Part 265 Subpart G - INTERIM STATUS

                April 1980

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.  INTRODUCTION                                                   1

     Key Definitions                                               3

II.  RATIONAL FOR REGULATION                                       6

     A.  EPA Authority                                             6
     B.  Basis for Regulation and Damage Cases                     7
     C.  State Precedents                                         13

      REGULATORY SYNOPSES AND RATIONALE                           15

        Closure Performance Standard                              16
     -  Closure and Post-Closure Plans                            18
        Close-out Requirements                                    25
     -  Time Allowed for Closure                                  27
        Disposal or Decontamination of Equipment                  29
     -  Close-out and Closure Notification                        30
        Closure and Post-Closure Certification                    31
     -  Notification of New Owner or Operator                     34
        Post-Closure Care                                         36
        Equipment and Provisions for Post-Closure
        Groundwater Monitoring                                    37
     -  Post-Closure Period and Effectiveness and
        Approach to Post Closure Regulation                       38
        Post-Closure Use of Property and Notice in
        Deed to Property                                          53
     -  Notice to Local Land Authority                            57
        Compliance with Financial Requirements                    61
     -  Post-Closure Legislation                                  62

IV.  FINAL INTERIM STATUS REGULATIONS                             66

V.  REFERENCES                                                    72


     This is one of a set of background documents accompanying the

first set of regulations promulgated under Subtitle C of the Resource

Conservation and Recovery Act.  These regulations represent EPA's

initial efforts to control hazardous waste generation, transporta-

tion, treatment, storage and disposal.

     This document, and the other background documents, explains why

EPA developed the regulations and why they are written as they are.

In so doing, EPA addresses (1) the Congressional authority for regu-

lations, (2) the need for the regulation based on common sense as

well as threats to human health and the environment, (3) precedents

set by State regulations, and perhaps more importantly, and (4) the

many public comments on the proposed version of these regulations

which were published in the Federal Register on December 18, 1978.

     This background document discusses only the non-technical as-

pects of closure and post-closure for the Interim Status Standards.

The Agency regulates technical requirements for closure and post-

closure for interim status in §265.197 for tanks, §265.228 for sur-

face impoundments, §265.280 for land treatment, §265.310 for land-

fills, §265.351 for incinerators, §265.381 for thermal treatment, and

§265.404 for other types of treatment facilities.  The General Status

Standards will be promulgated later in the year and are expected to

be similar to these interim status regulations but will include

approval of the closure and post-closure plans by the Regional

Administrator at the time of permitting.

     Many readers of the proposed regulations and the accompanying

support documents reached a common misunderstanding concerning which

facilities were subject to the closure and post-closure requirements.

The Agency would like to clarify this at the outset of this document,

to avoid further confusion.  All treatment, storage, and disposal

facilities managing hazardous wastes which are subject to the

provisions of Part 265 are subject to the closure regulations.  Only

disposal facilities (those in which wastes will remain after closure)

are subject to the post-closure requirements.

     The proposed regulation required that owners or operators

monitor and maintain disposal facilities for 20 years after they

completed closure.  The Final Interim Status Standards requires 30

years of post-closure monitoring and maintenance.  However, EPA

provides exceptions if the owner or operator can demonstrate to the

Regional Administrator that a shorter time period poses no danger to

human health or the environment, or if an interested person can

demonstrate to the Regional Administrator that the monitoring and

maintenance period should be extended.  The Regional Administrator

can also extend the post-closure period on his own for cause.

     Generally, the Agenc, has avoided interim status procedures

which require regulated parties to consult with or submit applica-

tions to the Agency.  (See the Preamble to the regulations for a

general discussion of interim status.)  Because of the importance of

closure and post-closure care in protecting human health and the

environment, however, these interim status regulations require some

interaction between EPA and the regulated community.  Owners or

operators who close during the interim status period must submit both

the closure and post-closure plans to the Regional Administrator.

During interim status, all operating facilities must have closure and

post-closure plans but they need not submit them until just before

closure.  The interim status regulations also require that the owner

or operator submit closure certification to the Regional Administra-

tor, and survey plats to the Regional Administrator and the local

land use authority.

Key Definitions

     The following terms are pertinent to this regulation:

     "Closed Portion" means that portion of a facility which an owner
     or operator has closed in accordance with the facilitiy closure
     plan and all applicable closure requirements.

This definition is the same as in the proposed regulation.

     "Close Out" means the time at which facility owners or operators
     discontinue operation by ceasing to accept hazardous waste
     treatment, storage, or disposal.

This term is no longer used in the regulations.  Many readers

confused this term with "closure" and "post-closure."  However, since

it appeared in the proposed regulations, it was used in the comments

and is thus used in this document.

     "Partial Closure" means the closure of a discrete part of a
     facility in accordance with the applicable closure requirements
     of 40 CFR Parts 264, 265, or 266.  For example, partial closure

     may include Che closure of a trench, a unit operation, a
     landfill cell, or a pit, while other portions of the same
     facility continue in operation or will be placed in operation in
     the future.

     This is a new definition.  Several commenters stated that a

definition for partial closure was needed.  The Agency proposed a

definition of "partial closure procedures" but it did not adequately

address the meaning of partial closure.  It has been deleted from the

final regulation.  An example of the difference between closure and

partial closure would be the case of a secure landfill site where the

owner or operator uses the trench method of disposal.  The owner or

operator may be disposing of waste in several trenches concurrently

and may close individual trenches completely satisfying the closure

requirements in Subpart G and the technical closure requirements for

landfills.  However, even though portions of the site are closed, the

site is considered to be partially closed until such time as no waste

is accepted at the site and  the entire site has satisfied Subpart G

and the technical landfill closure requirements.  The 30 year post-

closure care period does not begin to run for any part of a facility

until it is completely closed.

     The concept of partial  closure is important because the closure

plan (and thus the closure cost estimate and the amount of financial

assurance necessary) is based on closing the facility at its maximum

extent of operation.  As a result, an owner or operator may minimize

the amount of financial assurance he needs by partially closing as he

completes an area or trench.

     The following definitions have been removed from the regula-

tions:  closure, closure procedures, and post-closure care.  The

Agency has concluded that these definitions added nothing to the

meanings of the terms which are obvious from their use in the regula-



A.  EPA Authority

     The first sentence of Section 3004 authorizes EPA to issue

treatment, storage, or disposal standards "as may be necessary to

protect human health and the environment."  These standards must

include, but need not be limited to, requirements respecting moni-

toring and maintenance of operation (§3004(2),(6)).  Section

2002(a)(l) authorizes EPA to promulgate "such regulations as are

necessary" to carry out its functions under the Act.

     As discussed below, and as is shown in the case studies outlined

in this document, there is a significant risk that disposal facil-

ities could harm human health or the environment after they have

ceased operation, even many years after closure.  There is also a

significant risk that treatment and storage facilities could cause

harm if they are not closed properly.  EPA therefore feels that

closure and post-closure standards are essential to assure that such

facilities do not harm human health and the environment.  The closure

and post-closure standards which EPA has adopted are accordingly

authorized by §§2002(a)(1), 3004 (first sentence), 3004(2) and


     Moreover, the Act defines "disposal" (§1004(3)) to include the

placing of hazardous waste into land so that the waste "may enter the

environment."  Because waste may enter the environment (e.g., by air

emissions or leaching to waters) from a disposal facility even after

the facility has been closed, any "disposal" standard mandated under

§3004 must logically govern the time after a disposal facility is


     The House Report accompanying the Act states:

          The overriding concern of the Committee, however, is the
     effect on the population and the environment of the disposal of
     discarded hazardous wastes — those which by virtue of their
     composition or longevity are harmful, toxic or lethal.  Unless
     neutralized or properly managed in their disposal, hazardous
     wastes prevent a clear danger to the health and safety of the
     population and to'the quality of the environment.  (HR. Rept.
     94-1491, 94th Cong., 2nd Sess., 1976, p. 3, emphasis added.)

     In light of this strong expression of Congressional concern,

particularly in relation to the length of time disposed wastes may be

dangerous, EPA feels it should issue.regulations which provide

adequate closure and post-closure protection.

B.  Basis for Regulation and Damage Cases

     EPA believes that closure is extremely important in protecting

the public and the environment from contamination by hazardous sub-

stances.  Even when wastes are disposed of in a manner which appears

proper at the time of disposal, failure to close a site properly in

and of itself can cause harm.  Proper final cover, for example, con-

trols and greatly minimizes leaching by reducing the infiltration of

liquids.  For treatment and storage facilities one aspect of proper

closure requires that all hazardous waste must be removed at closure,

which also minimizes the threat of contamination from these facili-


     In the past, proper closure and post-closure care has not

usually been carried out, creating at least in part, the human health

and environmental impacts discussed later.  Most often, the failure

to close properly has been the result of poor planning, both finan-

cial and technical.  Facilities are frequently designed and operated

in ways which make adequate closure difficult.  Waste inventories

(wastes awaiting processing or disposal) are often built to very

large levels inconsistent with the owner's or operator's ability to

manage them at closure.  Such wastes often sit in corroding drums.

Storage facilities are often designed to make waste removal difficult

and costly.  Closure and post-closure care are not cheap.  Unless

funds are set aside, many firms have been unable to fund adequate

closure once revenue receipts stop.  This problem is compounded in

the facilities which go bankrupt or are otherwise abandoned before

scheduled closure.

     The solution to these problems involves careful planning from

the outset of design and operation of the facility.  The financial

requirements of closure and post-closure care must be planned for

ahead of time, when revenues are being received.  The financial

requirements are being reproposed but will be covered in Subpart H.

The amount of financial assurance required will be based on estimates

of closure and post-closure costs, which in turn, must be based on a

detailed closure plan which lays out how and when the facility will

be closed and what post-closure activities will be conducted.  This

planning should also prevent many of the design and operating

mistakes which lead to difficulties accomplishing adequate closure.

The Subpart G regulations and this background document cover the

general requirements of closure and post-closure care, including the

very important planning aspect.  The technical requirements are

covered in the regulatory subparts dealing with specific technologies

(landfills, surface impoundments, etc.).  And, as previously

mentioned, the financial requirements will be covered in Subpart H.

     The Agency has documented a number of examples of damage caused

by the improper closure and post-closure care of hazardous waste

treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.  These damage incidents

illustrate how human health and the environment may be affected by

inadequate closure and post-closure care of hazardous waste

treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.  In these cases, damage

might have been avoided or minimized if the owner or operator had

followed proper closure and post-closure care and maintenance


     Damage incidents will almost certainly continue to occur unless

closure and post-closure regulations are implemented.  The Agency

believes that regulations requiring planning are necessary.  The

following are summaries of some of the more graphic cases.

     •  Beginning in the 1920's, a major chemical producer buried
        chemicals of unknown kind and quantity in a land'fill in
        Niagara Falls, New York.  In 1953, the site owner covered  the
        site with earth and sold it to the Niagara Falls Board of
        Education.  They, in turn, sold a portion of the site to a
        private developer.  In the late 1950's, homes were built
        directly adjacent to the former landfill site.  State
        officials speculate that a portion of the landfill cover was
        removed during the 1950"s and that removal of the cover could
        have contributed to the flow of leachate from the landfill.

