U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020
(a) The regulations in this subpart apply to owners and operators of facilities that store or treat hazardous waste in piles, except as § 264.1 provides otherwise.
(b) The regulations in this subpart do not apply to owners or operators of waste piles that are closed with wastes left in place. Such waste piles are subject to regulation under subpart N of this part (Landfills).
(c) The owner or operator of any waste pile that is inside or under a structure that provides protection from precipitation so that neither run-off nor leachate is generated is not subject to regulation under § 264.251 or under subpart F of this part, provided that:
(1) Liquids or materials containing free liquids are not placed in the pile;
(2) The pile is protected from surface water run-on by the structure or in some other manner;
(3) The pile is designed and operated to control dispersal of the waste by wind, where necessary, by means other than wetting; and
(4) The pile will not generate leachate through decomposition or other reactions.
(a) A waste pile (except for an existing portion of a waste pile) must have:
(1) A liner that is designed, constructed, and installed to prevent any migration of wastes out of the pile into the adjacent subsurface soil or ground water or surface water at any time during the active life (including the closure period) of the waste pile. The liner may be constructed of materials that may allow waste to migrate into the liner itself (but not into the adjacent subsurface soil or ground water or surface water) during the active life of the facility. The liner must be:
(i) Constructed of materials that have appropriate chemical properties and sufficient strength and thickness to prevent failure due to pressure gradients (including static head and external hydrogeologic forces), physical contact with the waste or leachate to which they are exposed, climatic conditions, the stress of installation, and the stress of daily operation;
(ii) Placed upon a foundation or base capable of providing support to the liner and resistance to pressure gradients above and below the liner to prevent failure of the liner due to settlement, compression, or uplift; and
(iii) Installed to cover all surrounding earth likely to be in contact with the waste or leachate; and
(2) A leachate collection and removal system immediately above the liner that is designed, constructed, maintained, and operated to collect and remove leachate from the pile. The Regional Administrator will specify design and operating conditions in the permit to ensure that the leachate depth over the liner does not exceed 30 cm (one foot). The leachate collection and removal system must be:
(i) Constructed of materials that are:
(A) Chemically resistant to the waste managed in the pile and the leachate expected to be generated; and
(B) Of sufficient strength and thickness to prevent collapse under the pressures exerted by overlaying wastes, waste cover materials, and by any equipment used at the pile; and
(ii) Designed and operated to function without clogging through the scheduled closure of the waste pile.
(b) The owner or operator will be exempted from the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, if the Regional Administrator finds, based on a demonstration by the owner or operator, that alternate design and operating practices, together with location characteristics, will prevent the migration of any hazardous constituents (see § 264.93) into the ground water or surface water at any future time. In deciding whether to grant an exemption, the Regional Administrator will consider:
(1) The nature and quantity of the wastes;
(2) The proposed alternate design and operation;
(3) The hydrogeologic setting of the facility, including attenuative capacity and thickness of the liners and soils present between the pile and ground water or surface water; and
(4) All other factors which would influence the quality and mobility of the leachate produced and the potential for it to migrate to ground water or surface water.
(c) The owner or operator of each new waste pile unit, each lateral expansion of a waste pile unit, and each replacement of an existing waste pile unit must install two or more liners and a leachate collection and removal system above and between such liners.
(1)(i) The liner system must include:
(A) A top liner designed and constructed of materials (e.g., a geomembrane) to prevent the migration of hazardous constituents into such liner during the active life and post-closure care period; and
(B) A composite bottom liner, consisting of at least two components. The upper component must be designed and constructed of materials (e.g., a geomembrane) to prevent the migration of hazardous constituents into this component during the active life and post-closure care period. The lower component must be designed and constructed of materials to minimize the migration of hazardous constituents if a breach in the upper component were to occur. The lower component must be constructed of at least 3 feet (91 cm) of compacted soil material with a hydraulic conductivity of no more than 1 × 10
(ii) The liners must comply with paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section.
(2) The leachate collection and removal system immediately above the top liner must be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to collect and remove leachate from the waste pile during the active life and post-closure care period. The Regional Administrator will specify design and operating conditions in the permit to ensure that the leachate depth over the liner does not exceed 30 cm (one foot). The leachate collection and removal system must comply with paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (iv) of this section.
(3) The leachate collection and removal system between the liners, and immediately above the bottom composite liner in the case of multiple leachate collection and removal systems, is also a leak detection system. This leak detection system must be capable of detecting, collecting, and removing leaks of hazardous constituents at the earliest practicable time through all areas of the top liner likely to be exposed to waste or leachate during the active life and post-closure care period. The requirements for a leak detection system in this paragraph are satisfied by installation of a system that is, at a minimum:
(i) Constructed with a bottom slope of one percent or more;
(ii) Constructed of granular drainage materials with a hydraulic conductivity of 1 × 10
(iii) Constructed of materials that are chemically resistant to the waste managed in the waste pile and the leachate expected to be generated, and of sufficient strength and thickness to prevent collapse under the pressures exerted by overlying wastes, waste cover materials, and equipment used at the waste pile;
(iv) Designed and operated to minimize clogging during the active life and post-closure care period; and
(v) Constructed with sumps and liquid removal methods (e.g., pumps) of sufficient size to collect and remove liquids from the sump and prevent liquids from backing up into the drainage layer. Each unit must have its own sump(s). The design of each sump and removal system must provide a method for measuring and recording the volume of liquids present in the sump and of liquids removed.
