Tuesday, 13 February 2018 08:28

Promontory Point Landfill FAQs

 

PROMONTORY POINT LANDFILL

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you tell me a little more about the Promontory Point Landfill?

The landfill is located on the west side of the southern peninsula tip of Promontory Point. It currently holds a Class I solid waste permit initially issued by DEQ in March 2004. The landfill is the only privately owned landfill in the state. Although Promontory Point LLC hasn’t secured a contract with a local governmental entity or received any waste to date, the company recently broke ground on the 2,000 acre site and plans to begin operations in Fall 2018. The site includes 1,000 acres for disposal bounded by a 1,000 acre buffer area.

What’s the difference between a Class I and a Class V permit?

Class I Permit 

Class I  landfills are noncommercial facilities that can accept municipal solid waste, commercial waste, industrial waste, construction/demolition waste, special waste such as incinerator ash, and conditionally exempt small-quantity generator hazardous waste. A Class I permit requires that, among other things, a facility meets the following conditions before it can accept waste:

  • • The facility must obtain sole contracts with local governments within Utah for waste generated within the boundaries of the local government. Each contract shall be approved by the Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) prior to acceptance of the waste at the site.
  • • The facility must demonstrate financial assurance, meaning they have the funding to cover closure and post-closure costs.
  • • The landfill installs monitoring wells in accordance with a ground water monitoring plan to protect human health and the environment.

Class V Permit

Class V landfills can accept the same wastes approved under Class I permits, but there are some key differences:

  • • The landfill is a commercial facility.
  • • The landfill does not need to secure sole contracts with local governments.
  • • The waste can originate from out of state.
  • • The Director doesn’t need to approve contracts. 

Because Class V landfills can accept regional waste, there is a greater likelihood that higher volumes of special wastes such as asbestos, ash, coal combustion residual (CCR or coal ash), bulk wastes, PCB-containing wastes, petroleum-contaminated soils, and waste asphalt could be disposed in the landfill, as these wastes are typically produced in smaller quantities or not produced at all in many local jurisdictions. 

What is the permit history for the site?

Class I Permit

  • • March 2004: DEQ granted the initial Class I permit to the landfill. 
  • • September 2011: Class I permit renewed with an expiration date of 2021.
  • • July 2015: Landfill owners asked to modify its existing Class I permit. This major modification addressed landfill design construction and financial assurance for closure/post-closure costs. DWMRC approved these major permit modifications in March 2017. 
  • • Oct 2017: Landfill owners requested a major modification to the permit to change the location of downgradient ground water monitoring well locations to within 500 feet of the landfill boundary. Public comment for this permit modification runs from January 12, 2018 through February 14, 2018.

Class V Permit 

  • • March 2017: Promontory Point Resources applies for a Class V permit.
  • • August 2017: DWMRC and its independent contractor SC&A found deficiencies in the required Needs Assessment, including potential adverse environmental impacts from the project. In addition, DEQ pointed out that the state currently has four Class V landfills with more than 1,600 years’ worth of capacity to meet industrial waste needs of the state. DWMRC requested additional information from the landfill owners.
  • • December 2017: Landfill owners submitted a Needs Assessment Addendum to address deficiencies in the application. The addendum by the landfill owners provided an overview of the economic benefits of the landfill to Box Elder County and the waste market that could use the landfill. The addendum also presents the need for additional landfill capacity in Utah and the public and industry benefits.
  • • 2018: DWMRC is evaluating the permit application and reviewing the addendum. 

What is a Needs Assessment?

State statute requires the submission of a Needs Assessment for Class V landfills. The Director of DWMRC may not approve a solid waste operation plan unless it includes the following evidence to support the application:

  • • The proposed commercial facility has a proven market of nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste, including: 
  • • Information on the source, quantity, and price charged for treating, storing, and disposing of potential nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste in the state and regionally 
  • • A market analysis of the need for a commercial facility given existing and potential generation of nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste in the state and regionally
  • • A review of other existing and proposed commercial nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste facilities regionally and nationally that would compete for the treatment, storage, or disposal of the nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste.
  • • A description of the public benefits of the proposed facility, including: 
  • • The need in the state for the additional capacity for the management of nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste
  • • The energy and resources recoverable by the proposed facility
  • • The reduction of nonhazardous solid or hazardous waste management methods, which are less suitable for the environment, that would be made possible by the proposed facility
  • • Whether any other available site or method for the management of hazardous waste would be less detrimental to the public health or safety or to the quality of the environment.

What are the next steps?

The Class I permit modification to relocate the downgradient monitoring wells is out for public comment. DWMRC will consider public comments in its decision-making on the permit modification.

DWMRC is currently reviewing the Needs Assessment Addendum for the Class V permit application.

Promontory Point LLC can begin accepting waste under its Class I permit once it completes construction on the landfill and secures a contract with a local government entity for disposal of locally-generated waste.   

