40 CFR § 257.102 - Criteria for conducting the closure or retrofit of CCR units.

§ 257.102 Criteria for conducting the closure or retrofit of CCR units.

(a) Closure of a CCR landfill, CCR surface impoundment, or any lateral expansion of a CCR unit must be completed either by leaving the CCR in place and installing a final cover system or through removal of the CCR and decontamination of the CCR unit, as described in paragraphs (b) through (j) of this section. Retrofit of a CCR surface impoundment must be completed in accordance with the requirements in paragraph (k) of this section.

(b) Written closure plan -

(1) Content of the plan. The owner or operator of a CCR unit must prepare a written closure plan that describes the steps necessary to close the CCR unit at any point during the active life of the CCR unit consistent with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. The written closure plan must include, at a minimum, the information specified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section.

(i) A narrative description of how the CCR unit will be closed in accordance with this section.

(ii) If closure of the CCR unit will be accomplished through removal of CCR from the CCR unit, a description of the procedures to remove the CCR and decontaminate the CCR unit in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(iii) If closure of the CCR unit will be accomplished by leaving CCR in place, a description of the final cover system, designed in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, and the methods and procedures to be used to install the final cover. The closure plan must also discuss how the final cover system will achieve the performance standards specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(iv) An estimate of the maximum inventory of CCR ever on-site over the active life of the CCR unit.

(v) An estimate of the largest area of the CCR unit ever requiring a final cover as required by paragraph (d) of this section at any time during the CCR unit's active life.

(vi) A schedule for completing all activities necessary to satisfy the closure criteria in this section, including an estimate of the year in which all closure activities for the CCR unit will be completed. The schedule should provide sufficient information to describe the sequential steps that will be taken to close the CCR unit, including identification of major milestones such as coordinating with and obtaining necessary approvals and permits from other agencies, the dewatering and stabilization phases of CCR surface impoundment closure, or installation of the final cover system, and the estimated timeframes to complete each step or phase of CCR unit closure. When preparing the written closure plan, if the owner or operator of a CCR unit estimates that the time required to complete closure will exceed the timeframes specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the written closure plan must include the site-specific information, factors and considerations that would support any time extension sought under paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(2) Timeframes for preparing the initial written closure plan -

(i) Existing CCR landfills and existing CCR surface impoundments. No later than October 17, 2016, the owner or operator of the CCR unit must prepare an initial written closure plan consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(ii) New CCR landfills and new CCR surface impoundments, and any lateral expansion of a CCR unit. No later than the date of the initial receipt of CCR in the CCR unit, the owner or operator must prepare an initial written closure plan consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(iii) The owner or operator has completed the written closure plan when the plan, including the certification required by paragraph (b)(4) of this section, has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(4).

(3) Amendment of a written closure plan.

(i) The owner or operator may amend the initial or any subsequent written closure plan developed pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section at any time.

(ii) The owner or operator must amend the written closure plan whenever:

(A) There is a change in the operation of the CCR unit that would substantially affect the written closure plan in effect; or

(B) Before or after closure activities have commenced, unanticipated events necessitate a revision of the written closure plan.

(iii) The owner or operator must amend the closure plan at least 60 days prior to a planned change in the operation of the facility or CCR unit, or no later than 60 days after an unanticipated event requires the need to revise an existing written closure plan. If a written closure plan is revised after closure activities have commenced for a CCR unit, the owner or operator must amend the current closure plan no later than 30 days following the triggering event.

(4) The owner or operator of the CCR unit must obtain a written certification from a qualified professional engineer or approval from the Participating State Director or approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority that the initial and any amendment of the written closure plan meets the requirements of this section.

(c) Closure by removal of CCR. An owner or operator may elect to close a CCR unit by removing and decontaminating all areas affected by releases from the CCR unit. CCR removal and decontamination of the CCR unit are complete when constituent concentrations throughout the CCR unit and any areas affected by releases from the CCR unit have been removed and groundwater monitoring concentrations do not exceed the groundwater protection standard established pursuant to § 257.95(h) for constituents listed in appendix IV to this part.

