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

9VAC20-81-160. Closure Requirements.

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

A. Closure purpose. The owner or operator shall close the landfill in a manner that minimizes the need for further maintenance and provides for the protection of human health and the environment. Closure shall eliminate the postclosure escape of uncontrolled leachate or of waste decomposition products to the groundwater or surface water to the extent necessary to protect human health and the environment. Closure shall also control and/or minimize surface runoff and the escape of waste decomposition products to the atmosphere.

B. Closure plan and modification of plan.

1. The owner or operator of a solid waste disposal facility shall have a written closure plan. This plan shall identify the steps necessary to completely close the landfill at the time when the operation will be the most extensive and at the end of its intended life. The closure plan shall include, at least:

a. A schedule for final closure that shall 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 that will allow tracking of the progress of closure.

b. An estimate of waste disposed onsite over the active life of the landfill;

c. An estimate of the largest area ever requiring a final cover as required at any time during the active life;

d. Description of Final Cover System design in accordance with subsection D of this section;

e. Description of storm water management to include design, construction, and maintenance controls;

f. Closure cost estimate for purpose of financial assurance.

2. The owner or operator may amend the closure plan at any time during the active life of the landfill. The owner or operator shall so amend his plan any time changes in operating plans or landfill design affect the closure plan. The amended closure plan shall be placed in the operating record and a copy provided to the department.

3. Closure plans and amended closure plans not previously approved by the director shall be submitted to the department at least 180 days before the date the owner or operator expects to begin construction activities related to closure. The director will approve or disapprove the plan within 90 days of receipt.

4. If the owner or operator intends to use an alternate final cover design, he shall submit a proposed design meeting the requirements of subdivision D 2 f of this section to the department at least 180 days before the date he expects to begin closure. The department will approve or disapprove the plan within 90 days of receipt.

5. At least 180 days prior to beginning closure of each solid waste disposal unit, the owner or operator shall notify the department and the solid waste planning unit of the intent to close.

C. Time allowed for closure.

1. The owner or operator shall begin closure activities of each unit no later than 30 days after the date on which the unit receives the known final receipt of wastes or, if the unit has remaining capacity and there is a reasonable likelihood that the unit will receive additional wastes, no later than one year after the most recent receipt of wastes. Extensions beyond the one-year deadline for beginning closure may be granted by the director if the owner or operator demonstrates that the unit has the capacity to receive additional wastes and the owner or operator has taken and will continue to take all steps necessary to prevent threats to human health and the environment from the unclosed unit.

2. The owner or operator shall complete closure activities of each unit in accordance with the closure plan and within six months after receiving the final volume of wastes. The director may approve a longer closure period if the owner or operator can demonstrate that the required or planned closure activities will, of necessity, take longer than six months to complete; and that he has taken all steps to eliminate any significant threat to human health and the environment from the unclosed but inactive landfill.

D. Closure implementation.

1. The owner or operator shall close each unit with a final cover as specified in subdivision 2 of this subsection, grade the fill area to prevent ponding, and provide a suitable vegetative cover. Vegetation shall be deemed properly established when there are no large areas void of vegetation and it is sufficient to control erosion.

2. Final cover system.

a. The owner or operator shall install a final cover system that is designed to achieve the performance requirements of this section.

b. Owners or operators of CDD landfill units used for the disposal of wastes consisting only of stumps, wood, brush, and leaves from landclearing operations may apply two feet of compacted soil as final cover material in lieu of the final cover system specified in this section. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to any landfill with respect to which the director has made a finding that continued operation of the landfill constitutes a threat to the public health or the environment.

c. The final cover system shall be designed and constructed to:

(1) Minimize infiltration through the closed disposal unit by the use of an infiltration layer that is constructed of at least 18 inches of earthen material; and which has a hydraulic conductivity less than or equal to the hydraulic conductivity of any bottom liner system or natural subsoils present, or a hydraulic conductivity no greater than 1x10-5 cm/sec, whichever is less; and

