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TITLE 30ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
PART 1TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHAPTER 312SLUDGE USE, DISPOSAL, AND TRANSPORTATION
SUBCHAPTER AGENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §312.11Permits

(a) The provisions of this section set the standards and requirements for permit applications to land apply, process, store, dispose of, or incinerate sewage sludge. Any information provided under this subsection must be submitted in quadruplicate form.

(b) Any person who is required to obtain or who requests a new permit or an amendment, modification, or renewal of a permit under this section is subject to the permit application procedures of §1.5(d) of this title (relating to Records of the Agency), §305.42(a) of this title (relating to Application Required), §305.43 of this title (relating to Who Applies), §305.44 of this title (relating to Signatories to Applications), §305.45 of this title (relating to Contents of Application for Permit), and §305.47 of this title (relating to Retention of Application Data). For a land application permit, the applicant must be:

  (1) the owner of the application site, if the sewage sludge was generated outside this state; or

  (2) the site operator, if the sewage sludge was generated in this state.

(c) A permit application must include all information in accordance with Chapter 281, Subchapter A of this title (relating to Applications Processing) and Chapter 305, Subchapter C of this title (relating to Application for Permit or Post-Closure Order), and must also include the following:

  (1) the map required by §305.45(a)(6) of this title that provides the following information:

    (A) the approximate boundaries of the site to be permitted, which must include all contiguous properties owned by or under the control of the applicant;

    (B) the name and mailing address of the owner of each tract of land located:

      (i) within 1/4 mile of the site to be permitted, as such information can be determined from the current county tax rolls at the time the application is filed, or other reliable sources, for Class B sewage sludge beneficial land use permit applications submitted on or after September 1, 2003, or applications submitted before September 1, 2003, but not administratively complete by the commission by that date;

      (ii) within 1/2 mile of the site to be permitted, as such information can be determined from the current county tax rolls or other reliable sources, for a sewage sludge incineration or disposal permit application; and

      (iii) adjacent to the site to be permitted, as such information can be determined from the current county tax rolls or other reliable sources, at the time the application is filed for a domestic septage Class B sewage sludge beneficial use land application, or sewage sludge processing or storage facility;

    (C) the source(s) of the information for the surrounding property owners; and

    (D) the list of property owners. The list must be provided both as a hard copy, either on the map or as an attached list, and in electronic format or on four sets of self-adhesive mailing labels; and

  (2) a notarized affidavit from the applicant(s) verifying land ownership of the permitted site or landowner agreement to the proposed activity.

(d) A permit application for land application of Class B sewage sludge must also include the following information:

  (1) the information listed in §312.12(b)(1)(A) - (C) of this title (relating to Registrations);

  (2) analytical results establishing the background soil concentration of metals regulated by this chapter in the application area(s), based on the following:

    (A) samples taken from the zero to six-inch zone of soil to be affected by the addition of sewage sludge (including domestic septage);

    (B) soil samples that accurately show soil conditions in the application area(s) and that are taken at a spatial distribution of at least one composite sample per every 80 acres or less of soil type or area being sampled;

    (C) composite samples comprised of ten to 15 samples taken from points randomly distributed across the entire soil type or area(s) being sampled;

    (D) a separate composite sample taken from each United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil type (soils with the same characterization or texture), unless an alternate method is used; and

    (E) when using an alternate method for defining areas to be sampled such as sampling by agricultural management units or other defined areas, a sampling plan included in the application, which sufficiently establishes background soil conditions through proportionate sampling of each USDA NRCS soil type in each area sampled;

  (3) analytical results establishing the background soil concentration of nutrients, salinity, and pH in the application area(s), based on the following:

    (A) separate samples taken from the zero to six-inch and from the six to 24-inch zones of soil to be affected by the addition of sewage sludge (including domestic septage);

    (B) soil samples that accurately show soil conditions in the application area(s) and that are taken at a spatial distribution of at least one composite sample per every 80 acres or less of soil type or area being sampled;

    (C) composite samples comprised of ten to 15 samples taken from points randomly distributed across the entire soil type or area(s) being sampled;

    (D) a separate composite sample taken from each USDA NRCS soil type (soils with the same characterization or texture), unless an alternate method is used;

    (E) when using an alternate method for defining areas to be sampled such as sampling by agricultural management units or other defined areas, a sampling plan also included in the application, which sufficiently establishes background soil conditions through proportionate sampling of each USDA NRCS soil type in each area sampled;

  (4) information necessary to identify the hydrological characteristics of the surface water and groundwater within 1/4 mile of the site to be permitted;

  (5) except for applications by political subdivisions, proof of a commercial liability insurance policy and an environmental impairment policy or a similar policy in accordance with Chapter 37, Subchapter V of this title (relating to Financial Assurance for Class B Sewage Sludge for Land Application Units); and

  (6) proof that the applicant has minimized the risk of water quality impairment caused by nitrogen applied to the land application unit through the application of Class B sewage sludge by having had a nutrient management plan prepared by a certified nutrient management specialist in accordance with the NRCS Practice Standard Code 590.

