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Waste Permits

Waste Permit Time Frames

Solid and hazardous wastes in Virginia are regulated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Waste Management Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They administer programs created by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, commonly called Superfund, and the Virginia Waste Management Act.

The Virginia Waste Management Act charges the Director of DEQ with issuing permits to applicants for the management of solid and hazardous wastes. DEQ administers regulations established by the Virginia Waste Management Board and reviews permit applications for completeness and conformance with facility standards and financial assurance requirements. All Virginia localities are required, under the Solid Waste Management Planning Regulations, to identify the strategies they will follow on the management of their solid wastes to include items such as facility siting, long-term (20-year) use, and alternative programs such as materials recycling and composting.

The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, which closely follow federal standards established under RCRA, require permits for storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes.

The Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations set standards for the storage, and treatment of regulated medical waste. Regulated medical waste may be stored, steam sterilized, incinerated or treated by an acceptable alternative mechanism, in a facility permitted under the regulations.

The Solid Waste Management Regulations set standards for the siting, design, construction, operation, closure and post-closure care of solid waste management facilities. The types of facilities described in the regulations include sanitary landfills, industrial waste landfills, and construction/demolition/debris landfills, transfer stations, composting facilities for other than yard waste, mass burn incinerators, materials recovery facilities, waste storage piles and other facilities of a similar nature. The standards in Virginia for sanitary landfills comply with RCRA Subtitle D.

The Coal Combustion By-Product Regulations provide for the use, reuse or reclamation of coal combustion by-products and establish appropriate standards for siting, design, construction and operation. The regulations provide reasonable exemptions from the permitting requirements and from certain substantive facility requirements in order to promote the development of resource conservation and resource recovery systems.

Certain categories of facilities regulated under the provisions of the Virginia Waste Management Act are deemed to have a permit if their owners or operators meet specific regulatory requirements based on the particular type of facility. For these Permits-by-Rule (PBR), the permitting process is greatly simplified and permit application fees are not assessed. The owners or operators of the following waste facilities may elect the 'permit-by-rule' process or apply for a regular permit in order to have the permit in the event a permit is needed in advance of construction or operation:

  • Publicly owned wastewater treatment works that accept hazardous wastes for treatment
  • Solid waste transfer stations
  • Materials recovery facilities
  • Composting facilities
  • Waste to energy, thermal treatment, or incineration facilities
  • Waste piles
  • Centralized waste treatment facilities
  • Regulated medical waste management facilities.

The Virginia Waste Management Act institutes requirements that are designed to resolve issues concerning the location of hazardous waste management facilities. The act provides a mechanism for state preemption of local land use requirements that could block the siting of a facility, but requires extensive local participation in the siting decision. The applicant is called upon to address and try to resolve all legitimate local concerns before the Virginia Waste Management Board approves a site. To date, no applicant has sought approval of a site under this act.

Electronic Submissions

Currently the preference for electronic submittals is to send the information/report on a CD in a Microsoft (Word, Excel) or Microsoft compatible format. Plan sheets or drawings should be submitted in a pdf format in full size. For ground water monitoring reports containing analytical data, we would like to receive a data summary page (either paper copy or on the CD that we can print out and place in the file.)

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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