Land Disposal Program



Resolution No. 93-62

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STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD

RESOLUTION NO. 93-62
 
POLICY FOR REGULATION OF DISCHARGES
OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE


WHEREAS:

  1. Water quality protection -- The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and each Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) are the state agencies with primary responsibility for the coordination and control of water quality (California Water Code Section 13001, "WC Section 13001");

  2. State Policy for Water Quality Control -- The State Water Board is authorized to adopt State Policy For Water Quality Control which may consist of or contain "...principles and guidelines deemed essential by the state board for water quality control" (Authority: WC Sections 1058, 13140, 13142);

  3. State agency compliance -- All State agencies shall comply with State Policy For Water Quality Control regarding any activities that could affect water quality (WC Section 13146);

  4. Waste Discharge Requirements -- Regional Water Boards regulate discharges of waste that could affect the quality of waters of the state, including discharges of solid waste to land, through the issuance of waste discharge requirements (WC Section 13263);

  5. Solid waste disposal -- The State Water Board is directed to classify wastes according to threat to water quality and to classify waste disposal sites according to ability to protect water quality (WC Section 13172);

  6. Land Disposal -- The State Water Board promulgated regulations, codified in Chapter 15 of Division 3 of Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations (23 CCR Sections 2510-2601, "Chapter 15"), governing discharges of waste to land. These regulations:
    1. Contain classification criteria for wastes and for disposal sites;
    2. Prescribe minimum standards for the siting, design, construction, monitoring, and closure of waste management units;

  7. Federal authority -- The federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 USC Section 6901, et seq, "SWDA"), authorizes development of nationwide standards for disposal sites for municipal solid waste [MSW], including criteria for sanitary landfills (SWDA Sections 1007, 4004, 42 USC Sections 6907, 6944);

  8. Federal MSW regulations -- On October 9, 1991, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) promulgated regulations that apply, in California, to dischargers who own or operate landfills which accept municipal solid waste on or after October 9, 1991, (MSW landfills), regardless of whether or not a permit is issued (Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], Parts 257 and 258, "federal MSW regulations"). The majority of the federal MSW regulations become effective on what is hereinafter referred to as the "Federal Deadline" [40 CFR Section 258.1(e)], currently October 9, 1993;

  9. States required to apply federal MSW regulations -- Each state must "...adopt and implement a permit program or other system of prior approval and conditions to assure that each...[MSW landfill]...within such state...will comply with the...[federal MSW landfill regulations]." State regulations promulgated to satisfy this requirement are subject to approval by USEPA. (SWDA Sections 4003, 4005, 42 USC Sections 6943, 6945);

  10. Approved state's authority -- The permitting authority in an "approved state" may approve engineered alternatives to certain prescriptive standards contained in the federal MSW regulations, provided that the alternative meets specified conditions and performance standards (40 CFR 256.21);

  11. State application -- The State Water Board and the Integrated Waste Management Board submitted an application for program approval to the USEPA on February 1, 1993;

  12. Chapter 15 deficiencies -- The State Water Board's Chapter 15 regulations are comparable to the federal MSW regulations. Nevertheless, the USEPA has identified several areas of Land Disposal which are not adequate to ensure compliance with certain provisions of the federal MSW regulations, as summarized in Attachment I;

  13. Rulemaking to amend Chapter 15 -- There is insufficient time, prior to October 9, 1993, for the State Water Board to amend Chapter 15 to ensure complete consistency with the federal MSW regulations and subsequently for the USEPA to carry out a review of the revised chapter and to render a decision approving California's permit program;

  14. Composite liner(s) needed -- Solid Waste Assessment Test Reports, submitted to Regional Water Boards pursuant to WC Section 13273, have shown that releases of leachate and gas from MSW landfills that are unlined are likely to degrade the quality of underlying ground water. Research on liner systems for landfills indicates that (a) single clay liners will only delay, rather than preclude, the onset of leachate leakage, and (b) the use of composite liners represents the most effective approach for reliably containing leachate and landfill gas;

  15. Lack of compliance with Chapter 15 -- WDRs for many MSW landfills have not been revised to meet the most recent Chapter 15 amendments;

  16. CEQA -- Adoption of this policy is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13, commencing with Section 21000, of the Public Resources Code, "CEQA") because it is an action by a regulatory agency for the protection of natural resources, within the meaning of Section 15307 of the Guidelines For Implementation of California Environmental Quality Act in Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations;

