BACKGROUND   DOCUMENT
    HAZARDOUS mSTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: GENERAL;
    STANDARDS APPLICABLE TO OWNERS AND OPERATORS
OF HAZARDOUS V&STE TREATMENT, STORAGE, AND DISPOSAL
   FACILITIES; AND HAZARDOUS WASTE PEMIT PROGRAM
             (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
        U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
                     July 1981

-------
                                (2)
INTRODUCTION



     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.



REGULATORY APPROACH



     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.

-------
                                (3)
     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

-------
                                (4)
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.

-------
                                (5)
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.



COVERAGE OF THE BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS



     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



preamble.



Background Document No. 1 - Surface Impoundments



     D. Subpart K - Surface Impoundments

-------
                                 (6)
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
                            Seepage

     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 -
             122.28(f)
          2. Modification or revocation  and reissuance of permits -
             122.15(a) (8)
          3. Minor modification of permits 122.17(a)(8)

-------
                                 (7)
Background Document No. 9 - Performance  Standards for  Land  Disposal
                            Facilities

     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

SUMMARY DISCUSSION AND FORMAT

     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

regulations.

     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

-------
                                (8)
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:



INTRODUCTION



I.   NEED FOR REGULATION



II.  ANALYSIS OF STANDARDS



     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.

-------