Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
4/9/2020

Chapter 50. Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Criteria

Part I
In General

Article 1
Purpose

9VAC20-50-10. [Reserved]

9VAC20-50-20. Purpose of chapter.

This chapter establishes the criteria which will be used by the board to evaluate and approve or disapprove applications for hazardous waste facility site certification.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 1.2, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

9VAC20-50-30. [Reserved]

Article 2
Definitions

9VAC20-50-40. Words and terms.

Section 10.1-1433 of the Code of Virginia defines several words and terms also used in this chapter. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, these words and terms will have the same meaning when used in this chapter. In addition, the following words and terms, when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Act" means §§ 10.1-1433 through 10.1-1449 of the Code of Virginia.

"Active fault" means a fault which has had displacement in Holocene time.

"Active portion" means that portion of a facility where treatment, storage or disposal operations are being conducted. It includes the treated area of a land farm and the active face of a landfill, but does not include those portions of a facility which have been closed in accordance with all applicable closure requirements of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

"Anion exchange capacity" means the exchange capacity for negatively charged ions. (See Cation exchange capacity.)

"Anti-degradation goal for groundwater" means if the concentration of any constituent in groundwater is less than the limit set forth by groundwater standards, the natural quality for the constituent shall be maintained; natural quality shall also be maintained for all constituents, including temperature, not set forth in groundwater standards. If the concentration of any constituent in groundwater exceeds the standards for that constituent, no addition of that constituent to the naturally occurring concentration shall be made.

"Applicant" means the person applying for certification of site suitability or submitting a notice of intent to apply for that.

"Aquifer" means water-bearing geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of yielding a significant amount of groundwater to wells or springs. An aquifer is unconfined (water table) or confined (artesian) according to whether the upper surface of the water is at atmospheric pressure or at greater than atmospheric pressure.

"Attenuation" means any decrease in the maximum concentration or total quantity of a chemical or biological constituent during a fixed time or distance traveled.

"Board" means the Virginia Waste Management Board.

"Buffering capacity" means the capacity of a soil to take up contaminants through a variety of attenuation processes such as biological activity, dilution, volatilization, mechanical filtration, precipitation, buffering, neutralization and ion exchange. Some attenuation processes result in permanent removal and degradation of pollutants, which others act to store pollutants and by that delay pollution problems but do not eliminate them.

"Cation exchange capacity" means the excess of counter ions in the zone adjacent to the charged surface or layer which can be exchanged for other cations. The cation exchange capacity of geological materials is normally expressed as the number of milliequivalents of cations that can be exchanged in a sample with a dry mass of 100 grams.

"Closure" means the act of securing a hazardous waste management facility pursuant to the requirements of Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-60) promulgated by the board.

"Community water system" means a waterworks which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.

"Construction" means (i) with respect to new facilities, the significant alteration of a site to install permanent equipment or structures or the installation of permanent equipment and structures; (ii) with respect to existing facilities, the alteration or expansion of existing structures or facilities to initially accommodate hazardous waste, any expansion of more than 50% of the area or capacity of an existing hazardous waste facility, or any change in design or process of a hazardous waste facility that will, in the opinion of the board, result in a substantially different type of facility. It does not include preliminary engineering or site surveys, environmental studies, site acquisition, acquisition of an option to purchase or activities normally incident hereto.

"Container" means any portable enclosure in which a material is stored, transported, treated, disposed of, or otherwise handled.

"Dam-related flood hazard areas" means areas identified as being dam-related flood hazard areas which fall into one of two categories: areas of dynamic flooding below the dam, or the inundation zone, and areas of static flooding above the dam, or the flood pool. The inundation zone is the area that would be inundated by the water released by the impoundment in the event of a dam flood. The flood pool is defined as the land area above the dam which is prone to flooding during abnormally high runoff or precipitation.

"Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including groundwaters.

"Disposal facility" means a facility or part of a facility at which hazardous waste is intentionally placed into or on any land or water, and at which the waste will remain after closure.

"Endangered or threatened species habitat" means areas known to be inhabited on a seasonal or permanent basis by or to be critical at any stage in the life cycle of any wildlife (fauna) or vegetation (flora) identified as "endangered" or "threatened" species on official federal or state lists of endangered or threatened species, including the Endangered Species Act, 16 USC § 1531 et seq., the Virginia Endangered Species Act, § 29.1-563 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, and the Virginia Endangered Plant and Insect Species Act, § 3.2-1000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, or under active consideration for state or federal listing. The definition also includes a sufficient buffer area to ensure continued survival of the species.

"Floodplain" means an area adjoining a river, stream or water course which has been or hereafter is likely to be covered by floodwaters.

Included in this category are coastal flood hazards which are defined as land areas adjacent to open coast, coastal sounds and their upstream estuaries which are prone to flooding from hurricanes and storm surges with an annual probability of 1.0%.

Also included in this definition are riverine flood hazard areas defined as the valley areas adjacent to any size waterway which can be covered by flood waters resulting from excessive rainfall or other factors. The riverine flood hazard areas also fall under the Federal Emergency Management Administration definition of a "Regulatory Floodway" under the National Flood Program. A regulatory floodway includes the channel of the river and the adjacent floodplain that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood (the flood level anticipated in the 100-year flood plain). The regulatory floodway cannot cause a cumulative increase in the water surge elevation of the base flood of greater than one foot at any point.

