40 CFR § 761.75 - Chemical waste landfills.

prev next
§ 761.75 Chemical waste landfills.

This section applies to facilities used to dispose of PCBs in accordance with the part.

(a) General. A chemical waste landfill used for the disposal of PCBs and PCB Items shall be approved by the Agency Regional Administrator pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. The landfill shall meet all of the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section, unless a waiver from these requirements is obtained pursuant to paragraph (c)(4) of this section. In addition, the landfill shall meet any other requirements that may be prescribed pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(b) Technical requirements. Requirements for chemical waste landfills used for the disposal of PCBs and PCB Items are as follows:

(1) Soils. The landfill site shall be located in thick, relatively impermeable formations such as large-area clay pans. Where this is not possible, the soil shall have a high clay and silt content with the following parameters:

(i) In-place soil thickness, 4 feet or compacted soil liner thickness, 3 feet;

(ii) Permeability (cm/sec), equal to or less than 1 × 10−7;

(iii) Percent soil passing No. 200 Sieve, >30;

(iv) Liquid Limit, >30; and

(v) Plasticity Index >15.

(2) Synthetic membrane liners. Synthetic membrane liners shall be used when, in the judgment of the Regional Administrator, the hydrologic or geologic conditions at the landfill require such a liner in order to provide at least a permeability equivalent to the soils in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Whenever a synthetic liner is used at a landfill site, special precautions shall be taken to insure that its integrity is maintained and that it is chemically compatible with PCBs. Adequate soil underlining and soil cover shall be provided to prevent excessive stress on the liner and to prevent rupture of the liner. The liner must have a minimum thickness of 30 mils.

(3) Hydrologic conditions. The bottom of the landfill shall be above the historical high groundwater table as provided below. Floodplains, shorelands, and groundwater recharge areas shall be avoided. There shall be no hydraulic connection between the site and standing or flowing surface water. The site shall have monitoring wells and leachate collection. The bottom of the landfill liner system or natural in-place soil barrier shall be at least fifty feet from the historical high water table.

(4) Flood protection.

(i) If the landfill site is below the 100-year floodwater elevation, the operator shall provide surface water diversion dikes around the perimeter of the landfill site with a minimum height equal to two feet above the 100-year floodwater elevation.

(ii) If the landfill site is above the 100-year floodwater elevation, the operators shall provide diversion structures capable of diverting all of the surface water runoff from a 24-hour, 25-year storm.

(5) Topography. The landfill site shall be located in an area of low to moderate relief to minimize erosion and to help prevent landslides or slumping.

(6) Monitoring systems -

(i) Water sampling.

(A) For all sites receiving PCBs, the ground and surface water from the disposal site area shall be sampled prior to commencing operations under an approval provided in paragraph (c) of this section for use as baseline data.

(B) Any surface watercourse designated by the Regional Administrator using the authority provided in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section shall be sampled at least monthly when the landfill is being used for disposal operations.

(C) Any surface watercourse designated by the Regional Administrator using the authority provided in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section shall be sampled for a time period specified by the Regional Administrator on a frequency of no less than once every six months after final closure of the disposal area.

(ii) Groundwater monitor wells.

(A) If underlying earth materials are homogenous, impermeable, and uniformly sloping in one direction, only three sampling points shall be necessary. These three points shall be equally spaced on a line through the center of the disposal area and extending from the area of highest water table elevation to the area of the lowest water table elevation on the property.

(B) All monitor wells shall be cased and the annular space between the monitor zone (zone of saturation) and the surface shall be completely backfilled with Portland cement or an equivalent material and plugged with Portland cement to effectively prevent percolation of surface water into the well bore. The well opening at the surface shall have a removable cap to provide access and to prevent entrance of rainfall or stormwater runoff. The well shall be pumped to remove the volume of liquid initially contained in the well before obtaining a sample for analysis. The discharge shall be treated to meet applicable State or Federal discharge standards or recycled to the chemical waste landfill.

