The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) initiated a dialogue with USEPA, State Water Resources Control Board and local enforcement agencies about solid waste industry concerns regarding which closure costs must be included in closure cost estimates.
How to Get Involved
CalRecycle staff recognizes that industry representatives have differing opinions regarding the approach taken by staff in implementing closure cost requirements. Several opportunities to participate in the dialogue on this issue were offered:
The preliminary list of issues to be discussed included:
- Should the costs for equipment and environmental control systems that may be required for closure but are also installed as part of landfill operations be included in closure cost estimates?
- Should only costs associated with environmental controls and equipment that are anticipated to be installed in the time period just prior to actual closure as well as all other closure costs be included in the closure cost estimates?
- If closure costs for an environmental control system are included and the system is installed, then should the amount of the closure cost fund set aside for the system be returned or otherwise credited to the operator?
- Should all methods of closure (e.g. full closure and partial closure or cell by cell permitting and full site permitting) be consistent in their approach to determining closure cost estimates and managing closure cost fund requirements?
- How can CalRecycle carry out this program in an equitable and fair manner that does not inadvertently provide a competitive advantage?
- How do the proposed revisions to the cost estimating regulations currently in the 45-day public comment period relate to the above issues?
Solid waste industry representatives raised concerns regarding which costs must be included in closure cost estimates. CalRecycle carries out its closure coste responsibilities under a set of regulations first adopted by the Board in 1990. The state regulations are consistent with Federal RCRA regulations which became effective in 1993. The intent of these regulations is to ensure that an amount of money is available at any time during a facility’s operating life to ensure that a “Third Party” can effectively close the entire facility in the event that the operator is unable to do so. Legislative direction, Board policy direction, audit findings, and the unfortunate experience of inadequate closure funds necessitating state closure expenditures (e.g. BKK Landfill) all stress the importance of CalRecycle staff’s thorough review of each facility closure plan, associated cost estimates, and funding mechanism.