United States             Office of Solid Waste and
                     Environmental Protection       Emergency Response          EPA/530-SW-91-087
                     Agency                 (OS-305)                 January 1992
SEPA         Environmental
                     Fact  Sheet
                     EPA Amends Monitoring Well
                     Requirements for Interim-Status
                     Hazardous Waste Facilities
                     EPA is amending the standards applicable to owners and
                     operators of interim-status hazardous waste facilities. In cases
                     where physical obstacles prevent the placement of monitoring wells
                     at the specified location, owners and operators of the facility may
                     use an acceptable alternate location.
            Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
       (RCRA) creates a comprehensive program for the safe management
       of hazardous waste. RCRA requires EPA to develop regulations for
       owners or operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage and
       disposal facilities (TSDFs).

            In 1980, EPA created comprehensive standards for owners and
       operators of TSDFs that qualify for interim status (a short-term
       permitted status assigned to facilities in the process of applying for a
       final permit). Under these standards, interim status facility owners or
       operators operating certain management units must install and operate
       a system to monitor ground water for hazardous waste contamination.
       The system must include monitoring wells at specific  points along the
       perimeter of the waste management area.

             In some existing waste management areas, certain physical
       obstacles (e.g., buildings, electric cables, highways) prevent the
       placement of monitoring wells near the perimeter. For this reason,
       EPA is amending the  1980 standards to allow alternate placement of
       downgradient monitoring wells. This amendment specifies that the
       alternate locations must be as close to the perimeter as practical, and
       must  ensure detection of ground-water contamination as early as

     The facility owrier or operator may make a demonstration of the
need for and the proper placement of alternate wells. This demon-
stration must be certified by a "qualified ground-water scientist" as
defined in the rule.

     By allowing for minor alterations in monitoring well placement
under certain conditions, the ground-water monitoring standards will
provide greater flexibility to interim-status facilities, while maintaining
the highest level of environmental protection.

For More Information

     For further information, or to order a copy of the Federal Register
notice announcing this action, please call the RCRA Hotline Monday
through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., EST.

           National Toll-Free:                      (800) 424-9346;
           For the Hearing Impaired (TDD):          (800) 553-7672;
           Washington, DC.  area (TDD):             (703) 920-9810;
           Washington, DC,  area (TDD):             (703) 486-3323;

      Please send all written requests to:

           RCRA Information Center (OS-305)
           U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
           401 M Street, SW
           Washington, DC 20460