The RCRA closure regulations further require facilities to submit detailed closure plans as part of the permit application submitted during the permitting process. The closure plan becomes part of the permit when the permit is issued. The closure plan may be amended for a number of reasons, but such amendments require facilities to undergo a permit modification. Permit modifications are designated Class 1, 2, or 3, reflecting an increase in impact and complexity. Closure plans are typically amended one or more times as the date for actual facility closure approaches. Some closure permit modifications can be processed as Class 1; more complex modifications would be processed as Class 2 or 3. The decision as to the class of a modification is made by the regulatory authority, often in consultation with the permittee. In addition, especially with complex facilities, more detailed closure plans for specific operations may be prepared that, although not officially part of the permit, may still require regulatory approval. These supplemental closure documents may also be modified as a closure approaches and as it is under way.

Under RCRA regulations, there are also strict requirements pertaining to the time allowed for closure, but extensions to these deadlines may be approved by the regulatory authority. At the completion of closure, requirements for submitting certifications and survey plats must likewise be met. If a facility is closed in conformance with a residential performance standard, few if any limitations are placed on future land use. However, if a facility is closed in conformance to an industrial standard, use restrictions may be imposed to prevent uses requiring a more protective cleanup (e.g., residential).

Both non-agent and agent-contaminated waste materials, residues, and contaminated media would also be expected to be generated during closure.3 These could be treated if required and disposed of on-site, reused or recycled, or sent off-site to a commercial treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). For the third option, off-site TSDF permits would need to be broad enough to allow acceptance of closure waste. However, TSDFs would not be obligated to accept agent-associated4 or other waste.

State-Specific RCRA Closure Requirements


In adopting EPA’s RCRA regulations, Utah has imposed more stringent regulations as well as permit conditions that go beyond regulatory requirements.5,6 Utah has listed “Nerve, Military, and Chemical Agents” as an acute hazardous waste7 under waste code P999 and “Residues from Demilitarization, Treatment and Testing of Nerve Military and Chemical Agents” as a listed waste8 under hazardous waste code F999. Throughout the disposal campaigns at the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) and the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF), waste materials resulting from treatment of the P999 waste were designated F999. In accordance with the RCRA “derived from rule,”9 residues from treatment, storage, or disposal of F999 waste retain the hazardous waste designation and the code F999. Thus, waste materials produced during closure, even those that result from treatment of F999 waste, are required to be managed as F999 hazardous waste, even if they are known or suspected to contain no detectable agent or other hazardous constituents.10

Utah has also established specific requirements for “Cleanup Action and Risk-Based Closure Standards.” Risk-based closure performance standards are determined on a case-by-case basis for nearly all facility closures. Closure performance standards for CAMDS and TOCDF facilities may be expected to be at least as stringent as those established using a risk-based approach for nonchemical agent facilities in Utah.


Review of Chemical Agent Secondary Waste Disposal and Regulatory Requirements provides an overview of the types of wastes that would likely be generated during closure (NRC, 2007).


The term “agent associated” is used to refer to wastes that retain the agent designation but may, nevertheless, not contain agent above analytical detection limits.


Utah’s hazardous waste management program was established by the Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Act and is defined within R315 of the Utah Administrative Code (R315-1 to 17, 50, 101 and 102).


Stringency, in this context, means additional requirements imposed on chemical demilitarization facilities that are not imposed on commercial treatment storage and disposal facilities within Utah or across the United States.


Acute hazardous wastes are established under the RCRA program at 40 CFR 261.33(e) (Utah R315-2-9).


F999 is added to the EPA listing of hazardous waste from non-specific sources found in 40 CFR 261.31 (Utah R315-2-11).


The derived-from rule is established under the RCRA program at 40 CFR 261.3 (c)(2)(i) (Utah R315-2-3 (c)(2)(i)).


While RCRA and the Utah regulations provide means of demonstrating that listed wastes are not hazardous (e.g., “delisting”), the demonstration required is often arduous and prohibitively expensive.

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