§ 271.341. Release of bonds.

 (a)  An operator seeking a termination of a trust for a municipally operated landfill established under §  271.301(c) (relating to scope) or release of a bond previously submitted to the Department shall file a written request with the Department for termination of the trust or for release of all or part of the bond amount posted for the facility as part of a request for bond or trust adjustment under §  271.332 (relating to bond and trust amount adjustments), or after certification of closure of the facility. Requests for trust termination or for withdrawals from trusts for municipally operated landfills established under §  271.301(c) shall comply with the requirements of §  271.343 (relating to withdrawals from municipal trust).

 (b)  The application for a bond release shall contain the following:

   (1)  The name of the operator and identification of the facility for which the bond release is sought.

   (2)  The total amount of bond in effect for the facility and the amount for which release is sought.

   (3)  A detailed explanation of why the bond release is requested, including, but not limited to, completion of a measure carried out in preparation for closure as defined in the closure plan or otherwise discernible upon inspection of the facility, closure of the facility, completion of postclosure measures, abatement measures taken and amendments to the permit or changes in the facts or assumptions made during the bond amount determination which demonstrate and would authorize a release of part or all of the bond deposited for the facility.

   (4)  A revised cost estimate for closure and postclosure care under §  271.331 (relating to bond and trust amount determination).

 (c)  Upon receipt of a written request for bond release under this section, the Department will inspect the facility to verify the accuracy of the information provided in the application for the bond release by the operator, as required by §  271.342 (relating to final closure certification).

 (d)  The Department will evaluate the bond release request as if it were a request for a new bond amount determination under §  271.331. If the new bond amount determination would require less bond amount for the facility than the amount already on deposit, the Department may release the portion of the bond amount which is not required for the facility, subject to the public notice and comment provisions of this chapter. If the new bond amount determination requires an additional amount of bond for the facility, the Department will require the additional amount to be deposited for the facility.

 (e)  A request for a bond release under this section upon final closure, or anytime after final closure, shall be, for the purpose of providing public notice and comment, considered a major permit modification and shall satisfy the public notice and comment requirements for major permit modifications under § §  271.141—271.143 (relating to public notice by applicant; public notice by Department; and public comments) unless waived, in writing, by the Department. The Department may waive the public notice and comment requirement for a particular bond release when a definite schedule of bond release has been set forth in an approved closure plan, a permit or an order of the Department, and the closure plan, permit or order has met the public notice and comment requirements of this chapter.

 (f)  Upon receipt of a written request for a bond release under this section, the Department will, within 12 months prior to the expiration of the 10-year period following final closure, conduct a final inspection of the facility. The purpose of the inspection is to determine compliance with the act, the environmental protection acts, this title, the terms and conditions of the permit, orders of the Department and the terms and conditions of the bond. Based upon this determination, the Department will either forfeit the bond prior to the expiration of the 10-year period following final closure or release the bond at the expiration of the 10-year period following final closure.

 (g)  The following apply with regard to bond release:

   (1)  The Department will not release a bond amount deposited for a facility if the release would reduce the total remaining amount of bond to an amount which would be insufficient for the Department to complete closure and postclosure care, including long term maintenance of remediation measures, and to take measures that are necessary to prevent adverse effects upon the environment or public health, safety or welfare under the act, the environmental protection acts, this title, the terms and conditions of the permits and orders of the Department.

   (2)  The release of a bond by the Department does not constitute a waiver or release of other liability provided in law, nor does it abridge or alter rights of action or remedies of a person or municipality presently or prospectively existing in equity or under criminal and civil common or statutory law. The release of a bond does not discharge an owner or an operator from liability to restore the groundwater to remediation standards and to maintain groundwater quality, at a minimum, at those levels.

   (3)  The Department may grant bond releases immediately upon final closure, for facilities other than landfills, if it is clearly demonstrated that further monitoring, restoration or maintenance is not necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare and the environment.


   The provisions of this §  271.341 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended September 13, 1991, effective September 14, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 4179; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (208083) to (208084).

Notes of Decisions

   Ten-year duration of liability runs from final closure. Commonwealth v. Mayer, 569 A.2d 415 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1990).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.314 (relating to duration of liability); 25 Pa. Code §  271.321 (relating to special terms and conditions for surety bonds); 25 Pa. Code §  271.332 (relating to bond and trust amount adjustments); and 25 Pa. Code §  271.333 (relating to failure to maintain adequate bond).

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