(d) Closure performance standard when leaving CCR in place - (1) The owner or operator of a CCR unit must ensure that, at a minimum, the CCR unit is closed in a manner that will:

(i) Control, minimize or eliminate, to the maximum extent feasible, post-closure infiltration of liquids into the waste and releases of CCR, leachate, or contaminated run-off to the ground or surface waters or to the atmosphere;

(ii) Preclude the probability of future impoundment of water, sediment, or slurry;

(iii) Include measures that provide for major slope stability to prevent the sloughing or movement of the final cover system during the closure and post-closure care period;

(iv) Minimize the need for further maintenance of the CCR unit; and

(v) Be completed in the shortest amount of time consistent with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices.

(2) Drainage and stabilization of CCR surface impoundments. The owner or operator of a CCR surface impoundment or any lateral expansion of a CCR surface impoundment must meet the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section prior to installing the final cover system required under paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(i) Free liquids must be eliminated by removing liquid wastes or solidifying the remaining wastes and waste residues.

(ii) Remaining wastes must be stabilized sufficient to support the final cover system.

(3) Final cover system. If a CCR unit is closed by leaving CCR in place, the owner or operator must install a final cover system that is designed to minimize infiltration and erosion, and at a minimum, meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, or the requirements of the alternative final cover system specified in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section.

(i) The final cover system must be designed and constructed to meet the criteria in paragraphs (d)(3)(i)(A) through (D) of this section. The design of the final cover system must be included in the written closure plan required by paragraph (b) of this section.

(A) The permeability of the final cover system must be less than or equal to the permeability of any bottom liner system or natural subsoils present, or a permeability no greater than 1 × 10−5 cm/sec, whichever is less.

(B) The infiltration of liquids through the closed CCR unit must be minimized by the use of an infiltration layer that contains a minimum of 18 inches of earthen material.

(C) The erosion of the final cover system must be minimized by the use of an erosion layer that contains a minimum of six inches of earthen material that is capable of sustaining native plant growth.

(D) The disruption of the integrity of the final cover system must be minimized through a design that accommodates settling and subsidence.

(ii) The owner or operator may select an alternative final cover system design, provided the alternative final cover system is designed and constructed to meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(3)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section. The design of the final cover system must be included in the written closure plan required by paragraph (b) of this section.

(A) The design of the final cover system must include an infiltration layer that achieves an equivalent reduction in infiltration as the infiltration layer specified in paragraphs (d)(3)(i)(A) and (B) of this section.

(B) The design of the final cover system must include an erosion layer that provides equivalent protection from wind or water erosion as the erosion layer specified in paragraph (d)(3)(i)(C) of this section.

(C) The disruption of the integrity of the final cover system must be minimized through a design that accommodates settling and subsidence.

(iii) The owner or operator of the CCR unit must obtain a written certification from a qualified professional engineer or approval from the Participating State Director or approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority that the design of the final cover system meets the requirements of this section.

(e) Initiation of closure activities. Except as provided for in paragraph (e)(4) of this section and § 257.103, the owner or operator of a CCR unit must commence closure of the CCR unit no later than the applicable timeframes specified in either paragraph (e)(1) or (2) of this section.

(1) The owner or operator must commence closure of the CCR unit no later than 30 days after the date on which the CCR unit either:

(i) Receives the known final receipt of waste, either CCR or any non-CCR waste stream; or

(ii) Removes the known final volume of CCR from the CCR unit for the purpose of beneficial use of CCR.

(2)

(i) Except as provided by paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, the owner or operator must commence closure of a CCR unit that has not received CCR or any non-CCR waste stream or is no longer removing CCR for the purpose of beneficial use within two years of the last receipt of waste or within two years of the last removal of CCR material for the purpose of beneficial use.

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, the owner or operator of the CCR unit may secure an additional two years to initiate closure of the idle unit provided the owner or operator provides written documentation that the CCR unit will continue to accept wastes or will start removing CCR for the purpose of beneficial use. The documentation must be supported by, at a minimum, the information specified in paragraphs (e)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section. The owner or operator may obtain two-year extensions provided the owner or operator continues to be able to demonstrate that there is reasonable likelihood that the CCR unit will accept wastes in the foreseeable future or will remove CCR from the unit for the purpose of beneficial use. The owner or operator must place each completed demonstration, if more than one time extension is sought, in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(5) prior to the end of any two-year period.

