Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



On February 28, 1985, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) proposed rules governing the incineration of liquid organic hazardous wastes at sea. By providing specific criteria governing at-sea incineration' the proposed rules would modify the provisions of the Ocean Dumping regulations. After more than a year of discussions among waste handlers, the EPA, and citizen and environmental groups over the merits and risks of at-sea incineration the EPA promulgated the rules. The EPA's rulemaking process drew an immediate and heated response from the public, and attracted the attention of several Congressional committees. Three years after proposing the rules, the EPA continues to consider information received during the comment period.

Although most of the critics focused upon the manner in which the EPA developed the rules, many detractors questioned the sufficiency of the rules under the various international agreements governing ocean dumping and incineration. This Article will address and analyze the shortcomings of the proposed rules with regard to the international law pertaining to ocean incineration.