From Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering, Second Edition
A. Robert P.E. Corbitt

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OVERVIEW

Hazardous wastes are present throughout the world as by-products of growth and development and include pesticides from agricultural lands, gasoline leakage from service stations, heavy metals from plating solutions, medical wastes from hospitals, and radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants, These waste products pose unreasonable risks to human health and safety, property values and utilization, and all other components of the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations define hazardous wastes by inclusion of specific lists and by characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and/or EP toxicity. Household wastes, domestic sewage, and certain other wastes are excluded from these regulations.

The technology for treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes is the most rapidly developing area of environmental engineering. A significant portion of this technology is refinement and/or adaptation of proven practices in air quality control, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management. Also, the environmental engineer must learn more about hydrogeology to assess the subsurface disposition of hazardous wastes.

Hazardous waste treatment is characterized as liquid waste treatment, solid waste treatment, solidification and stabilization, thermal destruction, and land disposal. Remedial action is distinguished as surface water control, air pollution control, or in situ treatment.

At a hazardous waste treatment or disposal site, the environmental engineer must obstruct the routes of the waste into the environment. Principal routes include surface water contamination from runoff or overflows; groundwater contamination from leaks or leachate; air contamination from open burning, evaporation, or fugitive dusts; fire and/or explosion; and health risks...

Copyright The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 1999 under license agreement with Books24x7

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