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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 81. Solid Waste Management Regulations
4/7/2020

9VAC20-81-120. Siting Requirements.

The siting of all new sanitary, CDD and industrial landfills shall be governed by the standards set forth in this section.

A. Floodplains. No new landfill shall be sited in a 100-year floodplain.

B. Stable areas. New landfills shall be sited in geologically stable areas where adequate foundation support for the structural components of the landfill exists. At a minimum, factors to be considered when determining stable areas shall include:

1. Onsite or local soil conditions that may result in differential settling and subsequent failure of structural components or containment structures; and

2. Onsite or local geological or manmade features or events that may result in sudden or nonsudden events and subsequent failure of structural components or containment structures.

C. Restrictions (distances are to be measured in the horizontal plane).

1. No disposal unit or leachate storage unit shall be closer than:

a. 200 feet from any residence, school, daycare center, hospital, nursing home, or recreational park area in existence at the time of application;

b. 100 feet from any perennial stream or river;

c. 50 feet from the facility boundary;

d. 500 feet from any well, spring, or other groundwater source of drinking water in existence at the time of application; and

e. 1,000 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any interstate or primary highway or 500 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any other highway or city street, except the following:

(1) Units that are screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other means so as to minimize the visibility from the main-traveled way of the highway or city street, or otherwise removed from sight;

(2) Units that are located in areas that are zoned for industrial use under authority of state law or in unzoned industrial areas as determined by the Commonwealth Transportation Board; or

(3) Units that are not visible from the main-traveled way of the highway or city street.

2. No new landfill shall be constructed in any park or recreational area, wildlife management area, or area designated by the federal or state agency as the critical habitat of any endangered species.

3. Sanitary landfills.

a. No new sanitary landfill area shall be constructed:

(1) Within a one mile upgradient of any existing surface or groundwater public water supply intake or reservoir;

(2) Within three miles upgradient of any existing surface or groundwater public water supply intake or reservoir except as allowed under the provisions of § 10.1-1408.4 B 3 of the Code of Virginia;

(3) In any area vulnerable to flooding resulting from dam failures;

(4) Over a sinkhole or less than 100 feet over a solution cavern associated with karst topography; or

(5) Over a fault that has had displacement in Holocene time.

b. No new sanitary landfill or expansion of an existing sanitary landfill shall be constructed:

(1) Within 200 feet of a fault that has had displacement in Holocene time unless the owner or operator demonstrates to the director that an alternative setback distance of less than 200 feet will prevent damage to the structural integrity of the facility and will be protective of human health and the environment; or

(2) Within seismic impact zones, unless the owner or operator demonstrates to the director that all containment structures, including liners, leachate collection systems, and surface water control systems, are designed to resist the maximum horizontal acceleration in lithified earth material for the site.

D. Groundwater.

1. No new facility shall be located in areas where groundwater monitoring cannot be conducted in accordance with 9VAC20-81-250 unless this requirement is suspended by the director pursuant to subdivision A 1 c of that section. Factors to be considered in determining whether or not a site can be monitored shall include:

a. Ability to characterize the direction of groundwater flow within the uppermost aquifer;

b. Ability to characterize and define any releases from the landfill so as to determine what corrective actions are necessary; and

c. Ability to perform corrective action as necessary;

E. Wetlands.

1. Sanitary landfills.

a. New sanitary landfills and expansions of existing landfills, other than those impacting less than 2.0 acres of nontidal wetlands, shall not be constructed in any tidal wetland or nontidal wetland contiguous to any surface water body.

b. After July 1, 1999, construction at existing permitted facilities (allowed under the provisions of § 10.1-1408.5) only will be allowed with approvals under the provisions of 9VAC25-210. In addition, the demonstration noted in subdivision 3 of this subsection must be made by the owner or operator to the director.

2. New CDD or industrial landfills and expansions of existing CDD or industrial landfills shall not be located in wetlands, unless the owner or operator can make the demonstration noted in subdivision 3 of this subsection.