"Groundwater" means any water, except capillary moisture beneath the land surface in the zone of saturation or beneath the bed of any stream, lake, reservoir or other body of surface water within the boundaries of this state, whatever may be the subsurface geologic structure in which such water stands, flows, percolates or otherwise occurs.

"Groundwater quality" means the quality of groundwater as measured against drinking water criteria and standards established by the U.S. EPA and the State Department of Health and adopted by the Virginia State Water Control Board.

"Hazardous waste" means a solid waste classified as a hazardous waste by the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 9VAC20-60.

"Hazardous waste facility" means any facility, including land and structures, appurtenances, improvements and equipment for treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes, which accepts hazardous waste for storage, treatment or disposal. This definition does not include: (i) facilities which are owned and operated by and exclusively for the on-site treatment, storage or disposal of wastes generated by the owner or operator; (ii) facilities for the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous wastes used principally as fuels in an on-site production process; and (iii) facilities used exclusively for the pretreatment of wastes discharged directly to a publicly owned sewage treatment works.

"Hundred-year flood" means a flood of that level which on the average will have a 1.0% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year at designated locations.

"Hydraulic conductivity" means the rate of flow of water in gallons per day through a cross section of one square foot under a unit hydraulic gradient, at the prevailing temperature (Permeability coefficient).

"Hydraulic gradient" means the change in hydraulic pressure per unit of distance in a given direction.

"Incinerator" means an enclosed device using controlled flame combustion, the primary purpose of which is to thermally break down hazardous waste.

"Injection well" means a well or bore hole into which fluids are injected into selected geologic horizons. (See also underground injection.)

"Inundation zone (below a dam)" means the area that would be inundated in the event of a dam failure.

"Karst topography" means a type of topography that may form over limestone, dolomite, or gypsum formations by dissolving or solution, and that is characterized by closed depressions or sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage.

"Land treatment facility" means a facility or part of a facility at which hazardous waste is applied onto or incorporated into the soil surface; such facilities are disposal facilities if the waste will remain after closure.

"Landfill" means a disposal facility or part of a facility where waste is placed in or on land and which is not a treatment facility, a surface impoundment or an injection well.

"Leachate" means a liquid, including any suspended components in the liquid, that has percolated through or drained from hazardous waste.

"Monitoring" means all procedures used to systematically inspect and collect data on operational parameters of the facility or on the quality of the air, groundwater, surface water or soils.

"Monitoring well" means a well used to obtain water samples for water quality analysis or to measure depth to groundwater table.

"Noncommunity water system" means a waterworks that is not a community waterworks, but operates at least 60 days of the year and is for transient use such as restaurants, campgrounds, or rest areas.

"Pile" means any noncontainerized accumulation of solid, nonflowing hazardous waste that is used for treatment or storage.

"Point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture.

"Private water system" means all systems not defined under community/noncommunity water systems.

"Proximity to an active fault" means located such that potential vibration of a known active fault as defined under "seismic risk zones" or "seismogenic volume" in this chapter may adversely affect the physical integrity of the facility, or such that ground and surface waters associated with such fault may be degraded.

"Proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater" means a site which is located such that the geologic features or characteristics of the site may lead to degradation of the aquifer as a result of operations or in the event of an accident or spill.

"Proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of surface water" means within 1/2 mile of either side of a stream or impoundment for a distance of five stream miles upstream including tributaries, and 1/10 of a mile downstream of any nontidal surface water intake for a public water supply. On tidal affected streams, the site shall be such greater distance than 1/10 of a mile downstream that the tidal action would not cause intake of waters that may be affected by run-off, etc., from the site location. More restrictive requirements of other state regulatory agencies shall apply.

"Proximity to a private water system and supply of surface or groundwater" means a site which is located such that the geologic features or characteristics of the site may lead to degradation of the aquifer as a result of operations or in the event of an accident or spill.

"Proximity to publicly designated areas" means a site which is located such that the construction and operation of the proposed facility may impair the environmental and aesthetic qualities of the area.

"Publicly designated areas" means publicly owned lands designated as seashore areas, wilderness or scenic areas, scenic rivers, wildlife or bird sanctuaries, game lands, state parks and recreation areas and other natural areas. Also included are lands on or proposed for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, National Natural Landmarks, Virginia Landmarks Register and scenic easements held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. These lands must have been designated or be pursuant to an ongoing program as of the date of the notice of intent.

"Recharge" means natural or artificial replenishment or storage of nondegrading (quality) water in an aquifer.

"Run-off" means any rainwater, leachate, or other liquid that drains over land from any part of a facility.

"Run-on" means any rainwater, leachate, or other liquid that drains over land onto any part of a facility.

"Saprolite" means a soft, earthy, clay-rich, thoroughly decomposed rock formed in place by chemical weathering of igneous and metamorphic rocks.

"Saturated zone (zone of saturation)" means that part of the earth's crust in which all voids are filled with water under pressure greater than that of the atmosphere.

"Scenic rivers" means rivers designated by the Virginia General Assembly under the Scenic Rivers Act (§ 10.1-400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) as worthy of preservation based on their unique environmental and aesthetic characteristics.

"Seismic risk zones" means an area where an active fault which has had displacement in Holocene time is present or which has had historical earthquake activity in Modified Mercalli VII or Richter Scale 4, or greater.

