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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 81. Solid Waste Management Regulations
10/31/2020

9VAC20-81-260. Corrective Action Program.

A. Corrective action is required whenever one or more groundwater protection standard is exceeded at statistically significant levels. An owner or operator of a landfill may elect to initiate corrective action at any time; however, prior to such initiation, the appropriate groundwater protection standards for all Table 3.1 constituents shall be established consistent with 9VAC20-81-250 A 6. At any time during the corrective action process, the owner or operator may elect to pursue, or the director can determine that, interim measures as defined under subsection F of this section are required in accordance with subdivision E 3 of this section.

B. The director may require periodic progress reports when a corrective action program is required but not yet implemented.

C. Characterization and assessment requirements.

1. Upon notifying the department that one or more of the constituents listed in Table 3.1 Column B has been detected at a statistically significant level exceeding the groundwater protection standards, the owner or operator shall, unless department approval of an Alternate Source Demonstration has been received as noted under 9VAC20-81-250 B 3 f (3) (a) (ii) or 9VAC20-81-250 C 3 e (3) (a) (ii):

a. Characterization. Within 90 days, install additional monitoring wells as necessary sufficient to define the vertical and horizontal extent of the release of constituents at statistically significant levels exceeding the groundwater protection standards including the installation of at least one additional monitoring well at the facility boundary in the direction of contaminant migration.

b. Notification. Notify all persons who own the land or reside on the land that directly overlies any part of the release if contaminants have migrated offsite as indicated by the results of sampling of the characterization wells installed under subdivision 1 a of this subsection within 15 days of completion of the characterization sampling and analysis efforts.

c. Assessment. Within 90 days, initiate an assessment of corrective measures or a proposal for presumptive remedy.

d. Financial assurance. Within 120 days, provide additional financial assurance in the amount of $1 million to the department using the mechanisms required in 9VAC20-70-140 of the Financial Assurance Requirements for Solid Waste Disposal, Transfer, and Treatment Facilities.

e. Public meeting. Prior to submitting the document required under subdivision 1 f of this subsection, schedule and hold a public meeting to discuss the draft results of the corrective measures assessment or the proposal for presumptive remedy, prior to the final selection of remedy. The meeting shall be held to the extent practicable in the vicinity of the landfill. The process to be followed for scheduling and holding the public hearing is described under subdivision 4 of this subsection.

f. Submission requirements. Within 180 days, submit the completed assessment of corrective measures defined under subdivision 3 of this subsection, or the proposal for presumptive remedies defined under subdivision 2 of this subsection, including any responses to public comments received.

g. Director allowance. The submission timeframe noted in subdivision 1 f of this subsection may be extended by the director for good cause upon request of the owner or operator.

2. Presumptive remedy allowance.

a. Applicability. To expedite corrective action, in lieu of an analysis meeting the requirements of subdivision 3 of this subsection, the owner or operator of any facility monitoring groundwater in accordance with 9VAC20-81-250 C may propose a presumptive remedy for the landfill.

b. Options. The presumptive remedy for solid waste landfills shall be limited to one or more of the following:

(1) Containment of the landfill mass, including an impermeable cap;

(2) Control of the landfill leachate;

(3) Control of the migration of contaminated groundwater;

(4) Collection and treatment of landfill gas; and

(5) Reduction of saturation of the landfill mass.

Containment may be selected as a sole or partial remedy until a determination is made under subdivision F 1 of this section that another remedy shall be employed to meet the requirements of subdivision G 1 of this section concerning remediation completion. Upon recognition that presumptive remedies may not be able to achieve the groundwater protection standards, an assessment of corrective measures shall be initiated within 90 days.

c. Restrictions. Presumptive remedies are not applicable to:

(1) Landfills monitoring groundwater under the Federal Subtitle D equivalent program defined under 9VAC20-81-250 B when the use of the presumptive remedy will be the sole remedy applied to the groundwater release; or

(2) Landfills that may monitor groundwater under 9VAC20-81-250 C but that exhibit contamination beyond facility boundaries unless the proposed presumptive remedy option under subdivision 2 b of this subsection can be demonstrated to show it will address the reduction of contamination already present beyond the facility boundary, and the demonstration is approved by the department.

