Treatment Facility

Treatment Facility in the United States

Treatment/Storage/Disposal (T/S/D) Facility in Environmental Law

A regulated business that treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste. T/S/D facilities must either have a permit or be granted interim status to be able to operate legally. They are highly regulated to reduce the possibility they will threaten the environment in the future. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations govern these facilities.

Contrary to what one might assume, the definition of these facilities does not include only places that intentionally handle hazardous waste. It also covers facilities that store hazardous waste before sending it to a disposal or treatment facility. For example, if a manufacturer uses a process that creates solvent wastes and keeps its wastes in drums on site for more than ninety days, it has become a storage facility and must have a permit.

Regulations for T/S/D facilities are comprehensive. The purpose of the regulations is to keep hazardous wastes from becoming a problem in the future because of inadequate treatment now. Therefore, the design, location, operation, and closure of T/S/D facilities are all regulated.

But some facilities are exempt from T/S/D rules. Primarily, the exemptions arise because a different environmental law governs them, such as wastewater treatment plants regulated by the Clean Water Act, facilities with permits for ocean dumping, and underground injection wells [see underground injection control] permitted under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Other exemptions are for short-term storage or emergency response actions.

General Requirements

All T/S/D facilities that are not exempt from the law must either be permitted or granted interim status. If the facility was built after 19 November 1980 or before the hazardous waste in question was first regulated, it is an interim status facility. That simply means the facility must submit Part A of the permit application (the shorter, simpler part), obey the technical requirements for interim status facilities, and continue operating. Interim status ends for a facility when a permit is issued or denied, or when the agency revokes the facility’s interim status for some reason. Interim status was incorporated into the law because Congress knew it would take time to process all of the permit applications. In the meantime, it did not want to eliminate all of the existing facilities.

If a facility is not an interim status facility, it must have a permit before it begins operation. That will require submission of both Part A and Part B of the application. Interim status facilities must supply additional information beyond Part A if the EPA requests it. If it refuses, its status may be revoked or the permit denied.

Many of the requirements for T/S/D facilities are housekeeping details. In general, they apply to all T/S/D facilities, regardless of whether they are permitted or interim status. Each facility must have an EPA identification number and security system; analyze representative waste samples; train workers in handling the substance; develop handling precautions for reactive, ignitable, and incompatible wastes; be prepared to respond to releases; keep records and submit reports; demonstrate financial responsibility; and write closure and post closure plans. All permits require the permittee to take corrective action for releases from any solid waste management unit, regardless of when the waste was first placed in the unit.

Specific Standards

In addition to general requirements are the standards for certain types of treatment units set by regulation. Standards have been established for containers, storage tanks, surface impoundments, waste piles, land treatment, landfills, incinerators, thermal treatment units, chemical physical and biological treatment units, underground injection wells, containment buildings, and miscellaneous units.

The rules address problems peculiar to the type of treatment unit. For example, an incinerator must have a 99.99 percent efficiency rate for destruction of organic compounds, along with emission controls. Containers and tanks must be compatible with the waste they will store, and they must be inspected and constructed according to the regulations. Regulations also limit the size of waste piles and specify liner requirements and control of leachate and storm water flow They may also be treated as landfills in certain situations.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Treatment Facility: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Treatment Facility. This part provides references, in relation to Treatment Facility, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Treatment Facility by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Treatment Facility and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Treatment Facility or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Treatment Facility and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Treatment Facility. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Treatment Facility should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Treatment Facility when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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