(4) The owner or operator shall collect and remove pumpable liquids in the leak detection system sumps to minimize the head on the bottom liner.
(5) The owner or operator of a leak detection system that is not located completely above the seasonal high water table must demonstrate that the operation of the leak detection system will not be adversely affected by the presence of ground water.
(d) The Regional Administrator may approve alternative design or operating practices to those specified in paragraph (c) of this section if the owner or operator demonstrates to the Regional Administrator that such design and operating practices, together with location characteristics:
(1) Will prevent the migration of any hazardous constituent into the ground water or surface water at least as effectively as the liners and leachate collection and removal systems specified in paragraph (c) of this section; and
(2) Will allow detection of leaks of hazardous constituents through the top liner at least as effectively.
(e) Paragraph (c) of this section does not apply to monofills that are granted a waiver by the Regional Administrator in accordance with § 264.221(e).
(f) The owner or operator of any replacement waste pile unit is exempt from paragraph (c) of this section if:
(1) The existing unit was constructed in compliance with the design standards of section 3004(o)(1)(A)(i) and (o)(5) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and
(2) There is no reason to believe that the liner is not functioning as designed.
(g) The owner or operator must design, construct, operate, and maintain a run-on control system capable of preventing flow onto the active portion of the pile during peak discharge from at least a 25-year storm.
(h) The owner or operator must design, construct, operate, and maintain a run-off management system to collect and control at least the water volume resulting from a 24-hour, 25-year storm.
(i) Collection and holding facilities (e.g., tanks or basins) associated with run-on and run-off control systems must be emptied or otherwise managed expeditiously after storms to maintain design capacity of the system.
(j) If the pile contains any particulate matter which may be subject to wind dispersal, the owner or operator must cover or otherwise manage the pile to control wind dispersal.
(k) The Regional Administrator will specify in the permit all design and operating practices that are necessary to ensure that the requirements of this section are satisfied.
(a) The Regional Administrator shall approve an action leakage rate for waste pile units subject to § 264.251(c) or (d). The action leakage rate is the maximum design flow rate that the leak detection system (LDS) can remove without the fluid head on the bottom liner exceeding 1 foot. The action leakage rate must include an adequate safety margin to allow for uncertainties in the design (e.g., slope, hydraulic conductivity, thickness of drainage material), construction, operation, and location of the LDS, waste and leachate characteristics, likelihood and amounts of other sources of liquids in the LDS, and proposed response actions (e.g., the action leakage rate must consider decreases in the flow capacity of the system over time resulting from siltation and clogging, rib layover and creep of synthetic components of the system, overburden pressures, etc.).
(b) To determine if the action leakage rate has been exceeded, the owner or operator must convert the weekly flow rate from the monitoring data obtained under § 264.254(c) to an average daily flow rate (gallons per acre per day) for each sump. Unless the Regional Administrator approves a different calculation, the average daily flow rate for each sump must be calculated weekly during the active life and closure period.
(a) The owner or operator of waste pile units subject to § 264.251 (c) or (d) must have an approved response action plan before receipt of waste. The response action plan must set forth the actions to be taken if the action leakage rate has been exceeded. At a minimum, the response action plan must describe the actions specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) If the flow rate into the leak detection system exceeds the action leakage rate for any sump, the owner or operator must:
(1) Notify the Regional Administrator in writing of the exceedance within 7 days of the determination;
(2) Submit a preliminary written assessment to the Regional Administrator within 14 days of the determination, as to the amount of liquids, likely sources of liquids, possible location, size, and cause of any leaks, and short-term actions taken and planned;
(3) Determine to the extent practicable the location, size, and cause of any leak;
(4) Determine whether waste receipt should cease or be curtailed, whether any waste should be removed from the unit for inspection, repairs, or controls, and whether or not the unit should be closed;
(5) Determine any other short-term and long-term actions to be taken to mitigate or stop any leaks; and
(6) Within 30 days after the notification that the action leakage rate has been exceeded, submit to the Regional Administrator the results of the analyses specified in paragraphs (b) (3), (4), and (5) of this section, the results of actions taken, and actions planned. Monthly thereafter, as long as the flow rate in the leak detection system exceeds the action leakage rate, the owner or operator must submit to the Regional Administrator a report summarizing the results of any remedial actions taken and actions planned.
