This section is responsible for performing completeness and technical reviews of hazardous waste air emitting permit applications and conducting administrative procedures for the issuance of such permits. The three main types of hazardous waste permit applications are TSD permits, permit modifications and renewals, and emergency permits. The Hazardous Waste Section also reviews water and soil remediation permits to determine if a hazardous waste air permit is needed. In addition, the section provides technical assistance to the regulated community, government agencies and the general public regarding hazardous waste permitting activities and procedures.
Treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) of hazardous waste are the only activities that require a hazardous waste management permit under RCRA. The Hazardous and Solid Waste Section of the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) regulates combustion sources and those TSD facilities whose activities result in air emissions, under WV 45CSR25 - "Control of Air Pollution From Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities." Other TSD facilities such as landfills and hazardous waste storage areas are permitted and regulated under 33CSR20 - "Hazardous Waste Management System" by the Division of Water and Waste Management (DWWM).
The processing time for the issuance of a TSD permit varies with the complexity of the facility and the amount of public comment received. On average the processing time takes approximately 20 to 24 months for combustion units if all steps in the permit application process flowchart are followed correctly.
Permit Modifications and Renewals
Hazardous waste air permits expire within 10 years of issuance. Therefore, facilities must submit permit renewal applications in order to continue operating. These renewal applications ensure continued compliance with the changes in regulatory requirements and technical standards. Renewal applications follow the same basic procedure as TSD permits.
During the life of the permit, the facility may need to modify their permit due to process changes, technical upgrades to procedures or testing methods, or changes in the type of equipment. Permit modifications are divided into three classes. Class 1 modifications are for simple changes to the permit, such as increasing frequency of procedures or reporting. Administrative and informational changes do not require administrative approval. Class 2 and 3 permit modifications are for more drastic changes, such as increasing emission limits or burning different wastes, and require the Director’s prior approval. The specific definitions and requirements of the permit modification classes are contained in 40CFR270.42.
Emergency permits allow non-permitted facilities to treat, store or dispose of a hazardous waste if necessary to prevent imminent and substantial danger to human health. They are usually issued to facilities conducting remedial action for hazardous waste spills and contamination of soil and water. Air emissions from these remediation activities are permitted by the DAQ, while other hazardous waste activities require an emergency permit from the DWWM. The extent of urgency and harm to human health determines the type of procedure necessary to acquire a permit. Immediate life-threatening situations may be approved orally by the Director. Less urgent and harmful situations require that an emergency permit application be submitted and approved prior to operating. Emergency permits expire within 90 days of issuance and incorporate, to the extent possible, all applicable requirements of 45CSR25.
Hazardous Waste Compliance and Enforcement
Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Action (CMEA) monitors and enforces RCRA requirements pertaining to combustion performance standards and other related air emissions standard requirements for TSD facilities. Compliance Monitoring investigates for non-compliance with the hazardous waste management requirements when conducting field investigations or inspections (unannounced) of facilities within their jurisdiction. The inspection includes a formal visit, review of records, taking samples and observation of operation.
In addition, the enforcement program involves taking enforcement actions to bring facilities into compliance with applicable rules and regulations. The EPA and state have a broad range of enforcement options including: (a) administrative actions, (2) civil actions, and (3) criminal actions. The decision to pursue one of these options is based on the nature and severity of the violations.