Improving the Biennial Report: Options and Challenges
April 2003. Prepared with Industrial Economics, Inc. for the US EPA's Office of Planning, Analysis, and Accountability and the Office of Solid Waste.
Although a central source for trends on hazardous waste generation and management for over twenty years, the Biennial Report has been plagued by problems of high cost, long delays, and poor data quality. These have greatly reduced its effectiveness as a planning and enforcement tool. This paper provides an integrated review of hazardous waste reporting at the federal, state, and corporate level in order to identify the most promising options for EPA regarding the Biennial Report. Enhancing an extensive literature review with numerous interviews with people involved with different aspects of the problem, this report quantifies the high cost of the current system and identifies important trends in, and roadblocks to, hazardous waste data automation and integration. The report also provides useful insights from the private sector logistics industry that can be applied to achieve much less expensive, more accurate, and more timely information on hazardous waste flows.