(40 CFR 260, 264, and 122)
  Permitting of Land Disposal Facilities; Overview
  This document (ms. 1941.33) provides background
   information on EPA's proposed regulations for
          land disposal of hazardous waste
                     July 1981


     Section 3004 of Subtitle C of the Itesource Conservation and

Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.) ,

requires EPA to promulgate regulations establishing such performance

standards,  applicable to owners and operators of hazardous waste

treatment,  storage, and disposal facilities, as may be necessary

to protect  human health and the environment.  On 5 February 1981,

regulations were reproposed for land disposal facilities.

Regulations had been originally proposed on 28 December 1978, and

on 8 October 1980 the agency published a supplemental notice of

proposed rulemaking discussing its intent to deviate significantly

from the standards that had been originally proposed.


     The regulatory approach for the "Permitting of land Disposal

Facilities" embodied in the reproposal has been established based

on a recognition that the "disposal" of "hazardous waste" into or

on the land represents the permanent emplacement of "solid waste"

(i.e., discarded material in a solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained

gaseous form).  Unless such waste is contained all semisolid,

liquid, and contained gaseous materials which are part of the waste

can be expected to migrate from the location in which it is placed;

and all solid materials which are part of the waste can be expected

to exhibit  some finite solubility and vapor pressure and will also

migrate from the locations in which it is placed.  This migration

of wastes or constituents (i.e., "decomposition byproducts" and

"reaction byproducts") as direct discharge, "leachate", or as gaseous

emissions is what must be controlled in a permitted facility.

     When the emplacement of waste into or on the land is for

some limited period of time (i.e., for the purpose of storage or

treatment) after which the residual waste and constituents are

removed, "disposal" occurs only due to the migration of wastes,

leachate, or gaseous emissions.  Under such circumstances, the

migration of wastes or constituents only occurs during the period

when the wastes or constituents are present.

     The regulations promulgated on 12 January 1981 presently apply

to "storage and treatment" facilities, namely those facilities at

which the waste is removed at closure.  Those regulations established

specific facility design requirements as standards which are intended

to preclude discharge or leaking of wastes and constituents into or

on the land or to ground waters, and require waste and waste residue

to be removed at closure.  If the 12 January 1981 regulations are

complied with, it is presumed that wastes and waste constituents

will be contained within the facility so that no waste or leachate

will escape into the land or into groundwater.  Wastes or waste

constituents can exit the facility as gaseous emissions to the

atmosphere eminating directly from the wastes, or as liquid point

source discharges to surface waters.

     Facilities ,to be permitted as land disposal facilities in

accordance with the 5 February 1981 reproposed regulations include

(1) all facilities where the wastes are permanently emplaced into

or on the land; and (2) certain facilities where the wastes are

temporarily emplaced into or on the land for the purpose of storage

or treatment but from which some discharge into or on the land or

to ground waters can be reasonably expected to occur or cannot be

prevented from occuring to some degree.   Included within this

second group are storage and treatment facilities which, although

designed to prevent discharge, from which discharge could occur and

not be detectable soon enough to be recoverable, not be recoverable

at all, or where recovery would constitute an unreasonable expense

since adverse effects to human health or the environment may not

accrue even in the event of discharge.  An example of such a type

of facility could be one with an "impermeable liner" but without a

leachate detection system other than ground-water monitoring .

     The basic regulatory approach therefore is to, by analysis,

determine what discharges will or could  occur into or on the land

or to ground waters; to determine where  such discharges will migrate

when or if they occur; and to establish  how much exposure will or

may result due to such discharges.  If the discharges will not

result in any human health or environmental exposure, or if the

amount of exposure can be judged acceptable; the facility could be

permitted.  Primary emphasis is placed on the complete avoidance of

human health exposure through the use of affected or potentially

affected ground water.

     For the majority of facilities initially subject to the

permitting requirements for land disposal facilities (existing

facilities), the analysis will be based  on the locational and (if

necessary) exposure conclusions which can be drawn or extrapolated

from ground-water monitoring and a physical understanding of the

wastes which are being or have been disposed of, the facility

design, and the the geology and the hydrology in the area where

the discharge occurs (or may occur) and  is (or will be)  migrating.

For new facilities, the same analysis must be totally predictive

based on knowledge of the wastes to be disposed of, the facility

design, and the geology and hydrology of the area where the facility

is to be operated.  These predictions and extrapolations are

recognized to be best estimates or "best engineering judgements"

and are subject to periodic (tri-annual) review based on monitoring

data to improve the accuracy of the predictions and verify that

the facility performance remains within permitted maximum limits.

