Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On March 22, 2004, EPA issued a final rule amending the municipal solid waste landfill criteria at 40 CFR 258.4 to allow for Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) permits (69 FR 13242). This rule allows for variances from specified criteria for a limited period of time. Specifically, the rule allows the Director of an EPA-approved State permit program to issue a time-limited RD&D permit for a new MSWLF unit, existing MSWLF unit, or lateral expansion, for which the owner or operator proposes to use innovative and new methods which vary from either or both of the following: (1) The run-on control systems at 40 CFR 258.26, and/or (2) the liquids restrictions at 40 CFR 258.28(a), provided that the MSWLF unit has a leachate collection system designed and constructed to maintain less than a 30 cm depth of leachate on the liner. The rule also allows the Director of an EPA-approved State permit program to issue a time-limited RD&D permit for which the owner or operator proposes to use innovative and new methods that vary from the final cover criteria at 40 CFR 258.60(a) (1) and (2), and (b) (1), provided that the owner or operator demonstrates that the alternative cover system will not contaminate groundwater or surface water, or cause leachate depth on the liner to exceed 30 cm. An RD&D permit cannot exceed three years and a renewal of an RD&D permit cannot exceed three years. Although multiple renewals of an RD&D permit can be issued, the total term for an RD&D permit including renewals cannot exceed twelve years.
RD&D permits are only available in states with EPA-approved MSWLF permit programs that have been modified to incorporate the RD&D permit authority. Although a state is not required to seek approval for the RD&D permit provision, a state must obtain EPA approval before it may issue such a permit. Requirements for EPA's determination of a state program's adequacy and the approval procedures are contained in 40 CFR Part 239.
In 1994, EPA Region IX approved the State of Arizona's municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) permit program pursuant to Subtitle D of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). By application dated June 28, 2010, updated on January 26, 2011 and September 27, 2012, the State of Arizona is seeking EPA approval for a modification to the State's existing MSWLF permit program to include RD&D permits. On February 22, 2011, EPA published a tentative approval of Arizona's RD&D permit program modification. (76 FR 9772).
Following the close of the public hearing and the public comment period, and after consideration of comments received, EPA will issue a final determination. If EPA grants approval, Arizona will be able to issue variances for run-on control systems, liquid restrictions, and final cover criteria to allow for innovative and new methods, such as bioreactor landfills. The approval of the program modification will allow the Director of Arizona's program to provide a variance from certain MSWLF criteria, provided that the MSWLF owner/operator demonstrates that compliance with the RD&D permit will not increase risk to human health and the environment. The Director may provide a variance from existing requirements of MSWLF criteria for run-on control systems, liquids restrictions, and final cover. EPA is seeking public comment on its tentative determination of the adequacy of Arizona's RD&D modification to its MSWLF permit program.
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Sections 2002, 4005, and 4010(c) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912, 6945, and 6949(a). Delegation 8-46. State/Tribal Permit Programs for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.