"Seismogenic volume" means a seismic risk zone of upper crustal rocks where earthquakes are occurring now or in the historic past, or both and that extends from the surface of the earth down to depths of 15-20 kilometers. Such volumes are susceptible to strong seismic shaking (Modified Mercalli Intensity VII or Richter Magnitude 5 or greater) as well as faulting and movement of subsurface rock layers.

"Site" means the land or water area upon which a facility or activity is physically located or conducted including but not limited to adjacent land used for utility systems such as repair, storage, whipping or processing areas, or other areas incident to the hazardous waste facility or activity.

"Soil pH" means the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration, which commonly ranges from a high (acid) of 0 to a low (alkaline) of 14, neutral being seven.

"Soil/saprolite layer" means the unconsolidated materials derived primarily from the in-place weathering of underlying geologic deposits. Saprolite is specifically the unconsolidated weathering product of crystalline bedrock which retains relic bedrock structure. Thickness of the soil/saprolite layer is the depth from the surface to bedrock.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface and under the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the state or within its jurisdiction. For the purpose of this chapter, adjacent wetlands are included in this definition.

"Static water level" means the level at which water stands in a well when no water is being taken from the aquifer either by pumping or by free flow.

"Storage" means the containment or holding of hazardous waste pending treatment, recycling, reuse, recovery or disposal.

"Storage facility" means any hazardous waste facility which stores hazardous waste.

"Subsidence" means the lowering of the natural land surface in response to: earth movements; lowering of fluid pressure; removal of underlying supporting material by mining or solution of solids, either artificially or from material causes; compaction due to wetting (hydrocompaction) or from material causes; oxidation of organic matter in soils; or added load on the land surface.

"Subsurface mining areas" means areas where deep mining or removal by drilling of minerals or mineral fuels or pumping of groundwater has resulted in a potential for land subsidence.

"Surface impoundment" means a facility or part of a facility which is a natural topographic depression, manmade excavation, or diked area formed primarily of earthen materials (although it may be lined with manmade materials), which is designed to hold an accumulation of liquid wastes or wastes containing free liquids, and which is not an interjection well or a seepage facility.

"Thermal treatment" means treatment of hazardous waste in a device which uses elevated temperatures as the primary means to change the chemical, physical or biological character or composition of the hazardous waste.

"Transfer facility" means any transportation related to facility including loading docks, parking areas, storage areas and other similar areas where shipments of hazardous waste are held during the normal course of transportation.

"Treatment" means any method, technique, or process, including incineration or neutralization, designed to change the physical, chemical, or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste to neutralize it or to render it less hazardous or nonhazardous, safer for transport, amenable for recovery or storage, or reduced in volume.

"Underground injection" means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a bored, drilled, jetted, driven, or dug well, where the depth of the well is greater than the largest surface dimension (See also injection well).

"Unsaturated zone (zone of aeration)" means the zone between the topographic surface and water table.

"Uppermost aquifer" means the geologic formation nearest the natural ground surface that is an aquifer, as well as lower aquifers that are hydraulically interconnected with this aquifer.

"Water table" means the upper surface of the zone of saturation in groundwaters in which the hydrostatic pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure. (See uppermost aquifer.)

"Water well" means an excavation with associated casing, which is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed when the intended use of such excavation is for the location, testing, acquisition, artificial recharge, or storage of groundwater, the depth of which is greater than the diameter or width.

"Waterworks" means a system that serves piped water for drinking or domestic use of (i) the public, (ii) at least 15 connections, or (iii) an average of 25 individuals for at least 60 days of the year. The term waterworks shall include all structures, equipment, and appurtenances used in the storage, collection, purification, treatment, and distribution of pure water except the piping and fixtures inside the building where such water is delivered.

"Well" means any shaft or pit dug, drilled, jetted, driven, or bored into the earth, generally of a cylindrical form, and often cased with bricks or tubing to prevent the earth from caving in, whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension.

"Well yield" means average water yield in gallons per minute obtained from wells trapping the uppermost aquifer below a specific site or site vicinity.

"Wetlands" means areas inundated by surface or groundwater with a frequency sufficient to support, under normal circumstances, a prevalence of vegetated or aquatic life requiring saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth or reproduction.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 1.4, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

Part II
Siting Criteria

Article 1
Scope of Review

9VAC20-50-50. Considerations.

The board shall consider the degree of hazard involved in any proposed operation in making a siting decision.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 2.1, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

Article 2
Categories of Facilities

9VAC20-50-60. Categories.

For the purposes of this chapter, hazardous waste facilities are broken down into five basic categories: (i) containerized or enclosed storage; (ii) closed treatment process with spill containment; (iii) open treatment process with spill containment; (iv) any above ground treatment with no spill containment; and (v) disposal without complete treatment and all other treatment/disposal methods.

A. Category I—Containerized or enclosed storage.

1. Description. A facility which is designed to store waste in above ground tanks, or portable containers as defined in 40 CFR Part 264 Subparts I and J, and § 10.1-1433 of the Code of Virginia provided that the area where the waste is stored meets at least the "containment" requirements specified in 40 CFR Part 264 Subpart I. In general, this section requires that the base under the storage area be free of cracks or gaps and is sufficiently impervious to contain leaks, spills or accumulated precipitation. It also must have sufficient containment capability to hold 10% of the volume of the containers stored, or the whole volume of the largest container, whichever is greater, and must be able to contain any run-off which might be involved. Containment requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For the purpose of siting criteria, a facility which uses tanks must also conform to these requirements in order to be classified in Category I.

