California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Rulemaking Archives

Questions and Answers/Orientation

April 21 & 23, 1997

The following questions and answers came forward during the AB 1220 Regulations Orientation Meetings conducted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The regulations addressed at the Orientations govern solid waste disposal for the State.

GENERAL Q & A:

Q: Can I get a final version of the new regulations?
A: Final clean versions will be available after Title 27 is adopted by Office of Administrative Law (OAL). Title 27 will also be available on the Internet. The Barclays version will only be available from Barclays.

Q: When will Title 27 be available from Barclays?
A: Unknown.

Q: Do you suggest landfill owner/operators to cancel subscriptions to Title 14 when opening a subscription to the new Title 27?
A: No. An owner/operator may still need regulations for transfer stations, composting, etc.

Q: Can we get AB 1220 info/regulations put into "Word" format and loaded on your Internet page?
A: If the document converts easily from WordPerfect 6.1 to WORD, then, yes we will do it. The clean version will hopefully be loaded (minus all the strikeout, etc.) when the regulations are adopted. Otherwise, it will be in WordPerfect format on our Internet topic page for AB 1220.

Q: Will there be templates for Solid Waste Facility Permit (SWFP) applications etc. on "Word"?
A: Not at this time.

Q: How many sets of regulations are there now? Are they Title 14, 15, and 27?
A: Currently Chapter 15 and Title 14 exist. The portion addressing landfill disposal will exist in Title 27 once the regulations are in effect. Division 2 in Title 27 was created by merging the non-hazardous disposal regulations that were pulled out of Chapter 15 and Title 14.

Q: Can we get copies of the Orientation power point presentation for use in-house?
A: Yes, please provide a disk with your request.

Q: Are new source performance standards for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills (EPA's NSPs) and Title V operating permits addressed in the new Title 27 regulations?
A: Not in Title 27. Landfill gas surface emissions are regulated by the local air districts; however, the design of landfill gas control systems should be coordinated with the Enforcement Agency (EA), Air District and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).

Q: When will the new CIWMB inspection forms be ready for use?
A: CIWMB staff are currently revising the forms for use ASAP. CIWMB staff will update all EAs on the status of the forms once Title 27 has been approved by OAL (June 18, 1997 target date).


PERMITTING Q & A:

Q: Should a Report of Disposal Site Information (RDSI) be processed if it is 2-3 days prior to the effective date of the regulations?
A: Yes, but encourage others to use the Joint Technical Document (JTD) format.

Q: Is the Land Use Permit required to be approved or in-process for a full SWFP application submittal?
A: Approved if it is required by the local jurisdiction. It is still on the laundry list.

Q: Please explain how the "grandfather clause" for an existing permit application will work. What is an existing document? How long will the grandfather clause be in effect?
A: If the EA has been working on a RDSI at the time the regulations go into effect, then the operator does not need to submit a JTD. The EA will make the determination if the operator "has been working" with the EA on a RDSI.

Q: Do we have to submit a new technical report combining the RDSI and ROWD at the 5 year permit review stage assuming no changes in operations?
A: No, no need to submit a new JTD if nothing changes in design or operation at the facility. However, if there were changes, amendments to the RDSI would go to both the RWQCB and the EA accompanied by a JTD Index. (If a new RDSI will be produced, then the operator must submit it in the format of a JTD.)

Q: How will a proposed SWFP application be viewed if all of the documents were prepared with the "old regulations" and the permit will be issued under the "new regulations"?
A: EAs/CIWMB staff will commence using the new process once the regs are effective, but the supporting documents will be accepted under the old regulations in this case.

Q: What documents should be prepared if an operator intends to file an application for a SWFP and WDRs within the next two months prior to the approval of the regulations (JTD, RDSI, ROWD??)
A: Operators are encouraged to submit a JTD if there is no RDSI/ROWD in the loop.

Q: Are there provisions within the new regulations that allow an EA (existing solid waste facility) to modify/revise an exiting permit through changes to, or preparation of, an RDSI?
A: Yes, the EA can approve RDSI (RFI) amendments if the changes meet specific requirements and do not conflict with the existing SWFP.

Q: Who determines whether a JTD rather than an RDSI should be prepared for SWFPs?
A: The EA.

Q: Will a permitting guideline document like the permit Desk Manual be developed to assist EAs, operators and RWQCB staff through the permit/WDR process?
A: The CIWMB has developed a workgroup to update the permit desk manual. This workgroup consists of one CIWMB representative and three from different EAs.

