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Requirements During and After Development of a Property With a Closed Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

Managing contaminated soil and groundwater and materials removed from a landfill. Requirements for monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting.

Attending to Contaminated Soil and Groundwater

If soil sampling results indicate that the cover soil is contaminated, TCEQ may require placement of additional clean, clayey soil to ensure containment and protection of human health and the environment.

You may use protective concentration limits established by the Texas Risk Reduction Program in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 350Exit the TCEQ to determine the quality of soil that may remain at the surface and the allowable uses for the property.

If groundwater is contaminated, you may need to do additional investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination and if corrective action is required.

If the landfill is a permitted landfill that received waste on or after Oct. 9, 1993 [30 TAC 330.457Exit the TCEQ], groundwater monitoring, nature and extent investigation, and corrective action should follow the procedures in 30 TAC Chapter 330, Subchapter JExit the TCEQ.

If the landfill is an unpermitted landfill, a permitted landfill that stopped receiving waste before Oct. 9, 1993, or a Type IV landfill [30 TAC 330.453Exit the TCEQ and 30 TAC 330.455Exit the TCEQ], then groundwater monitoring, nature and extent investigation, and corrective action should follow requirements and procedures in 30 TAC 330.463(a)Exit the TCEQ and 30 TAC Chapter 350Exit the TCEQ.


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Managing Waste, Inert Materials, and Soil Removed from a Landfill

According to 30 TAC 330.955(c)Exit the TCEQ, TCEQ may allow small amounts of waste to be redeposited back into the landfill.

Small amounts of waste brought up in soil borings may be placed back into the boring, provided the top of the boring is backfilled with high plasticity clay or bentonite. The workplan (filed with your application) should describe the steps that will be taken to ensure that the redeposited waste will be appropriately covered.

Larger amounts of waste, such as from test excavations and pipeline trenches, may not be redeposited and should be removed to an authorized waste management facility for disposal.

Clean soil and inert materials that are not mixed with waste do not need to be classified as waste if they:

  • meet the criteria in 30 TAC 330.3(145)(B)Exit the TCEQ; and
  • are used to fill land if the purpose of the fill is to make the land suitable for the construction of surface improvements.

Those types of materials that are excavated from the site and are not contaminated may be redeposited on‑site or at other locations for surface improvements.

The plans for removal and disposition of such materials must be detailed in the application for a development permit or authorization to disturb final cover.

Soil containing asbestos must be managed as waste. If asbestos content is greater than 1%, the waste is considered an “asbestos containing material” [30 TAC 330.3(10)Exit the TCEQ] and must be managed according to 330.171(c)(3) or (4)Exit the TCEQ.

You will need to sample and classify the waste following procedures in 30 TAC Chapter 335, Subchapter RExit the TCEQ, and meet any additional requirements the receiving facility may have.


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Monitoring, Recordkeeping, and Reporting

Methane monitoring should be conducted using appropriate equipment to detect methane concentrations greater than 20% of the lower explosive limit (LEL); 20% of the LEL is equal to 1% by volume. Each application must provide a safety and evacuation plan describing actions to take if concentrations greater than 20% of the LEL are detected.

For enclosed structures:

  • Methane monitoring is required in accordance with a structures gas monitoring plan, which you filed with your application.
  • Equipment and procedures for methane monitoring are described in 30 TAC 330.961(b) and (b)(1)Exit the TCEQ.
  • Sensors should sound an audible alarm. Also, they should be able to record any exceedances that occur when the buildings are unoccupied and no one is present to hear the alarm.
  • The responsible professional engineer (PE) must choose the appropriate models and numbers of methane monitors required to satisfy the requirements of the structures gas monitoring plan.
  • Gas venting systems must be designed in accordance with 30 TAC 330.957(m)(1)Exit the TCEQ and 30 TAC 330.961(b)(1)Exit the TCEQ and monitored.

For disturbances not involving enclosed structures:

  • Methane monitoring is required during a subsurface investigation and during construction or installation of improvements.
Recordkeeping requirements are described in 30 TAC 330.961(h)Exit the TCEQ.

There are several types of reports you may need to submit or file:

  • A completion report documenting the completion of the work specified in the development permit, registration, or disturbance authorization.
  • For enclosed structures, a structures gas monitoring report as specified in the structures gas monitoring plan.

A completion report must include:

  • a cover letter with a PE seal and signature;
  • documentation of the completion activities in accordance with the authorization; and
  • attachments, such as manifests for disposal of excavated material, and records of methane monitoring and management of contaminated water.
A structures gas monitoring report should include the information described in 30 TAC 330.961(b)(2)Exit the TCEQ.


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Contact MSW Permits Section

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

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