  17. Public notice -- Notice of the State Water Board's proposal to adopt a State Policy for Water Quality Control regarding Regulation of Discharges of Municipal Solid Waste was published on March 31, 1993, and a public hearing on the matter was held on June 1, 1993; and

  18. Reference -- This Policy implements, interprets, or makes specific the following Water Code Sections: Section 13142, Section 13160, Section 13163, and Section 13172.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

  1. Implementation of the Chapter 15 and federal MSW regulations:

    1. WDR revision -- In order to insure compliance with SWDA Sections 4003, 4005 (42 USC Sections 6943, 6945), each Regional Water Board shall henceforth implement in waste discharge requirements for discharges at MSW landfills, both the Chapter 15 regulations and those applicable provisions of the federal MSW regulations that are necessary to protect water quality, particularly the containment provisions stipulated in Section III of this Policy and the provisions identified in Attachment I to this Policy, and shall revise existing waste discharge requirements to accomplish this according to the schedule provided in Section II of this Policy;

    2. Alternatives limited -- The Regional Water Board shall not rely upon any exemption or alternative allowed by Chapter 15 if such an exemption or alternative would not be allowed under the federal MSW regulations, nor shall the Regional Water Board waive waste discharge requirements for the discharge of municipal solid waste at landfills;

    3. Applicability in the absence of useable waters -- Although all other provisions of this Policy would continue to apply, the Regional Water Board shall have the discretion to prescribe requirements for containment systems and water quality monitoring systems that are less stringent than the design and construction standards in this Policy, in the federal MSW regulations, and in Chapter 15 if the Regional Water Board finds that the containment systems satisfy the performance standard for liners in the federal MSW regulations [40 CFR Sections 258.40(a)(1) and (c)], that the prerequisite for an exemption from ground water monitoring in the federal MSW regulations is satisfied [40 CFR Section 258.50(b)], and that either of the following two conditions is satisfied:
      1. A hydrogeologic investigation shows that:
        1. There is no aquifer (i.e., a geological formation, group of formations, or portion of a formation capable of yielding significant quantities of ground water to wells or springs) underlying the facility property; and
        2. It is not reasonably foreseeable that fluids--including leachate and landfill gas--migrating from the landfill could reach any aquifer or surface water body in the ground water basin within which the landfill is located; or
      2. The ground water in the basin underlying the facility has no beneficial uses and a hydrogeologic investigation shows that it is not reasonably foreseeable that fluids--including leachate and landfill gas--migrating from the landfill could reach any aquifer or surface water body having beneficial uses.

  2. Implementation schedule:

    1. MSW landfills -- By the Federal Deadline (e.g., October 9, 1993), each Regional Water Board shall amend the waste discharge requirements for discharges of waste at all MSW landfills in its region (including discharges to any area outside the actual waste boundaries of an MSW landfill as they exist on that date ["lateral expansion" hereinafter]), to require persons who own or operate such landfills to:
      1. Except for the ground water monitoring and corrective action requirements under 40 CFR Sections 258.50-258.58, comply with all applicable portions of the federal MSW regulations by the Federal Deadline; and
      2. Achieve full compliance with Chapter 15 and with the federal ground water monitoring and corrective action requirements under 40 CFR Sections 258.50-258.58 as follows:
        1. For all MSW landfills that are less than one mile from a drinking water intake (surface or subsurface), by no later than October 9, 1994; and
        2. For all other MSW landfills that have accepted waste prior to the effective date of this Policy, by no later than October 9, 1995;

    2. Proposed MSW landfills -- As of the date of the Federal Deadline, waste discharge requirements for the discharge of waste at all MSW landfills that have not accepted waste as of that date shall ensure full compliance both with Chapter 15 and with the federal MSW regulations prior to the discharge of waste to that landfill.