3. Demonstration.

a. Where applicable under § 404 of the Clean Water Act or § 62.1-44.15:5 of the Code of Virginia, the presumption is clearly rebutted that a practicable alternative to the proposed landfill exists that does not involve wetlands;

b. The construction and operation of the landfill will not:

(1) Cause or contribute to violations of any applicable water quality standard;

(2) Violate any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition under § 307 of the Clean Water Act;

(3) Jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of a critical habitat, protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and

(4) Violate any requirement under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 for the protection of a marine sanctuary;

c. The landfill will not cause or contribute to significant degradation of wetlands. The owner or operator shall demonstrate the integrity of the landfill and its ability to protect ecological resources by addressing the following factors:

(1) Erosion, stability, and migration potential of native wetland soils, muds, and deposits used to support the landfill;

(2) Erosion, stability, and migration potential of dredged and fill materials used to support the landfill;

(3) The volume and chemical nature of the waste managed in the landfill;

(4) Impacts on fish, wildlife, and other aquatic resources and their habitat from release of the solid waste;

(5) The potential effects of catastrophic release of waste to the wetland and the resulting impacts on the environment; and

(6) Any additional factors, as necessary, to demonstrate that ecological resources in the wetland are protected;

d. To the extent required under § 404 of the Clean Water Act or applicable Virginia wetlands laws, steps have been taken to attempt to achieve no net loss of wetlands (as defined by acreage and function) by first avoiding impacts to wetlands to the maximum extent practicable as required by subdivision 3 of this subsection, then minimizing unavoidable impacts to the maximum extent practicable, and finally offsetting remaining unavoidable wetland impacts through all appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation actions (e.g., restoration of existing degraded wetlands or creation of manmade wetlands); and

e. Information is available to enable the department to make a reasonable determination with respect to these demonstrations.

F. Limiting site characteristics.

1. Certain site characteristics may prevent approval or require substantial limitations on the site use or require incorporation of sound engineering controls. Such site characteristics shall be identified and an explanation of precautions necessary to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall be provided. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a. Excessive slopes (greater than 33%);

b. Lack of readily available cover materials on site, or lack of a firm commitment for adequate cover material from a borrow site;

c. Springs, seeps, or other groundwater intrusion into the site;

d. The presence of gas, water, sewage, or electrical or other transmission lines under the site; or

e. The prior existence on the site of an open dump, unpermitted landfill, lagoon, or similar unit, even if such a unit is closed, will be considered a defect in the site unless the proposed unit can be isolated from the defect by the nature of the unit design and the groundwater for the proposed unit can be effectively monitored.

G. Specific site conditions may be considered in approving an exemption of a site from the following:

1. The limiting site characteristics in subsection F of this section for all landfills; and

2. The groundwater monitoring in subsection D of this section for CDD and industrial landfills.

H. Acceptable landfill sites shall allow for adequate area and terrain for management of leachate.

I. Airport safety.

1. Owners or operators of all sanitary landfills that are located within 10,000 feet of any airport runway end used by turbojet aircraft or within 5,000 feet of any airport runway end used by only piston-type aircraft shall demonstrate that the units are designed and operated so that the landfill does not pose a bird hazard to aircraft.

2. Owners or operators proposing to site new sanitary landfill and expansions of an existing landfill within a five-mile radius of any airport runway end used by turbojet or piston-type aircraft shall notify the affected airport and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Owners and operators should also be aware that 49 USC § 44718(d), restricts the establishment of landfills within six miles of public airports under certain conditions. Provisions for exemptions from this law also exist.

J. For CDD landfills located in strip mine pits, all coal seams and coal outcrops shall be isolated from solid waste materials by a minimum of five feet of natural or compacted soils with a hydraulic conductivity equal to or less than 1x10-7 cm/sec.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 258.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 27, Issue 12, eff. March 16, 2011.

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