In August of 1978, the city of Niagara Falls declared a
medical emergency after chemicals began infiltrating many
homes near the former landfill.  Chemical analyses showed
that many of these chemicals were known or suspected
carcinogens, and observers and residents noticed a high rate
of birth defects, miscarriages and other adverse health
effects.  The State of New York subsequently ordered the
evacuation of approximately 280 families in the area and
promised to buy the homes of these residents at the fair
market values.  The cost of this program and of the remedial
cleanup efforts may exceed $32 million.  Damage claims
totaling $2.5 billion have been filed in the case.*  This
case points out the need for regulations to ensure that the
integrity of a facility will be maintained after its closure,
and to ensure that subsequent purchasers are informed that
the land was used as a hazardous waste disposal facility.  It
also demonstrates the need for records showing the type and
location of the waste disposed of at the facility.  Further,
if appropriate monitoring had been .conducted after closure,
it is likely that contamination would have been detected
before the massive human health impacts actually occurred.

In June 1973, a major chemical company in Virginia contracted
with a processing firm in Alabama to pick up, haul, and
dispose of its waste.  The processing firm transported
approximately 10,000 drums of waste to Alabama where it was
stored in two open storage areas and in an enclosed

Unknown to the generator of the waste, the processing
firm did not own a treatment facility and was merely
stockpiling waste in anticipation of construction of a waste
disposal facility.  In October 1973, the processing firm
contacted Alabama regulatory officials about plans to
construct and operate a hazardous waste management facility.
State officials requested that the firm submit engineering
plans for the proposed facility.

In April 1974, State regulatory officials noticed pollution
problems at and around the two open storage areas.  As a
result of weathering, physical stress, and. the corrosive
nature of the waste, many of the drums in the open areas had
disintegrated, and their contents were strewn over the
ground.  State officials restricted additional stockpiling of
waste at the site.  In April 1975, the processing firm
submitted an engineering plan to State officials.  State
officials rejected the plan as inadequate and ordered the
processing firm to submit new plans and post a $250,000


performance bond, both in accordance with an implementation
schedule, or face legal action by the Alabama Attorney
General.  The processing firm failed to meet the deadlines of
the implementation schedule, and was financially unable to
post the performance bond.

In February 1976, the waste generator in Virginia became
aware of the problem in Alabama, and in April 1976, offered
to pay for all costs of repacking, removing, and disposing of
the waste in an environmentally acceptable manner.  The
wastes were removed from the site and disposed of at a cost
of $650,000.2

This case points out the need for proper operating and
closure planning before any wastes are actually received.  It
also points out the need for proper inventory control to be
certain that all the wastes can adequately be disposed at any
time should the need arise.

Between 1917 and 1972, several creosote producing firms
discharged creosote wastes into a lagoon in St. Louis Park,
Minnesota.  In 1972, the firms ceased operation after the
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency filed complaints against
them.  The city of St. Louis Park, unaware of the pollution
problems at the site, purchased the land from the firms, and
signed an agreement freeing them from responsibility for any
site cleanup.  Contamination of water supplies for the city
of St. Louis Park has been traced to the former creosote
waste lagoon.  Estimates of cleanup vary from $20 to $200

This case points out the need for regulations that will
require that future property owners be notified that
hazardous waste is stored on or in the land, and that
monitoring of ground water be continued and the results
reported for 30 years after closure.

A landfill in Hyde Park, New York, used for the disposal of
waste from pesticide and organic chemical manufacturing,
closed in 1975 after over 20 years of operation.  Pollution
problems include contamination of ground and surface waters
and contamination of soils and sediments around the site and
in the surface drainage system to the Niagara River.
According to the New York Department of Environmental
Conservation, rupture of a protective berm at the  facility,
malfunction of the leachate collection system and  the
transport of pollutants from the site via the surface

drainage system during the post-closure period aggravated
these problems.  Cleanup cost for the site may exceed $57

This case points out the need for regulations which will
require adequate closure and post-closure procedures in order
to prevent environmental damage from an inactive site.
Specifically, it shows the need for maintaining a site
following closure.

In Lowell, Massachusetts, a chemical waste facility operated
from 1971 to 1978.  The corporation owning the facility de-
clared bankruptcy in 1978 leaving an on-site inventory of
30,000 drums of chemical waste in storage.  Waste seepage
from deteriorating drums has contaminated soil at and around
the facility and has threatened ground-water supplies.  Run-
off of waste via surface drainage has contaminated adjacent
properties and has threatened surface waters in the area.
Air quality on and near the site has deteriorated to the
point that visitors must use organic vapor respirators due
to the presence of volatile substances.  Also, fire and ex-
plosions threaten public health and welfare.

The State of Massachusetts and EPA are currently involved in
cleaning up the facility.  This case illustrates the need for
adequate closure plans which help ensure that all waste will
be removed from a storage facility at closure.•*

Since 1867, asbestos product manufacturers have accumulated
nearly 2 million cubic yards of assorted industrial wastes in
open piles in a small Pennsylvania town.  The original
generator of the wastes went out of business in 1962.  Since
then, two other companies have enlarged the spoils piles.
Because of wind erosion, the atmosphere around the piles
contained asbestos fibers.  An air monitoring program EPA
conducted in October 1973 indicated ambient background levels
of asbestos to be 6 ng/m^.  State officials found an
asbestos level of 9.6 ng/nr* at a playground near the
largest waste pile.  Values obtained near active disposal
piles ranged from 114 to 1745 ng/nP.  A high pH level in a
nearby stream has resulted from runoff from the piles.6

This case points out the need for regulations which will
ensure proper closure by facility owners or operators.
Specifically, it shows why closure plans for storage
facilities must show how the owners or operators intend to
dispose of the waste at closure.

C.  State Precedents

     A number of States regulate the closure and post-closure activi-

ties of facilities in their jurisdiction in order to protect public

health and the environment.  Many of these States require closure

plans.  In developing its regulations, EPA utilized a number of the

State's ideas and regulatory approaches.  The following are summaries

of the closure and post-closure regulations of several States:

     •  Wisconsin requires all facility owners or operators to submit
        an operation plan for a proposed facility.  This plan must
        include details on development, operation and final closure.
        Long-term care provisions are an intregal component of the
        plan.  Long-term care may include routine maintenance, mon-
        itoring of ground water, collection and disposal of gas and
        leachate, and erosion control.  Site owners are required to
        care for a site for 30 years after the site stops accepting
        waste for disposal, although the owner may opt for a 20-year
        period of responsibility in exchange for paying higher fees
        to a State Waste Management Fund.  A site owner may apply to
        the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to ter-
        minate long-term care responsibilities 10 years after a site
        has stopped accepting waste.  If DNR denies the application,
        the owner or operator may renew the request at 5-year inter-
        vals.  After the owner's responsibility for long-term care
        terminates, the State Waste Management Fund is used to pay
        the cost of any additional long-term care required.'

     •  Minnesota requires facility owners or operators to submit a
        closure plan before closure.  The hazardous waste regulations
        specify owner's or operator's duties and responsibilities
        during closure and post-closure periods (i.e., maintain liner
        and cover, control surface drainage, maintain ground-water
        monitoring system, etc.).  Facility owners or operators must
        provide long-term care for as long as hazardous waste within
        a site poses a threat to the environment, unless the State of
        Minnesota or the United States agrees to assume responsibi-
        lity for long-term maintenance, monitoring and surveil-

     •  Kansas requires facility owners or operators to submit a
        closure and post-closure plan.  The hazardous waste

regulations specify owner or operator closure and post-
closure duties and responsibilities. Owners or operators ara
responsible for long-term care of a site for ten years after
closure.  The State may, however, extend the care period as
necessary to protect the public health and safety of the en-
vironment.  A 1979 amendment set up a State-wide fund that
would pay for additional care and/or monitoring at a site
after the owner's or operator's responsibility has ended or
for costs of repairing a site or repairing environmental dam-
age caused by a site as a result of a post-closure occurrence
not anticipated in the plan of operation.^

Oregon requires facility owners to deed disposal sites over
to the State upon completion of disposal operations.  .In ad-
dition, the owner is required to carry a cash bond in the
name of the State which will cover closure and post-closure
monitoring and maintenance costs.10


     This section of the background document synopsizes the closure

and post-closure regulation, by subsection, as proposed on December

18, 1978, together with the rationale for each subsection.  The pub-

lic comments for each subsection are then presented.  Next, analysis

of and response to these comments is provided along with the

rationale for the interim status regulations.  Finally, this document

presents a synopsis of the interim status regulation.

     Before this section-by-section discussion, however, it is

necessary to address the general question of whether closure and

post-closure regulations should apply to on-site facilities.  A gen-

eral comment received on these regulations said that closure and

post-closure rules should apply, and indeed Congress meant them to

apply, only to facilities which offer hazardous waste treatment,

storage or disposal services to others ("off-site" facilities).

     Common sense, however, dictates that closure and post-closure

standards should apply to on-site, as well as off-site, facilities.

At present, approximately 80 percent of all hazardous waste is dis-

posed of on-site, and there is no reason to assume that post-closure

damage from on-site facilities cannot represent just as grave a risk

as damage from off-site facilities.^  Thus, if EPA is to protect

human health and the environment under this Act, it must regulate the

closure and post-closure of on-site facilities as well as off-site

facilities.  Furthermore, the Agency finds no Language in the Act or

in the Legislative history to serve as a basis for a distinction

between on-site and off-sice facilities.


Synopsis of Proposed ReguLation and Rationale

     As proposed, the regulation, §250.43-7(i) required that after

closure all facilities be secured to prevent human and animal life

from contacting the waste.  It further banned discharges harmful to

the environment or human health.

     EPA felt that these provisions provided a broad operationaL

definition of cLosure.

Comments, Analysis, and Response

     Several commenters stated that the requirement was too broad.

Insects, moles, and worms are animal life, and it would be virtually

impossible to keep them from contact with hazardous waste.  Some of

these commenters suggested EPA delete  the requirement; others sug-

gested that it only proscribe humans from contact with hazardous

waste; and others suggested that it proscribe contact for only highe:

forms of animal life as well as humans.

     Another commenter said that neither this section nor any other

section adequately described the objective of closure.  It suggested

that this subsection be deleted and that the subsection on cLosure

pLans be rewritten to state objectives  in terms of performance.

     The Agency has concluded that this entire paragraph was overly

broad, vague, and redundant.  The Agency has adopted specific re-

quirements in this section and in the technical sections (landfill,

tanks, etc.)  to ensure what this paragraph broadly required.  Thus,

the Agency deleted this paragraph, and wrote a new, more descriptive

paragraph on closure objectives (§265.111).

