Digging Into DEC’s Proposed Part 360 Regulations: Part VII – Part 363 Landfills

This is the seventh 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 363, which governs Landfills. Unlike Parts 361 and 362, in which each subsection was a different type of facility under the broader umbrella, with its own detailed subparts, Part 363 only covers one type of facility: Landfills. As such, its twelve subsections individually address the various regulation categories (363-1 Applicability, 363-2 Exempt Facilities, etc.), with some having more than 20 subparts.  All told, the landfill regulations come in at over 100 pages.

Part 363 applies to all landfills, including new landfills, active and inactive existing landfills, lateral and vertical expansions of existing landfills, or landfills undergoing development. There are many exemptions however, such as excluding single-family dwellings, mines, or farms that dispose of generated waste on the property (provided it does not include any wastes listed as controlled, like pesticides, raw sewage, biohazard, batteries, etc.). Other exemptions include individual graves (including pet cemeteries), facilities for disposing of roadkill, and the religious burial of items. The final two exemptions, for tree debris disposal facilities and certain types of construction and demolition debris disposal facilities, do not apply to facilities located in Nassau or Suffolk county.

While not going into detail here, Part 363 includes dozens of pages on permit applications, siting requires, and the design and construction process for landfills. It also includes over 30 pages devoted to hydrogeologic investigation requirements, which are a type of environmental review. These requirements include dense and highly technical monitoring, sampling, and testing, requirements to ensure the landfill does not contaminate water sources or cause other types of environmental harm. The full regulations provide more detail, but it may be futile unless you are conversant in things like Benzanthracene, Acetylaminofluorene, and Isopropylidene chloride.

Finally, landfills are subject to a variety of safety and nuisance regulations, such as requirements that the landfill use operating cover to “control vectors, fires, odors, dust, and blowing litter.” Operating cover requires a minimum of “six inches of compacted cover” at the end of each day, if not more frequently, and a minimum of “12 inches of compacted operating cover” as a final layer when no further waste will be placed within the next year. There are also requirements to track and contain methane and other decomposition gases, to prevent potential explosions. Notably, Section 363-8.2 provides further operating requirements that apply only to landfills within Nassau or Suffolk.

Other areas of regulation addressed in Part 363 but not addressed here include closure requirements and custodial care, corrective measures, and landfill reclamation.

A PDF of the full proposed Part 363 – Landfills regulations can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/pt363.pdf

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