To ensure compliance with R315-308-2(2), Promontory Point Landfill is submitting this Major Permit Modification request for the installation/relocation of three downgradient monitoring wells.

Click here to view the request.

Public Comment regarding the location of the wells is due February 14th. 

The Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control is seeking public comment on a request from Promontory Point Resources, LLC to modify its existing Class I Permit for the Promontory Point Landfill. The landfill is located on the west side of the southern peninsula tip of Promontory Point. This major modification changes the three downgradient monitoring well locations to within 500 feet of the landfill unit boundary.

The public comment period to receive comments on this request will commence on January 13, 2018 and end on February 14, 2018. Documents related to this request can be reviewed at the following location: Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control Multi-Agency State Office Building 195 North 1950 West, 2nd Floor Salt Lake City, Utah For the public’s convenience, a copy of the Permit Modification Request, Downgradient Monitoring Well Installation/Relocation letter and the draft permit are available on the Internet at http://www.deq.utah.gov/NewsNotices/notices/waste/index.htm#phacp

Written comments relating to this major modification will be accepted if received by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2018 and should be submitted to the address below. Comments can also be hand delivered to the Division address and must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2018.

Scott T. Anderson,

Director Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control

P.O. Box 144880

Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4880

Comments can also be sent by electronic mail to: “dwmrcpublic@utah.gov”. Comments sent in electronic format should be identified by putting the following in the subject line: Public Comment on Promontory Point Landfill Modification. All documents included in the comments should be submitted as ASCII (text) files or in pdf format.

Under Utah Code Section 19-1-301.5, a person who wishes to challenge a Permit Order may only raise an issue or argument during an adjudicatory proceeding that was raised during the public comment period and was supported with sufficient information or documentation to enable the Director to fully consider the substance and significance of the issue.

For further information, contact Matt Sullivan of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at (801) 536-0241. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with special needs (including auxiliary communicative aids and services) should contact Larene Wyss, Office of Human Resources at (801) 536-4281, TDD (801) 536-4284 or by email at lwyss@utah.gov.

by Leia Larsen 

Standard-Examiner

 

Approval for a large landfill on the Great Salt Lake’s Promontory Point sailed through the Utah Legislature two years ago. Now, the lawmaker who backed the measure says he wasn’t fully aware of the facts or demand for urgent action.

The owners, Promontory Point Resources LLC, or PPR, helped rush a joint resolution through the 2016 legislative session. It was proposed and passed in the 11th hour, just before the 45-day bill-passing bonanza ended. 

The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Lee Perry, recently said the measure was presented to him as an urgent matter, tied to an immediate economic opportunity. Confusion about what type of waste would be accepted, where waste would come from and local support for the project were essentially unheeded.

Now, two years later, PPR is seeking clearance to accept out-of-state waste at the 2,000-acre property, located on the southern tip of their namesake peninsula. 

“I have to look back and say, ‘It’s been two years; we haven’t seen it come together,’” Perry said in a recent interview. “Was the demand necessary?”

Click here to continue


Attention: Allan Moore

Solid Waste Program Manager

Great Salt Lake Advisory Council https://deq.utah.gov/great-salt-lake-advisory-council/index.htm

January 10, 2018

Utah Division of Solid & Hazardous Waste Department of Environmental Quality
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Re: Promontory Landfill Class V RDCC Project No. 59842

Introduction

At a meeting of the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council (“Council”) held today, Council members voted unanimously to send this letter to identify initial questions, issues and concerns related to Great Salt Lake (“GSL” or the “lake”) that the Council believes need to be addressed in the permitting process associated with the proposed change to the Promontory Landfill, referenced above, from a Class I to a Class V landfill.

Great Salt Lake Advisory Council Duty to Advise and Assist the Division of Environmental Quality in its Responsibilities for Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake Advisory Council (“Council”) was established by House Bill 343 in the 2010 session of the Utah State Legislature. Council members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Utah Senate.

The duties of the Council include:

  • Advise the Governor, the Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”), and the Department of Environmental (“DEQ”) on the “sustainable use, protection, and development” of GSL; and
  • Assist DNR and DEQ and their boards in their responsibilities for GSL.
    The Council submits this letter pursuant to those statutory responsibilities and requests your Great Salt Lake Advisory Council (continued) January 10, 2018
  • consideration of these questions, comments and concerns.

Economic & Ecological Values of the Resource

A 2012 economic study commissioned by the Council estimated economic output generated by GSL at $1.3 billion, including $1.1 billion from evaporative mining, $136 million from tourism and recreation, and $57 million from the harvest of brine shrimp. The study estimated that those industries resulted in $375 million in paychecks and supported 7,706 local jobs. These economic contributions are dependent upon a healthy GSL ecosystem.

