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Determine What Type of Authorization You Need to Use Land Over a Closed Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

What type of authorization you need if you have an existing building over a closed landfill, or intend to develop land containing a closed MSW landfill, or disturb the landfill cover.



Any activity that may affect the integrity of the final cover over the closed MSW landfill is considered a disturbance. Examples of disturbances include fences or light poles, landscaping, and use of land for parks or athletic fields, parking areas, storage, or as staging areas for other activities.

An enclosed structure is defined in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code, Section 330.951(9) [30 TAC 330.951(9)] as any permanent structure that is intended to be—or has the potential of being—used or occupied by people for an industrial, commercial, public, or residential purpose.

If the structure is designed in a manner that will allow unrestricted air flow between the building floor and the ground, or if the structure is open on two sides with no walls, the structure may be considered a non-enclosed structure after TCEQ reviews the design.

If you have an enclosed structure over a closed landfill that existed or began development before Sept. 1, 1993, you will need to submit an Application for Registration of Existing Enclosed Structure in accordance with 30 TAC 330.954(d)(1) .

If development of the structure began on or after Sept. 1, 1993, you will need to submit an Application for Development Permit for Enclosed Structure.

If you remove all the waste, you do not need to apply for a TCEQ development permit for the enclosed structure. However, to remove the waste you must submit an Application for Authorization to Disturb Final Cover (no enclosed structure), detailing how the waste will be excavated and disposed of at an authorized facility. The application should also provide design details of features for preventing methane migration from remaining waste. After completing the removal, submit a final report to TCEQ documenting the project, including volumes of waste removed and how the waste was disposed.

A PE must be present on site to confirm by visual inspection that the waste has been removed, and must provide a statement in the final report certifying the removal. The statement should include a description of the PE’s qualifications for making the determination.

Please contact the MSW Permits Section if you have questions about using land over a closed MSW landfill.

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