Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs, US)


Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA, see entry in this dictionary, RCRA), the US Environmental Protection Agency has the responsibility for monitoring hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs). The US EPA establishes the minimal requirements for regulation of TSDFs. States, however, may excess US EPA minimal requirements.

The terms in the TSDF abbreviation refer to specific definitions of each of these elements. For example, a treatment and disposal facility is any facility that employs processes used to treat chemical and pollutants in ways that change their physical properties in an effort to reduce the impact of those wastes on the environment. This include what are called LDUs, or hazardous waste land disposal units (see, L D U) and apply to all of the following types of land disposal: landfills; surface impoundments; waste piles; land treatment units; waste injection wells; and to salt dome formations, salt bed formations, underground mine and underground caves used to store hazardous waste.

A storage facility is considered a temporary holding location where wastes are kept before treatment and disposal. Such storage facilities can include the use of containers (typically a 55 gallon drum); storage tanks specifically designed to hold hazardous waste; drip pads to contain hazardous waste leaks; hazardous waste containment buildings for the purpose of housing hazardous waste; waste pile or open air piles of hazardous waste; and surface impoundments that are either naturally occurring or are made for such a purpose (see, storage definition).

Numerous research studies employ TSDF data to examine various harms posed by those facilities: egs, Anderton et al., 1994;Atlas, 2002; Boerr et al., 1997; Mohai and Saha, 2007; Oakes et al., 1996; Pastor, Sadd and Hipp, 2001.

Further Reading


Anderton, Douglas L., Andy B. Anderson, Peter H. Rossi, John Michael Oakes, Michael R. Fraser, Eleanor W. Weber, and Edward J. Calabrese. “Hazardous Waste Facilities” Environmental Equity” Issues in Metropolitan Areas.” Evaluation Review 18, no. 2 (1994): 123-140.

Atlas, Mark. “Few and far between? An environmental equity analysis of the geographic distribution of hazardous waste generation.” Social Science Quarterly 83, no. 1 (2002): 365-378.

Boer, J. Tom, Manuel Pastor Jr, James L. Sadd, and Lori D. Snyder. “Is there environmental racism? The demographics of hazardous waste in Los Angeles County: Research on the environment.” Social Science Quarterly 78, no. 4 (1997): 793-810.

Mohai, Paul, and Robin Saha. “Racial inequality in the distribution of hazardous waste: A national-level reassessment.” (2007) Social Problems 54, 3: 343-370.

Oakes, John Michael, Douglas L. Anderton, and Andy B. Anderson. “A longitudinal analysis of environmental equity in communities with hazardous waste facilities.” Social Science Research 25, no. 2 (1996): 125-148.

Pastor, Manuel, Jim Sadd, and John Hipp. “Which Came First? Toxic Facilities, Minority Move‐in, and Environmental Justice.” Journal of Urban Affairs 23, no. 1 (2001): 1-21.

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