Proposed Rule for Sanitary Landfills

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently published a proposed rule pertaining to sanitary landfills in the New Jersey Register.  A summary of NJDEP's proposal is below, courtesy of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey:

Legacy Landfill Law (Law)

sanitary landfill
  • The proposed Legacy Landfill Law establishes requirements and controls applicable to legacy landfills and closed sanitary landfill facilities that accept new materials after closure in order to, for example, prepare the landfill surface for redevelopment.  A legacy landfill is a landfill that ceased operations prior to January 1, 1982, and received for disposal solid waste or waste material that was received for disposal prior to October 21, 1976 that is included within the definition of RCRA hazardous waste.  Part of the jurisdiction of this law is the integration of the Law’s requirements into the existing Solid Waste Rules to address closure/post-closure care and disruption of all sanitary landfills; and
     
  • Extending some requirements of the Law to all sanitary landfills.

Other new technical requirements include the following:

Air Pollution Control

  • Amend these rules to address the hydrogen sulfide emission standard included in the Law

Solid Waste Rules

  1. Clarify the definitions of “contaminated soil”, “clean fill”, and “solid waste” in the Solid Waste and Recycling Rules; DEP is not proposing to change how a generator manages/handles contaminated soil or clean fill
     
  2. NEW definition: Contaminated Soil – “soil, soil-like material, or mixtures of soil with other material containing concentrations of one or more contaminants that exceed the residential direct contact soil remediation standards or non-residential direct contact soil remediation standards, whichever is more stringent, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:26D, Remediation Standards”
     
  3. DELETED definition: Clean Fill (in order to avoid the possibility of the same material meeting both the definition of “clean fill” and the new proposed definition of “contaminated soil”); DEP is not proposing to change the definition of “clean fill” under the SRWMP Rules.
     
  4. AMENDED definition: Solid Waste – “any garbage, refuse, sludge, processed or unprocessed mixed construction and demolition debris, including, but not limited to, wallboard, plastic, wood, or metal, or any other waste material, except it shall not include the following…”
     
  5. Solid Waste excludes materials which are defined as “non-water-soluble, non-decomposable, inert solids, such as rock, soil, gravel, concrete, glass, and/or clay or ceramic products that do not contain concentrations of one or more contaminants that exceed the residential direct contact soil remediation standards or non-residential direct contact soil remediation standards, whichever is more stringent, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:26D, Remediation Standards”.
     
  6. Currently, a Beneficial Use Determination is required prior to transporting soil that does not exceed SRS off-site for reuse. However, under the proposed rule, if soil has been determined to not exceed the concentration criteria of (new) N.J.A.C. 7:26-1.6(a)6 and is not considered a solid waste, this soil would also be exempt from the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:26-1.1(a)1ii (Scope of Rules) and N.J.A.C. 7.26-1.7(g)4iv (Exemption from Solid Waste Facility Permitting). In other words, the generator of this soil would not be required to obtain a Beneficial Use approval from DEP.

There is some industry concern that the new definition of “soil” may adversely impact the option of beneficially re-using soils with contaminant concentrations below the threshold outlined in NJAC 7:26-1.6(a)6.   

A public hearing concerning the proposal occurred on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 10:00 A.M.  Written comments are due to NJDEP by October 14, 2016.  

If you would like to learn more about regulatory changes to sanitary landfills or would like to discuss your landfill site, please contact:

Veronica Foster, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant
856.354.2273