     Other commenters stated that this paragraph should apply only to

disposal sites, where waste remains following closure.  EPA deleted

the paragraph and thus the comment is no longer relevent.  The com-

ment illustrates, however, a common misunderstanding of the proposed

regulations.   Many commenters did not understand that post-closure

requirements pertained only to disposal facilities, while closure

requirements pertain to all facilities.  The final regulations make

this point explicitly.

     One comment on the definition of "active portion" stated that

people disposing of utility wastes in strip mines should meet the

Office of Surface Mining closure regulations instead of the RCRA

requirements.  EPA has deferred regulation of the disposal of coal

mining wastes, if hazardous, to the Office of Surface Mining.

However, the disposal of other hazardous mining wastes or of other

hazardous wastes (non-mining) in strip mines has not been deferred.

Thus, these wastes, unless exempted elsewhere in the Part 260 or 261

regulations, are subject to the full RCRA requirements, including

those for closure and post-closure.  The Office of Surface Mining

regulations were written to address coal mining wastes.  The Agency

has no justification to defer regulation of other hazardous wastes to

regulations written specifically for coal mining wastes.  The defer-

ral of hazardous coal mining waste is temporary, pending agreement

between EPA and the Office of Surface Mining, that OSM's regulations

provide equivalent control to the RCRA program and thus the RCRA

mandate is met.

Synopsis of the Interim Status Regulations (§2'65.111)

     The performance standard requires that the facility be closed so

that the potential for the facility to pollute the environment or

threaten human health is controlled, minimized, or eliminated.  This

is the primary purpose for adequately closing a facility.  Second-

arily, it requires that it be closed in such a way as to minimize the

need for future maintenance, e.g., from erosion.

Synopsis of Proposed Regulation

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(c), required owners or

operators of treatment,  storage, and disposal facilities to submit

closure plans  to EPA.  The plans were to state (1) how the facility

would be closed, (2) a description of possible uses of the land after

closure, and (3) anticipated site life and  schedules for final

closure, and partial closures.

Rationale for the.Proposed Regulation

     EPA believes that closure is extremely important in protecting

the public and the environment from contamination by hazardous sub-

stances.  As previously discussed, the Agency believes that advance

planning is necessary to ensure that adequate preparations and re-

sources are on hand to accomplish closure properly.  Therefore, the

preparation of closure and post-closure plans is required.

Comments, Response, and Rationale for Final Regulation

     One concern was that complying with the proposed regulation re-

quired a crystal ball, since waste streams, technology, and site

operation would surely change during the life of a site, and these

changes would affect closure requirements.  One commenter suggested

that EPA should allow for amendments to closure plans to account for

the possibility of change.  Another suggested EPA should require from

owners or operators semi-annual updates and comparisons of estimates

to actual use.

     EPA agrees that the proposed regulation required precognition

far exceeding that usually demanded of a regulated community.  Faci-

lities will probably change the wastes they accept, adding some and

dropping others.  (Adding wastes will require modifications of the

permit.)  Methods of operations might also change, as will technolo-

gies.  Such changes will require changes in the closure plan, and the

final regulations allow for revisions of the closure plan.  EPA,

however, does not agree that a facility should conduct semi-annual

updates or comparisons of actual to projected facility usage.  The

Agency sees no benefit from requiring amendments at set intervals.

The plan should be amended whenever operating conditions or long-term

plans change.

     Another general area of comment concerned the applicability of

the regulations.  One commenter stated that closure plans should be

necessary only for facilities where hazardous waste remains after

closure.  Another commenter said that EPA should distinguish between

the operation of a processing facility and a permanent landfill.

     EPA believes that closure plans must apply to treatment and

storage facilities, as well as disposal facilities.  Both the Lowell,

Massachusetts, damage case5 and common sense show that proper

closure for a treatment or storage facility is just as necessary as

it is for a disposal facility.  If treatment and storage facilities,

during closure, do not properly dispose of on-hand waste inventories

and residues and decontaminate equipment, they can clearly endanger

public health and the environment.^  An EPA approved closure plan

will increase the probability of an adequate closure.

     On the question of the applicability of the proposed regula-

tions, EPA intended that while closure plans should apply to treat-

ment and storage facilities as well as to disposal facilities,

post-closure requirements should apply only to disposal facilities.

The language of the final regulations makes this clear.  If hazardous

waste is removed during closure, as is required for treatment and

storage facilities, there is no reason to submit post-closure plans
for these facilities or to monitor and maintain them.  By definition,
since no hazardous waste remains and the area is decontaminated
during closure, there is no potential for post-closure difficulties.
     A third area of comment said that the closure requirement does
not adequately state the objective of the closure requirements.  The
commenter provided specific language to describe the objective.
     On reviewing the proposed regulation, EPA agrees that the objec-
tive of closure is not adequately addressed.  The final regulations
borrowed much suggested language from this comment, and revised
§265.111 now furnishes an operational definition of closure.  Basi-
cally, the objective is to cause facilities to close so as to con-
trol, minimize, or eliminate the escape of pollutants to the extent
necessary to protect human health and the environment as well as to
minimize the need for maintenance activities to ensure that waste is
     Another comment was that the regulatory closure requirements
should be used as a guide in reviewing permit applications, and that
closure and post-closure requirements should be specified in facility
permits.  The Agency believes that the proposed regulations contained
these provisions and will probably incorporate the same requirements
in the general status regulations.  Each site is responsible for
developing and maintaining a closure plan, and disposal facilities
must develop post-closure plans.  It is intended that these will be
evaluated by EPA on a site-by-site basis.  When approved, the closure

plans will likely then become part of the permit conditions.  When

closure is completed each faciiicy must submit a certification by

both a registered professional engineer and the owner or operator

that the site was closed in accordance with the plan.  There is a

great deal of flexibility in this approach, in that the closure and

post-closure plans are developed on a facility-specific basis.

     Another commenter noted that closure and post-closure require-

ments should reflect segmented operations.  EPA intended that the

proposed regulation do so and has revised the regulations.  The final

regulation (§265,112(a)) states that a closure plan "must identify

the maximum extent of the operation which will be unclosed during the

life of the facility."  Furthermore, the same section says a plan

must include "a description of how and when the facility will be

partially closed, if applicable . . . ."

     A commenter noted that closure plans should be submitted to

State closure authorities and local authorities, as well as to EPA.

EPA sees no need to require that a closure plan be submitted to State

closure authorities and local authorities.  Any State that wishes to

receive the closure plan may require this under State law.  Simi-

larily, local authorities who want to receive plans can require

submission under local law.  The Agency sees no reason to require

that plans be sent to them.  Furthermore, EPA is willing to provide

the plans to any State or local authority who requests them.

     Finally, one commenter suggested that the closure plan should

include information on post-closure security for the facility.  The

Agency disagrees.  The Agency intends for the technical closure

requirements for surface impoundments, land treatment facilities, and

landfills to ensure that no hazard would befall an unknowing intruder

to a closed site, unless that intruder tried to dig through the

cap—a possibility the Agency thinks remote.  In fact, the Agency

hopes that completed sites will be opened to the public for use as

parks and other recreational uses.

Synopsis of Interim Status Standards (§265.112)

     In interim status, in accordance with §265.111, all facilities

must be closed to (1) minimize further maintenance and (2) control,

minimize, or eliminate the discharge of wastes, constituents, leach-

ate, contaminated rainfall or waste decomposition products to the

environment to the extent necessary to protect human health and the


     In interim status, owners or operators must develop closure

plans.  The plans must include (1) descriptions of how the facilities

will meet technical closure requirements, (2) maximum waste inventor-

ies during site life, (3) an identification of steps for decontami-

nating equipment during closure, and (4) a schedule for closure show-

ing the anticipated date of final closure and intervening milestones

to allow tracking progress.  In interim status, this closure plan

must be developed, but need not be submitted to EPA until 180 days

before the owner or operator anticipates beginning closure; then,
within 90 days, EPA will either approve or modify the plan.  It is
anticipated that during general status, the closure plans will be
submitted along with the Part B permit application.  The Regional
Administrator will approve or modify the plans, and the plan will be
incorporated into the conditions of the permit.
     The owner or operator may modify or amend his closure plan.  He
must modify his plan if changes in operating conditions or facility
design would affect closure.  In interim status, the owner or
operator need only modify the plan; during general status it is
anticipated that the owner or operator will submit each amended
closure plan to the Regional Administrator for approval.
     Post-closure requirements apply only to disposal facilities.
Post-closure care consists of at least (1) monitoring and reporting,
and (2) maintaining monitoring and waste containment systems.
     In interim status the owner or operator of a disposal facility
must develop a post-closure plan.  The plan must include (1)
monitoring activities and frequencies, and (2) maintenance activities
and frequencies relating to the cap and final cover, or other con-
tainment systems, and, .where applicable, to the monitoring equip-
ment.  In interim status, the owner or operator must develop this
plan and maintain it on the premises, but he need not submit it to
EPA until 180 days before he anticipates beginning closure.  The
Regional Administrator will approve or modify the plan within 90
days.  During general status, the Agency intends to require that

owners or operators submit this plan to the Regional Administrator

along with Part B of the permit application.  The Regional Admin-

istrator would then approve or modify the post-closure plan.  Once

approved, the plan would be incorporated into the permit conditions.

     Owners or operators may amend post-closure plans.  EPA requires

amendments if changes in operating plans or facility designs would

affect post-closure plans.  During interim status amendments need not

be submitted to EPA.  During general status the Agency anticipates

that the owner or operator will be required to submit each amendment

to the Regional Administrator for approval.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulations and Rationale

     According to the proposed regulation, §250.43-7(f), all haz-

ardous waste was to be removed from storage and treatment and

properly disposed of within 90 days after close-out.  All disposal

operations were also to be finished in that time.  EPA required that

wastes be removed and properly disposed of quickly, because it fe1 ".

that after close-out, facilities are particularly susceptible to

problems.  Management tends to lose interest in a facility that no

longer generates revenues, and may substantially reduce the staff.

Having untreated or undisposed waste in an ir-ctive facility presents

an unnecessary hazard.  Furthermore, closure cannot begin until the

owner or operator removes the inventory, and the Agency wants closure

to be completed and the site secured as soon as possible.


Comments, Analysis, and Response

     One commenter said that after 30 days, waste should be contained

to ensure environmental protection.  Another commenter said that al-

lowing 90 days after close-out for disposing of inventory and remov-

ing inventory allows inadequate time to remove and dispose of wastes

from storage and treatment facilities.

     EPA thinks that 90 days is adequate  time.  EPA feels that a

well-run operation should have little trouble meeting chis require-

ment, since an owner or operator should not wait until the facility

receives the final volume of waste to locate disposal sites or to

dispose of the waste inventory.  Furthermore, EPA sees no reason why

it should be necessary to keep waste inventories above a 90-day

supply.  If this is necessary, then the facility should plan to cease

operations in a way that allows it to work off its inventory.

Finally, the final regulations require the closure plan to include

the estimate of the time that will be required to dispose of inven-

tories.  Owners or operators must dispose of inventories within this

time, or be in violation of their permit.

Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.113(a))

     The final regulation is the same as  the proposed regulation, ex-

cept that the words "close-out" have been replaced.  EPA no longer

uses these words in the final regulations, since they confused many


     In the Interim Status Standards, an owner or operator must dis-

pose of (on- or off-site) or treat all wastes in storage or in pro-

cess within 90 days after the facility receives its final shipment of



Synopsis of Proposed Regulation and Rationale

     The proposed regulation, §250.43-7(g) , required that closure be

completed within three years of close-out.  EPA picked a three year

maximum because it felt that any facility could be successfully

closed in this time period.

Comments, Analysis, Response, and Rationale for Final Regulation

     Some commenters thought a three year period was too short, and

others thought it was too long.  Other commenters noted that the

length of time necessary for closure will depend on the size and type

of facility.

     EPA concurs with this last view.  It should certainly take

longer to close a large surface impoundment where dewatering is part

of the closure procedure than it will to close a small storage

facility.  While the proposed regulation permitted closure to  take up

to three years, in most cases it should take less time.  The final

regulation reflects this.  In the final regulation closure must be

completed within six months, unless the owner or operator can

demonstrate that closure cannot be completed within this time  span,

and that the inactive but unclosed facility represents no threat to


public health and the environment.  If the owner or operator makes

such a demonstration, the Regional Administrator may allow a longer

period of time for closure.  EPA feels the flexibility of this

provision is a reasonable solution to the problem.

     Another commenter  stated that closure should be performed in ac-

cordance with the closure plan.  EPA agrees.  This was the intention

of the proposed regulations.  EPA requires closure plans, and con-

siders them instrumental to an adequate closure.  This requirement is

explicit in the final regulations.

     Finally, commenters said that if a site were abandoned before

the end of the three year closure period, the Regional Administrator

would be unable to reach the closure fund monies until the end of the

three year period.  These commenters suggested that EPA should speci-

fically state that closure should be completed within the time speci-

fied in the approved closure plan.  This was intended in the proposed

regulation and is clarified in these regulations.  At any point in

the closure schedule that there is a default, the Regional Adminis-

*rator could resort to  the financial assurance instruments (trust

fund, bond, etc.) to ensure closure.  These requirements are being

reproposed.  The Regional Administrator could also bring suit to

compel the owner or operator to perform.  It is not necessary for the

Agency to wait until the end of the allowable closure period to

declare the owner or operator to be in default.

Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.113(b))

     In the interim status regulations, the owner or operator must

follow the approved plan, and ordinarily close within six months of

the final shipment of waste.  The Regional Administrator may allow a

longer closure period if the owner or operator can show that it will

take longer than six months to close the facility and that the longer

period poses no threat to human health or the environment.


Synopsis of the Proposed Regulation and Rationale

     The proposed regulation, §250.43-7(h), required operating equip-

ment to be decontaminated or disposed of as part of closure.  This

was required so that contaminated equipment would not be allowed to

stand idle and accessible.  EPA hazardous waste regulations require

Section 3004 practices for Section 3001 wastes because they are

potentially hazardous.  It makes little sense to mandate treatment

for the waste, and not remove the residues from the treatment and

disposal equipment when they are no longer used.

Comments and Response

     The commenter on this subsection stated that the regulation and

the Preamble were inconsistent.  The regulation said that equipment

must be disposed of or decontaminated, while the Preamble said dis-

mantled and decontaminated.  EPA agrees that dismantling is expensive

and unnecessary.  The final Preamble is consistent with the reg-

ulations .


Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.114)

     The interim status regulations require that facility equipment

be properly disposed of or decontaminated by removing hazardous

wastes and residues during closure.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulations and Rationale

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(d) and (e), required facili-

ties to notify EPA 15 days before partial closure or close-out.

Owners or operators of facilities other than landfills were required

to notify EPA of the expected date of completion of closure at least

90 days before it was completed and landfill operators 180 days

before completion.

     EPA required these notifications because of the extreme impor-

tance of closure to the safety of the site.  For example, notifying

EPA of closure would allow EPA to inspect landfills before they were

covered with liners and clay, and thus enable the facility to rectify

any improper or incomplete procedures.

Comments and Response

     Several commenters stated that EPA need not be notified before

closure.  EPA disagrees, because proper closure is extremely impor-

tant to minimize future environmental problems; the Regional Adminis-

trator should be able to inspect the site before and during closure.

If he is notified following  closure, there  is little he can do to

assure proper closure.  Furthermore, notification should precede


closure so that EPA can expedite the release of the closure trust

funds or other financial requirements.

     EPA has concluded that it is not necessary to require, in the

Interim Status Standards, that owners or operators notify EPA before

they anticipate completing closure.  Since the owner or operator must

tender his closure plan for approval just prior to closing anyway,

the receipt of the plan will provide adequate notice to the Agency

during interim status.

     One commenter said that disposers, treaters, and storers should

be required to notify the generators they serve six months in advance

of close-out, in order to give generators time to find alternatives.

EPA does not agree that this should be required as a matter of

Federal law.  If generators need this lead time to find alternatives,

they can include this, lead time in the contracts they sign with haz-

ardous waste facilities.


Synopsis of Regulations and Rationale

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(k), required the owner or

operator of a hazardous waste facility to submit certification by a

registered professional engineer to the Regional Administrator that

the site was closed in accordance with the closure regulations.  For

landfills and other facilities where hazardous waste is not removed

during closure, EPA also required certification after the post-

closure period.

     EPA required that an engineer certify closure to help ensure

that closure complied with the closure regulations.  Closure and

post-closure certification were to serve as the trigger mechanisms

for the release of closure and post-closure trust funds.  They were

therefore instrumental in the financial requirements.

Comments, Response and Rationale

     One commenter suggested that certification after post-closure

was unnecessary.  EPA agrees, and has deleted the requirement for

post-closure certification.  EPA feels that any advantage gained by

requiring post-closure certification is overshadowed by the paper-

work.  Furthermore, since the post-closure regulations require moni-

toring and routine maintenance, EPA should know if a site is not

properly closed at the end of the period, and could take whatever

action might be appropriate.

     Another commenter stated that the regulation should also require

certification of closure in accordance with the closure plans.  This

was the intent of the proposed regulation; EPA has made this require-

ment explicit in the final regulations.

     Another commenter said that certification should also be submit-

ted to the State closure authority as well as to EPA.  EPA sees no

reason to compel this activity, since such States who wish to receive

certification can require this under their own authority.

     Finally, one commenter said that it is hard to determine the

overall scope the professional certification would need to address.

Since the time period for closure can be lengthy, and since the cer-

tifier would likely have little first-hand knowledge of previous

operations,  certification would require a long investigation by the


     EPA does not agree with these conclusions.  In the final regula-

tion, the engineer must certify closure in accordance with the regu-

lation and.permit conditions.  To do so, the engineer need not be

present at the site for the entire closure period, nor must he be

intimately familiar with prior operating practices.  He must only

inspect closure plans and procedures and be satisfied that the clo-

sure was performed according to these plans.  This would require a

final inspection, and might require several interim inspections

during closure to make sure work is proceeding according to plan.

     The Agency made one additional change to this section which re-

quires that the registered professional engineer be independent of

the owner or operator; that is to say that he not be in the direct

employ (on the payroll) of the owner or operator.  The Agency real-

izes that some owners or operators have registered professional en-

gineers on their staffs.  And in cases where there is doubt, their

objectivity may be unconsciously colored by their loyalty to their

employer.  Since the Agency is relying to a fair extent.on this

certification for assurance that closure has been conducted properly,

it seems prudent to ensure his objectivity in so far as is practical.

The Agency believes that this change will impact primarily the larger


companies who are the ones most likely to have registered profes-

sional engineers on their staff.  Smaller firms, in most cases, would

have had to contract with a registered professional engineer in any


Synopsis of Interim Status Standards (§265.115)

     After closure, the owner or operator and an independent regis-

tered professional engineer must certify that the facility has been

closed in accordance with the closure plan.  The owner or operator

must submit these certifications to the Regional Administrator.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulations and Rationale

     If a new owner or operator acquires a facility during the post-

closure period, subsection §250.437(o) required the new owner or

operator to comply with the closure and post-closure regulations.

This provision prevented closure and post-closure requirements from

being circumvented by property transfers.  If closure and post-

closure requirements could be circumvented by a property trans-

fer, many closed sites would be transferred to avoid both the expense

and work required by the regulation.

Comments, Response, and Rationale for Final Regulation

     One commenter pointed out that the proposed regulations read, in

part, "If the owner/operator of a facility transfers the ownership .

.  .  ."  He pointed out that operators have no authority to transfer

ownership.  EPA concurs, and has reworded the regulation so that it
covers operators who might transfer their interest, for example,
through transfer of a leasehold.
     The Agency has also added the requirement that the owner or
operator of a facility notify the new owner or operator, in writing,
of the post-closure requirements.  This was done to ensure that the
new owner is aware of the responsibilities he is assuming, so there
would be no interruption in carrying out these responsibilities.  The
requirement has been relocated to §265.12(b), Required Notice, under
the General Facility Standards.
     Another commenter said that the 20 year post-closure period
should track with the amount of time required for post-closure care.
The Agency agrees.  Thus, if the property is sold after 10 years of
post-closure care, the new owner need provide only an additional 20
years to cover the now required total of 30 years.  If ownership is
transferred after 30 years, the new owner or operator need only
comply with §265.117(c) of the final regulation, unless the Regional
Administrator has determined that a post-closure period longer than
30 years is required.  This section (265.117(c)) limits post-closure
uses to those that do not disturb the site except with the Agency's
Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.12(b))
     During interim status, prior to transfer of ownership or opera-
tion, an owner or operator must notify in writing a new owner or
operator of the requirements of post-closure care.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulations and Rationale

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(n), required post-closure

care.  This consisted of monitoring and reporting, and maintaining

facility security and waste containment devices.  The rationale for

post-closure care is discussed in the previous two sections.

Comments, Analysis, and Response

     Many commenters said that special wastes, as defined in the pro-

posed regulations, should be exempt from post-closure requirements.

These commenters claimed that the special wastes are inert, and that

special wastes might be deemed non-hazardous pending further study.

For reasons indicated in the Preamble discussion of "Special Wastes";

the "special wastes" category is being deleted from the final regula-

tions.  All wastes, if hazardous under Part 261 if land disposed,

must be managed in accordance with these post-closure care require-

ments .

     Another commenter said that this paragraph could be interpreted

to require a watchman for 20 years as a part of post-closure secur-

ity.  A variation to this theme suggested that EPA's regulations

should be more specific and require, for example, fences or guards in

the post-closure period.  A third comment on the post-closure

security theme said that "potential use of the site would be severely

restricted if all security devices must be maintained post-closure as

per this subpart."  The commenter suggested "allowing security de-

vices to be discontinued after closure of the site if approved by the

Regional Administrator for compatibility with future site usage."