  3. Containment -- As of the Federal Deadline, discharges of waste to either an MSW landfill that has not received waste as of that date or to a lateral expansion of an MSW landfill unit are prohibited unless the discharge is to an area equipped with a containment system which is constructed in accordance with the standard of the industry and which meets the following additional requirements for both liners and leachate collection systems:

    1. Standards for liners
      1. Post-Federal Deadline construction -- Except as provided in either Section III.A.3. (for steep sideslopes) or Section III.A.2. (for new discharges to pre-existing liners), after the Federal Deadline, all containment systems shall include a composite liner that consists of an upper synthetic flexible membrane component (Synthetic Liner) and a lower component of soil, and that either:
        1. Prescriptive Design:
          1. Upper component -- Has a Synthetic Liner at least 40-mils thick (or at least 60-mils thick if of high density polyethylene) that is installed in direct and uniform contact with the underlying compacted soil component described in paragraph III.A.1.a.ii.; and
          2. Lower component -- Has a layer of compacted soil that is at least two feet thick and that has an hydraulic conductivity of no more than 1 x 10-7 cm/sec (0.1 feet/year); or
        2. Alternative design -- Satisfies the performance criteria contained in 40 CFR Sections 258.40(a)(1) and (c), and satisfies the criteria for an engineered alternative to the above Prescriptive Design [as provided by 23 CCR Section 2510(b)], where the performance of the alternative composite liner's components, in combination, equal or exceed the waste containment capability of the Prescriptive Design;
      2. New discharges to liners constructed prior to the Federal Deadline -- Except as provided in Section III.A.3. (for steep sideslopes), containment systems that will begin to accept municipal solid waste after the Federal Deadline, but which have been constructed prior to the Federal Deadline, are not required to meet the provisions of Section III.A.1. if the containment system includes a composite liner that:
        1. Prescriptive Design -- Features as its uppermost component a Synthetic Liner at least 40-mils thick (or at least 60-mils if high density polyethylene) that is installed in direct and uniform contact with the underlying materials; and
        2. Performance -- Meets the performance criteria contained in 40 CFR Sections 258.40(a)(1) and (c);
      3. Steep sideslopes -- Containment systems installed in those portions of an MSW landfill where an engineering analysis shows, and the Regional Water Board finds, that sideslopes are too steep to permit construction of a stable composite liner that meets the prescriptive standards contained in Sections III.A.1 or 2. shall include an alternative liner that meets the performance criteria contained in 40 CFR Sections 258.40(a)(1) and (c) and that either:
        1. Is a composite system and includes as its uppermost component a Synthetic Liner at least 40-mils thick (or at least 60-mils if high density polyethylene) that is installed in direct and uniform contact with the underlying materials; or
        2. Is not a composite system, but includes a Synthetic Liner at least 60-mils thick (or at least 80-mils if of high density polyethylene) that is installed in direct and uniform contact with the underlying materials; and

    2. Standards for leachate collection -- Include a leachate collection and removal system which conveys to a sump (or other appropriate collection area lined in accordance with Section III.A.) all leachate which reaches the liner, and which does not rely upon unlined or clay-lined areas for such conveyance.

CERTIFICATION

The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on June 17, 1993.

_____________________________________________________________

Maureen Marchè Administrative Assistant to the Board



ATTACHMENT I

To Resolution No. 93-62

Pursuant to Section I.A., in writing or revising the waste discharge requirements for MSW landfills, Regional Water Boards shall implement those portions of the following sections of the federal MSW regulations that either are more stringent than, or do not exist within, Land Disposal.

  • Floodplains -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.11 and 258.16
  • Wetlands -- 40 CFR Section 258.12
  • Unstable areas -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.15 and 258.16
  • Run-on/Run-off control systems--40 CFR Section 258.26
  • Liquids acceptance -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.28 [esp. Section (a)(2)]
  • Design Criteria--40 CFR Section 258.40, according to the provisions of Section III
  • Well/piezometer performance -- 40 CFR Section 258.51
  • Ground-water sampling/analysis--40 CFR Section 258.53
  • Monitoring Parameters -- 40 CFR Section 258.54 and Appendix I to Part 258
  • Constituents of Concern -- 40 CFR Section 258.55 and Appendix II to Part 258
  • Response to a release -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.55 [esp. Section (g)(1)(ii, iii)]
  • Establishing corrective action measures -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.56 [esp. Section Section (c and d)] and 258.57
  • Ending corrective action program -- 40 CFR Section 258.58 [esp. Section (e)]
  • Closure/post-closure -- 40 CFR Section Section 258.60-258.61 [esp. Section Section 258.60(a-g)]
  • Deed notation -- 40 CFR Section 258.60(i)
  • Ending post-closure -- 40 CFR Section 258.61 [esp. Section Section (a and b)]
  • Corrective action financial assurance--40 CFR Section 258.73