(A) Information documenting that the CCR unit has remaining storage or disposal capacity or that the CCR unit can have CCR removed for the purpose of beneficial use; and

(B) Information demonstrating that that there is a reasonable likelihood that the CCR unit will resume receiving CCR or non-CCR waste streams in the foreseeable future or that CCR can be removed for the purpose of beneficial use. The narrative must include a best estimate as to when the CCR unit will resume receiving CCR or non-CCR waste streams. The situations listed in paragraphs (e)(2)(ii)(B)(1) through (4) of this section are examples of situations that would support a determination that the CCR unit will resume receiving CCR or non-CCR waste streams in the foreseeable future.

(1) Normal plant operations include periods during which the CCR unit does not receive CCR or non-CCR waste streams, such as the alternating use of two or more CCR units whereby at any point in time one CCR unit is receiving CCR while CCR is being removed from a second CCR unit after its dewatering.

(2) The CCR unit is dedicated to a coal-fired boiler unit that is temporarily idled (e.g., CCR is not being generated) and there is a reasonable likelihood that the coal-fired boiler will resume operations in the future.

(3) The CCR unit is dedicated to an operating coal-fired boiler (i.e., CCR is being generated); however, no CCR are being placed in the CCR unit because the CCR are being entirely diverted to beneficial uses, but there is a reasonable likelihood that the CCR unit will again be used in the foreseeable future.

(4) The CCR unit currently receives only non-CCR waste streams and those non-CCR waste streams are not generated for an extended period of time, but there is a reasonable likelihood that the CCR unit will again receive non-CCR waste streams in the future.

(iii) In order to obtain additional time extension(s) to initiate closure of a CCR unit beyond the two years provided by paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, the owner or operator of the CCR unit must include with the demonstration required by paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section the following statement signed by the owner or operator or an authorized representative:

I certify under penalty of law that I have personally examined and am familiar with the information submitted in this demonstration and all attached documents, and that, based on my inquiry of those individuals immediately responsible for obtaining the information, I believe that the submitted information is true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(3) For purposes of this subpart, closure of the CCR unit has commenced if the owner or operator has ceased placing waste and completes any of the following actions or activities:

(i) Taken any steps necessary to implement the written closure plan required by paragraph (b) of this section;

(ii) Submitted a completed application for any required state or agency permit or permit modification; or

(iii) Taken any steps necessary to comply with any state or other agency standards that are a prerequisite, or are otherwise applicable, to initiating or completing the closure of a CCR unit.

(4) The timeframes specified in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section do not apply to any of the following owners or operators:

(i) [Reserved]

(ii) An owner or operator of an existing unlined CCR surface impoundment closing the CCR unit as required by § 257.101(a);

(iii) An owner or operator of an existing CCR surface impoundment closing the CCR unit as required by § 257.101(b);

(iv) An owner or operator of a new CCR surface impoundment closing the CCR unit as required by § 257.101(c); or

(v) An owner or operator of an existing CCR landfill closing the CCR unit as required by § 257.101(d).

(f) Completion of closure activities.

(1) Except as provided for in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the owner or operator must complete closure of the CCR unit:

(i) For existing and new CCR landfills and any lateral expansion of a CCR landfill, within six months of commencing closure activities.

(ii) For existing and new CCR surface impoundments and any lateral expansion of a CCR surface impoundment, within five years of commencing closure activities.