(iii) Water analysis. As a minimum, all samples shall be analyzed for the following parameters, and all data and records of the sampling and analysis shall be maintained as required in § 761.180(d)(1). Sampling methods and analytical procedures for these parameters shall comply with those specified in 40 CFR part 136 as amended in 41 FR 52779 on December 1, 1976.

(A) PCBs.

(B) pH.

(C) Specific conductance.

(D) Chlorinated organics.

(7) Leachate collection. A leachate collection monitoring system shall be installed above the chemical waste landfill. Leachate collection systems shall be monitored monthly for quantity and physicochemical characteristics of leachate produced. The leachate should be either treated to acceptable limits for discharge in accordance with a State or Federal permit or disposed of by another State or Federally approved method. Water analysis shall be conducted as provided in paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section. Acceptable leachate monitoring/collection systems shall be any of the following designs, unless a waiver is obtained pursuant to paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

(i) Simple leachate collection. This system consists of a gravity flow drainfield installed above the waste disposal unit liner. This design is recommended for use when semi-solid or leachable solid wastes are placed in a lined pit excavated into a relatively thick, unsaturated, homogenous layer of low permeability soil.

(ii) Compound leachate collection. This system consists of a gravity flow drainfield installed above the waste disposal unit liner and above a secondary installed liner. This design is recommended for use when semi-liquid or leachable solid wastes are placed in a lined pit excavated into relatively permeable soil.

(iii) Suction lysimeters. This system consists of a network of porous ceramic cups connected by hoses/tubing to a vacuum pump. The porous ceramic cups or suction lysimeters are installed along the sides and under the bottom of the waste disposal unit liner. This type of system works best when installed in a relatively permeable unsaturated soil immediately adjacent to the bottom and/or sides of the disposal facility.

(8) Chemical waste landfill operations.

(i) PCBs and PCB Items shall be placed in a landfill in a manner that will prevent damage to containers or articles. Other wastes placed in the landfill that are not chemically compatible with PCBs and PCB Items including organic solvents shall be segregated from the PCBs throughout the waste handling and disposal process.

(ii) An operation plan shall be developed and submitted to the Regional Administrator for approval as required in paragraph (c) of this section. This plan shall include detailed explanations of the procedures to be used for recordkeeping, surface water handling procedures, excavation and backfilling, waste segregation burial coordinates, vehicle and equipment movement, use of roadways, leachate collection systems, sampling and monitoring procedures, monitoring wells, environmental emergency contingency plans, and security measures to protect against vandalism and unauthorized waste placements. EPA guidelines entitled “Thermal Processing and Land Disposal of Solid Waste” (39 FR 29337, Aug. 14, 1974) are a useful reference in preparation of this plan. If the facility is to be used to dispose of liquid wastes containing between 50 ppm and 500 ppm PCB, the operations plan must include procedures to determine that liquid PCBs to be disposed of at the landfill do not exceed 500 ppm PCB and measures to prevent the migration of PCBs from the landfill. Bulk liquids not exceeding 500 ppm PCBs may be disposed of provided such waste is pretreated and/or stabilized (e.g., chemically fixed, evaporated, mixed with dry inert absorbant) to reduce its liquid content or increase its solid content so that a non-flowing consistency is achieved to eliminate the presence of free liquids prior to final disposal in a landfill. PCB Container of liquid PCBs with a concentration between 50 and 500 ppm PCB may be disposed of if each container is surrounded by an amount of inert sorbant material capable of absorbing all of the liquid contents of the container.

(iii) Ignitable wastes shall not be disposed of in chemical waste landfills. Liquid ignitable wastes are wastes that have a flash point less than 60 °C (140 °F) as determined by the following method or an equivalent method: Flash point of liquids shall be determined by a Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester, using the protocol specified in ASTM D93-09, or the Setaflash Closed Tester using the protocol specified in ASTM D3278-89 (all standards incorporated by reference in § 761.19).

(iv) Records shall be maintained for all PCB disposal operations and shall include information on the PCB concentration in liquid wastes and the three dimensional burial coordinates for PCBs and PCB Items. Additional records shall be developed and maintained as required in § 761.180.

(9) Supporting facilities.