The Great Salt Lake also has significant ecological value. It plays a critical role for birds, including some of the largest concentrations of certain species of waterbirds in the Western hemisphere and, in some cases, the world. Over five million birds from 257 different species rely on the lake to live, feed, rest, breed and nest. The lake plays a particularly critical role for migratory birds. Birds come to the lake by the millions to eat and rest during migration, and other species stay to breed, nest and raise their young. The lake contains abundant food for birds, including very important brine shrimp and other macroinvertebrates. These ecological values depend upon a healthy ecosystem.

Questions and Concerns Regarding Proposed Class V Status for Promontory Landfill

The letter is not intended to reflect a detailed analysis of the application, nor or an exhaustive list of potential issues to be addressed in the permitting process. Rather the letter attempts to identify questions and concerns broadly shared by Council members. Those questions and concerns include the following:

  • Adequacy of measures designed to mitigate impacts associated with fugitive dust, debris, and materials not deemed hazardous, but that have sufficient risks posed to human health and the environment (i.e. coal combustion residuals or material which technically meets a listing or exhibits a characteristic which would normally meet the hazardous waste definition) that will be generated from the site itself;
  • Adequacy of measures designed to mitigate impacts associated with dust, debris, and materials not deemed hazardous, but that have sufficient risks posed to human health and the environment (i.e. coal combustion residuals or material which technically meets a listing or exhibits a characteristic which would normally meet the hazardous waste definition) that will result from transportation of materials to the site;
  • Sufficiency of existing studies to determine the scope and potential migration of leachate generated by stored waste at the facility; specifically for long term storage and degradation of liners over time and the potential environmental consequences of leaks to Great Salt Lake;
  • The adequacy of plans and infrastructure designed to collect leachate from waste and ensure that it does not contaminate groundwater, endanger wildlife, or enter the lake; both now and into the future.
  • Given the density difference of leachate and GSL water, there are concerns that leachate would ‘float to the top’, thus creating a toxic surface lens; Design standard adequacy in this environment to handle runoff equal to or greater than a 100-year rain event;
  • The potential for containment failure, particularly as it relates to earthquakes, subsidence, seiche waves, and liner degradation over time;
  • Sufficiency of studies and plans to secure the protection of avian resources and their critical food chain;
  • Sufficiency of plan design to address fractured bedrock beneath the site and movement of groundwater through it, which creates natural pathways for leachate and associated toxins to contaminate groundwater and for that contamination to spread;
  • How the permittee will address the Coal Combustion Residuals Federal Rule for recordkeeping and reporting requirements as well as the requirement for each facility to establish and post specific information to a publicly-accessible website;
  • Adequacy of project design to address the risk of large volumes of materials (toxins) in close proximity to Great Salt Lake. (With coal combustion residuals a significant portion of the waste stream in the United States, and this landfill seeking the license to accept such waste, the likelihood is high that significant volumes of coal combustion residuals would eventually make their way to the Promontory landfill. Such waste contains heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, as well as other toxic substances that can migrate from a waste repository by windblown dust, groundwater or other means.) The location of this site poses a particular challenge given its close proximity to, and location immediately uphill from, GSL. That location means that, if these concerns are not adequately addressed along with ample safeguards and planning for the unexpected, the landfill could pose a catastrophic threat to GSL, a natural resource of hemispheric—if not global—importance.

Unique Nature of the Site and Associated Risks. The location of this site poses a particular challenge given its close proximity to, and location immediately uphill from, GSL. That location means that, if these concerns are not adequately addressed along with ample safeguards and planning for the unexpected, the landfill could pose a catastrophic threat to GSL, a natural resource of hemispheric—if not global—importance.

At a minimum, the Council believes further studies are needed to determine the full extent of the risks and the adequacy of the measures designed to address them. Those studies include a more extensive study of groundwatermovement on Promontory and how this facility could affect ground and surface water resources, as well as the adequacy of the facility to (i) capture and process leachate; (ii) prevent the escape of fugitive waste and other debris; (iii) prevent fly ash or other toxic dust from entering the environment from the landfill or from transportation to the landfill; and (iv) withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes, seiche waves which have occurred, and will likely occur again in this area, as well as degradation of the liners over time.

Thank you for your consideration and for the opportunity to pose these important questions and provide these initial comments.

If there is information that the Council could provide to assist the Department of Environmental Quality in evaluating this proposal, please let us know.

Sent by email to: allanmoore@utah.gov

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Why We Care

  • It is a desert of water in a desert of salt and mud and rock, one of the most desolate and desolately beautiful of regions. Its sunsets, seen across water that reflects like polished metal, are incredible. Its colors are of a staring, chemical purity. The senses are rubbed raw by its moonlike horizons, its mirages, its parching air, its moody and changeful atmosphere.

    Wallace Stegner, "Dead Heart of the West" in American Places, 1981