at least 90 percent or meet 10 times the standard for universal treatment given the specific contaminant before disposing of the soil in an approved landfill. Other state regulations further govern the disposal of contaminated soil based on the type of contamination.

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Full Answer

Individual states monitor the disposal of contaminated soil through their own departments of or commissions on environmental quality. For example, the state of Texas defines special waste by its physical, biological or chemical characteristics, as well as the quantity and concentration. This includes contaminated soils. The generator of the waste must test it to classify it, which determines the correct treatment and disposal requirements.

In the state of Georgia, it is necessary to test the soil through soil sampling at a recycling facility to test for pesticides or total petroleum hydrocarbons. Following the results, you must pre-treat the soil, excavate it and transport it to a landfill in an approved vehicle. In the state of Oregon, dispose of contaminated soil in active permitted facilities, which may include landfills. Databases with further hazardous waste disposal information include RCRAInfo, EPA Reach It and the Clu-in Hazardous Waste Clean-up information site.

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