(i) A six foot woven mesh fence, wall, or similar device shall be placed around the site to prevent unauthorized persons and animals from entering.

(ii) Roads shall be maintained to and within the site which are adequate to support the operation and maintenance of the site without causing safety or nuisance problems or hazardous conditions.

(iii) The site shall be operated and maintained in a manner to prevent safety problems or hazardous conditions resulting from spilled liquids and windblown materials.

(c) Approval of chemical waste landfills. Prior to the disposal of any PCBs and PCB Items in a chemical waste landfill, the owner or operator of the landfill shall receive written approval of the Agency Regional Administrator for the Region in which the landfill is located. The approval shall be obtained in the following manner:

(1) Initial report. The owner or operator shall submit to the Regional Administrator an initial report which contains:

(i) The location of the landfill;

(ii) A detailed description of the landfill including general site plans and design drawings;

(iii) An engineering report describing the manner is which the landfill complies with the requirements for chemical waste landfills specified in paragraph (b) of this section;

(iv) Sampling and monitoring equipment and facilities available;

(v) Expected waste volumes of PCBs;

(vi) General description of waste materials other than PCBs that are expected to be disposed of in the landfill;

(vii) Landfill operations plan as required in paragraph (b) of this section;

(viii) Any local, State, or Federal permits or approvals; and

(ix) Any schedules or plans for complying with the approval requirements of these regulations.

(2) Other information. In addition to the information contained in the report described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator may require the owner or operator to submit any other information that the Regional Administrator finds to be reasonably necessary to determine whether a chemical waste landfill should be approved. Such other information shall be restricted to the types of information required in paragraphs (c)(1) (i) through (ix) of this section.

(3) Contents of approval.

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4) of this section the Regional Administrator may not approve a chemical waste landfill for the disposal of PCBs and PCB Items, unless he finds that the landfill meets all of the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, the Regional Administrator may include in an approval any other requirements or provisions that the Regional Administrator finds are necessary to ensure that operation of the chemical waste landfill does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment from PCBs. Such provisions may include a fixed period of time for which the approval is valid.

The approval may also include a stipulation that the operator of the chemical waste landfill report to the Regional Administrator any instance when PCBs are detectable during monitoring activities conducted pursuant to paragraph (b)(6) of this section.

(4) Waivers. An owner or operator of a chemical waste landfill may submit evidence to the Regional Administrator that operation of the landfill will not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment from PCBs when one or more of the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are not met. On the basis of such evidence and any other available information, the Regional Administrator may in his discretion find that one or more of the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section is not necessary to protect against such a risk and may waive the requirements in any approval for that landfill. Any finding and waiver under this paragraph will be stated in writing and included as part of the approval.

(5) Persons approved. Any approval will designate the persons who own and who are authorized to operate the chemical waste landfill, and will apply only to such persons, except as provided by paragraph (c)(7) of this section.

(6) Final approval. Approval of a chemical waste landfill will be in writing and will be signed by the Regional Administrator. The approval will state all requirements applicable to the approved landfill.

(7) Transfer of property. Any person who owns or operates an approved chemical waste landfill must notify EPA at least 30 days before transferring ownership in the property or transferring the right to conduct the chemical waste landfill operation. The transferor must also submit to EPA, at least 30 days before such transfer, a notarized affidavit signed by the transferee which states that the transferee will abide by the transferor's EPA chemical waste landfill approval. Within 30 days of receiving such notification and affidavit, EPA will issue an amended approval substituting the transferee's name for the transferor's name, or EPA may require the transferee to apply for a new chemical waste landfill approval. In the latter case, the transferee must abide by the transferor's EPA approval until EPA issues the new approval to the transferee.

[44 FR 31542, May 31, 1979. Redesignated at 47 FR 19527, May 6, 1982, and amended at 48 FR 5730, Feb. 8, 1983; 49 FR 28191, July 10, 1984; 53 FR 12524, Apr. 15, 1988; 53 FR 21641, June 9, 1988; 57 FR 13323, Apr. 16, 1992; 63 FR 35456, June 29, 1998; 77 FR 2464, Jan. 18, 2012]