Subchapter C. PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURES
AND STANDARDS


PERMIT REVIEW

Sec.


271.201.    Criteria for permit issuance or denial.
271.202.    Receipt of application and completeness review.
271.203.    Review period.

GENERAL PERMIT RESTRICTIONS


271.211.    Term of permits.
271.212.    Conditions of permits.

PERMIT REISSUANCE, MODIFICATION
AND RENEWAL


271.221.    Permit reissuance.
271.222.    Permit modification.
271.223.    Permit renewal.

OTHER PERMITTING PROVISIONS


271.231.    Equivalency review procedure.
271.232.    [Reserved].

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.801 (relating to scope).

PERMIT REVIEW


§ 271.201. Criteria for permit issuance or denial.

 A permit application will not be approved unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates that the following conditions are met:

   (1)  For a disposal or processing permit, each of the entities that is the permit applicant, an owner of the facility or a part thereof, an operator of the facility, or a related party to one or more of the foregoing entities, is one of the following: a natural person; a partnership; a corporation; a municipality of this Commonwealth; a municipal authority or joint municipal authority established under the laws of the Commonwealth; an agency of the Commonwealth; the Commonwealth; an agency of the Federal Government; or the Federal Government.

   (2)  The permit application is complete and accurate.

   (3)  The requirements of the environmental protection acts, this title and PA.CONST. art. I, §  27 have been complied with.

   (4)  Mitigation plans required by §  271.127 (relating to environmental assessment) are implemented if required by the Department.

   (5)  Municipal waste management operations under the permit will not cause surface water pollution or groundwater pollution, except that the Department may approve an application for permit modification to control or abate groundwater pollution under a new or modified groundwater collection or treatment facility.

   (6)  When the potential for mine subsidence exists, subsidence will not endanger or lessen the ability of the proposed facility to operate in a manner that is consistent with the act, the environmental protection acts and this title, and will not cause the proposed operation to endanger the environment or public health, safety or welfare.

   (7)  The proposed facility will not interfere with implementation of the approved host county plan or another county, municipality or State plan approved under applicable law.

   (8)  The proposed facility will not interfere with municipal waste collection, storage, transportation, processing or disposal in the host county.

   (9)  For a new municipal waste landfill subject to 49 U.S.C.A. §  44718(d) (relating to limitation on construction of landfills), the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration has determined that exemption of the landfill from application of 49 U.S.C.A. §  44718(d) would have no adverse impact on aviation safety. This exemption is only available if the state aviation agency of the state in which the airport is located has requested that the Administrator exempt the landfill from the application of 49 U.S.C.A. §  44718(d).

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.201 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 October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226004) to (226006).

Notes of Decisions

   In General

   An application for a permit will not be approved unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates compliance with the requirements of the Solid Waste Management Act, the environmental protection acts and Article I, §  27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Without NPDES permits, there is no compliance with The Clean Streams Law. Szarko v. Department of Environmental Resources, 668 A.2d 1232 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995), appeal denied, 683 A.2d 885 (Pa. 1996).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  272.245 (relating to submission of implementing documents).

§ 271.202. Receipt of application and completeness review.

 (a)  After receipt of a permit application, the Department will determine whether the application is administratively complete.

 (b)  For purposes of this section, “receipt of a permit application” does not occur for an application for a new facility or a permit modification that would result in an increased average or maximum daily waste volume, increased disposal capacity or expansion of the permit area, until the following requirements are met:

   (1)  The Department, applicant and municipal officials meet to discuss the permit application, the Department’s permit application review process and the public involvement steps in that process and to hear and understand the concerns and questions of the municipal officials, as described in the Department’s Local Municipality Involvement Process Policy, Document Number 254-2100-100. The Department may invite other persons from the local municipalities who have an interest in the application.

   (2)  An alternative project timeline is established for review of a permit application for a municipal waste landfill, construction/demolition waste landfill or resource recovery facility through negotiation among the Department, applicant and representatives of the host county and host municipality. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the Department will determine an appropriate timeline, taking into consideration the level of public interest and incorporating into the timeline sufficient opportunity for meaningful public participation. Public notice of a negotiated timeline will be made in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as part of the permit application receipt announcement required by §  271.142 (relating to public notice by Department).

 (c)  For purposes of this section, an application is administratively complete if it contains necessary information, maps, fees and other documents, regardless of whether the information, maps, fees and documents would be sufficient for issuance of the permit. If the Phase I and Phase II parts of the application for a landfill are submitted separately, the application will not be considered to be administratively complete until both parts are determined to be administratively complete.

 (d)  If the application is not administratively complete, the Department will, within 60 days of receipt of the application, return it to the applicant, along with a written statement of the specific information, maps, fees and documents that are required to make the application administratively complete.

