Hazardous Waste Permitting
Anyone who treats or disposes of a hazardous waste, or who stores these wastes longer than 90 days, must have a permit to do so. Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulation 23 (Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Code) sets the operational standards for these permits and the procedure for obtaining them.
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Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit applications are lengthy documents with two parts, A and B:
- Application is first reviewed to ensure it is “administratively complete” - that all required components are included.
- Technical merits are not considered at this time; this check is to see that we have all parts of the puzzle.
- Once the application is determined “complete,” DEQ issues a public notice of its receipt.
- Detailed consideration of the technical merits and adequacy of each component of the permit application
- Determines if the proposed facility will be able to operate in full compliance with all legal and regulatory standards
The draft permit sets out facility-specific operating requirements, conditions, and standards which the facility must obey to remain in full legal and regulatory compliance. If the proposed unit cannot meet and cannot be modified to meet the State and RCRA standards, the Department may issue an “intent to deny permit.”
Public Notice of Draft Permit
- Draft permits receive a 45-day (minimum) public notice period during which both the facility and the public may review and comment on the proposed permit conditions.
- Notice is published in print and broadcast media; copies of the permit are placed in state repositories for public access and review.
- For commercial facilities: within 30-40 days of the public notice, DEQ holds a public hearing in the facility’s community.
- For noncommercial facilities: the need for a public hearing is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Both oral and written comments are accepted.
- Other than the applicant, a person must comment on the record in order to appeal a final permit decision.
Response to Comments
- After the close of the comment period, DEQ collects and considers all comments received.
- DEQ addresses and responds in writing to all comments in a “responsiveness summary” published with the final permit decision.
- The draft permit is amended as needed (based on all comments received), and a final document is completed.
- The HWD chief signs the final permit for the Department and forwards it to the facility.
- Permit is effective on the date of service and is valid for 10 years.
- A copy of the Notice of Final Decision is sent to each commenter.