Examples include but are not limited to such facilities as:

a. A warehouse for storing 55 gallon drums.

b. A tank to store materials for loading into an ocean-going incineration vessel.

c. A storage tank associated with a land based treatment facility.

2. Consequences of loss of control. Because of the fairly simple operations involved and the extensive spill containment requirements, the consequences of loss control, for the purposes of siting, would be:

—Fire or explosion, or both.

B. Category II—Closed treatment process—with spill containment.

1. Description. A facility which is designed to treat hazardous waste by any method which did not involve venting, evaporating or exhausting potentially toxic concentrations of materials to the atmosphere, as measured at the active portion of the facility, under any normal or abnormal operating conditions. This could include chemical processes, such as acid neutralization, where the hazardous constituents in the waste are converted to nonhazardous materials or are precipitated out for disposal as a solid. It might also involve a process which separates the liquid portion of the waste from the solids, such as a centrifuging, mechanical or carbon filtration, settling or flotation, encapsulation, absorption, etc. If improper mixing or misoperation of the unit could cause a pressure build-up which could vent potentially toxic concentration of material to the atmosphere through a relief valve or similar device, this unit would not qualify as Category II. Systems which vent internally into a flash tank or similar device, however, would not necessitate a Category III classification since in that situation they would not be venting into the atmosphere. Furthermore, in order to qualify for this category, all processes must be in an area that meets the "containment" requirements specified for Category I such that a leak or rupture anywhere in the system would be contained for controlled disposition in accordance with all appropriate regulations.

An example is, but not limited to:

—Treatment in tanks.

2. Consequences of loss of control. These types of facilities are similar to those in Category I with respect to the health or environmental impact of loss of control except that there are likely to be more operations involving handling, movement, mixing, pumping or otherwise processing the waste. This, combined with the probability that more complex systems, different kinds of equipment, piping and controls are involved in Category II, makes the probability of loss of control somewhat greater than in Category I. However, because of the extensive spill containment requirements necessary to be classified as Category II, the consequences of loss of control are minimized. For the purpose of siting they would be:

—Fire or explosion, or both.

C. Category III—Open treatment process—with spill containment.

1. Description. A facility which is designed to treat waste by heating or burning, distillation, or any other reaction of process which involves a need to vent or exhaust any material to the atmosphere under normal operating conditions and which could, with a reasonable degree of probability, if misoperated or through malfunction or any loss of control, discharge a potentially toxic concentration of material, as measured at the active portion of the facility.

Facilities which have the potential for discharging only steam, air, nitrogen, or other nontoxic materials could be classified as Category I or II, providing they meet all other requirements for those categories. Heated storage tanks or rail cars which use steam in an outer shell or coils, for example, could be classified as Category I, even if it was periodically necessary to vent steam to the atmosphere.

In order to qualify for Category III, all tanks, containers or ancillary storage devices associated with processes must be in an area which meets the "containment" requirements specified for Categories I and II above.

An example is, but not limited to:

—Incineration.

2. Consequences of loss of control. The major difference between processes in this category and those in Category II is the possibility of (i) air quality degradation of sufficient magnitude to have the potential for causing health hazards, or (ii) environmental problems outside the facility from uncontrolled process discharges. Because it is so unlikely that any such discharge could be concentrated enough or last long enough to cause significant surface or groundwater degradation, this is not considered a consequence which would occur from loss of control. If, for some reason, there was a reasonable possibility that an airborne discharge from a facility could cause off-site surface or groundwater degradation, the facility would have to be classified in Category IV or V.

For the purposes of siting, the consequences of loss of control in Category III are:

a. Fire or explosion, or both.

b. Air quality degradation from process exhaust or venting as a result of loss of control.

D. Category IV—Above ground treatment—no spill containment.

1. Description. A facility which is designed to treat or store hazardous waste by any process or method which, with a reasonable degree of probability, through misoperation or any loss of control, could cause off-site surface or groundwater degradation.

These facilities need not meet the "containment" requirements specified for facilities in the three categories above in order to be classified in this category.

"Above ground" in this category means that the hazardous waste is all contained at or above the level of the ground where it is located. This qualification is based on providing a reasonable opportunity to see or become aware of a leak without depending on groundwater analysis. For example, this category could include a metal tank which rested directly on a cement pad (i.e., without support legs) even though part or all of the cement pad was actually below the ground, so long as the bottom of the tank was above ground level. If the bottom of the tank were below ground level resting directly on a manmade or earthen support such that the bottom of the tank could not be routinely inspected externally for leaks, the unit would qualify for Category V. In this latter example, if the tank were in a pit but was elevated from the base of the pit in such a manner as to allow routine inspection of the bottom to detect leaks it could be classified in Category IV. The use of underground piping by itself would not cause necessarily a facility to be classified in Category IV or V.

An example is, but not limited to:

—Land treatment.

2. Consequences of loss of control. In this category, there is no requirement for containment under treatment or storage units in the facility which might contain hazardous waste, and therefore, a spill or rupture could cause ground or surface water degradation. The restrictions included in this category would, however, minimize the possibility for leaks to go undetected for a significant length of time.

For the purpose of siting criteria, the consequences of loss of control are:

a. Fire or explosion, or both.

b. Airborne contamination, in the case of facilities which have the potential as described under Category III above.

c. Ground or surface water contamination.

d. Soil contamination.