d. Submission requirements. Owner or operators who wish to propose use of the presumptive remedy allowance shall submit with the proposal, signed by a qualified groundwater professional, an:

(1) Assessment of risks resulting from the contamination at the disposal unit boundary and at the facility boundary;

(2) Evaluation of the current trends in groundwater quality data with respect to the established groundwater protection standards; and

(3) Anticipated schedule for initiating and completing presumptive remedy-based remedial activities.

e. Implementation. Upon conducting a public meeting as required under subdivision 4 of this subsection, submitting a corrective action monitoring plan meeting subdivision D 1 of this section, and modifying the landfill permit in accordance with 9VAC20-81-600 F 2, the owner or operator may proceed with the implementation of the remedy in accordance with subdivision E 1 of this section.

f. Evaluation and response. The owner or operator shall provide an evaluation of the performance of the implemented presumptive remedy every three years, unless an alternate schedule is approved by the director, in a Corrective Action Site Evaluation report containing, at a minimum, the following information:

(a) A description of how the presumptive remedy is performing with respect to the conditions in subdivision H 1 of this section;

(b) Current and historical groundwater data and analysis;

(c) An evaluation of the changes seen in groundwater contamination after the implementation of the remedy and a projection of when the conditions in subdivision H 1 of this section will be achieved; and

(d) The progress toward achieving the schedule required in subdivision C 2 d (3) of this section.

3. Assessment of corrective measures.

a. Purpose. The assessment shall include an analysis of the effectiveness of several potential corrective measures in meeting all of the requirements and objectives of the remedy as described under this subsection, addressing at least the following:

(1) The performance, reliability, implementation ease, and potential impacts of appropriate potential remedies, including safety impacts, cross-media impacts, and control of exposure to any residual contamination;

(2) The time required to begin and complete the remedy;

(3) The costs of remedy implementation; and

(4) The institutional requirements such as state or local permit requirements or other environmental or public health requirements that may substantially affect implementation of the remedies.

b. Requirements. As part of the assessment of corrective measures submitted to the department for review, the owner or operator must demonstrate that one or more possible groundwater remedy has been evaluated for potential application on site. These remedies may include a specific technology or combination of technologies that achieve or may achieve the standards for remedies specified in subdivision 3 c (1) of this subsection given appropriate consideration of the factors specified in subdivision D 1 a of this section.

c. Selection of remedy. As part of submission of the assessment of corrective measures document, the owner or operator shall select a remedy that, at a minimum, meets the standards listed in subdivision H 1 of this section.

(1) The selected remedies to be included in the corrective action plan shall:

(a) Be protective of human health and the environment;

(b) Attain the groundwater protection standard as specified pursuant to 9VAC20-81-250 A 6;

(c) Control the sources of releases so as to reduce or eliminate, to the maximum extent practicable, further releases of solid waste constituents into the environment that may pose a threat to human health or the environment; and

(d) Comply with standards for management of wastes.

d. Evaluation and response. The department shall review the assessment of corrective measures to evaluate the proposed remedy and may require revisions to the assessment. If the assessment is approved without revision, the department will notify the owner or operator to prepare a written corrective action plan based on the proposed remedy and such plan will be submitted within 180 days of the department's notification of approval of the assessment of corrective measures.

4. Public meeting process. As part of the public meeting process completed prior to the submission of a proposal for presumptive remedy or assessment of corrective measures:

a. Newspaper notice. The owner or operator must publish a notice once a week for two consecutive weeks in a major local newspaper of general circulation inviting public comment on the results of the corrective measures assessment or proposal for presumptive remedy as applicable. The notice shall include:

(1) The name of the landfill, its location, and the date, time, and place for the public meeting, and the beginning and ending dates for the 30-day comment period. The public meeting shall be held at a time convenient to the public. The comment period will begin on the date the owner or operator publishes the notice in the local newspaper;

(2) The name, telephone, and address of the owner's or operator's representative who can be contacted by the interested persons to answer questions or where comments shall be sent;

