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IHW Unit Closures

Describes requirements for taking waste management units out of service at industrial and hazardous waste facilities.

Closure refers to the act of permanently taking a waste management unit out of service. Waste management units, in this context, refer to landfills, tanks, container storage areas and other kinds of units that are regulated under 30 TAC Chapter 335 (industrial solid waste and minicipal hazardous waste management).

Specific closure requirements depend in part on the type of unit and the types of wastes managed, for example, hazardous vs. nonhazardous. Also, if releases from the unit are found during the closure process, then cleanup must be conducted. Cleanups are typically conducted under the Texas Risk Reduction Program rules.  Also refer to the checklist developed by the TCEQ's Remediation Division, Corrective Action program to support the development of closure reports for non-hazardous waste management units.

General Closure Requirements: Federal vs. State
Item RCRA permitted or Interim Status Units Waste Management Unit (no release or release not subject to TRRP) Waste Management Unit (release, with cleanup under 1993 Risk Rules) Waste Management Unit (release, with cleanup under TRRP)
Closure plan Required. Plan must be approved by the commission prior to implementation. Not required, however, facility must notify the TCEQ of changes in waste management activities. RRS 1 and 2: Required notification only. This option is no longer available.
RRS 3: Required.
Rem Std A: Requires notification (plan is optional).
Rem Std B: Required.
Public notification Required for land-based units and final closure Not required Not required May be required (see 350.55)
Financial assurance Required Not required Not required May be required for Rem Std B
Time allowed for closure 180 days. Commission approval is required for extensions. Not specified by rule. A schedule must be submitted with the notification. Not specified by rule. A schedule must be submitted with the notification. Not specified by rule. A schedule must be submitted with SIN/RAP and interim reports are required.
Final report Required Required Required Required
Certification of Closure Required (Must be signed by Owner/Operator and P.E.) Not required Not required Not required

Note: Although some units managing hazardous waste may be exempt from RCRA permitting, such as less-than-90-day tanks, some RCRA requirements such as closure performance standards still apply. Please refer to the TRRP Compatibility with RCRA guidance and the following regulations: 40 CFR 262.34, 265.111, and 265.114.Exit the TCEQ

On a side note, "RFI units" generally go through an assessment and cleanup process, not "closure," as discussed above. See the permit or compliance plan for facility-specific requirements.

The Closure Process in a Nutshell

The general closure process addresses these fundamental issues: Ensuring that wastes managed in the unit are properly disposed of, and identifying whether there have been releases from the unit. The closure must also address follow up actions needed, such as cleanup of contamination found. As noted in the table above, a final report should be submitted to document the closure activities. Upon review and approval of the report, the TCEQ will send a letter stating this and will coordinate internally so that the facility's Notice of Registration can get updated.

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