 (e)  The Department will deny the application if the applicant fails to provide the information, maps, fees and documents within 90 days of receipt of the notice in subsection (d).

 (f)  The Department will not accept a permit application for an expansion that would result in an increase in capacity of a municipal waste landfill or construction/demolition waste landfill if more than 5 years of disposal capacity remains at the landfill based upon information submitted in the most recent annual report or equivalent information that includes a topographic survey map and a description of the capacity used since the last annual report.

 (g)  The following definitions apply in this section:

   (1)  Local municipalities. Local municipalities include the host municipality, the host county, municipalities adjacent to the host municipality or municipalities, municipalities located within 1 mile of the permitted or proposed area, other municipalities that demonstrate that they may be adversely impacted by the proposed project and municipalities located along the approach routes.

   (2)  Approach routes. Approach routes are routes from the nearest limited access (or major) highway used by vehicles traveling to and from the facility.

   (3)  Municipal officials. Representatives of local municipalities with whom the Department will coordinate prepermit application and early permit application review.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.202 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226006) and (247051).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.203 (relating to review period); 25 Pa. Code §  272.372 (relating to eligible costs); 25 Pa. Code §  273.202 (relating to areas where municipal waste landfills are prohibited); 25 Pa. Code §  277.202 (relating to areas where construction/demolition waste landfills are prohibited); 25 Pa. Code §  279.202 (relating to areas where transfer facilities are prohibited); and 25 Pa. Code §  283.202 (relating to areas where resource recovery facilities and other processing facilities are prohibited).

§ 271.203. Review period.

 (a)  The Department will issue or deny permit applications for municipal waste landfills, construction/demolition waste landfills, and resource recovery facilities within the time period established in the alternative project timeline developed under §  271.202 (relating to receipt of application and completeness review).

 (b)  The time period in subsection (a) does not include a period beginning with the date that the Department in writing has requested the applicant to make substantive corrections or changes to the application and ending with the date that the applicant submits the corrections or changes to the Department’s satisfaction.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.203 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended October 9, 1992, effective October 10, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 5105; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (247051).

GENERAL PERMIT RESTRICTIONS


§ 271.211. Term of permits.

 (a)  A permit will be issued for a fixed term consistent with the approved operation and design plans of the facility, and not to exceed 10 years. An operator may apply for permit renewal prior to the expiration of the permit terms under §  271.223 (relating to permit renewal).

 (b)  The Department may grant a longer fixed term if:

   (1)  The application is complete for the longer fixed term.

   (2)  The applicant shows that a specified longer term is reasonably needed to allow the applicant to obtain necessary financing for the facility, and this need is confirmed, in writing, by the applicant’s source of financing.

 (c)  No municipal waste may be disposed, processed or beneficially used under a permit after the expiration of the permit term for disposal, processing or beneficial use. Expiration of the permit term does not limit the operator’s responsibility for complying with closure and postclosure requirements and all other requirements under the act, the environmental protection acts, regulations thereunder or the terms or conditions of its permit.

 (d)  The Department will, from time to time, but at intervals not to exceed 5 years, review a permit issued under this article. In its review, the Department will evaluate the permit to determine whether it reflects currently applicable operating requirements, as well as current technology and management practices. The Department may require modification, suspension or revocation of the permit when necessary to carry out the purposes of the act, the environmental protection acts and this title. The Department will require the operator to provide a summary of changes to the operations since the initial permit or latest major permit modification was approved.

 (e)  If no municipal waste is processed or disposed under a permit within 5 years of the date of issuance by the Department of a permit for the facility, the permit is void.

 (f)  A municipal waste management facility without a permit term that was permitted by the Department prior to April 9, 1988, shall have a permit term that expires April 9, 1993. The operator of the facility may apply for permit renewal under §  271.223.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.211 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (247051) to (247052).

Notes of Decisions

   Permit Void Due to Names

   There is no language in the regulations which provides the Department of Environmental Protection with any explicit authority to exempt facilities with pre-1988 permits from application of subsection (c); in promulgating this section, the Environmental Quality Board intended to discourage the building of new facilities under outdated conditions as Departmental regulation and technology progressed. Tinicum Township v. Department of Environmental Protection, 1997 EHB 1119.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.223 (relating to permit renewal); and 25 Pa. Code §  273.202 (relating to areas where municipal waste landfills are prohibited).

§ 271.212. Conditions of permits.

 A permit issued by the Department will, at a minimum, ensure and contain the following conditions:

   (1)  Except to the extent that the permit states otherwise, the permittee shall conduct solid waste management activities as described in the approved application.

