SRRE Approval Process

CalRecycle is required to review and determine the adequacy of a jurisdiction’s SRRE, HHWE, NDFE, or CIWMP within 120 days of receipt and, based upon this review, CalRecycle must either approve or disapprove the element or plan (PRC 41800(a), 41800(b), 41802). The approval or disapproval must occur at a public hearing. Testimony from the jurisdiction, the public and the Local Task Force can be received during the public hearing process. Within 60 days of receipt of an amended SRRE or NDFE from a jurisdiction, CalRecycle must determine if the amended element is adequate (41800(b), 41800(e)). If CalRecycle does not act to approve or disapprove of a SRRE or NDFE in 120 days or an amendment in 60 days, CalRecycle shall be deemed to have approved the SRRE or NDFE.

Because there will be 531 individual SRREs and NDFEs submitted between April and December 1994, local assistance staff and board staff have to dedicate their time for review, evaluation, comment and recommendation. This must be accomplished within 120 days and presented to both the Planning Committee and a CalRecycle meeting. Staff are recommending a streamlined process for CalRecycle approval of an element and plan due to the short time frame to approve or disapprove an element and plan. Staff propose to prepare an agenda item for approval of a SRRE and NDFE as follows: The item would contain an analysis of how staff determined adequacy and a checklist noting content requirements were met. Staff would recommend that each SRRE and NDFE submitted for approval be placed on each agenda as a consent item. Staff recommendations for a disapproval decision would be handled differently. These items will be placed on the agenda as a consideration item, with recommendations to the local jurisdiction on how the inadequate element or plan could be corrected and meet adequacy requirements. Each process (approval and disapproval) would contain a resolution which makes certain findings on either adequacy or inadequacy, as required by statute.

Conditional Approval Process

The Elements and Plans may contain different successes and shortcomings that determine conditional approvals. Staff anticipate that Elements and Plans will satisfy the mandates of the Integrated Waste Management Act to varying degrees. Refinement would be needed before these Elements and Plans can be fully approved by CalRecycle. CalRecycle would approve acceptable Element and Plan portions by resolution. Specific remedies would be identified wherever possible and attempts to define reasonable timetables, which would result in establishing a compliance schedule for accomplishing them, would be instituted. Input from the affected jurisdiction will be critical to determine the ultimate remedies and compliance schedules.

There are some legal and policy issues associated with a conditional approval process. For example, CalRecycle needs to preserve its ability to take enforcement action regarding an inadequate Element and Plan. CalRecycle will also have limitations on how specific a recommendation may be to a local jurisdiction to correct a deficient Element and Plan (i.e., CalRecycle may not select a particular diversion program for a jurisdiction to implement, but may also make suggested recommendations for selection). In addition, CalRecycle may be faced with a number of case-by-case decisions. Case-by-case decisions may require CalRecycle’s Legal Office to provide assistance to ensure a fair and equitable approach is undertaken so that case-by-case decisions are upheld under legal scrutiny. Finally, CalRecycle will need to decide whether to allow a jurisdiction to revise an Element that is deficient in meeting the 50 percent waste reduction mandate and submit the revised Element at the 5-year revision time frame.

Included in this report, staff have identified specific examples of guidance CalRecycle would provide to local jurisdictions who receive a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) for inadequate planning requirements. For example, conditional approvals, containing specific time frames for compliance, may be granted to a local jurisdiction under the following examples:

  1. An Element contains the 9 components (Solid Waste Generation Study, Source Reduction, Recycling, Composting, Special Waste, Disposal Facility Capacity, Funding, Public Information and Education and Integration), meets the minimum content requirements, and meets the waste reduction mandates; however, the information provided in one of the minimum content requirements (such as evaluation of alternatives, program selection, market development, disposal facility capacity data, target audiences, etc) may be vague and require clarification. Staff envision a conditional approval of an Element provided additional information is submitted according to a compliance schedule.
  2. PRC section 41780(a)(2) requires a 50 percent diversion rate of all solid waste from landfill or transformation facilities through source reduction, recycling and composting activities. However, a local jurisdiction’s implementation schedule in its SRRE may only show a diversion rate of 47 percent. Upon analysis and review of the SRRE, staff may identify where an additional 3 percent in reduction in source reduction, recycling or composting activities may be augmented to meet the requirements and the mandates of the statute. Staff envision a conditional approval of an Element provided additional information is submitted according to a compliance schedule.

Staff have tried to come up with some examples of what we would be looking for that could be considered for a conditional approval. These examples do not include all situations that may arise that would be acceptable for granting a conditional approval. Staff would accept other situations for use in a conditional approval process, however, because final SRREs have not been submitted, staff are not aware of all of the potential problems that would arise during the submittal and review process and which situations would be deemed acceptable. Conditional approvals would be granted on a case-by-case basis, as warranted.

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As approved by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle) on November 17, 1993.

For more information contact: Local Assistance & Market Development,