(e) A permittee of a Class B sewage sludge land application site shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 37, Subchapter V of this title.

(f) Any person who is issued a permit to land apply, process, store, dispose of, or incinerate sewage sludge is subject to the permit characteristics and standards set forth in §305.122 of this title (relating to Characteristics of Permits), §305.123 of this title (relating to Reservation in Granting Permit), §305.124 of this title (relating to Acceptance of Permit, Effect), §305.125 of this title (relating to Standard Permit Conditions), §305.126 of this title (relating to Additional Standard Permit Conditions for Waste Discharge Permits), §305.127 of this title (relating to Conditions to be Determined for Individual Permits), §305.128 of this title (relating to Signatories to Reports), and §305.129 of this title (relating to Variance Procedures).

(g) If any provision of a permit is violated during its term, the permit holder is required to report to the executive director the noncompliance in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.121(d)(5) and §305.125(9) of this title. Each permit for the land application of sewage sludge must contain a provision requiring such reporting. Report of such information must be provided orally or by facsimile transmission (fax) to the appropriate regional office within 24 hours of the permit holder becoming aware of the noncompliance. A written submission of such information must also be provided by the permit holder to the regional office and to the Enforcement Division at the commission's Central Office (Mail Code 224) within five working days of becoming aware of the noncompliance. The written submission must contain the following information:

  (1) a description of the noncompliance and its cause;

  (2) the potential danger to human health, safety, or the environment;

  (3) the period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times;

  (4) if the noncompliance has not been corrected, the anticipated time it is expected to continue; and

  (5) steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance, and to mitigate its adverse effects.

(h) Each sewage sludge land application permit must include a reference to the maximum quantity of sewage sludge that may be land applied under the permit.

(i) Any permittee who requests a new permit or an amendment, modification, or renewal of a permit to land apply, process, store, dispose of, or incinerate sewage sludge is subject to the standards and requirements for applications and actions concerning amendments, modifications, renewals, transfers, corrections, revocations, denials, and suspensions of permits, as set forth in §305.62 of this title (relating to Amendments), §305.63 of this title (relating to Renewal), §305.64 of this title (relating to Transfer of Permits), §305.65 of this title (relating to Renewal), §305.66 of this title (relating to Permit Denial, Suspension, and Revocation), §305.67 of this title (relating to Revocation and Suspension upon Request or Consent), and §305.68 of this title (relating to Action and Notice on Petition for Revocation or Suspension).

(j) The permittee shall immediately provide written notice to the executive director of any changes to a permit or to information on soil or subsurface conditions at the site, and provide any additional information concerning changes in land ownership, site control, operator, waste composition, source of sewage sludge, or waste management methods.

(k) For land application sites located in a major sole-source impairment zone, the permittee is subject to the following provisions.

  (1) The operator shall have a nutrient management plan (nitrogen and phosphorus) prepared by a certified nutrient management specialist in accordance with the USDA NRCS Practice Standard Code 590;

  (2) When results of the annual soil analysis for extractable phosphorus indicate a level greater than 200 parts per million of extractable phosphorus (reported as P) in the zero to six-inch sample for a particular land application field or if ordered by the commission in order to protect the quality of water in the state, then the operator may not apply any sewage sludge to the affected area unless the land application is implemented in accordance with a detailed nutrient utilization plan (NUP) that has been approved by the commission.

  (3) A NUP is equivalent to the NRCS Nutrient Management Plan Practice Standard Code 590. The nutrient management plan, based on crop removal, must be developed and certified by one of the following individuals or entities:

    (A) an employee of the NRCS;

    (B) a nutrient management specialist certified by the NRCS;

    (C) the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board;

    (D) Texas Cooperative Extension;

    (E) an agronomist or soil scientist on full-time staff at an accredited university located in the State of Texas;

    (F) a professional agronomist certified by the American Society of Agronomy;

    (G) a certified professional soil scientist certified by the Soil Science Society of America; or

    (H) a licensed Texas geoscientist-soil scientist, after approval by the executive director based on a determination by the executive director that another person or entity identified in this paragraph cannot develop the plan in a timely manner.

  (4) After a NUP is implemented, the operator shall land apply in accordance with the NUP until soil phosphorus is reduced below 200 parts per million in the zero to six-inch sample. Thereafter, the operator shall implement the requirements of the nutrient management plan.

  (5) The buffer zones must be maintained according to the applicable requirements specified in §312.44(c) of this title (relating to Management Practices).


Source Note: The provisions of this §312.11 adopted to be effective August 29, 2002, 27 TexReg 7958; amended to be effective October 20, 2005, 30 TexReg 6743; amended to be effective October 2, 2014, 39 TexReg 7756

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