Q: Will JTD format guidelines be developed?
A: At this time, the CIWMB will only be providing an updated "Desk Manual" which will deal with CIWMB/EA requirements. There are no plans to create JTD guidelines which would include both the CIWMB and RWQCB requirements.

Q: If the 5 year Periodic Site Review (PSR) requirement is included in the JTD, does the document need to be updated every 5 years?
A: No.

Q: Do you always include a preliminary closure/postclosure plan element in the JTD if an existing facility is going through the SWFP/WDR update/revision process?
A: It is up to the operator. The operator should contact the EA and the RWQCB for guidance. Some RWQCBs may require the preliminary closure plan information as part of the ROWD.

Q: What happens when either the EA or the RWQCB fails to process a joint permit application within the timeframes specified?
A: In order  for the EA to start the permit time clock, the application package must be complete and correct.  Staff are not aware of any enforcement agency that failed to accept or deny the application package within the 30-day timeframe.  If the RWQCB fails to make a completeness determination within 30 days of receipt, then that portion of the document is deemed complete.


CLOSURE/POSTCLOSURE MAINTENANCE Q & A:

Q: What is the definition of an "emergency corrective action plan" [Section 21780(e)]? Is the definition in the regulations?
A: The definition is not in the regulations; however, an emergency corrective action plan could be required as part of a Notice and Order issued by the EA.

Q: How will the moved/modified closure/postclosure requirements affect existing landfills in the final phases of closure (i.e.: awaiting final inspection, etc.) or those which need to be modified to meet an existing approved closure plan?
A: These would not be affected.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the grandfathering of landfills already in the closure phase loop?
A: No, if the documents for those sites are currently in the review process, then they are grandfathered.

Q: Do you have to be an engineer to review preliminary and final closure/postclosure plans?
A: (For Enforcement Agencies) In accordance with Title 14, Section 18072, EAs are required to be appropriately registered as the specific type of engineer for conducting the review. So, yes, preliminary and final closure/postclosure plans should be reviewed by a registered civil engineer (RCE) in accordance with applicable sections of the Professional Engineers Act (Business and Professional Code) that requires the use of an RCE to review engineering work.

Q: Is there any charge for CIWMB engineering consultation?
A: Since only the EA and the RWQCB are now responsible for doing the closure plan reviews, the EA must now request engineering consultation from the CIWMB for closure plan review if needed, and at this time, there is no cost.

Q: How does CEQA apply to preliminary closure/postclosure plans?
A: Compliance with CEQA is not a requirement for the approval process of preliminary closure plans.

Q: What does "limited technical review" consist of?
A: After the EA and the RWQCB have approved a closure plan, the CIWMB staff will conduct a limited review of those items contained in Title 27 that are still within the jurisdiction of the CIWMB to determine whether the operator has complied with the regulations. It is anticipated that the review would focus on landfill gas, postclosure land use and the cost estimates to assure that the financial assurance mechanism is fully funded.

Q: Does the technical review option (CIWMB limited technical review prior to final approval or as consultant) apply to final Closure and Postclosure Maintenance plans?
A: Yes.

Q: What happens when either the EA or the RWQCB fails to process closure plan completeness reviews within the timeframes specified?
A: If the EA or RWQCB fails to make a completeness determination within 30 days of receipt, then the EA's or RWQCB's portion of that document is deemed complete.


FINANCIAL ASSURANCES Q & A:

Q: Are the financial mechanisms/accounts still separate?
A: Yes. Financial Assurance Demonstrations are still evaluated individually. A single financial mechanism (i.e. Trust Agreement) can be used to cover all required demonstrations, but within the mechanism, limits must be clearly identified for each coverage provided. A financial assurance demonstration for each facility may include Closure, Postclosure Maintenance, Known or Reasonably Foreseeable Corrective Action, and Operating Liability.

In addition, the operator providing the financial assurance demonstration may choose to provide a single financial mechanism (i.e. Trust Agreement) for one or more coverage requirements at one or more landfills. A financial assurance demonstration for one or more facilities must identify the limit for each facility, in addition, the coverage for each facility may include Closure, Postclosure Maintenance, Known or Reasonably Foreseeable Corrective Action, and Operating Liability.


SWRCB Q & A:

Q: Does the completeness review described in the Closure and Post-Closure Monitoring (CPCM) Plan section apply to final plans?
A: Yes.

Q: Will the Enforcement Agencies be able to issue enforcement orders for water quality violations if the Regional Water Quality Control Board staff concurs?
A: Not usually. However, this could occur in a case where the RWQCB sees no water quality issue and the EA sees a non water-quality goal which can be addressed by enforcing SWRCB requirements (see -20014).

