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Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. If the EPA receives relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. After completing a review of the City of Wolf Point's final site-specific flexibility request, dated May 1, , and the amendments to that request, dated February 23, , and February 9, , the EPA approves Wolf Point's site-specific flexibility request to install an alternative final cover that varies from the final closure requirements of 40 Code of Federal Regulations CFR This approval applies to the 3.

Under Sections , , , and of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of RCRA , as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of HSWA , the EPA established revised minimum federal criteria for MSWLFs, including landfill location restrictions, operating standards, design standards and requirements for ground water monitoring, corrective action, closure and post-closure care, and financial assurance. Under RCRA Section c , states are required to develop permit programs for facilities that may receive household hazardous waste or waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators, and the EPA determines whether the program is adequate to ensure that facilities will comply with the revised criteria.

For many of these criteria, 40 CFR part includes a flexible performance standard as an alternative to the self-implementing regulation. The flexible standard is not self-implementing, and use of the alternative standard requires approval by the Program Director of a state with an EPA-approved program. However, the EPA has the authority under Sections , , and of RCRA to promulgate site-specific rules that may provide for use of alternative standards in Indian country.

See Yankton Sioux Tribe v.

EPA, F. The regulation at 40 CFR The regulation requires final cover systems to be designed and constructed to:. Specifically, the rule allows for the Program Director of an approved state to approve an alternative final cover design that includes:. The landfill site is approximately 25 acres in size and served approximately 10, people in Roosevelt County, including the City of Wolf Point and the City of Poplar. The landfill lies within the boundaries of the Fort Peck Reservation. The landfill itself consists of two phases, or units, used as the area's municipal landfill.

Phase 1, constructed in , was closed and covered in Phase 2 was constructed in and stopped receiving waste in August The request sought EPA approval for the use of an alternative final cover that differs from the final closure requirements of 40 CFR This request applies only to Phase 2, the 3. Today, the EPA is approving Wolf Point's site-specific flexibility request to install an alternative final landfill cover that meets the requirements of 40 CFR The EPA is basing its approval on a number of factors, including final cover design, numerical soil modeling and site-specific climatic and soils data.

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The numerical soil modeling consisted of a sensitivity analysis of the proposed evapotranspiration alternative final cover system under a range of climate and vegetative growth conditions, compared to the performance of the standard final cover prescribed in 40 CFR The EPA has determined that the evapotranspiration cover will perform equivalently to the standard prescriptive cover in 40 CFR The EPA further requires the City of Wolf Point achieve revegetation rates of greater than 75 percent on Phase 2 of the closed landfill by the end of the third year after revegetation.

This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 44 U. Because this rule is of particular applicability relating to a particular facility, it is not subject to the regulatory flexibility provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act 5 U. Because this rule will affect only a particular facility, it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as specified in section of UMRA.

Because this rule will affect only a particular facility, this rule does not have federalism implications. Thus, Executive Order does not apply to this rule. The basis for this belief is the EPA's conservative analysis of the potential risks posed by the City of Wolf Point's proposal and the controls and standards set forth in the application. However, this determination will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on Tribal governments nor preempt Tribal law. This determination to approve the City of Wolf Point's application will affect only the operation of the Wolf Point landfill.

The EPA consulted with the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes early in the process of making this determination to approve Wolf Point's alternative final cover request so that the Tribes had the opportunity to Start Printed Page provide meaningful and timely input.

The EPA's consultation with the Tribes culminated in a May 19, letter from the Tribes in which they stated that they have no issues with the Wolf Point proposal. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards, e. The technical standards included in the application were proposed by the City of Wolf Point. Given the EPA's obligations under Executive Order see above , the agency has, to the extent appropriate, applied the standards established by Wolf Point and accepted by the Tribes. For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR part is amended as follows:.

The authority citation for part continues to read as follows:. Board Acceptance. This course is applicable to professional engineers in: Alabama P. Alaska P. Arkansas P. Delaware P. Florida P. Area of Practice Georgia P.

Landfill Cap Enhancements

Idaho P. Illinois P. Illinois S. Indiana P. Iowa P. Kansas P. Kentucky P. Louisiana P. Maine P. Maryland P. Michigan P. Minnesota P.

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Mississippi P. Missouri P.

Evapotranspiration (ET) covers.

Montana P. Specifically, RCRA requires the final cover to be a barrier layer that consists of at least 18 inches of earthen material and is capped by an erosion layer of at least six inches of earthen material. The cap must be able to sustain native plant growth. RCRA does allow for an alternative design for a landfill final cover if it demonstrates the equivalent performance as a conventional barrier. An alternative design that is becoming increasingly more popular is the Evapotranspiration ET Cover System.

ET cover systems can also be called water balance covers, alternative earthen final covers, vegetative landfill covers, soil-plant covers and store-and-release covers. An ET cover depends on a thick soil layer with a vegetative cover that is capable of storing water until it is lost to the environment through transpiration or evaporation. This system considers all the hydrological processes at a specific site, including the water storage capacity of the soil, precipitation, surface runoff, evapotranspiration and infiltration.

Percolation through the cover system can be minimized by using materials with high water storage capacity and evapotranspirative properties.


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Three main principles guide the design of an ET cover system——using fine-grained soils with relatively high water storage capacity, selecting native vegetation to increase evapotranspiration and streamlining construction and providing cost savings through the use of locally available soils. Two general types of ET cover systems are monolithic barriers and capillary barriers.

The fine-grained layer can retain more water than a monolithic cover system of equal thickness because the coarse layer forms a capillary break at the layer interface.