E. Category V—Disposal without complete treatment and all other treatment/disposal methods.

1. Description. This category includes any disposal of hazardous waste by placing it in a facility where it will receive no further treatment or any treatment or storage method which does not meet the intent of one of the four categories above.

Facilities in this category would include all land disposal methods which did not involve destroying the waste or otherwise eliminating its hazardous characteristics before disposal.

This category would also include the use of such facilities as impoundments, lagoons, evaporating ponds, underground tanks, or other underground units as part of a treatment, storage or disposal process, providing that they are intended to contain hazardous waste. For this purpose, the term "underground" means that all or part of a unit is buried such that it cannot be routinely inspected for leaks or defects.

An example is, but not limited to:

—Land disposal.

2. Consequences of loss of control. These facilities have the highest degree of risk of surface or groundwater degradation because of the possibility for a leak to go undetected for a significant period of time. For disposal of units in this category there is also the added consideration of the risks associated with perpetual care of material which might be hazardous for many years. Facilities in this category could also be most prone to loss of control caused by floods.

For the purposes of siting criteria, the consequences of loss of control are:

a. Fire or explosion, or both.

b. Airborne contamination from evaporation or from sources described in Category III above.

c. Ground or surface water contamination.

d. Soil contamination.

F. General. Most facilities include several types of operation. For the purposes of classifying a proposed facility, the operation within the facility which is characterized by the highest category number shall determine which category shall characterize the facility. For example, if a facility had an operation which included both drum storage of waste under conditions that would meet Category I requirements and subsequently had on-site waste incineration step, the facility would fall in Category III because incineration is in a higher category than container storage. Another example might be a waste treatment facility with a completely enclosed neutralization process in which sulfuric acid contaminated water was mixed with lime. In this process, venting is not a significant part of the process. The result would be gypsum and water, neither of which would necessarily be hazardous material. If this process were fed from enclosed storage tanks the facility would be classified in Category II, assuming it met all the other requirements, because the enclosed neutralization process is in a higher category than enclosed storage. This would be true even if the gypsum were dried and piled on the ground and the water, after the acid was neutralized, was put in a pond prior to discharge into a river through a permitted waste water treatment facility, assuming that neither the gypsum nor the water would be classified as hazardous because of some other contaminant. If, however, in this latter example, the process generated a gas which needed to be vented to the atmosphere or which could be vented by a relief valve in an overpressure situation, the facility would have to be classified as Category III. Additionally, if the acid contaminated water was fed into this neutralization process from a pond (surface impoundment), the facility would be classified in Category V.

In making its determination of which category is appropriate for a proposed hazardous waste facility, the board shall consider the intent of each category as well as the specific descriptions above.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 2.2, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

Article 3
Prohibition on Siting

9VAC20-50-70. Goal of board.

The goal of the board and this chapter is to protect the public health, quality of life and environment of the Commonwealth in Virginia from the improper siting of hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities. In achieving this goal, the board has determined that hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities should not be placed in certain specific locations of the state because of the environmentally sensitive nature of such locations and increased risk to health and environment by the placement of a hazardous waste facility in such locations. The criteria listed below and others as required by the board must be evaluated in the applicant's impact analysis.

A. No hazardous waste facility shall be sited in wetlands.

B. No hazardous waste facility shall be sited in a 100-year flood plain, or such larger area which the flood of record may have inundated, except as provided at commercial port facilities as provided in 9VAC20-50-80 A 6.

C. Underground injection of hazardous waste is not allowed in accordance with Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 9VAC20-60.

D. No hazardous waste facility shall be sited in an area vulnerable to flooding resulting from dam failure. See definition of "Dam-related flood hazard areas."

E. No hazardous waste facility shall be sited over a sinkhole or less than 100 feet above a solution cavern beneath the facility associated with karst topography.

F. Facilities shall not be sited within areas designated by the National Park Service in the Registry of Natural Landmarks or sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Virginia Landmarks Register, unless the statute under which the designation of listing has been made authorizes the operation of such facilities in such areas.

G. Facilities shall not be sited in state, county and municipal parks, units of the National Park System, national recreation areas, state forests, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, state game lands, national wildlife refuges or national fish hatcheries unless the agency administering such lands has been given authority by statute or ordinance to allow the operation of such facilities on such lands.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 2.3, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

Article 4
Siting Limitations

9VAC20-50-80. Site criteria.

The board, in making its determination to site a facility, conditionally or otherwise, or to deny an application to site a hazardous waste facility, will consider the criteria listed below in relation to the type of hazardous waste facility to be sited.

A. Limitations.

1. Water quality surface and groundwater.

a. The water resources of the state should be afforded the maximum protection reasonably possible. A major accident or leakage at a hazardous waste facility could lead to degradation of surface and groundwater in the vicinity of the facility. The degradation of the surface and groundwater could create a significant hazard to public health. Siting of a facility must take into account water quality problems which may result from the operation of the facility. The board will consider the following water quality characteristics and other factors determined appropriate for the type of facility:

(1) The proximity of the facility to surface and groundwaters, including aquifer recharge areas.

(2) The existing quality and current and future use of the surface and groundwaters.

(3) The risk to public health and the environment.

b. Category limits.

(1) Surface waters of the state are protected from point source and non-point sources of contamination by existing federal and state laws as administered by the State Water Control Board, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and other agencies.

