Proposed Revisions to Rule 62-701, F.A.C.: Implications for Your Solid Waste Facility

HSA Golden recently attended an FDEP webinar which discussed proposed changes to rules regarding solid waste facilities.  Many of the revisions discussed are the result of Florida Legislative changes to the statutes in July 2010.  When changes to Florida Statutes 403.702 through 769 were made into law, FDEP had the authority to enforce the provisions of the statutes; however, these proposed rule changes will make it clearer and provide FDEP with a cleaner method of enforcement.  The proposed 62-701 Rule revisions and the legislative language are very similar.  Lobbyists for Waste Management and Sun Recycling were the most active in pushing C&D landfill liners and recycling requirements, respectively.  We expect that they will continue to push that agenda during the current rulemaking processes.  What follows are proposed changes to selected portions to the rule, along with our comments in italics.

  • Rule 62-701.300, F.A.C. – Prohibitions (8)(a)3. Yard Trash in a Class I landfill, except as may be allowed pursuant to Section 403.708(12)(c) F.S.: A Class I landfill with an active gas collection system that can show a beneficial use of the gas (such as energy generation) may accept yard trash, which was previously prohibited in lined landfills. As a result, Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) can expect to receive less yard trash in areas that have a Class I landfill with beneficial use, unless disposal rates are higher than the MRF’s rates.
  • Rule 62-701.510(6)(b)3.c., F.A.C. – Routine Leachate Sampling and (8)(c) Leachate Parameters: It is proposed that annual leachate monitoring not to be required by permit.  This does not mean that facilities won’t be required to test leachate at disposal facilities.
  • Rule 62-701.710, F.A.C. – Waste Processing Facilities (10) General Permit for Indoor Waste Processing Facility: This new section provides a “general,” or simpler, permitting process for an enclosed MRF (classified as having a roof, three walls, and a contained concrete floor). This would impact new MRFs or acquisitions only; it is not applicable to existing MRFs.
  • Rule 62-701.730, F.A.C. – C&D Debris Disposal and Recycling: Multiple changes are slated for this rule, the most significant of which is detailed in Section (6)(a):  “Each new disposal unit, as well as each lateral expansion of an existing disposal unit, that has not received a Department permit authorizing construction or operation prior to July 1, 2010, shall be constructed with a liner and leachate collection system, unless the applicant demonstrates, based upon the types of waste received, methods for controlling the types of waste disposed of, the proximity of ground water and surface water, and the results of the hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations including any ground water monitoring analyses, that operation of the facility is not expected to result in violations of ground water standards and criteria otherwise.” This proposed rule would require a liner of all new C&D cells that were not permitted for construction or operation prior to July 1, 2010 (grandfather clause), and provides for an exemption from a liner if applicant can demonstrate that violations of groundwater quality standards will not be exceeded by strictly controlling landfilled materials and locating a site with attention to elevation, hydrology, and/or hydrogeology.
  • Rule 62-701.730(13)(e), F.A.C. – Recycling: “The owner or operator of any facility that accepts dedicated loads of construction and demolition debris for disposal shall perform an evaluation of the economic feasibility of processing the material to remove recyclable materials prior to disposal.  This evaluation shall be completed no later than July 1, 2011, or prior to opening a new facility, and documentation of the evaluation shall be kept at the facility and made available to the Department upon request.  The evaluation shall consider the costs and benefits of processing the material at a permitted materials recovery facility, at another permitted disposal facility, or at the facility accepting the material.  If the owner or operator determines that it is economically feasible to process some or all of the material accepted, then such material must be processed prior to disposal.  It is not necessary for the Department to review or approve such evaluation, and the substance of the evaluation will not be considered during permit review.  However, failure to perform such evaluation or to keep documentation of the evaluation available for review shall be considered a violation of this chapter.  The evaluation is not required in the following situations: 1. The waste consists solely of recovered materials; 2. The materials have previously been source-separated and offered for recycling; or 3.  The materials have previously been processed.” In its current form, this is a “self” evaluation of the local economic feasibility of recycling the C&D material.  Some operators likely will push to have more detailed (and DEP reviewed) evaluations and specific recycling percentages required, hoping that would push C&D materials to their facilities.  There was no specific recycling percentage in the statute.  There are still a lot of questions on what this evaluation will entail, but for now it is relatively vague.

We hope that you find this information useful.  Please contact us for assistance regarding the potential implications of these rule changes for your facility.