(3) Location where copies of the documentation to be submitted to the department in support of the corrective measures assessment or proposal of presumptive remedy can be viewed and copied prior to the meeting;

(4) A statement indicating that the need to perform the corrective measures assessment or presumptive remedy is a result of a statistically significant increase in one or more groundwater protection standards; and

(5) A statement that the purpose of the public meeting is to acquaint the public with the technical aspects of the proposal, describe how the requirements of these regulations will be met, identify issues of concern, facilitate communication, and establish a dialogue between the permittee and persons who may be affected by the landfill.

b. Document review. The owner or operator shall place a copy of the report and supporting documentation in a location accessible to the public during the public comment period in the vicinity of the proposed landfill.

c. Meeting timeframe. The owner or operator shall hold a public meeting within a timeframe that allows for the submission of a completed assessment of corrective measures or presumptive remedy within 180 days of notifying the department of a groundwater protection standard exceedance or as granted under subdivision 1 g of this subsection. The meeting must be scheduled and held:

(1) No earlier than 15 days after the publication of the notice; and

(2) No later than seven days before the close of the 30-day comment period.

D. Corrective action plan and monitoring plan.

1. The owner or operator shall submit to the department a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) and related Corrective Action Monitoring Plan (CAMP) consistent with the findings as presented in the assessment of corrective measures required under subdivision C 3 of this section, or proposal for presumptive remedy described under subdivision C 2 of this section.

a. Requirements. In preparing a proposed corrective action plan, the owner or operator will consider the following evaluation factors:

(1) The long-term and short-term effectiveness and protectiveness of the potential remedies, along with the degree of certainty that the remedy will prove successful based on consideration of the following:

(a) Magnitude of reduction of existing risks;

(b) Magnitude of residual risks in terms of likelihood of further releases due to waste remaining following implementation of a remedy;

(c) The type and degree of long-term management required, including monitoring, operation, and maintenance;

(d) Short-term risks that might be posed to the community, workers, or the environment during implementation of such a remedy, including potential threats to human health and the environment associated with excavation, transportation, and redisposal or containment;

(e) Time until full protection is achieved;

(f) Potential for exposure of humans and environmental receptors to remaining wastes, considering the potential threat to human health and the environment associated with excavation, transportation, re-disposal, or containment;

(g) Long-term reliability of the engineering and institutional controls; and

(h) Potential need for replacement of the remedy.

(2) The effectiveness of the remedy in controlling the source to reduce further releases based on consideration of the following factors:

(a) The extent to which containment practices will reduce further releases;

(b) The extent to which treatment technologies may be used;

(c) Magnitude of reduction of existing risks; and

(d) Time until full protection is achieved.

(3) The ease or difficulty of implementing a potential remedy based on consideration of the following types of factors:

(a) Degree of difficulty associated with constructing the technology;

(b) Expected operational reliability of the technologies;

(c) Need to coordinate with and obtain necessary approvals and permits from other agencies;

(d) Availability of necessary equipment and specialists; and

(e) Available capacity and location of needed treatment, storage, and disposal services.

(4) Practicable capability of the owner or operator, including a consideration of the technical and economic capability. At a minimum the owner or operator must consider capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, net present value of capital and operation and maintenance costs, and potential future remediation costs.

(5) Ensure that all solid wastes that are managed while undergoing corrective action or an interim measure shall be managed in a manner:

(a) That is protective of human health and the environment; and

(b) That complies with all applicable federal and Virginia requirements.

