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Project on the Research of American RCRA & CERCLA Procedures and its Framework in Pursuing Liabiliti

In dealing with the hazardous industrial waste in illegal dumping sites in Taiwan, such as Hsien-Yu Stone Industry at Taichung and Red Mountain Rock at Pingtung, the choice-of-law issue concerning the application of Waste Disposal Act and the Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Act has arisen. This project focuses on the research of RCRA(Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) and CERCLA(Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) procedures in dealing with soil contamination by illegal Waste Disposal. We have found that neither act has a precise provision concerning the choice of law between these two acts in dealing with soil contamination by illegal Waste Disposal. Therefore, it has become very important in the United States to coordinate between RCRA and CERCLA actions. Although the EPA of the United States abides by the principle of parity between RCRA and CERCLA actions, in practice RCRA has the priority in most cases because the procedures of CERCLA are relatively complicate, rigid and time-consuming. For efficiency purpose, local authorities in our country likewise give Waste Disposal Act priority in dealing with soil contamination by illegal dumping. The concurrence in the choice of law is a coincidence without prior discussion. However, in applying Waste Disposal Act, some local authorities face the awkward situation of lack of sufficient resources. The problem shall be resolved after establishing the Fund for Disposal of Waste Resources through the promulgation of the proposed “Resources Waste recycling and Reuse Act”, which shall merge the Waste Disposal Act and the Waste Recovery and Reuse Act. Accordingly, when the proposed bill is at the stage of discussion in the Legislative Yuan, the competent authorities of the new fund shall pay more attention on the status and development of its legislation. In addition, we also introduced the “Mixture Rule” and the “Derived –From”Rule in the identification of hazardous waste in the United States, which shall be very helpful for us in dealing with the soil contamination by illegal Waste Disposal.
Mixture Rule, RCRA Corrective Action/ CERCLA Remedial Action, Hazardous Waste