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AEG Presidential Visit - Chicago Chapter
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Category: AEG President Visit

RCRA Requirements for Hazardous Waste Land-based Units

Cynthia Palomares, P.G., P.E., AEG President

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was passed by Congress in 1976 to regulate hazardous waste from its development to its disposal.  RCRA requires that all hazardous waste disposed of in land-based units must meet certain criteria to ensure protection of human health and the environment.  Land-based units that manage hazardous waste may include landfills, surface impoundments, waste piles, and land-treatment units.  Requirements for land-based units include criteria for siting, design, operation, and closure.  In addition, hazardous waste must be treated to meet certain standards before disposal in land-based units.  As discussed in this case study, proper siting, design, and operating standards for a hazardous waste landfill in Texas will help ensure protection of human health and the environment.

AEG President Bio: 

Cynthia D. Palomares is currently an Adjunct Instructor for the Texas A&M University, Texas Engineering Extension Service in College Station.  As an adjunct instructor, Ms. Palomares conducts training courses for environmental professionals for certification of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.  Prior to her work as an adjunct Instructor, Ms. Palomares was a Project Manager for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Austin from 1993 until her retirement in 2016.  As a project manager in the Industrial & Hazardous Waste Permits Section, Ms. Palomares reviewed and evaluated hazardous waste permit applications for both regulatory and technical completeness to ensure compliance with applicable hazardous waste, radioactive waste, and Texas Risk Reduction Program rules and regulations.  Prior to her position as a project manager in the I&HW Permits Section, Ms. Palomares conducted technical reviews and processed applications for underground injection control (UIC) and in-situ leachate uranium mining facilities in the UIC/Radioactive Waste Section of the TCEQ.  Prior to employment with the TCEQ, Ms. Palomares was employed as a staff scientist for Westinghouse Hanford Company in Richland, Washington for three years. 

Ms. Palomares earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Engineering Geology from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.  She is both a Licensed Professional Geologist and Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.

Ms. Palomares joined AEG in 1986 as a student member of the Lone Star student chapter at Texas A&M University.  In 1990, she was awarded the “Best Student Presentation Award” at the Texas Section Spring Meeting. In 2011, she was awarded the “Floyd T. Johnston Outstanding Engineering Geologist Award” at the Texas Section Fall Meeting.  Service to AEG includes the following positions:  Lone Star Student Chapter Officer (1986-1990), Washington Section Field Trip Coordinator (1991-1993), Texas Section Treasurer (2001-2003), Texas Section Vice-Chair (2004-2006), Texas Section Chair (2007-2009), Texas Section Past Chair (2010-2012), 2010 Shlemon Specialty Conference Chair on “Gulf Coast Subsidence and Sea-level Rise”, Governance Committee member (2010-2012), Section/Chapter Support Committee Chair  (2012-2016), AEG Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair (2014 - 2016), AEG Secretary (2016-2017), AEG Treasurer (2017-2018), AEG Vice-President (2018-2019) and President (2019-2020).