(2)

(i) Extensions of closure timeframes. The timeframes for completing closure of a CCR unit specified under paragraphs (f)(1) of this section may be extended if the owner or operator can demonstrate that it was not feasible to complete closure of the CCR unit within the required timeframes due to factors beyond the facility's control. If the owner or operator is seeking a time extension beyond the time specified in the written closure plan as required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the demonstration must include a narrative discussion providing the basis for additional time beyond that specified in the closure plan. The owner or operator must place each completed demonstration, if more than one time extension is sought, in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(6) prior to the end of any two-year period. Factors that may support such a demonstration include:

(A) Complications stemming from the climate and weather, such as unusual amounts of precipitation or a significantly shortened construction season;

(B) Time required to dewater a surface impoundment due to the volume of CCR contained in the CCR unit or the characteristics of the CCR in the unit;

(C) The geology and terrain surrounding the CCR unit will affect the amount of material needed to close the CCR unit; or

(D) Time required or delays caused by the need to coordinate with and obtain necessary approvals and permits from a state or other agency.

(ii) Maximum time extensions.

(A) CCR surface impoundments of 40 acres or smaller may extend the time to complete closure by no longer than two years.

(B) CCR surface impoundments larger than 40 acres may extend the timeframe to complete closure of the CCR unit multiple times, in two-year increments. For each two-year extension sought, the owner or operator must substantiate the factual circumstances demonstrating the need for the extension. No more than a total of five two-year extensions may be obtained for any CCR surface impoundment.

(C) CCR landfills may extend the timeframe to complete closure of the CCR unit multiple times, in one-year increments. For each one-year extension sought, the owner or operator must substantiate the factual circumstances demonstrating the need for the extension. No more than a total of two one-year extensions may be obtained for any CCR landfill.

(iii) In order to obtain additional time extension(s) to complete closure of a CCR unit beyond the times provided by paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the owner or operator of the CCR unit must include with the demonstration required by paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section the following statement signed by the owner or operator or an authorized representative:

I certify under penalty of law that I have personally examined and am familiar with the information submitted in this demonstration and all attached documents, and that, based on my inquiry of those individuals immediately responsible for obtaining the information, I believe that the submitted information is true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(3) Upon completion, the owner or operator of the CCR unit must obtain a certification from a qualified professional engineer or approval from the Participating State Director or approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority verifying that closure has been completed in accordance with the closure plan specified in paragraph (b) of this section and the requirements of this section.

(g) No later than the date the owner or operator initiates closure of a CCR unit, the owner or operator must prepare a notification of intent to close a CCR unit. The notification must include the certification by a qualified professional engineer or the approval from the Participating State Director or the approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority for the design of the final cover system as required by § 257.102(d)(3)(iii), if applicable. The owner or operator has completed the notification when it has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(7).

(h) Within 30 days of completion of closure of the CCR unit, the owner or operator must prepare a notification of closure of a CCR unit. The notification must include the certification by a qualified professional engineer or the approval from the Participating State Director or the approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority as required by § 257.102(f)(3). The owner or operator has completed the notification when it has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(8).

(i) Deed notations.

(1) Except as provided by paragraph (i)(4) of this section, following closure of a CCR unit, the owner or operator must record a notation on the deed to the property, or some other instrument that is normally examined during title search.

(2) The notation on the deed must in perpetuity notify any potential purchaser of the property that:

(i) The land has been used as a CCR unit; and

(ii) Its use is restricted under the post-closure care requirements as provided by § 257.104(d)(1)(iii).

(3) Within 30 days of recording a notation on the deed to the property, the owner or operator must prepare a notification stating that the notation has been recorded. The owner or operator has completed the notification when it has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(i)(9).

(4) An owner or operator that closes a CCR unit in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section is not subject to the requirements of paragraphs (i)(1) through (3) of this section.

(j) The owner or operator of the CCR unit must comply with the closure recordkeeping requirements specified in § 257.105(i), the closure notification requirements specified in § 257.106(i), and the closure Internet requirements specified in § 257.107(i).

(k) Criteria to retrofit an existing CCR surface impoundment.

(1) To retrofit an existing CCR surface impoundment, the owner or operator must:

(i) First remove all CCR, including any contaminated soils and sediments from the CCR unit; and

(ii) Comply with the requirements in § 257.72.

(iii) A CCR surface impoundment undergoing a retrofit remains subject to all other requirements of this subpart, including the requirement to conduct any necessary corrective action.