(2) Existing groundwater quality is to be protected from degradation based on the board's Anti-Degradation Goal for Groundwater and the provisions set forth in this section.

The board may require information on the following groundwater quality characteristics and other factors determined appropriate for Category I facilities. This information shall be provided for all other categories.

(a) Site geology/geohydrology;

(b) Depth to aquifers and thickness of overburden;

(c) Presence of fractures and faults, joints, solution cavities;

(d) Thickness of soil/saprolite layer;

(e) Present and potential aquifer use;

(f) Aquifer recharge/productivity;

(g) Proximity to sensitive receptors;

(h) Aquifers hydraulic characteristics:

(i) Hydraulic conductivity,

(ii) Transmissivity,

(iii) Storage coefficient,

(iv) Head distribution;

(i) Cation/anion exchange capacity.

And all other site characteristics requested.

For all systems and supplies, more restrictive limitations of other state agencies shall apply.

2. Community/noncommunity water system and supply surface water.

a. A hazardous waste facility should not be sited so that a community/noncommunity water system and supply of surface water would be jeopardized by the construction, operation, and close-out of the facility.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II, or III facilities may be sited in proximity to a community/noncommunity drinking water system and supply of surface water if the construction, operation, and close-out of the proposed facility do not pose an unreasonable risk to the community/noncommunity water system and supply of surface water and the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed, operated, and closed-out in a manner which will protect the public water system and supply of surface water from contamination by spills at the facility and demonstrates that spill containment at the facility is adequate to contain all spills. (See definition of "Proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of surface water.")

(2) A category IV or V facility shall not be sited in proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of surface water.

3. Community/noncommunity water system and supply groundwater.

a. The degradation of a community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater may create a significant hazard to public health. All community/noncommunity public water systems and supplies of groundwater should be adequately protected from the threat of degradation from a hazardous waste facility.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II, and III facilities may be sited in proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater if the construction, operation, and close-out of the proposed facility do not pose an unreasonable risk to the community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater and the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed, operated, and closed-out in a manner which will protect the community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater from degradation by spills at the facility and demonstrates that spill containment at the facility is adequate to contain all spills. (See definition of "Proximity to a community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater.")

(2) Category IV and V hazardous waste facilities shall not be sited in proximity to any community/noncommunity water system and supply of groundwater.

4. Private water system and supply surface and groundwater.

a. A private water system and supply of surface and groundwater should be protected from the threat of degradation from a hazardous waste facility.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II or III facilities may be sited in proximity to a private water system and supply of surface or groundwater if the construction, operation, and close-out of the proposed facility do not pose an unreasonable risk to the private water system and supply of surface and groundwater and the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed, and will be constructed, operated, and closed-out in a manner which will protect the private water system and supply of surface and groundwater from degradation by spills at the facility and demonstrates that spill containment at the facility is adequate to contain all spills.

(2) Category IV and V facilities may be sited in proximity to a private water system and supply of surface or groundwater if the applicant demonstrates that a reasonable alternative drinking water supply to the existing drinking water supply is available and provides financial resources to develop the alternative supply should it become necessary due to degradation of the existing water supply resulting from a spill or leaks from the facility.

Water quality and geohydrologic studies as provided in 9VAC20-50-80 A 1 shall be conducted to reveal the potential for siting impacts and to indicate the level of risk associated with the proposed facility.

5. Air quality.

a. Siting of a facility must take into account air quality problems which may result from the operation of the facility or accidental fires and explosions which may occur. The board shall consider potential air quality problems which may occur as the result of historical or estimated meteorological conditions and to what extent such respective problems and conditions will affect neighboring communities. In considering air quality the board will consider the following characteristics and other factors determined appropriate for the type of facility:

(1) The characteristics (stability) of the atmosphere which affect the site;

(2) The population, present and projected, in relation to the facility and prevailing wind;

(3) Characteristics of the wind.

b. Category I-V facilities may be sited if the construction and operation of the proposed facility do not pose an unacceptable risk to public health and the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed, operated and maintained in a manner which will protect the public health during normal operation or in the event of accidental releases.

6. Commercial port facilities.

a. An accident at a hazardous waste storage facility at a commercial port facility could result in immediate contamination of surface water and create a significant risk to public health and safety. Additional consideration should be given to storage facilities for hazardous waste at commercial port facilities based on the special risks posed.

b. Category I facilities for the temporary storage of hazardous wastes destined for import, export or ocean incineration, which are sited at port facilities specifically designed for commercial shipping, may be allowed if those facilities are designed for the storage of hazardous wastes and have been designed and will be constructed to withstand the 100-year flood and the flood of record at the port facility.

7. Endangered and threatened species habitat.

a. The board shall focus on adverse impacts of the facility on endangered and threatened species or critical habitat for wildlife generally and the extent to which mitigation measures can be effectively implemented.

b. A hazardous waste facility shall not be sited in locations where the siting, construction and operation of the proposed facility would occupy or threaten the known habitat or an endangered or threatened plant, insect, fish or wildlife species to the extent that the continued existence of the species is threatened.