Q: Does the EA still have the responsibility to look for and enforce water quality regulations during inspections?
A: The EA no longer takes such action under the CIWMB's regulations. However, if the EA discovers something that might have a bearing upon water quality protection, then it is appropriate to inform the RWQCB. Likewise, RWQCB staff should return this courtesy with regard to any condition they observe at the site which would may be of interest to the EA.

Q: How will switching the Construction Quality Assurance requirement oversight to RWQCBs impact the regulated community?
A: This should result in streamlining efforts between agencies.

Q: Is the cover maintenance and monitoring plan part of the post-closure maintenance plan?
A: Yes, it is part of the post-closure maintenance part of the final CPCM plan [see -21090(a)(4)]. The cover maintenance and monitoring plan requirement only applies to final CPCM plans submitted after the effective date of the revised regulations (Title 27).

Q: What about engineered alternatives for liner systems? Does the discharger still have to cover 2510 (b & c) criteria?
A: Title 27 refers to SWRCB Resolution No. 93-62 on this issue. Therefore, the design alternative proposal is done under Resolution No. 93-62, rather than under -2510(b &c) [now located at -20080(b & c) of T-27]. In a nutshell: Except on steep side slopes, the alternative must be composite and work as well as USEPA's prescriptive composite design; steeper portions may use an extra-thick flexible membrane liner (FML) over a prepared base.

Q: Why pass the cost estimate responsibility to RWQCB when CIWMB has financial mechanism review responsibility?
A: The RWQCB already reviews the design so is in the best position to review the estimated cost. The CIWMB's responsibility focuses upon the viability of the financial mechanism itself, plus cost validation for any topics not addressed by the RWQCB's review (e.g., fencing-off the facility). There are two parts to the financial assurance question: 1) how much money is needed to cover the anticipated costs; and 2) the adequacy of the financial instrument to assure that these funds will be available when needed. The CIWMB's principal duty concerns the latter.

Q: Chapter 15 deals with landfills, waste piles, surface impoundments and land treatment units. How are the last two handled under the consolidated regulations if they are non-hazardous wastes?
A: They are covered in Title 27 in the same way as they were under Chapter 15.

Q: What Article 5 compliance costs should be included in cost estimates for preliminary or final closure and post-closure maintenance plans?
A: For closure plans, the estimate should cover all costs not associated with monitoring programs (i.e.: cover materials, CQA, cover installation, alteration of run-on and run-off). The estimate for post-closure maintenance includes all costs except those for a "reasonably foreseeable release", including those for the monitoring program(s).

Q: Under what circumstance is an engineered alternative analysis not acceptable even though the performance is demonstrated to be better than the prescriptive design?
A: In a case where the prescriptive standard will meet the performance standard and the alternative costs more. This cost restriction does not apply in cases where the discharger shows that the prescriptive standard would not meet its applicable performance standard.

Q: Is -I.C. of SWRCB Resolution No. 93-62 (entitled: "applicability of the policy in the absence of useable waters") still applicable (and restrictive)?
A: Yes. All of this Resolution is still applicable. However, the section referred to is enabling rather than restrictive. It facilitates RWQCB approval of a non-composite (including unlined) containment system and an alternative monitoring approach (including no ground water monitoring), so long as there is no useable groundwater that could be affected and the proposal meets -258.40(a)(1) and (c) and -258.50(b) of the federal MSW regulations.

Q: Can quarterly monitoring still be required? If yes, how is this done?
A: Yes, if RWQCB requires it after determining that this is necessary due to site-specific conditions [see -20415(e)(12)(B)]. Nevertheless, follow existing WDRs until they are changed.

Q: Will there be training for RWQCB staff for financial assurance mechanisms?
A: None planned now. The CIWMB's Financial Assurances Section staff will attend an upcoming Round Table to answer questions. The SWRCB would request that the CIWMB's financial assurance group provide such training if the need is clearly demonstrated.

Q: Are closure/post-closure funds in Article 5 Corrective Action Program fund to be maintained in separate accounts?
A: Yes, studies found that the accounts could not be consolidated.

Q: Should costs attributable to Detection Monitoring Programs and Evaluation Monitoring Programs be included in post-closure fund?
A: Yes. The post-closure estimate covers all costs other than those for providing coverage for a "reasonably foreseeable release" (which has its own financial assurance instrument), including those of applicable monitoring programs.

Last updated: May 9, 1997
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