Guidance and Policy

Guidance documents are issued by U.S. EPA primarily to provide direction for implementing and complying with regulations. They are essentially "how to" documents. For example, the regulations in 40 CFR Part 270 detail what is required in a permit application for a hazardous waste management facility, while the guidance for this Part suggests how to evaluate a permit application to ensure that all information has been included. Guidance documents also elaborate on the U.S. EPA's interpretation of the requirements of the Act.

Policy statements, on the other hand, specify operating procedures that should generally be followed. They are mechanisms used by U.S. EPA program offices to outline the manner in which the RCRA programs are implemented. For example, U.S. EPA's Office of Solid Waste (OSW) may issue a policy outlining what actions should generally be taken to achieve RCRA corrective action cleanup goals. In many cases, policy statements are addressed to the staff working on implementation, but they may also be addressed to the regulated community.

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