   (2)  The permittee shall allow authorized representatives of the Commonwealth, without advance notice or a search warrant, upon presentation of appropriate credentials, and without delay, to have access to areas in which operations will be, are being or have been conducted.

   (3)  The permittee shall affect by solid waste management activities only lands specifically approved in the permit and for which financial assurances have been filed with the Department under Subchapter D (relating to financial assurances requirements).

   (4)  The permittee shall notify the Department within the time stated in the permit and if no time is stated within 45 days, on a form prepared by the Department, after the transfer has occurred of a controlling interest in the owner or operator, if the transfer does not require a permit modification under §  271.144 (relating to public notice and public hearings for permit modifications) or a permit reissuance under §  271.221 (relating to permit reissuance). The notification shall contain the same information relating to the person who obtained the controlling interest as is required of a permit applicant in a permit application under § §  271.124 and 271.125(a) (relating to identification of interests; and compliance information). A “controlling interest” means the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.212 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 (247052) and (226009).

PERMIT REISSUANCE, MODIFICATION AND RENEWAL


§ 271.221. Permit reissuance.

 (a)  A transfer, assignment or sale of rights granted under a permit may not be made without obtaining permit reissuance.

 (b)  An application for permit reissuance shall be made on forms provided by the Department and shall contain the following:

   (1)  A written statement that the person assumes, upon reissuance of the permit, liability for operation, maintenance, pollution, closure, postclosure maintenance, final cover and other responsibilities under the act, the environmental protection acts, this title and the terms and conditions of the permit from the date of original issuance of the permit.

   (2)  A detailed explanation of the schedule and procedure for transferring control of the facility to the applicant.

   (3)  One of the following:

     (i)   An entirely new application under this article.

     (ii)   A written statement expressly agreeing to abide by permit conditions, and assuming responsibility for violations which have occurred, or may occur, on the area previously affected. The statement shall include the following:

       (A)   The identity of the applicant as required in §  271.124 (relating to identification of interests) and the compliance information required in §  271.125 (relating to compliance information).

       (B)   For a municipal waste disposal permit, a property map showing the extent to which disposal has been accomplished under the existing permit.

       (C)   The name and address of the existing permittee.

       (D)   Appropriate financial assurances in the amount specified by the Department under Subchapter D (relating to financial assurance requirements).

       (E)   Proof of public notice as required by §  271.141 (relating to public notice by applicant).

 (c)  Departmental approval of permit reissuance under this section does not limit the original permittee’s responsibility, liability, duty or obligation under law.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.221 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 (226009) to (226010).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.128 (relating to permit application fee); 25 Pa. Code §  271.144 (relating to public notice and public hearings for permit modifications); 25 Pa. Code §  271.212 (relating to conditions of permits); and 25 Pa. Code §  271.362 (relating to reissuance of permit).

§ 271.222. Permit modification.

 (a)  A permittee shall file with the Department an application for permit modification:

   (1)  Prior to making a change in the design or operational plans in the application upon which the permit is issued.

   (2)  Prior to making a change that would affect the terms or conditions of the existing permit.

   (3)  Prior to conducting solid waste processing or disposal activities that are not approved in the permit.

   (4)  If otherwise required by the Department.

 (b)  An application for permit modification shall be complete and contain the following information:

   (1)  The permittee’s name, address and permit number.

   (2)  A description of the proposed modifications, including appropriate maps, plans and applications to demonstrate that the proposed modification complies with the act, the environmental protection acts and this title.

 (c)  The Department may issue onsite, in writing, a conditional approval of a minor modification for the construction of liner systems or of erosion and sedimentation control devices if impracticable to comply with subsections (a) and (b) and the modification will improve the permitted design. Approval is conditioned upon timely submission of the information and fee required in subsection (d).

 (d)  Within 5 working days of obtaining written onsite Department conditional approval of a minor modification under subsection (c), the permittee shall file with the Department documentation to modify its permit application in accordance with the conditional approval issued under subsection (c). The permit modification documentation shall be accompanied by the fee required in §  271.128(c) (relating to permit application fee).

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.222 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226010) to (226011).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.128 (relating to permit application fee); 25 Pa. Code §  273.163 (relating to modifications of leachate treatment plan); 25 Pa. Code §  273.255 (relating to leachate detection zone); 25 Pa. Code §  273.286 (relating to groundwater assessment plan); 25 Pa. Code §  273.313 (relating to annual operation report); 25 Pa. Code §  273.322 (relating to closure); 25 Pa. Code §  277.163 (relating to modifications in leachate treatment plan); 25 Pa. Code §  277.254 (relating to leachate detection zone); 25 Pa. Code §  277.286 (relating to groundwater assessment plan); 25 Pa. Code §  277.312 (relating to annual operation report); 25 Pa. Code §  277.322 (relating to closure); 25 Pa. Code §  285.117 (relating to emergency storage); and 25 Pa. Code §  299.117 (relating to emergency storage).