(2) Written retrofit plan -

(i) Content of the plan. The owner or operator must prepare a written retrofit plan that describes the steps necessary to retrofit the CCR unit consistent with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. The written retrofit plan must include, at a minimum, all of the following information:

(A) A narrative description of the specific measures that will be taken to retrofit the CCR unit in accordance with this section.

(B) A description of the procedures to remove all CCR and contaminated soils and sediments from the CCR unit.

(C) An estimate of the maximum amount of CCR that will be removed as part of the retrofit operation.

(D) An estimate of the largest area of the CCR unit that will be affected by the retrofit operation.

(E) A schedule for completing all activities necessary to satisfy the retrofit criteria in this section, including an estimate of the year in which retrofit activities of the CCR unit will be completed.

(ii) Timeframes for preparing the initial written retrofit plan.

(A) No later than 60 days prior to date of initiating retrofit activities, the owner or operator must prepare an initial written retrofit plan consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section. For purposes of this subpart, initiation of retrofit activities has commenced if the owner or operator has ceased placing waste in the unit and completes any of the following actions or activities:

(1) Taken any steps necessary to implement the written retrofit plan;

(2) Submitted a completed application for any required state or agency permit or permit modification; or

(3) Taken any steps necessary to comply with any state or other agency standards that are a prerequisite, or are otherwise applicable, to initiating or completing the retrofit of a CCR unit.

(B) The owner or operator has completed the written retrofit plan when the plan, including the certification required by paragraph (k)(2)(iv) of this section, has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(j)(1).

(iii) Amendment of a written retrofit plan.

(A) The owner or operator may amend the initial or any subsequent written retrofit plan at any time.

(B) The owner or operator must amend the written retrofit plan whenever:

(1) There is a change in the operation of the CCR unit that would substantially affect the written retrofit plan in effect; or

(2) Before or after retrofit activities have commenced, unanticipated events necessitate a revision of the written retrofit plan.

(C) The owner or operator must amend the retrofit plan at least 60 days prior to a planned change in the operation of the facility or CCR unit, or no later than 60 days after an unanticipated event requires the revision of an existing written retrofit plan. If a written retrofit plan is revised after retrofit activities have commenced for a CCR unit, the owner or operator must amend the current retrofit plan no later than 30 days following the triggering event.

(iv) The owner or operator of the CCR unit must obtain a written certification from a qualified professional engineer or an approval from the Participating State Director or an approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority that the activities outlined in the written retrofit plan, including any amendment of the plan, meet the requirements of this section.

(3) Deadline for completion of activities related to the retrofit of a CCR unit. Any CCR surface impoundment that is being retrofitted must complete all retrofit activities within the same time frames and procedures specified for the closure of a CCR surface impoundment in § 257.102(f) or, where applicable, § 257.103.

(4) Upon completion, the owner or operator must obtain a written certification from a qualified professional engineer or an approval from the Participating State Director or an approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority verifying that the retrofit activities have been completed in accordance with the retrofit plan specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section and the requirements of this section.

(5) No later than the date the owner or operator initiates the retrofit of a CCR unit, the owner or operator must prepare a notification of intent to retrofit a CCR unit. The owner or operator has completed the notification when it has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(j)(5).

(6) Within 30 days of completing the retrofit activities specified in paragraph (k)(1) of this section, the owner or operator must prepare a notification of completion of retrofit activities. The notification must include the certification from a qualified professional engineer or an approval from the Participating State Director or an approval from EPA where EPA is the permitting authority has is required by paragraph (k)(4) of this section. The owner or operator has completed the notification when it has been placed in the facility's operating record as required by § 257.105(j)(6).

(7) At any time after the initiation of a CCR unit retrofit, the owner or operator may cease the retrofit and initiate closure of the CCR unit in accordance with the requirements of § 257.102.

(8) The owner or operator of the CCR unit must comply with the retrofit recordkeeping requirements specified in § 257.105(j), the retrofit notification requirements specified in § 257.106(j), and the retrofit Internet requirements specified in § 257.107(j).

[80 FR 21468, Apr. 17, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 51808, Aug. 5, 2016; 83 FR 36455, July 30, 2018]