8. Proximity to publicly designated areas.

a. Areas which are designated by federal, state and local governments for their exceptional characteristics are of special importance. These areas should be protected from unwarranted intrusion by the siting of hazardous waste facilities which could destroy the character, or use and enjoyment, and thus their objective, or their designation. The following categories are listed for their natural, scenic, historic, cultural and aesthetic values:

(1) Historic, cultural and natural sites and landmarks;

(2) The corridors of outstanding resource waters (wild, scenic and recreational);

(3) Publicly owned forest areas;

(4) Dedicated or designated open space;

(5) Public recreational areas;

(6) The Appalachian Trail or other federal and state designated trails;

(7) Wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries and game lands; and

(8) Scenic views.

b. Potential impacts of the proposed facility on the natural, scenic, historic, cultural and aesthetic values of the environment will be evaluated. The applicant must demonstrate that the construction and operation of the proposed facility will not impair the environmental and aesthetic qualities of the area. Distance from the publicly designated area to the facility will be taken into consideration.

9. Subsurface mining areas.

a. Areas where mineral resources of a solid, gaseous or liquid form have been removed by underground mining or drilling procedures or at the time of submission of the notice of intent are planned for removal are vulnerable to subsidence. Strong consideration should be given to the potential threat to the integrity of a proposed facility as a consequence of mining-related subsidence.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II, and III facilities may be allowed in subsurface mining areas as defined in this chapter provided the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed and operated such that the integrity of the facility will not be jeopardized by mine-related subsidence.

(2) Category IV and V facilities are not allowed in subsurface mining areas as defined in this chapter.

10. Slope.

a. Consideration should be given to the effect of the slope of the proposed site and adjacent lands with respect to waste management facilities including the speed at which uncontrolled releases may run off a site, site preparation techniques and costs, site design, operating procedures, site stability, potential for erosion, and visibility.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II and III facilities may be allowed on slopes in excess of 15% if the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed and operated such that the integrity of the facility will not be jeopardized.

(2) Category IV and V facilities are prohibited on slopes 15% or greater.

11. Active faults and seismic risk zones/seismogenic volume.

a. Major active fault zone and seismic risk zone/seismogenic volume features which are mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, or other agency with the responsibility for such matters, or as discovered by site investigation by a professional geologist, may pose a potential for (i) seismic-related accidents, and/or (ii) associated degradation of ground and surface waters should a facility's containment measures be breached and leakage occur.

b. Category limits.

(1) Category I, II, and III facilities may be sited in proximity to an active fault or seismic risk zone/seismogenic volume if the construction and operation of the proposed facilities do not pose a risk to public health or the environment and the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed, operated and maintained in a manner which will protect the public health and the environment from contamination by spills at the facility and demonstrates that spill containment at the facility is adequate to contain all spills.

(2) No Category IV or V facility will be sited within 305 meters (1,000 feet) of an active fault as mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Division of Mineral Resources, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, or other agency with the responsibility for such matters or as discovered by site investigation by a professional geologist. No Category IV or V facility will be sited in proximity to an active fault or seismic risk zone/seismogenic volume unless the applicant demonstrates that the facility is designed and will be constructed, operated and maintained in a manner which will protect the physical integrity of the facility and protect the quality of ground and surface waters.

12. Risk of accident in transportation.

a. The board shall evaluate the risk associated with the transportation of hazardous waste to the proposed site. Accident risk is a function of the probability of an accident and the consequences of an accident, should one occur. The transport routes over which the wastes will be delivered to the site shall be considered by the board.

b. In considering risk of accident in transportation the board will assess:

(1) Mode of transport;

(2) Proposed highway/roadway system to be used;

(3) Accident rate of mode and route;

(4) Characteristics of structures within 0.5 mile of the route, i.e., schools, hospitals;

(5) Nature of transportation restrictions, i.e., traffic intersections, highway geometrics, traffic/railroad intersections, tunnels, bridges, toll booths, level of congestion;

(6) Schedule and frequency of deliveries, vehicle disposition plan in the event of facility shutdown;

(7) Potential adverse environmental or health effects in the event of an accident;

(8) Characteristics of the residential and nonresidential population within 0.5 mile of the transport route;

(9) Projected population and the rate of growth for areas within 0.5 mile of the transport routes during the 20-year period following initial site operation; and

(10) Host and affected community emergency response capability along the routes.

13. Proximity to major structures.

a. The linear distance from the site boundary to major structures must be considered (e.g., residence, airport, school, hospital, church, commercial centers, nursing home). Acceptable buffer zones separating residences and certain other types of sensitive populated structures from the types of operations conducted at hazardous waste sites are needed.

b. In reviewing the proposal, the board will assess:

(1) Proximity of airports, utilities and other major structures; and

(2) Characteristics of buffer zones.

14. Local government.

a. The site shall be considered for consistency with the local master land use plan or the pattern of already existing land uses or zoning ordinance of the host community where no comprehensive plan has been adopted. Consistency with local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations which have been adopted pursuant to a master land use plan will also be considered, including important farm land protection activities.

Further, the short and long term financial effects of the addition of the proposed facility to the locality shall be considered. Both the increased tax revenues and the added burden of providing services to the facility are important factors.

b. The board will assess both short and long term (20 years) effects:

(1) Consistency of site with the master land use plan, compatibility with existing land uses;

(2) Consistency with local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations;

(3) Local tax revenue generated;

(4) Public services required;

(5) Impact on property values; and

(6) Economic development impacts.