(6) The degree to which community concerns raised as the result of the public meeting required by subdivision C 4 of this section are addressed by the potential remedy.

b. Implementation and completion timeframes. The owner or operator shall specify as part of the selected remedy a schedule for initiating and completing remedial activities. Such a schedule shall require the initiation of remedial activities within a reasonable period of time taking into consideration the factors set forth in this section. The owner or operator shall consider the following factors in determining the schedule of remedial activities:

(1) Nature and extent of contamination;

(2) Practical capabilities of remedial technologies in achieving compliance with groundwater protection standards established under 9VAC20-81-250 A 6 and other objectives of the remedy;

(3) Availability of treatment or disposal capacity for wastes managed during implementation of the remedy;

(4) Desirability of utilizing technologies that are not currently available, but which may offer significant advantages over already available technologies in terms of effectiveness, reliability, safety, or ability to achieve remedial objectives;

(5) Potential risks to human health and the environment from exposure to contamination prior to completion of the remedy;

(6) Resource value of the aquifer including:

(a) Current and future uses;

(b) Proximity and withdrawal rates of users;

(c) Groundwater quantity and quality;

(d) The potential damage to wildlife, crops, vegetation, and physical structures caused by exposure to the waste constituents;

(e) The hydrological characteristics of the landfill and surrounding land;

(f) Groundwater removal and treatment costs; and

(g) The cost and availability of alternate water supplies;

(7) Practical capability of the owner or operator;

(8) Timeframes for periodic progress reports during design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Items to consider when preparing the reports include but are not limited to:

(a) Progress of remedy implementation;

(b) Results of monitoring and sampling activities;

(c) Progress in meeting cleanup standards;

(d) Descriptions of remediation activities;

(e) Problems encountered during the reporting period and actions taken to resolve problems;

(f) Work for next reporting period;

(g) Copies of laboratory reports including drilling logs, QA/QC documentation, and field data; and

(9) Other relevant factors.

c. Corrective action monitoring program. Any groundwater monitoring program to be employed during the corrective action process:

(1) Shall at a minimum, meet the requirements of the applicable groundwater monitoring program described under 9VAC20-81-250 B 3 or C 3;

(2) Shall determine the horizontal and vertical extent of the plume of contamination for constituents at statistically significant levels exceeding background concentrations;

(3) Can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the implemented corrective action remedy; and

(4) Shall demonstrate compliance with the groundwater protection standard established under 9VAC20-81-250 A 6.

2. The proposed corrective action plan shall be submitted to the director for approval. Prior to rendering his approval, the director may:

a. Request an evaluation of one or more alternative remedies;

b Request technical modification of the monitoring program;

c. Request a change in the time schedule; or

d. Determine that the remediation of the release of Table 3.1 constituents is not necessary if the owner or operator demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director that:

(1) The groundwater is additionally contaminated by substances that have originated from a source other than the landfill in a demonstration meeting the requirements of 9VAC20-81-250 A 5 and those substances are present in concentrations such that cleanup of the release from the landfill would provide no significant reduction in risk to actual or potential receptors;

(2) The constituent is present in groundwater that is not currently or reasonably expected to be a source of drinking water and not hydraulically connected with waters to which the constituents are migrating or are likely to migrate in a concentration that would exceed the groundwater protection standards established;

(3) Remediation of the release is technically impracticable; or

(4) Remediation results in unacceptable cross-media impacts.

3. A determination by the director pursuant to subdivision 2 d of this subsection shall not affect the authority of the state to require the owner or operator to undertake source control measures or other measures that may be necessary to eliminate or minimize further releases to the groundwater, to prevent exposure to the groundwater, or to remediate the groundwater to concentrations that are technically practicable and significantly reduce threats to human health or the environment.

4. After an evaluation of the proposed or revised plan, the director will:

a. Approve the proposed corrective action plan as written;

b. Approve the proposed corrective action plan as modified by the owner or operator;

c. Proceed with the permit modification process in accordance with 9VAC20-81-600 F 2; or

d. Disapprove the proposed corrective action plan and undertake appropriate containment or clean up actions in accordance with § 10.1-1402 (18) of the Virginia Waste Management Act.

E. Remedy implementation. Upon completion of the permit modification action described under subdivision D 4 c of this section, the owner or operator shall:

1. Monitoring program. Implement a corrective action groundwater monitoring program meeting the requirements of subdivision D 1 c of this section;

2. Remedy. Implement the remedy described in the Corrective Action Plan and the Permit as amended under subdivision D 4 c of this section; and

3. Interim measures. Take any interim measures necessary to ensure the protection of human health and the environment as described in subsection F of this section.