     EPA agrees that potential use of the site would be restricted if

security had to be maintained following post-closure.  As previously

discussed, the specific technical closure requirements should ade-

quately protect the public even where access is openly allowed.

Thus, control of access is not normally needed after closure.  There-

fore, the Agency has modified the regulation to require security pro-

visions only when the Regional Administrator determines that casual

access by an uninformed public could subject them to a significant

health risk or where the wastes remain exposed after closure.

Synopsis of Interim Status Regulation (§265.117(a)(b))

     During interim status, owners or operators must provide

post-closure care.  This care consists of (1) monitoring and report-

ing and (2) maintaining monitoring and waste containment systems.

Maintenance of security systems is at the discretion of the Regional



Synopsis of Regulation and Rationale

     This subsection, §250.43-7(j),  required that monitoring equip-

ment and arrangements for post-closure monitoring be available at the

completion of closure.  EPA originally felt this was necessary to en-

sure that monitoring could begin without delay.


Comments, Analysis, and Response

     One commenter, who suggested that perpetual monitoring was

necessary for facilities, suggested that this subsection be modified

to reflect a perpeptual monitoring period.  This background document

discusses the length of the post-closure period later.  However, in

considering this comment, the Agency has concluded that this para-

graph is redundant.

     In the proposed regulation, paragraph (n) requires post-closure

monitoring.  In the final interim status regulations, §265.117(a)(1)

requires post-closure monitoring.  The Agency does not feel it

necessary to explicitly require equipment and arrangements, in an

additional paragraph, as  these requirements are clearly mandated in

§265.117(a)(1).  Further, facilities are required to conduct much the

same monitoring during site life as during post-closure.  Thus the

equipment will already be in place.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulation

     The proposed  regulation, §250.4°-7(m), required 20 years of

post-closure monitoring and maintenance for landfills and all other

facilities where hazardous waste remained after closure.  A note

(variance) to this paragraph permitted the Regional Administrator to

shorten  the time period if the owner or operator could demonstrate

that the 20-year period was unnecessary.

Rationale for the Proposed Regulation
     The Agency selected a 20-year period for post-closure monitoring
and maintenance for both practical and technical reasons.  The choice
of an appropriate post-closure care period is a decision which, of
necessity, depends on the Agency's philosophy and strategy relative
to control of ground-water pollution from land disposal facilities.
     Initially, the Agency decided that the appropriate approach
would be to set ambient limits on pollutants in the ground water.
Then, modeling wastes movement through the soil could predict whether
leaching from a landfill of given design containing specific wastes
would exceed these limits.  Design and permitting could then be based
on these calculations.  A study performed in 1976 and 1977 showed
that the modeling, particularly of the unsaturated soil regime, was
not sufficiently advanced to enable the EPA to use this ap-
proach. 12
     Since predicting pollutant migration was not yet practical, the
Agency concluded that best control strategy would be to max-
imize containment, limiting the release rate of contaminants to neg-
ligible levels.  In the proposed regulations, §250.45-2, the Agency
developed several landfill design alternatives which it believed
theoretically provided more than 100 years of containment before
release to the soil regime of any contaminants.  The Agency further
believed that once contaminants did escape, the release rate to the
ground water would be so low that dilution would be adequate to pre-
vent buildup of measurable concentrations.^

     Based on these theoretical designs, the Agency determined two

needs or reasons for Long-term monitoring:

     (1)  to determine the sufficiency of the designs, i.e., whether
          they in fact would prove as protective as the Agency be-
          lieved, and

     (2)  to ensure that no construction or operating errors were
          made which could cause measurable release of pollutants.
          Examples of errors include tearing of liners or caps and
          disposing of wastes which are incompatible with the con-
          tainment system.

To satisfy the first need, one would prefer monitoring ad infinitum

or at least for more than 100 years.  The second need could presuma-

bly be satisfied in a much shorter period.

     As a practical matter monitoring and care could not be carried

out for extended periods, particularly by the smaller private oper-

ations.  Once revenues cease at closure, there is often no source of

funds to discharge post-closure responsibilities.  Many of these

firms simply cease to exist.  The Agency also found it economically

impractical to require these facilities to put away sufficient funds

during the operating life of the site so that interest on the princi-

pal would be sufficient  to cover annual monitoring and maintenance

expenses for extended periods after closure.  Even to assure funds

sufficient to cover post-closure responsibilities for 50 years re-

quires accumulation of principals so large as to be impractical in

the Agency's view.  Thus, the Agency concluded that 20 years was

about the maximum post-closure care period which could be ensured by

the financial responsibility requirements.  (See the background docu-

ment on financial responsibility for a further discussion.)


     The choice of 20 years as the post-closure monitoring period

also satisfies the second need or reason for this monitoring.  The

proposed ground-water and leachate monitoring requirements (§250.43-

8(b)) called for installing a leachate monitoring system as an early

warning safeguard within the zone of aeration (unsaturated zone)

directly under the landfill or surface impoundment.  The Agency

believed that if the containment system had been breached during

operation or closure, then pollutants would have been detected in the

leachate monitoring system well within the 20-year period.  Thus,

while not completely satisfying the Agency's desires for complete

certainty, 20 years was proposed as the maximum practical post-

closure monitoring period.

Comments, Analysis, and Response on the Length of the Post-Closure
Care Period

     The length of the post-closure period was the major issue

eliciting comment in this section of the regulations.  Many commen-

ters thought the 20-year period was too short; others thought it was

too long.  Some thought that the period should be linked to the con-

tents of the disposal facility, while others felt that the post-

closure period should be linked to performance standards.

     One group of commenters suggested that the post-closure period

for disposal facilities should continue perpetually.  They pointed

out that some wastes, like heavy metals, are toxic forever, while

others, like some organics, break down or detoxify very slowly, if at

all.  Since the contents of the disposal facility may be hazardous


forever, these commenters argue that the site must be monitored and

maintained forever.  Most commenters of this persuasion thought the

owner or operator of the facility should be the responsible party.

One commenter, however, suggested that at the end of the 20 year

period, a State authority could assume responsibility and liability

for the site.

     Another group of commenters, although not arguing for perpetual

care, suggested that the 20 year period of post-closure care is too

short.  Again the argument was raised that many wastes are toxic for

more than 20 years.  One commenter in this group pointed out that

"Dioxin with a supposed half life of one to two years was in the

leachate from the Love Canal area."  Another said that "evidence has

shown that the greatest hazard occurs after the 20 year proposed

limit.  One supporting example occurred in Perham, Minnesota, when

arsenic which had been buried for over 30 years leached into a nearby

well.  Several individuals who had consumed the contaminated water

were hospitalized."

     Some commenters indicated technical reasons why they believe

containment systems will fail over time.  One said, "Even the best

surface water diversion structures deteriorate with time . . . the

same is true for  leachate collection systems and liners."  Another

commenter said that "A recent report we have indicates that the syn-

thetic liners have a maximum life of 25 to 30 years."

     Other commenters advanced additional reasons for lengthening the

post-closure period past 20 years.  One commenter pointed out that

lengthening the time period from 20 years should induce more technol-

ogy changes in the containment and treatment areas.   Another commen-

ter pointed out that generators and operators will make sites secure

only for the period of time during which they are responsible.  That

being the case, longer is better.

     Another group of commenters argued that the 20-year period was

adequate.  They argued that if no problems occur in the 20-year post-

closure period, "the site can reasonably be considered secure and in

need of no future monitoring."  Many of these commenters also felt

that EPA should permit a shorter post-closure period, if the owner or

operator could demonstrate continued post-closure care unnecessary.

Others thought that 20 years should be the maximum period, and less

time should be permitted if the owner or operator "can demonstrate

that less time is sufficient and there is no pending danger to the


      Finally, some commenters thought that the 20 year period was

generally too long.  One argued that the post-closure period could

even result in less environmental protection since "lengthy post-

closure work may simply force closure of many otherwise acceptable

sites and thus defeat the intent of better hazardous waste manage-

ment."  Another said that "some types of waste are not subject to

leakage and would not require a 20 year monitoring period after site

closure."  One commenter felt that the Agency should adopt a 10 year


monitoring and maintenance period to be consistent with the Depart-

ment of the Interior Office of Surface Mining's 10 year requirement

for strip mines.

     Several commenters thought the post-closure period should depend

on a variable other than elapsed time.  One argued that "if we must

insist on burial then there is no alternative to the monitoring of

the site for the lifetime of the longest lasting component."  An-

other commenter phrased it slightly differently: "EPA should require

the post-closure care specified in §250.43-7(n) for as long as the

site contains hazardous materials."  Another commenter thought that

"The post-closure care period should be governed by performance

criteria as well as minimum time standards."

     As a result of the extensive comment, the Agency has reevaluated

the post-closure care issue, and has decided to extend the post-

closure period from 20 to 30 years.  EPA believes that its decision

to delete the proposed leachate monitoring requirements makes it

necessary to monitor ground water for a longer period of time, and

that further analysis of financial requirements, as well as proposed

changes in these regulations, makes it practical to do so.

     Public comment persuaded EPA.(see background document on ground-

water monitoring) that existing leachate monitoring techniques are

impractical except at land treatment facilities.  Thus, EPA has

deleted the leachate monitoring requirements for landfills and

surface impoundments.  EPA had believed that leachate monitoring

systems would act as early warning systems.  Since it will take

longer for contamination migration to reach ground-water monitoring

points than it would have taken to reach leachate detection moni-

toring points, it is necessary to monitor for a longer period.

     EPA is now convinced that it is economically practical to moni-

tor and maintain closed disposal facilities for 30 years.  Because

EPA no longer requires leachate and air monitoring, owners or opera-

tors need not provide the money for these activities.  In the pro-

posed regulation, leachate monitoring represented 14% and air moni-

toring 57% of the cost of post-closure monitoring.    Further-

more, proposed changes in the financial regulations will make all

financial requirements less costly.  In the proposed regulations, EPA

required owners or operators of disposal facilities to establish

trust funds for both closure and post-closure.  The Agency is now
proposing that owners or operators satisfy closure and post-closure

responsibilities through one of a number of financial mechanisms,

many of which are substantially less expensive than trust funds.

[For a complete description of the proposed financial mechanisms, see

the proposal section of this Federal Register and the background

document on financial responsibility.]  Also, in these proposed

financial regulations for interim status, owners or operators may

build closure trust funds during the expected site life, rather than

by advancing all the money initially.  This alternative will make

trust funds less expensive.  As a result, EPA is convinced that

owners  or  operators  will  be  able  to maintain  and monitor disposal

sites  for  30  years.

     However,  because  of  the uncertainty  caused by  the  lack of ex-

tensive experience with properly  designed disposal  operations, the

Agency  does not  feel comfortable  with  an  unalterable  national rule.

