Digging Into DEC’s Proposed Part 360 Regulations: Part V – Part 362 Combustion, Thermal Treatment, Transfer, and Collection Facilities

This is the fifth post in our series looking at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposed revision and reorganization of Part 360. Today’s post will look at the proposed Part 362- Combustion, Thermal Treatment, Transfer, and Collection Facilities. This Part has four subsections.

Section 362-1 is Combustion Facilities and Thermal Treatment Facilities.  This includes a wide range of facilities using fire or heat to treat solid waste, including “mass burn, modular, and fluidized bed combustors; thermal treatment facilities that utilize plasma arc, pyrolysis and gasification; low- temperature thermal desorption units such as thermal strippers and soil roasters; and facilities that combust refuse-derived fuel.”  This includes the burning or thermal treatment of materials otherwise covered Part 361, like waste tires, unadulterated wood, and cooking oil, and the section further adopts similar regulations to Part 361 for the handling of those respective materials. Explicitly excluded is the in-house treatment of medical waste produced on-site by hospitals, clinical laboratories, etc., and, oddly enough, crematories.

Those facilities which qualify for the strictest regulations under 362-1 (criteria vary by volume and waste type) will be required to submit engineering reports detailing the type, quantity and method of storage on-site; the pressure, temperature, and pounds per hour of all stead generated and used; total electric consumption and generation; and water usage for cooling, quench, sanitary and processing needs, including the amount recycled. They must also have waste control plans that include inspections of incoming waste, procedures to detect and screen out hazardous, radioactive or otherwise prohibited waste (ex: batteries, mercury products, etc.), and residue treatment plans for ash, slag, and other waste generated by the facility. This includes instituting and following sampling, testing, and chain of custody procedures to ensure safe levels various hazardous substances.

The next section, 362-2, Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facilities, represent the other side of the coin to Section 361-1’s recycling facilities. Whereas 361-1’s facilities handle waste that has been source-separated (i.e. separated by type prior to collection), facilities falling under Section 362-2 perform post-collection separation of municipal waste to recover recyclables (or produce refuse-derived fuel). These facilities must also have waste control plans and radioactive waste detection plans mandating inspections designed to prevent hazardous or radioactive from entering the waste stream. They are also prohibited from handling friable asbestos and source-separated recyclables, rechargeable batteries, mercury-containing products, etc.

The regulations also impose limitations on “all tipping, sorting, processing, compaction, storage, and related activities,” namely that they be conducted in enclosed buildings with adequate odor controls, asphalt or concrete paving and drainage structures, and daily cleaning. Storage may be outdoors if in sealed containers or covered trailers, however all storage of unprocessed waste is limited to no more than 3 calendar days. Processed materials may be stored for 60 days, or up to 180 days with DEC permission.

The remaining sections of Par 362, transfer facilities will be discussed in the next post.  A PDF of the full proposed Part 362 – Combustion, Thermal Treatment, Transfer, and Collection Facilities regulations can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/pt362.pdf

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