(c) To make the leak and/or remediation determinations in paragraphs (b) (3), (4), and (5) of this section, the owner or operator must:
(1)(i) Assess the source of liquids and amounts of liquids by source,
(ii) Conduct a fingerprint, hazardous constituent, or other analyses of the liquids in the leak detection system to identify the source of liquids and possible location of any leaks, and the hazard and mobility of the liquid; and
(iii) Assess the seriousness of any leaks in terms of potential for escaping into the environment; or
(2) Document why such assessments are not needed.
(a) During construction or installation, liners (except in the case of existing portions of piles exempt from § 264.251(a)) and cover systems (e.g., membranes, sheets, or coatings) must be inspected for uniformity, damage, and imperfections (e.g., holes, cracks, thin spots, or foreign materials). Immediately after construction or installation:
(1) Synthetic liners and covers must be inspected to ensure tight seams and joints and the absence of tears, punctures, or blisters; and
(2) Soil-based and admixed liners and covers must be inspected for imperfections including lenses, cracks, channels, root holes, or other structural non-uniformities that may cause an increase in the permeability of the liner or cover.
(b) While a waste pile is in operation, it must be inspected weekly and after storms to detect evidence of any of the following:
(1) Deterioration, malfunctions, or improper operation of run-on and run-off control systems;
(2) Proper functioning of wind dispersal control systems, where present; and
(3) The presence of leachate in and proper functioning of leachate collection and removal systems, where present.
(c) An owner or operator required to have a leak detection system under § 264.251(c) must record the amount of liquids removed from each leak detection system sump at least once each week during the active life and closure period.
Ignitable or reactive waste must not be placed in a waste pile unless the waste and waste pile satisfy all applicable requirements of 40 CFR part 268, and:
(a) The waste is treated, rendered, or mixed before or immediately after placement in the pile so that:
(1) The resulting waste, mixture, or dissolution of material no longer meets the definition of ignitable or reactive waste under § 261.21 or § 261.23 of this chapter; and
(2) Section 264.17(b) is complied with; or
(b) The waste is managed in such a way that it is protected from any material or conditions which may cause it to ignite or react.
(a) Incompatible wastes, or incompatible wastes and materials, (see appendix V of this part for examples) must not be placed in the same pile, unless § 264.17(b) is complied with.
(b) A pile of hazardous waste that is incompatible with any waste or other material stored nearby in containers, other piles, open tanks, or surface impoundments must be separated from the other materials, or protected from them by means of a dike, berm, wall, or other device.
(c) Hazardous waste must not be piled on the same base where incompatible wastes or materials were previously piled, unless the base has been decontaminated sufficiently to ensure compliance with § 264.17(b).
(a) At closure, the owner or operator must remove or decontaminate all waste residues, contaminated containment system components (liners, etc.), contaminated subsoils, and structures and equipment contaminated with waste and leachate, and manage them as hazardous waste unless § 261.3(d) of this chapter applies.
(b) If, after removing or decontaminating all residues and making all reasonable efforts to effect removal or decontamination of contaminated components, subsoils, structures, and equipment as required in paragraph (a) of this section, the owner or operator finds that not all contaminated subsoils can be practicably removed or decontaminated, he must close the facility and perform post-closure care in accordance with the closure and post-closure care requirements that apply to landfills (§ 264.310).
(c)(1) The owner or operator of a waste pile that does not comply with the liner requirements of § 264.251(a)(1) and is not exempt from them in accordance with § 264.250(c) or § 264.251(b), must:
(i) Include in the closure plan for the pile under § 264.112 both a plan for complying with paragraph (a) of this section and a contingent plan for complying with paragraph (b) of this section in case not all contaminated subsoils can be practicably removed at closure; and
(ii) Prepare a contingent post-closure plan under § 264.118 for complying with paragraph (b) of this section in case not all contaminated subsoils can be practicably removed at closure.
(2) The cost estimates calculated under §§ 264.142 and 264.144 for closure and post-closure care of a pile subject to this paragraph must include the cost of complying with the contingent closure plan and the contingent post-closure plan, but are not required to include the cost of expected closure under paragraph (a) of this section.
(a) Hazardous Wastes FO20, FO21, FO22, FO23, FO26, and FO27 must not be placed in waste piles that are not enclosed (as defined in § 264.250(c)) unless the owner or operator operates the waste pile in accordance with a management plan for these wastes that is approved by the Regional Administrator pursuant to the standards set out in this paragraph, and in accord with all other applicable requirements of this part. The factors to be considered are:
(1) The volume, physical, and chemical characteristics of the wastes, including their potential to migrate through soil or to volatilize or escape into the atmosphere;
(2) The attenuative properties of underlying and surrounding soils or other materials;
(3) The mobilizing properties of other materials co-disposed with these wastes; and
(4) The effectiveness of additional treatment, design, or monitoring techniques.
(b) The Regional Administrator may determine that additional design, operating, and monitoring requirements are necessary for piles managing hazardous wastes FO20, FO21, FO22, FO23, FO26, and FO27 in order to reduce the possibility of migration of these wastes to ground water, surface water, or air so as to protect human health and the environment.