The  Interim Status Standards permit EPA to shorten  or  lengthen the

30-year post-closure period  as  appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Thus,  for  example, if  an  owner  or operator can demonstrate to the

Regional Administrator that  there is no need  to monitor and maintain

his  closed disposal  facility for  the entire 30 year period, the  peri-

od could be shortened. Representatives of the public,  on  the other

hand,  could also petition to have the  monitoring period extended for

cause.   EPA agrees that the  longer site owners or operators are  re-

sponsible  for their  operations, the more  incentive  they will have  to

find new containment technologies. Thus, requiring 30  years of

post-closure  care as a general  rule should be an incentive to better

technology and encourage  alternatives  to  land disposal.

     EPA agrees  with those cotnmenters  who pointed out  that risks from

.some wastes persist  for long periods of time. For  organic wastes

disposed of in an anaerobic  environment,  the  decomposition to non-

toxic  products is very slow.^'   Similarly, heavy metals remain tox-

ic  forever, and  may  be mobilized unless carefully managed.  Because

of  the extreme persistence of some waste, EPA is considering asking

Congress for  some type of national insurance, funded  by waste

disposers, that would pay for routine monitoring and maintenance past

the time required by EPA.  The fund could also cover these activities

in the case of default by the owner or operator, and could be de-

signed to cover remedial activity where the owner or operator is not

solvent.  Given the authority under RCRA, EPA believes its regu-

lations provide the maximum practical protection for the public while

allowing flexibility to either shorten or lengthen the post-closure

period for cause.

Comments, Analysis, and Response on the Effectiveness and Approach to
Post-Closure Regulations

     In addition to the specific comments on the length of the post-

closure period, there were a number of other miscellaneous comments

dealing with the concept and approach to the proposed post-closure


     Several commenters were afraid that the proposed regulations

limited "post-closure responsibility to an arbitrary time period of

20 years and could result in transfer of unsolved problems to regu-

latory agencies."  Although EPA does not agree that the proposed

regulations would allow this "transfer of unsolved problems," the

final regulations certainly will not.  If there is an unsolved

problem at the end of the post-closure period, the final regulations

will allow the Regional Administrator to lengthen the time period.

     Many commenters also felt that "reliance on the concept of post-

closure maintenance conflicts with the function of closure, i.e., to

achieve a permanently secure facility . . . facilities necessitating


post-closure maintenance should not be authorized."  EPA believes

that the post-closure monitoring and maintenance period is necessary

for two reasons.  First, for sites which have been properly operated

and closed, post-closure maintenance is necessary to assure that the

site stays properly closed.  If the original vegetation dies 5 years

after closure, it must be replanted or the likelihood of erosion,

possibly leading to increased water infiltration, increases.  It is

also possible that an unusually severe storm could cause erosion

problems even for a site that was properly closed.  To maintain the

integrity of the landfills, regrading may be necessary if erosion

occurs.  Second, the post-closure requirements provide insurance.

Mistakes and accidents do happen.  In the event that a site has a

defect, the Agency expects that the problem would become apparent in

the post-closure care period.  It would be irresponsible of EPA to

count on proper operation and closure and not require a post-closure

period.  This period provides needed insurance against mistakes in

facility design and construction as well as mistakes in these


     Another commenter requested clarification on closure, asking,

"Where one portion of the facility may be closed long before others,

when does  'closure1 per se occur?"  The Agency thinks that the pro-

posed regulation was ambiguous.  In the final regulation, EPA has

operationally defined the end of closure to be the point at which the

owner or operator submits the registered engineer's closure

certification for the entire facility.  This certification marks the

beginning of the post-closure period.

     Several other commenters suggested differing solutions to the

problems of long term hazard of disposed wastes.  One such commenter

said that "certain types of hazardous wastes simply cannot be dis-

posed of in landfills" because of the long-term threat they pose.

Another said that "landfilling of chemical wastes with perpetual care

programs represents only an interim solution to the problem of chemi-

cal waste management" and suggested that "well funded and innovative

programs .  . . must be implemented to assure deployment of proper

waste destruction facilities, capable of eliminating the specter of

repeated Love Canal . disasters in the future."

     The Agency agrees, in principle, that some wastes should be

prescribed from landfills.  EPA is making an effort to limit the

wastes which are placed in landfills.  At present, EPA bans ignit-

ables, react ives, and liquids from landfills on the grounds that

under normal conditions they cannot be suitably managed.  (Readers

should see the background document on landfills for further dis-
     On the issue of funding of destruction facilities, EPA believes

that the private sector is fully capable of establishing these pro-

grams.  The Agency does support, however, development work in these

areas through its Office of Research and Development.

     One commenter stated that protection under these regulations is
contingent on the existence of a financially viable owner or operator
during the post-closure period.  EPA agrees that this comment is a
fair characterization of both the proposed and final regulations.
The Agency intends to remedy this situation by requesting from Con-
gress legislation that will provide for remedial action in the event
that an owner or operator is not financially viable.  The Agency is
considering extending this request to provide for closure and post-
closure monitoring and maintenance in the event an owner dissolves,
declares bankruptcy or is otherwise not available to comply (under
law) with the regulations.  The issue of ensuring funding for closure
and post-closure requirements is discussed in detail in the back-
ground document on financial requirements.
     Another commenter questioned the legality of requiring future
owners of property upon which a storage facility has been located to
commit themselves to preserving the integrity of the facility for an
unspecified number of years.  This commenter also said .that inserting
such a clause into the land records appears to be a matter of local
concern and jurisdiction and not a matter for Federal concern.  The
first part of the comment reflects the general confusion over the
applicability of closure and post-closure requirements.  Closure re-
quirements apply to all facilities, while post-closure requirements
apply to only disposal facilities. . Second, although solid waste has
traditionally been a State and  local problem, Congress has deemed it
necessary to create a major Federal regulatory program to protect

health and the environment from hazardous waste.  Because EPA has

found that a notice in the land records will materially assist in

protecting the integrity of hazardous waste containment systems, a

notice requirement is properly a matter of Federal concern.  Also,

these final regulations allow disturbance of site integrity for

cause, with the Agency's approval.

     Another commenter argued similarly that EPA lacks authority to

"hinder transfer of land" through closure and post-closure require-

ments.  These regulations do not seek to place impediments on the

right to transfer ownership.  Rather, they seek to assure that a

person who purchases or leases land on which hazardous wastes are

being or have been disposed will have full knowledge of this fact and

will be 'aware of the attendent legal requirements.  This will prevent

him from unknowingly disturbing a site with, perhaps, tragic conse-

quences.  While the purchaser's use of the land might be restricted

in some respect, such restrictions are fully authorized by the Act.

Nothing in the Acf or the legislative history indicates that Congress

intended to remove controls from hazardous waste disposal sites when-

ever ownership of a site changed hands.

     As discussed earlier, §§2002(a)(l) and 3004 (first sentence)

authorize EPA to issue such standards as may be necessary to protect

human health and the environment.  From the standpoint of hazards,

the identity of the landowner is irrelevant.  It is evident, there-

fore, that rules governing hazardous waste disposal sites must apply

regardless of who owns the land.  It is also evident that persons

buying land on which hazardous wastes have been disposed must be made

aware of this fact.  Otherwise, a new owner might innocently engage

in activities (such as drilling, excavating, etc.) which could have

disastrous consequences to human health and the environment.

     Another commenter argued that the regulations are unfair.  An

owner or operator could run the site properly, close it properly and

follow post-closure regulations and still be responsible for problems

on the site.  The commenter said that responsibility should end after

5 years if everything has been done right.  Risk, however, is an

ordinary part of any business operation.  This is especially the case

for hazardous waste disposal sites.  A person engaging in this busi-

ness should realize that he may be held strictly liable for the harm

which may be caused by his operations, regardless of whether he was

willful or negligent.  This "strict liability" for hazardous activi-

ties has long been recognized in the law and is not being newly cre-

ated by these regulations.  It should be pointed out, however, that

the Agency's policy is not to penalize facilities which have acted

responsibly and. in accord with these regulations by imposing puni-

tive measures (fines, etc.) where problems have arisen which could

not have been predicted.

Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.117(d))

     The interim status regulations require owners or operators of

disposal facilities to provide 30 years of post-closure care.  The


owner or operator may request the Regional Administrator to shorten

the time period, or modify the requirements for cause.  The Regional

Administrator can also, for cause, require that all or part of post-

closure care requirements be continued for a specified time period

past 30 years.  An owner or operator or the public may request an

extension or reduction of the post-closure care period, not more

often than once every five years.  This last provision has been added

to limit the frequency and thus the proliferation of similar peti-

tions.  An early decision to reduce the period, where cause can be

shown, would reduce the economic impact of the financial regulations.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulations and Rationale

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(b), required owners or

operators of disposal sites to record a stipulation on the deed of

property.  The stipulation stated that future use of the property

cannot disturb the final cover, the liner, or the monitoring system

of the facility.

     EPA required the deed stipulation so that any future prospective

purchaser would know that he was obtaining a hazardous waste facility

or a closed hazardous waste facility.  Without this knowledge, a new

purchaser might unknowingly seek to use the property in a way that

would endanger public health or the environment.   Moreover, the stip-

ulation would limit future use of disposal facilities, to prevent any

disturbance of the site which could cause contaminants to be re-

leased.  For example, disturbing the cap of a landfill allows liquid

to infiltrate the landfill and the liquid increases leachate genera-

tion.  The Love Canal incident cited earlier in this background docu-

ment shows that disturbing the final cover of a site can lead to

disastrous results.

Comments, Response, and Rationale for Interim Status and Full Status

     One commenter noted that an operator who does not have legal

title to a hazardous waste facility may be legally unable to record

anything in the land records.  EPA has accordingly revised the pro-

posed language to make it clear that the owner must record the re-

quired notice.  If such notice is not recorded, the operator will not

receive a permit.

     Another commenter said that a deed stipulation is not an ade-

quate method of controlling future use of a site, and that some other

method should be used.  EPA, on reflection, agrees and feels that a

more direct and more readily enforceable method of controlling future

land use is preferable.  As a result, a new regulation has been in-

corporated which precludes future uses which disturb the containment

or monitoring systems unless the disturbance is necessary to clean up

a problem or it can be shown that any potential hazard will not be

increased.  The deed stipulation has therefore been changed to a

notice on the deed (or other instrument which will appear in a title

search) Chat the property contains a hazardous waste site, -and that

Federal regulations (the stipulations mentioned above) govern the use

of this site.

     During interim status the owner must record the stipulation on

the deed, but need not show EPA that he has done so.  This follows

the general rule that owner or operator interaction with EPA will be

held to a minimum during interim status.

     A general area of comment was future use of sites.  One commen-

ter on this subject said that hazardous waste facilities should be

permanently secured, and not considered for any future land use.

Other commenters said that the non-disturbance provisions foreclosed

possible productive future uses, and were not a good idea.  They

added that not allowing the containment or monitoring system to be

disturbed could make remedial action at a closed facility impossible.

At the very least, they argued that EPA should "establish procedures

for an EPA hearing whereupon the future owner or operator could

demonstrate that the need for the cover or liner is unnecessary due

to changed conditions since he has cleared up the situation that

necessitated its existence initially, or that the cover or liner must

be disturbed in light of changed conditions."

