|(a) Land application of bulk biosolids and/or domestic
septage must not cause or contribute to the harm of a threatened or
endangered species of plant, fish, or wildlife or result in the destruction
or adverse modification of the critical habitat of a threatened or
(b) Bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage must not
be applied to agricultural land, forest, a public contact site, or
a reclamation site that is flooded, frozen, or snow-covered so that
the bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage enters a wetland or other
water in the state, except as provided in a permit issued under Chapter
305 of this title (relating to Consolidated Permits) or federal Clean
Water Act, §404.
(c) When bulk biosolids that do not meet Class A pathogen
requirements or domestic septage is land applied to agricultural land,
forest, or a reclamation site, buffer zones listed under paragraph
(1)(A) and (B) and paragraph (2)(A) - (C), (E) and (F) of this subsection
must be established at the time of issuance of a permit or registration
and maintained at all times for each land application unit as noted
in this section unless otherwise specified by the commission. In addition,
the buffer zone listed under paragraph (2)(D) of this subsection must
be established at the time of issuance of a permit or registration
for each land application unit unless otherwise specified by the commission.
The buffer zone listed under paragraph (2)(D) of this subsection shall
be re-evaluated and maintained as needed, upon renewal or major amendment
of a permit or registration.
(1) Surface water:
(A) 200-foot buffer zone, if the biosolids and/or domestic
septage are not incorporated; for land application units located in
a major sole-source impairment zone this buffer zone must maintain
a vegetative cover; or
(B) 33-foot vegetative buffer zone, if the biosolids
and/or domestic septage are incorporated.
(2) Other buffer zones:
(A) 150 feet, private water supply well;
(B) 500 feet, public water supply well, intake, spring
or similar source, public water supply treatment plant, or public
water supply elevated or ground storage tank;
(C) 200 feet, solution channel, sinkhole, or other
conduit to groundwater;
(D) 750 feet, established school, institution, business,
or occupied residential structure;
(E) 50 feet, public right-of-way and property boundaries;
(F) 10 feet, irrigation conveyance canal.
(d) Any of the buffers established in subsection (c)(2)(D)
and (E) of this section may be reduced or eliminated if an agreement
to that effect is signed by the owners of the established school,
institution, business, occupied residential structure, or adjacent
property and this documentation is provided to the executive director
prior to issuance of a permit or registration. Reductions or elimination
of buffer zones in an existing permit or registration by agreement
of the affected landowner will be considered a minor amendment of
the permit or registration.
(e) Bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage must be
applied to agricultural land, forest, or a public contact site at
an annual whole application rate that is equal to or less than the
agronomic rate for the agricultural land, forest, or public contact
site on which the bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage are applied.
(f) Bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage must be
applied to a reclamation site at an annual whole application rate
that is equal to or less than the agronomic rate for the reclamation
site on which the bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage are applied,
unless otherwise specified by the executive director or commission.
On a case-by-case basis, an annual whole application rate may exceed
the agronomic rate for a specific time period.
(g) Groundwater protection measures.
(1) A seasonal high groundwater table must be not less
than three feet below the treatment zone for soils with moderate or
slower permeability (less than two inches per hour).
(2) A seasonal high groundwater table must be not less
than four feet below the treatment zone for soils with moderately
rapid or rapid permeability (greater than two inches per hour and
less than 20 inches per hour).
(3) Seasonal generally refers to a groundwater table
that may be perched on a less permeable soil or geologic unit and
fluctuates with seasonal climatic variation or that occurs in a soil
or geologic unit as a variation in saturation due to seasonal climatic
conditions and is identified as such in a published soil survey report
or similar document.
(4) Application of biosolids and/or domestic septage
to land having soils with greater permeability and with higher groundwater
tables will be considered on a case-by-case basis, after consideration
of soil pH, metal loadings onto the soil, soil buffering capacity,
or other protective measures to prevent groundwater contamination.
(h) Biosolids and/or domestic septage must be land
applied by a method and under conditions that prevent runoff beyond
the land application unit and protect the quality of the surface water
and the soils in the unsaturated zone.
(1) Biosolids and/or domestic septage must be land
applied uniformly over the surface of the land.
(2) Biosolids and/or domestic septage may not be land
applied to areas where permeable surface soils are less than two feet
thick. The executive director will consider sites with thinner permeable
surface soils, on a case-by-case basis.