(2) Minimize erosion of the final cover by the use of an erosion layer that contains a minimum of six inches of earthen material that is capable of sustaining native plant growth, and provide for protection of the infiltration layer from the effects of erosion, frost, and wind.

d. The owner or operator of a sanitary landfill may choose to use this alternate final cover system, which shall consist of at least the following components:

(1) An 18-inch soil infiltration layer with a hydraulic conductivity no greater than 1x10-5 cm/sec or a geosynthetic clay liner installed over the intermediate cover;

(2) A barrier layer consisting of a geosynthetic membrane having a minimum thickness of 40-mils;

(3) A protective cover layer for protection of the infiltration layer from the effects of erosion, frost, and wind, and consisting of a minimum of 18 inches of soil; and

(4) A vegetative support layer that contains a minimum of six inches of earthen material that is capable of sustaining native plant growth.

e. The owner or operator of a CDD or industrial landfill may choose to use this alternate final cover system, which shall consist of at least the following components:

(1) A barrier layer consisting of a geosynthetic clay liner or a geosynthetic membrane having a minimum thickness of 40 mils;

(2) A protective cover layer for protection of the infiltration layer from the effects of erosion, frost, and wind, and consisting of a minimum of 18 inches of soil; and

(3) A vegetative support layer that contains a minimum of six inches of earthen material that is capable of sustaining native plant growth.

f. The director may approve an alternate final cover design that includes:

(1) An infiltration layer that achieves an equivalent reduction in infiltration as the infiltration layer specified in subdivision 2 c (1) of this subsection; and

(2) A minimum 24-inch erosion layer that is capable of sustaining native plant growth and provide for protection of the infiltration layer from the effects of erosion, frost, and wind.

3. Finished side slopes shall be stable and be configured to adequately control erosion and runoff. Slopes of 33% will be allowed provided that adequate runoff controls are established. Steeper slopes may be considered if supported by necessary stability calculations and appropriate erosion and runoff control features. All finished slopes and runoff management facilities shall be supported by necessary calculations and included in the design manual. To prevent ponding of water, the top slope shall be at least 2.0% after allowance for settlement.

4. Following construction of the final cover system for each unit, the owner or operator shall submit to the department a certification, signed by a professional engineer verifying that closure has been completed in accordance with the closure plan requirements of this part. This certification shall include the results of the CQA/QC requirements under 9VAC20-81-130 Q 1 b (6).

5. Following the closure of all units the owner or operator shall:

a. Post one sign at the entrance of the landfill notifying all persons of the closing, and the prohibition against further receipt of waste materials. Further, suitable barriers shall be installed at former accesses to prevent new waste from being deposited.

b. Within 90 days after closure is completed, submit to the local land recording authority a survey plat prepared by a professional land surveyor registered by the Commonwealth or a person qualified in accordance with Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia indicating the location and dimensions of landfills. Groundwater monitoring well and landfill gas monitoring probe locations shall be included and identified by the number on the survey plat. The plat filed with the local land recording authority shall contain a note, prominently displayed, which states the owner's or operator's future obligation to restrict disturbance of the site as specified.

c. Record a notation on the deed to the landfill property, or on some other instrument which is normally examined during title searches, notifying any potential purchaser of the property that the land has been used to manage solid waste and its use is restricted under 9VAC20-81-170 A 2 c. A copy of the deed notation as recorded shall be submitted to the department.

d. Submit to the department a certification, signed by a professional engineer, verifying that closure has been completed in accordance with the requirements of subdivisions 5 a, b, and c of this subsection and the landfill closure plan.

6. The department shall inspect all solid waste management facilities at the time of closure to confirm that the closing is complete and adequate. It shall notify the owner or operator of a closed landfill, in writing, if the closure is satisfactory, and shall require any construction or such other steps necessary to bring unsatisfactory sites into compliance with these regulations. Notification by the department that the closure is satisfactory does not relieve the owner or operator of responsibility for corrective action to prevent or abate problems caused by the landfill.

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; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 22, eff. August 3, 2011.

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