     EPA agrees that possible productive future uses should not be

precluded so long as these uses do not endanger health or the envi-

ronment.  Thus, the final regulations permit disturbing the cover,

liner, containment system, and monitoring system if the owner or


operator can demonstrate that it is essential to the proposed use

ofthe property and will not endanger human health or the environment,

or that the disturbance is necessary to reduce environmental contam-

ination or a threat to public health.  Once the owner or operator has

demonstrated these conditions to the Regional Administrator, it will

be possible for him to mine a closed site, remove the waste and use

the site for another purpose, or disturb liners, covers, etc., to

take remedial action.

     Another commenter stated that "specific approval by the EPA Re-

gional Administrator of a new use should be required."  EPA does not

agree that in all cases the Regional Administrator should have to ap-

prove a new land use.  If the new land use does not disturb the in-

tegrity of the facility, EPA need not approve the new use.  The

Agency, for example, does not care if a golf course is converted to a

botanical garden.  If the new use disturbs the final cover, liner(s),

containment system, or monitoring system, then the interim status

regulations require the Regional Administrator to approve the


Synopsis of Interim Status Regulations (§265.117(c), .120)

     The interim status regulations require that post-closure use of

disposal facilities may not ordinarily disturb the final cover,

liner(s), or other components of the containment or monitoring

system.  However, post-closure use may disturb the cover, etc., if

the disturbance is both necessary to the property use and will not

result in an increase in the potential for a human health incident or

environmental degradation.  The cover, etc., may also be disturbed if

the disturbance is necessary for remedial action.

     During interim status, owners of disposal facilities must record

on their deed, or other instrument normally examined during a title

search, a notation indicating that the property was used as a hazard-

ous waste disposal facility and that land use restrictions apply.


Synopsis of the Proposed Regulation and Rationale

     The proposed version §250.43-7(1) required owners or operators

of disposal facilities to file survey plats with the Regional Admini-

strator and the local land authority within 180 days of the comple-

tion of closure.  These plats were to be certified by a professional

land surveyor, and show the type and location of hazardous waste

disposed of in the facility.

     There were three separate reasons for requiring the information

on the plat.  In the event of a problem after post-closure, remedial

action becomes much easier if the responsible party knows the loca-

tion of the different wastes.  If, for example, ground-water monitor-

ing during the post-closure period detects heavy metals,.and if the

site accepted limited quantities of heavy metals, knowing the loca-

tion of these wastes makes cleanup easier.  The location and nature

of wastes could also be useful in determining where to sink

additional monitoring wells, what substances to test for during

chemical analyses, what protective equipment to bring for remedial

work, etc.

     The possibility of future resource recovery presents another

potential need for a permanent record of waste location.  If tech-

nology develops and costs become economical, portions of disposal

facilities might be "mined" to recover previously abandoned sub-

stances.  In this event, the plat will provide the information on

where the mining should occur.

     Finally, the information on the plat is important for local land

use.  Utility companies routinely inspect plats when locating rights-

of-way, and highway departments inspect plats before building roads.

Also, in future years, current or future site owners may find it

necessary to locate the buried waste accurately.

     These plats should be filed with both EPA and the local land use

authority.  In the event of a problem, EPA or other emergency re-

sponse officials may need to know the location of the wastes.  For

rights-of-way, easements, and similar situations, the company that

wants the right-of-way routinely searches the local land use author-

ity  files.  This search would reveal that the land had been used for

disposing of hazardous waste.  Moreover, future owners may want this

information as well in the event they need to excavate in the area.

Comments, Response, and Rationale for Final Regulation

     One commenter pointed out that the owner or operator could not

prepare the plat, nor could the surveyor certify the type of hazard-

ous waste in each cell or trench.

     EPA agrees that the proposed language was slightly ambiguous.

It is clear that only the owner or operator can provide the informa-

tion regarding waste type and location while only the surveyor can

prepare the plat and relate it to permanent benchmarks.  The final

regulations clearly express this division of these requirements.

     Another commenter argued that it is difficult to justify the

need for having an engineer certify proper closure in addition to re-

cording the certified survey plat.

     EPA feels that both are necessary as each serves a separate pur-

pose.  Certification of closure helps ensure that the closure is

proper; it is the final, and probably the most important, action in

the design of the site.  The survey plat, on the other hand, repre-

sents the first step in the post-closure phase.  The purpose of the

plat is to provide information if problems arise after the operating

period, if resources are to be recovered, or '.f it is necessary to

locate water mains, power lines, etc.

     One commenter also raised the argument that in order to certify

the plat, the surveyor would have to be present at the site con-

stantly.  In the final regulation, the surveyor is responsible only

for preparing and certifying the plat, which indicates the location


and dimensions of cells or trenches.  This plat can be prepared from

the operating log of the facility, so the surveyor would not always

have to be present at the facility.

     One commenter suggested that the survey plat filed with local

authorities should identify the post-closure requirements of these

regulations.  EPA does not see the advantage of such a requirement.

The Agency foresees that the plats will be examined only in the event

of problems, resource recovery operation, or in conjunction with

easements.  EPA is requiring, however, that a note be placed on the

plat warning that Federal regulations control disturbance of the

s ite. .

     Another commenter argued that the survey plat should indicate

only .the location of the primary hazardous wastes.  The Agency dis-

agrees.  Because the plats will be useful in taking remedial actions

and in resource recovery, they should contain the location of all

hazardous waste.  Furthermore, the Agency does not have criteria to

distinguish between primary hazardous wastes and other hazardous


Synopsis of Interim S.tatus Regulations (§265.119)

     In interim status, the owner or operator of a disposal facility

must submit to the Regional Administrator and the local land

authority a survey plat indicating the location and dimension of

cells, trenches, etc.  The plat must be prepared by a professional

land surveyor, and contain a note that Federal regulations apply to

the  land which limit its use.  The owner or operator must also submit

to the Regional Administrator and the local land authority the type

and  location of waste disposed of in each cell, trench, etc.  The

owner or operator must submit the certification and type and location

records to the Regional Administrator and the land authority within

90 days after completing closure.  During interim status, the owner

or operator must also submit records showing type and location of

waste disposed of prior to the promulgation of these regulations to

the  degree that his records and memory allow.

     Although no comments were received on the subject, the time al-

lowed for filing of the documents has been decreased from 180 to 90

days after completion of closure.  Small-scale surveys of this type

can  be performed quickly and the records of waste .location are sup-

posed to be maintained during site life.  Therefore, a 90 day filing

rule should present no difficulties.  The Agency is concerned that

the  longer the period allowed, the more likely is the possibility of

records getting lost or vegetation obscuring waste locations.  Fur-

ther, it is possible that someone might need to use the information,

even within the first six months.


Synopsis of Proposed Regulation

     The proposed regulations, §250.43-7(a), required that owners or

operators of hazardous waste facilities comply with the financial

requirements of §250.43-9.



     EPA received no comments on this paragraph in the closure regu-

lations .

Rationale for Interim Status and General Status Final Regulations

     In the interim status regulations, EPA deleted this section of

the closure and post-closure regulations.  Compliance with financial

requirements is mandated by .the financial requirements section.

There is no reason for closure and post-closure regulations to repeat

these requirements.


Comments and Response

     Although it is not relevant to the adequacy of these regula-

tions, one commenter suggested that EPA seek legislation to require

deeding permitted hazardous waste landfills to the Federal Government

or an appropriate State agency at the end of closure, before  the

post-closure period begins.  The commenter felt that this would (1)

provide credibility to  the sites, (2) provide better control  of waste

disposal practices, and (3) settle the question of who is liable

after post-closure.

     EPA is not currently considering recommending such legislation.

However, a State with  an authorized program could follow such  an ap-

proach on its own.  In  fact, Oregon does require deeding of the

facility to  the State.10  One general principle EPA has followed in

developing hazardous waste regulations is that the beneficiaries of

activities should bear the full social cost of these activities.

Deeding facilities to the Federal Government would violate this


     For a company that disposes of waste, providing for safe and

secure disposal even after the disposal site closes is part of the

cost of business.  Since the owner or operator of disposal sites must

maintain the sites after closure, disposal costs will be higher than

if sites were deeded to the government at closure.  The disposer

passes on some of this increased cost to the waste generating

company, which in turn passes on some portion of the cost to the

consumer.  Those who benefit from the production of the waste

(disposers, consumers, and generators) bear the cost, rather than the

society at large.  This would not be true if the disposer deeded the

site to the Federal Government at closure.

     Furthermore, if the disposer keeps control of the site following

closure, he has a stronger incentive to operate and close the site

properly than he would if the site were deeded to the Federal Govern-

ment following closure.  Responsibility for one's actions is a strong

incentive to proper performance.

     Finally, EPA does not agree with the three reasons for deeding

sites to the Federal Government.  The entire purpose of the hazardous

waste regulations is to provide better control of waste disposal

practices.  Assuming these regulations are fully effective as the Ag-

ency intended, then deeding closed sites to the Federal Government

will not significantly improve this control.  Furthermore, EPA be-

lieves that promulgating regulations designed specifically to protect

the public health provides the necessary credibility to sites meeting

these requirements.  Finally, deeding sites to the Federal Government

settles the question of liability only if the Federal Government be-

comes liable for the sites.  The Agency currently thinks responsibil-

ity is better settled, for the reasons discussed above, if the

disposer remains responsible during the post-closure period.

     One commenter suggested that all post-closure care should be the

responsibility of the Federal Government, if closure were

satisfactory to EPA.  A national fund, raised "by a disposal fee

commensurate with the type and quantity of wastes deposited and the

estimated cost of post-closure care," would pay for any necessary

remedial actions.  As previously discussed, the Agency is in favor of

such a  fund since it would allow an extended period of post-closure

monitoring and maintenance.  As the Agency envisions it, owners or

operators would be required  to conduct post-closure activities ad

infinitum or for an extended period.  Trust funds would not be

required, so owners could  fund these  activities from revenues from

other sites or other assets.   In addition, each disposer would pay a

small annual fee to  the "national fund."  The "fund" would  then cover

post-closure activities for  those owners which dissolve, go bankrupt,

or  are  not otherwise  reachable by legal  suit  to carry  out  these

responsibilities.  The Agency does not have the authority to imple-

ment such a fund under RCRA but is considering asking Congress for

this authority.  The Agency does not now agree, however, that

post-closure care should be the responsibility of EPA, for reasons

previously discussed.  The Agency considers that its role is to

ensure that necessary post-closure care is accomplished where the

private sector fails in its responsibilities.


                Subpart G - Closure and Post-closure

§265.110  Applicability

     Except as §265.1 provides otherwise:

     (a)  Sections 265.111-265.115 (which concern closure) apply to
          the owners and operators of all hazardous waste facilities;

     (b)  Sections 265.117-265.120 (which concern post-closure care)
          apply to the owners and operators of all disposal

§265.111  Closure performance standard

     The owner or operator must close his facility in a manner that:

(1) minimizes the need for further maintenance and (2) controls,

minimizes, or eliminates to the extent necessary to protect human

health and the environment, post-closure escape of hazardous waste,

hazardous waste constituents, leachate, contaminated rainfall, or

waste decomposition  products to the ground water, or surface waters,

or to the atmosphere.

