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IS-14 Hazardous Wastes in Colorado: A Preliminary Evaluation of Generation and Geologic Criteria for Disposal

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Comprehensive discussion of hazardous-waste generation in Colorado. Sites considerations for disposal and some legal ramifications. Includes host rock suitability classification map. 100 pages. 8 figures. 6 tables. 1 plate (1:1,000,000).  Digital PDF download. IS-14D

Excerpted from the Executive Summary:

A major side effect of our technology-oriented society is the need to provide secure disposal of hazardous wastes. Across the nation it has been realized that the indiscriminate dumping of toxic materials will eventually create disastrous consequences including widespread groundwater contamination and other critical public health hazards. In 1979, the Colorado General Assembly ordered a study of this problem in Colorado in order to assess the hazardous waste disposal situation in the State.

Note this coincides with the beginning of the Resource conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and provides a now historical view of what was done to inventory hazardous wastes in Colorado. The then Colorado Department of Health began to inventory industrial waste generation in the State. Potential generators of hazardous waste in the State, including those with fewer than ten employees, were sent questionnaires. Results showed final disposition of hazardous wastes included: 1) landfilling at inadequately designed facilities, the most common disposal method; 2) storage/disposal on-site; 3) landfarming/recycling/reclaiming, and 4) incineration at private facilities.