F. Interim measures.

1. To the greatest extent practicable, interim measures shall be consistent with the objectives of and contribute to the performance of any remedy that may be required pursuant to meeting the groundwater protection standard.

2. Should the director require interim measures pursuant to this section, the director will notify the owner or operator of the necessary actions required. Such actions will be implemented as soon as practicable in accordance with a schedule as specified by the director.

3. The following factors shall be considered in determining whether interim measures are necessary:

a. Timeframes. Time required to develop or implement a final remedy;

b. Exposure. Actual or potential exposure of nearby populations or environmental receptors to hazardous constituents;

c. Drinking water. Actual or potential contamination of drinking water supplies;

d. Resource degradation. Further degradation of the groundwater that may occur if remedial action is not initiated expeditiously;

e. Migration potential. Weather conditions that may cause the constituents to migrate or be released;

f. Accident. Risks of fire or explosion, or potential for exposure to constituents as a result of an accident or failure of a container or handling system; and

g. Other. Situations including the presence of wastes or other contaminants that may pose threats to human health, sensitive ecosystems, and the environment.

G. Remedy performance.

1. The owner or operator shall provide an evaluation of the performance of the remedy consistent with the timeframes established in the permit and present the findings in a Corrective Action Site Evaluation report. The evaluation shall describe the progress toward achieving the groundwater protection standards since implementation of the remedy.

2. An owner or operator or the director may determine, based on information developed after implementation of the remedy or other information contained in the evaluation, that compliance with requirements of subdivision H 1 of this section are not being achieved through the remedy selected. In such cases, the owner or operator shall implement other methods or techniques that could practicably achieve compliance with the requirements, unless the owner or operator makes the determination under subdivision G 3 of this section.

3. If the owner or operator determines that groundwater protection standards cannot be practically achieved with any currently available methods, the owner or operator shall, within 90 days of recognizing that condition:

a. Submit a report, certified by a qualified groundwater scientist, for director approval, that demonstrates that compliance with groundwater protection standards established under 9VAC20-81-250 A 6 cannot be practically achieved with any currently available groundwater remedial methods;

b. Upon receiving director approval under subdivision 3 a of this subsection, implement alternate measures to control exposure of humans or the environment to residual contamination that will remain as a result of termination of remedial actions, as necessary to protect human health and the environment;

c. Implement alternate measures for removal or decontamination of any remediation-related equipment, units, devices, or structures that are:

(1) Technically practicable; and

(2) Consistent with the overall objective of the remedy; and

d. At least 14 days prior to implementing the alternate measures, submit a request for approval to the director describing and justifying the alternate measures to be applied.

H. Remedy completion.

1. The groundwater remedy implemented under corrective action shall be considered complete when:

a. The owner or operator complies with the groundwater protection standards at all points within the plume of contamination that lie at or beyond the disposal unit boundary by demonstrating that no Table 3.1 Column B constituents have exceeded groundwater protection standards for a period of three consecutive years using the appropriate statistical procedures and performance standards as described under 9VAC20-81-250 D; and

b. All other actions required as part of the remedy have been satisfied or completed, and the owner or operator obtains the certification required under subdivision H 2 of this section.

2. Upon completion of the remedy, the owner or operator shall notify the director within 14 days by submitting a certification that the remedy has been completed in compliance with the requirements of the Corrective Action Plan and the permit as modified under subdivision D 4 c of this section.

3. The certification shall be signed by the owner or operator and by a qualified groundwater scientist, and shall include all data relevant to the demonstration of a successful remedy completion.

4. If the director, based on the review of information presented under subdivision H 3 of this section, determines that:

a. The corrective action remedy has been completed in accordance with the requirements of the Corrective Action Plan, the permit as amended, and subdivision H 1 of this section, the director will release the owner or operator from the requirements for financial assurance for corrective action under 9VAC20-70; or

b. The remedy has not yet achieved completion, the owner or operator shall remain in corrective action and meet the financial assurance requirements until such time as a successful demonstration and certification can be made.

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; Errata, 28:1 VA.R. 45 September 12, 2011.

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