15. Fire and explosions.

a. Due to the nature of the wastes, special consideration must be given by the board to the potential for fires and explosions at the site. Because of the inherent quality of the wastes, the chief focus shall be on proposed safety measures and emergency response techniques.

b. In assessing the risk of fire and explosion, the board will evaluate:

(1) Distances from site to residential, commercial and industrial buildings, public highways, railroads.

(2) Minimum distances established by the board.

(3) Level of service for fire, police protection and emergency medical services and the applicant's emergency implementation plan.

(4) Proximity to fire department and fire fighting water supply.

(5) Measures to contain fire fighting water or other substance used in the event of accidents.

(6) Characteristics of the residential and nonresidential population within 0.5 mile of the site boundary.

(7) Projected population and the rate of growth for the area within 0.5 mile of the site boundary.

16. Soil characteristics.

a. Consideration should be given to the characteristics of the soils which affect the suitability of the site for the development proposed.

b. In reviewing the proposal, the board will assess the proposal based on, but not limited to, the following soil characteristics:

(1) Bearing qualities;

(2) Stability;

(3) Drainage; and

(4) Permeability.

B. Other factors. The board shall consider any other factors identified during the course of the certification process which are determined by the board to be relevant and impact the environment, quality of life, and public health, welfare or safety.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 2.4, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

Part III
Required Findings

9VAC20-50-90. Protection and prevention.

In addition to an applicant meeting the requirements of Part II of this chapter, the board shall, in writing, find that:

A. The terms and conditions of the application will protect and prevent injury or unacceptable adverse risk to health, safety, welfare, the environment and natural resources, and the reasons to support such finding;

B. The facility is consistent with its criteria;

C. The applicant has made reasonable and appropriate efforts to reach a siting agreement with the host community, including, though not limited to, efforts to mitigate or compensate the host community and its residents for adverse economic effects, if any, of the facility.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 3.1, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.

Part IV
Related Permits and Reviews

9VAC20-50-100. Additional agency approval.

A. To avoid duplication to the maximum extent feasible with existing agencies and their areas of responsibility, related agency approvals are listed in subsection B of this section as notification to the applicant that these permits and reviews may apply in accordance with the type of facility proposed.

B. Permits.

1. Hazardous waste facility management.

a. Regulatory agency:

Virginia Waste Management Board.

b. State permit required:

Facility management.

c. Statutory authority:

(1) Chapter 11.1 (§ 10.1-1182 et seq.) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Waste Management Act, Chapter 14 (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia.

(2) Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 9VAC20-60.

d. Contact:

Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

2. Air emissions.

a. Regulatory agency:

State Air Pollution Control Board.

b. State permit required:

Stationary sources

Hazardous pollutants

Open burning

c. Statutory authority, rules and regulations:

(1) Virginia Air Pollution Control Law.

(2) Federal Clean Air Act (42 USC § 7401 et seq.) and amendments.

(3) Hazardous Air Pollutant Sources, 9VAC5-60 and Permits for Stationary Sources, 9VAC5-80.

d. Contact:

Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

3. Discharges into state waters.

a. Regulatory agency:

State Water Control Board.

b. State discharge permit required:

(1) Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

(2) No discharge certificate.

c. Statutory authority, rules and regulations:

(1) Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (33 USC § 1251 et seq.).

(2) State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

d. Contact:

Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

4. Land disturbance.

a. Regulatory agency:

State Water Control Board or local government, or both.

b. State requirement:

Erosion and sediment control plan.

c. Statutory authority, rules and regulations:

(1) Erosion and sediment control law (§§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

(2) Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.

d. Contact:

Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

5. Wetlands, subaqueous lands, and dunes.

a. Regulatory agencies:

Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) (Clearinghouse for permits)

Local wetlands boards

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

b. Permit required:

VMRC and local wetland boards: Use or development of any wetland within Tidewater, Virginia

VMRC: Coastal Dunes

VMRC, VDEQ and USACE: Tidal Wetlands and Subaqueous Land

VDEQ and USACE: Nontidal Wetlands

VDEQ: Isolated Wetlands

USACE: Activities in the navigable waters of the United States, degradation of the quality of water, and transportation and dumping of dredged material.

c. Statutory authority, rules and regulations:

(1) Wetlands (§ 28.2-1300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

(2) Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors (Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia).

(3) Local wetland zoning ordinances.

(4) Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act, 33 USC § 1251 et seq.) §§ 401 and 404.

(5) Rivers and Harbors Act of 1894 (33 USC § 1371).

(6) Marine Protection Research and Sanctuary Act (16 USC §§ 1431-1434; 33 USC §§ 1401, 1402, 1411-1421, 1441-1444).

d. Contact:

(1) Assistant Commissioner for Habitat Management
Marine Resources Commission
2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor
Newport News, VA 23607
(757) 247-2200

(2) Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

(3) District Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District
803 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23508

C. Reviews. Applications for permits may result in a review and comment process by state agencies. Such reviews may include comments concerning historic landmarks, archaeological sites, caves, best management practices, fisheries, and parks and recreation. Further information on review procedures can be obtained by contacting Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA, 23218 or (804) 698-4000.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-01-5 § 4.1, eff. April 30, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005; Volume 28, Issue 23, eff. August 15, 2012; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

Part V
Delegations

9VAC20-50-110. Delegations.

The director may perform any act of the board provided under this chapter except as limited by §§ 10.1-1433 through 10.1-1449 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1434 and 10.1-1436 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 20, eff. July 13, 2005.



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