Land Pollution Laws

By Anaid Heyd
Illegally disposed toxic waste creates land pollution.
Chris Sattlberger/Photodisc/Getty Images

Land pollution creates a threat to the environment and to drink-water sources. It creates erosion and contaminates water with chemicals that are harmful to humans. For this reason, federal and state Environmental Protect Agencies (EPA) have passed land pollution laws that help regulate how to prevent hazardous waste from contamination the land.

Pollution Prevention Act

The Office of Pollution Prevention was created under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the passage of the Pollution Prevention Act in 1990. Its mission was to develop strategies to reduce and prevent pollution nationwide. As a result, factory and manufacturing companies today must report any pollution-causing sources on an annual basis. If source production is particularly high, the agency can force the manufacturer to reduce the amount of any hazardous pollutant, substance or contaminant that is affecting the quality of the land around it. The act also authorizes funding for research to find cost-effective methods of replacing the reduction with low-pollutant production, materials and operation.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) helps prevent land contamination by authorizing the EPA to regulate how manufacturing agencies manage hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is material that has been discarded during the manufacturing process; waste can include solids, liquids, gases or sludges. RCRA mandates that such material be properly stored, disposed and transported. Handlers must carry a RCRA identification number and register their activities annually or biannually. The act also authorizes the creation of a corrective action program that investigates and cleans after a spill or contaminated area.

Land Pollution and Refuse Disposal

The Land Pollution and Refuse Disposal Act is an environmental law that regulates waste disposal under the Illinois EPA. The act's mission is prevent mismanagement of waste so that it does not pollute land or affect human health. To this effect, waste manufacturers must comply with several standards regarding the treatment, disposal and storage of hazardous waste. In addition, hazardous waste managers must not generate more than 1,000 kilograms of waste a month. Any violation must be reported to the Illinois EPA, along with the location name of where waste was shipped for disposal and how the contaminant was handled.

About the Author

Based in El Paso, Texas, Anaid Heyd has been writing research articles since 2001. Her work has been published in the "American University Law Review." She has bachelor's degrees in political science and Chicano studies from the University of Texas at El Paso and is currently in law school at American University.