     A similar analysis is required to evaluate air emissions, but

it is unique from the type of evaluation needed for other types of

facilities (i.e., storage and treatment facilties) only in that

the gaseous emissions may occur below the land surface and migrate

within the land before being emitted into the atmosphere.

     Additional discussion of the regulatory approach is presented

in Sections III through V of the preamble to the 5 February 1981

Federal Register notice, and in the numbered background documents

referenced herein.


     The preamble to the 5 February 1981 promulgation included a

notice in Section VIII that the Agency had developed or was preparing

background documents to support the reproposed regulations.  Nine

specific background documents were enumerated.  These nine documents

are listed below together with an identification of the coverage

of each document keyed to the sub-titles in Section VII of the


Background Document No. 1 - Surface Impoundments

     D. Subpart K - Surface Impoundments

Background Document No. 2 - Waste  Piles

     E. Subpart L - Waste Piles

Background Document No. 3 - Land Treatment

     F. Subpart M - Land Treatment

Background Document No. 4 - Landfills

     G. Subpart N - Landfills

Background Document No. 5 - Underground  Injection and Underground

     A. Subpart A - General
          1. Purpose, scope and applicability - 264.1
     L. Amendments to Part 122
          8. Permits by rule - 122.26
     H. Subpart R - Underground Injection
     I. Subpart S - Seepage Facilities

Background Document No. 6 - Information  Rsquirements for  Permitting
                            Discharges from Land Disposal  Facilities

     L. Amendments to Part 122
          5. Permit application requirements - Contents of Parts
             of the RCRA permit application 122.25
               (a) Specific technical information
               (b) Specific generic information
               (c) Reports required
               (d) Site investigation requirements
          6. Informational requirements  for permitting discharges
             from land disposal facilities 122.25(d)
          7. Variations in precision - 122.25(e)

Background Document No. 7 - Ground Water Protection Standard

     A. Subpart A - General
          2. Ground water protection standard - 264. 2

Background Document No. 8 - Ground-water and Air Bnission Monitoring

     C. Subpart F - Ground-water and Air Bnission Monitoring
     L. Mmendments to Part 122
          9. Triannual reprediction of leachate plume migration -
          2. Modification or revocation  and reissuance of permits -
             122.15(a) (8)
          3. Minor modification of permits 122.17(a)(8)

Background Document No. 9 - Performance  Standards for  Land  Disposal

     B. Subpart B - General Facility Standards
     J. Subpart T - Minimum Acceptable Treatment of  Hazardous
                    Wastes Prior to Disposal

     No background documents have been prepared to supplement  the

Preamble discussion of the proposed amendments to Part 260, or

certain of the proposed amendments to Part 122.  These portions of

the regulations are discussed in Section VII of the  Preamble under

the following sub-titles:

     K. Mendments to Part 260
          1. Definitions - 260.10
          2. Petitions to Amend Part 264 or Part 265 to Allow
             Special Types of Treatment, Storage, and  Disposal
             Facilities at a Particular  Location, for  a Particular
             Hazardous Waste, or for a Hazardous Waste from a
             Particular Source - 260.23

     L. Mendments to Part 122
          1. Definitions - 122.3
          4. Application for a permit -  122.22(a)
         10. Establishing RCRA permit conditions - 122.29


     The background documents which have been developed provide

response to public comments, as applicable, and the rationale  for

how and why the regulations have come to be written  the way they

are.   In conjunction with the references listed in them, these

documents provide the basis for and defense of the reprbposed


     Background Documents No . 1, 2, 3, 4, and part of  Background

Document No. 8 are very similar to the background documents issued

in support of the 19 May 1980 promulgation.  These background

documents have been expanded to include: (a) summaries and responses

to applicable comments on the 19 May 1980 interim final, interim

status regulations; (b.) summaries and response to comments on the

8 October 1980, supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; (c)

additional summaries and responses to comments on the originally

proposed (December 1978) general standards; and (d) rationale for

the general standards as reproposed.  As appropiate,  the remaining

background documents also include discussion of the items listed

in (a) through (d) above.

     The general format used in the background documents as follows:




     These major headings establish the format for discusssion

of the portion of the regulations under consideration in the

background document.  In some cases there are more than one

enumeration of the major headings.  When that situation exists,

it is discussed in the "INTRODUCTION".

     Minor headings establish the framework for the discussion of

specific issues under the major heading "ANALYSIS OF STANDARDS".

The minor headings unsually used are listed below:

  A. Proposed Regulation and Rationale

  B. Summary of Comments

  C. Discussion

  D. Regulatory Language

Specific issues may be enumerated in a variety of formats such as

preamble headings, section or paragraph titles, or by a listing  or

narrative statement of issues.  In general, specific  issues parallel

the preamble headings.