§265.112  Closure plan; amendment of plan

     (a)  On the effective date of these regulations, the owner or
          operator must have a written closure plan.  He must keep
          this plan  at the facility.  This plan must identify the
          steps necessary to completely close the facility at any
          point during its intended life and at the end of its
          intended life.  The closure plan must include, at least:

          (1)  A description of how and when the facility will be
               partially closed, if applicable, and ultimately
               closed.  The description must identify the maximum
               extent of the operation which will be unclosed during
               the life of the facility, and how the requirements of
               §265.111 and the applicable closure requirements of
               §§265.197, 265.228, 265.280, 265.310, 265.351,
               265.381, and 265.404 will be met;


          (2)  An estimate of the maximum inventory of wastes in
               storage or in treatment at any given time during the
               life of the facility;

          (3)  A description of the steps needed to decontaminate
               facility equipment during closure;  and

          (4)  A schedule for final closure which  must include, as a
               minimum, the anticipated date when  wastes will no
               longer be received, the date when completion of final
               closure is anticipated, and intervening milestone
               dates which will allow tracking of  the progress of
               closure.  (For example, the expected date for
               completing treatment or disposal of waste inventory
               must be included, as must the planned date for
               removing any residual wastes from storage facilities
               and treatment processes.)

     (b)  The owner or operator may amend his closure plan at any
          time during the active life of the facility.  (The active
          life of the facility is that period during which wastes are
          periodically received.)  The owner or operator must amend
          his plan any time changes in operating plans or facility
          design affect the closure plan.

     (c)  The owner or operator must submit his closure plan to the
          Regional Administrator at least 180 days before the date he
          expects to begin closure.  The Regional  Administrator will
          modify, approve or disapprove the plan within 90 days of
          receipt and after providing the owner or operator and the
          affected public (through a newspaper notice) the opportu-
          nity to submit written comments.  If an  owner or operator
          plans to begin closure within 180 days after the effective
          date of these regulations,  he must submit the necessary
          plans on the effective date of these regulations.

§265.113  Time allowed for closure

     (a)  Within 90 days after receiving the final volume of hazard-
          ous wastes, the owner or operator must treat all hazardous
          wastes in. storage or in treatment, or remove them from the
          site, or dispose of them on-site, in accordance with the
          approved closure plan.

     (b)  The owner or operator must complete closure activities in
          accordance with the approved closure plan and within six
          months after receiving the final volume  of wastes.  The

          Regional Administrator may approve a longer closure period
          under §265.112(c) if the owner or operator can demonstrate
          that:  (1) the required or planned closure activities will,
          of necessity, take him longer than six months to complete,
          and (2) that he has taken all steps to eliminate any sig-
          nificant threat to human health and the environment from
          the unclosed but inactive facility.

§265.114  Disposal or decontamination of equipment

     When closure is completed, all facility equipment and structures

must have been properly disposed of, or decontaminated by removing

all hazardous waste and residues.

§265.115  Certification of closure

     When closure is completed, the owner or operator must submit to

the Regional Administrator certification both by the owner or opera-

tor and by an independent registered professional engineer that the

facility has been closed in accordance with the specifications in the

approved closure plan.

[§265.116 Reserved]

§265.117  Post-closure care and use of property; period of care

     (a)  Post-closure care must consist of at least:

          (1)  Ground-water monitoring and reporting in accordance
               with the requirements of Subpart F; and

          (2)  Maintenance of monitoring and waste containment
               systems as specified in §§265.91, 265.223, 265.228,
               265.280, and 265.310, where applicable.

     (b)  The Regional Administrator may require maintenance of any
          or all of the security requirements of §265.14 during the
          post-closure period, when:

          (1)  Wastes may remain exposed after completion of closure;

     (2)   Short term,  incidental  access  by the public or
          domestic livestock may  pose a  hazard to  human health.

(c)  Post-closure use  of property on or  in which hazardous waste
     remains after closure must never be allowed to disturb the
     integrity of the  final cover,  liner(s),  or any other
     components of the containment  system, or the  function of
     the  facility's monitoring systems,  unless the owner or
     operator can demonstrate to  the Regional Administrator,
     either in the post-closure plan or  by petition,  that the

     (1)   Is necessary to the proposed use of the  property, and
          will not increase the potential hazard to human health
          or the environment; or

     (2)   Is necessary to reduce  a  threat to  human health or the

(d)  The  owner or operator of a disposal facility  must provide
     post-closure care  in accordance with the approved
     post-closure care plan for at  least 30 years  after the date
     of completing closure.  However, the owner or operator may
     petition the Regional Administrator to allow  some or all of
     the  requirements  for post-closure care to be  discontinued
     or altered before the end of the 30-year period.  The
     petition must include evidence demonstrating  the secure
     nature of the facility that  makes continuing  the specified
     post-closure requirement(s)  unnecessary—e.g., no detected
     leaks arid none likely to occur, characteristics  of the
     waste, application of advanced technology, or alternative
     disposal, treatment, or reuse  techniques.  Alternately,  the
     Regional Administrator may require  the owner  or operator to
     continue one or more of the  post-closure care and mainte-
     nance requirements contained in the facility's post-closure
     plan for a specified period  of time.  The Regional Adminis-
     trator may do this if he finds there has been noncompliance
     with any applicable standards  or requirements, or that such
     continuation is necessary to protect human health or the
     environment.  At  the end of  the specified period of time,
     the  Regional Administrator will determine whether to
     continue or terminate post-closure  care  and maintenance at
     the  facility.  Anyone (a member of  the public as well as
     the  owner or operator) may petition the  Regional Adminis-
     trator for an extension or reduction of  the post-closure
     care period based on cause.   These  petitions  will be
     considered by the Regional Administrator at the  time the
     post-closure plan is submitted and  at five-year  intervals
     after the completion of closure.


§265.118  Post-closure plan; amendment of plan

     (a)  On the effective date of these regulations, the owner or
          operator of a disposal facility must have a written
          post-closure plan.  He must keep this plan at the facility.
          This plan must identify the activities which will be
          carried on after final closure and the frequency of those
          activities.  The post-closure plan must include at least:

          (1)  Ground-water monitoring activities and frequencies as
               specified in Subpart F for the post-closure period;

          (2)  Maintenance activities and frequencies to ensure:  (1)
               the integrity of the cap and final cover or other
               containment structures as specified in §§265.223,
               265.228, 265.280, and 265.310, where applicable, and
               (2) the function of the facility's monitoring
               equipment as specified in §265.91.

     (b) The owner or operator may amend his post-closure plan at any
         time during the active life of the disposal facility or
         during the post-closure care period.  The owner or operator
         must amend his plan any time changes in operating plans or
         facility design affect his post-closure plan.

     (c)  The owner or operator of a disposal facility must submit
          his post-closure plan to the Regional Administrator at
          least 180 days before the date he expects to begin closure.
          The Regional Administrator must modify or approve the plan
          within 90 days of receipt and after providing the owner or
          operator and the affected public (through a newspaper not-
          ice) the opportunity to submit written comments.  The plan
          may be modified to include security equipment maintenance
          under §265.117(b).  If an owner or operator of a disposal
          facility plans to begin closure within 180 days after the
          effective date of these regulations, he must submit the
          necessary plans on the effective date of these regulations.
          Any amendments to the plan under paragraph (b) of this Sec-
          tion which occur after approval of the plan, must also be
          approved by the Regional Administrator before they may be

§265.119  Notice to local land authority

     Within 90 days after closure is completed, the owner or operator

of a disposal facility must submit to the local land authority and to


the Regional Administrator a survey plat indicating the location

anddimensions of landfill cells or other disposal areas with respect

to permanently surveyed benchmarks.  This plat must be prepared and

certified by a professional land surveyor.  The plat filed with the

local land authority must contain a note, prominently displayed,

which states the owner's or operator's obligation to restrict distur-

bance of the site as specified in §265.117(c).  In addition, the

owner or operator must submit to the Regional Administrator and to

the local land authority a record of the type, location, and quantity

of hazardous wastes disposed of within each cell or area of the

facility.  For wastes disposed of before these regulations were

promulgated, the owner or operator must identify the type, location,

and quantity of. the wastes to the best of his knowledge and in accor-

dance with any records he has kept.

§265.120  Notice in deed to property

     The owner of the property on which a disposal facility is

located must record, in accordance with State law, a notation on the

deed to the facility property—or on some other instrument which is

normally examined during title search—that will in perpetuity notify

any potential purchaser of the property that:  (1) the land has been

used to manage hazardous waste, and (2) its use is restricted under


[§§265.121 - 265.139 Reserved]


 1.  "Analysis of a Groundwater Contamination Incident in Niagara
     Falls, N.Y.," Fred C. Hart Associates, Inc.  July 18, 1978,
     unpublished report and

     "Cost of Proper Design and Closure, and Maintenance at Love
     Canel," Steve Caldwell, U.S.E.P.A., unpublished report, 1979.

     Memorandum - Dave Huber, U.S.E.P.A. to docket, 1/15/80.

 2.  "Analysis of a Land Disposal Damage Incident Involving Hazardous
     Waste in Anniston, Alabama," M. Ghassemi, TRW.  March 1977.

 3. "Draft Hazardous Waste Disposal Damage Reports, St. Louis Park,
    Minnesota and Louisville Sewer System," Steve Caldwell,
    U.S.E.P.A.  August 4, 1978 (unpublished report).

 4.  "Assessment of the Extent of Environmental Problems posed by
     Hooker Chemical Dump in Niagara Falls, New York and Estimated
     Cleanup Costs," Fred C. Hart Associates, Inc.  December 11, 1978
     (unpublished report).

 5.  "Hazardous Waste Cleanup:   Silresium Site in Lowell,
     Massachusetts," MITRE Corp., June  1979 (unpublished report).

 6.  Memorandum - Cynthia Giansante, U.S.E.P.A. to Alfred Lindsey,
     U.S.E.P.A. - 12/27/79.

 7.  Wisconsin Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Management Program -
     Chap 337 - (Assembly Bill 1024) (includes Wis. HW Mgt. Act; Wis.
     Stat. Ann Sec 144.60 et seq).

 8.  Minnesota Hazardous Waste Regulations - 1979- 6MCAR §4.900.

 9.  Kan. Stat. Sec. 65-3401 et seq - a  1979 Solid Waste Management
     Act  (SB#170).

10.  Oregon Solid Waste Control Law; Oregon Revised Statutes, 1977
     Replacement, Chapter 459.

11.  "Potential for Capacity Creation in the Hazardous Waste
     Ma^gement Service Industry,"  Foster D. Snell, Inc.  1976, p.

12.  "Pollution Prediction Techniques for Waste Disposal Siting", EPA
     Report No. 68-01-4368,  1978.