§ 271.223. Permit renewal.

 (a)  A permittee that plans to dispose of or process municipal waste after the expiration of the term set under §  271.211 (relating to term of permits) shall file a complete application for permit renewal on forms provided by the Department. The complete application for a processing facility shall be filed at least 270 days before the expiration date of the permit term and for a disposal facility at least 1 year before the expiration date of the permit term. For a processing facility with a permit term that expires on or before September 19, 2001, the application for permit renewal shall be filed at least 180 days prior to the expiration date of the permit term. For a disposal facility with a permit term that expires on or before December 23, 2001, the application for permit renewal shall be filed at least 180 days prior to the expiration date of the permit term.

 (b)  An application for renewal of a municipal waste disposal permit shall include a clear statement of the remaining permitted capacity of the facility, with documentation, in relation to the requested term of the permit renewal.

 (c)  A permit renewal, if approved by the Department, may only continue the term of the permit on its presently permitted acreage, including the terms and conditions of the permit. An applicant that seeks to add permitted acreage or change the terms or conditions of the permit shall also file an application for a permit modification.

 (d)  A permit renewal shall be for a term not to exceed the term of the original permit.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.223 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (226011).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.128 (relating to permit application fee); 25 Pa. Code §  271.211 (relating to term of permits); and 25 Pa. Code §  271.504 (relating to operating requirements).

OTHER PERMITTING PROVISIONS


§ 271.231. Equivalency review procedure.

 (a)  In approving a permit application under this article, the Department may authorize, in writing, alternatives to the design requirements in this article only if, and only to the extent that, specific sections in this article expressly state that alternatives may be authorized under this section.

 (b)  A person requesting an alternative under this section shall submit a request to the Department, in writing. The request shall:

   (1)  Identify the specific regulation for which an equivaalency alternative is being sought.

   (2)  Demonstrate, through supporting technical documentation, justification and quality control procedures, that the requested alternative to the design requirements in a section of the regulations will, for the life of operations at the facility, achieve the performance standards in that section, and will do so in a manner that is equivalent or superior to the design requirements in that section.

 (c)  No equivalency alternative will be approved unless the application affirmatively demonstrates that the following conditions are met:

   (1)  The request is complete and accurate and the requirements of this section have been complied with.

   (2)  The proposed alternative will, for the life of operations at the facility, achieve the performance standards in the section of regulations for which the alternative to the design requirements in that section is sought, and will do so in a manner that is equivalent or superior to the design requirements in that section.

   (3)  The proposed alternative will not cause pollution to the air, water or other natural resources of this Commonwealth, and will not harm or endanger public health, safety or welfare.

 (d)  In lieu of approving an equivalency alternative for the entire facility, the Department may approve an equivalency alternative for part of a site as provided in Subchapter F (relating to demonstration facilities).

 (e)  If an alternative design is approved through a major permit modification, the Department may approve the applicability of the alternative design to another applicant through a minor permit modification.

Source

   The provisions of this §  271.231 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; amended December 22, 2000, effective December 23, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6685. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (226011) to (226012).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.141 (relating to public notice by applicant); 25 Pa. Code §  271.144 (relating to public notice and public hearings for permit modifications); 25 Pa. Code §  273.233 (relating to intermediate cover and slopes); 25 Pa. Code §  273.234 (relating to final cover and grading); 25 Pa. Code §  273.253 (relating to subbase); 25 Pa. Code §  273.254 (relating to secondary liner); 25 Pa. Code §  273.255 (relating to leachate detection zone); 25 Pa. Code §  273.256 (relating to primary liner); 25 Pa. Code §  273.257 (relating to protective cover); 25 Pa. Code §  273.258 (relating to leachate collection system within protective cover); 25 Pa. Code §  273.259 (relating to surface mined areas); 25 Pa. Code §  277.232 (relating to intermediate cover and slopes); 25 Pa. Code §  277.233 (relating to final cover and grading); 25 Pa. Code §  277.253 (relating to subbase); 25 Pa. Code §  277.254 (relating to leachate detection zone); 25 Pa. Code §  277.255 (relating to liner); 25 Pa. Code §  277.256 (relating to protective cover); 25 Pa. Code §  277.257 (relating to leachate collection system within protective cover); and 25 Pa. Code §  277.258 (relating to surface mined areas).

§ 271.232. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  271.232 adopted April 8, 1988, effective April 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1681; reserved January 24, 1997, effective May 27, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 521. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (208058) to (208060).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  271.903 (relating to operation under existing permits and beneficial use orders).



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