EPA Issues Toxics Rule

In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., issued national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

The final rule applies to both major and area emission sources and contains the same requirements as the Emission Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards (EG/NSPS). The rule also includes: startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) requirements; operating condition deviations for out-of-bounds monitoring parameters; timely controls for bioreactor landfills; and more frequent reporting requirements.

In the rule, a bioreactor is defined as a MSW landfill or portion of a MSW landfill where any liquid other than leachate and gas condensate is added into the waste to reach a minimum average moisture content of at least 40 percent by weight to accelerate or enhance the anaerobic biodegradation of solid waste.

This rule affects municipal solid waste landfills that have accepted waste since Nov. 8, 1987, or have additional capacity for waste deposition. Also, sites must be one of the following: (1) A major source of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs); (2) collocated with a major source of HAPs; (3) an area source with a design capacity greater than or equal to 2.5 million megagrams (Mg) and 2.5 million cubic meters (m3) with estimated uncontrolled non-methane organic compound (NMOC) emissions equal to or greater than 50 Mg/yr; or (4) an active area source with a design capacity greater than or equal to 2.5 million Mg and 2.5 million m3 that operates an anaerobic bioreactor landfill.

Major and area source MSW landfills with a design capacity greater than or equal to 2.5 million Mg and 2.5 million m3, and with estimated uncontrolled NMOC emissions of at least 50 Mg/yr, are subject to the EG/NSPS as well as the additional requirements imposed by the final rule. These requirements also apply to bioreactors within active landfills at major and area emission sources if the landfills meet the design capacity.

Owner and operators of affected MSW landfills are required to meet the SSM requirements contained in the general provisions to 40 code of federal of regulations (CFR) part 63. Landfill owner or operators must develop and implement a written SSM that describes the procedures for operating and maintaining the collection and control system (CMS) during periods of SSM (section 63.6(e)(3)). Under section 63, there also are recordkeeping and reporting requirements for SSM incidents.

Additionally, the final rule requires owners and operators to operate the control device within the operating boundaries and to continuously monitor control devise operating parameters.

With one exception, the final rule requires owners and operators to submit reports that are specified in 40 CFR part 60, subpart WWW, or the federal, state or tribal plan that implements 40 CFR part 60 subpart Cc, whichever is applicable. As an exception, the report in section 60.757(f) must be submitted every six months rather than annually.

If a MSW landfill is subject to the final rule because it is collocated with a major source and the landfill has a design capacity less than 2.5 million Mg or 2.5 million m3, then the landfill must comply with applicable EG/NSPS requirements. The landfill is not subject to the additional control and reporting requirements under the NESHAP.

The final rule contains five different compliance dates, depending on whether a landfill is a newly affected source, an existing affected source or a bioreactor landfill.

For the complete list of compliance dates, please reference the June 16, 2003, Federal Register (68 FR 2227).

To access the full report, visit www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a030116c.html.

Ed Repa is the director of environmental programs for NSWMA. E-mail the author at: [email protected].