Releases of hazardous substances can have a significant impact on the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands as well as on the health and safety of individuals who utilize and work on those lands. The majority of hazardous waste sites on public lands are the result of commercial uses, such as, landfills, mines and mill sites.
Illegal activities, such as trespass dumping also contribute to hazardous materials releases. Almost 40% of all hazardous waste sites discovered are the result of illegal activities. It is the responsibility of the Hazardous Materials Program to effectively manage, mitigate and minimize the impacts of these releases to public lands.