Chlorinated solvents: the regulatory dilemma

by Kathleen A. Wolf

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Industry is actively seeking alternatives to land disposal for halogenated solvents because of federal and state regulations restricting such disposal, because of potential future liability, and because many land disposal sites are closing. This paper characterizes the use, emissions, and waste generation in three of the primary industries where solvents are used. It considers the hazardous waste regulatory regime in the light of the life cycle of the solvents, of the regulations that affected them historically, and of the interactions among them. It examines the potential of reclamation for reducing use of virgin solvents and commensurately reducing the amount of waste generated. Case studies illustrate that users are increasingly finding this option attractive.

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