(3) Biosolids and/or domestic septage may not be land
applied during any time when precipitation occurs, during periods
in which surface soils are water-saturated, or when pooling of water
is evident on the land application unit. The operator of a Class B
land application unit, a domestic septage land application unit, or
a bulk biosolids land application unit that is subject to the notification
requirements in §312.4(b) of this title (relating to Required
Authorizations or Notifications) shall submit an Adverse Weather and
Alternative Plan. This plan shall detail procedures to address times
when the biosolids and/or domestic septage cannot be applied to the
land application unit due to adverse weather or other conditions such
as wind, precipitation, field preparation delays, and access road
(4) Biosolids and/or domestic septage may not be applied
to areas having topographical slopes in excess of 8.0%. On a case-by-case
basis, the executive director will consider sites with steeper slopes
when runoff controls are proposed and utilized, incorporation of biosolids
and/or domestic septage into the soil occurs, or for certain reclamation
(5) Where runoff of biosolids and/or domestic septage
from the land application unit is evident, the operator shall cease
further land application until the condition is corrected.
(6) Biosolids and/or domestic septage may not be land
applied within a designated floodway.
(i) Either a label must be affixed to the bag or other
container in which biosolids are sold or given away for land application
or an information sheet must be provided to the person who receives
biosolids sold or given away in another container for land application.
The label or information sheet must contain the following information:
(1) the name and address of the person who prepared
(2) a statement that prohibits the land application
of the biosolids except in accordance with the instructions on the
label or information sheet; and
(3) the annual whole application rate for the biosolids
that do not cause the annual metal loading rates in Table 4 of §312.43(b)(4)
of this title (relating to Metal Limits) to be exceeded.
(j) Nuisance controls.
(1) A land application unit location must be selected
and the site operated in a manner to prevent public health nuisances.
(2) Debris must be prevented from blowing or running
off site boundaries or into surface waters.
(3) To prevent nuisance conditions from occurring,
the operator shall:
(A) minimize dust migration from the site and access
(B) minimize offensive odors through incorporation
of biosolids and/or domestic septage into the soil or by taking some
other type of corrective action; and
(C) develop and implement best management practices
(BMPs) to minimize off-site tracking of biosolids and/or domestic
septage and sediment during the transport of biosolids and/or domestic
septage to and from the land application unit or storage area; and
to include at a minimum, removing tracked material, to the extent
practicable, by the end of each day of operation at the site and either
returning it to the site or otherwise disposing of it properly. The
documented BMPs shall be retained by the operator and made by readily
available for review by a TCEQ representative.
(4) Odor Control. Pursuant to the authority vested
in the commission or executive director in §312.6 of this title
(relating to Additional or More Stringent Requirements), a person
who prepares biosolids and/or domestic septage or land applies biosolids
and/or domestic septage on agricultural land may be subject to an
Odor Control Plan on a case-by-case basis.
(k) A permit or registration must specify the soil
testing requirements for each land application unit.
(1) The testing frequency must consider common agricultural
methods of determining crop nutrient needs, soil pH, phytotoxicity,
and concentrations of metals regulated by this chapter.
(2) No authorization may require soil testing of metals
regulated by this chapter, at a frequency greater than once per five
years or prior to submittal of a renewal application for a land application
unit. Soil testing for metals regulated by this chapter may not be
required for portions of the authorized site where biosolids and/or
domestic septage have not been applied since the last soil metals
testing was performed.
(3) Paragraph (2) of this subsection does not apply
if the executive director becomes aware of circumstances warranting
increased monitoring of metals regulated by this chapter, to address
sites where metal loading into the soil is a threat to human health
or environmental quality.
(l) An operator of a Class AB or Class B land application
unit shall post a sign that is visible from a publicly accessible
road or sidewalk that is adjacent to the premises on which the land
application unit is located stating that a biosolids land application
unit is located on the premises. The sign shall be posted three days
prior to and 14 days after the commencement of land application of
biosolids and shall include the operator name, telephone number, the
classification of biosolids and the TCEQ authorization number. In
the event of reasonably unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions
or equipment failure that necessitate a change in a planned land application
unit, the required sign may be posted on the day on which biosolids
land application commences. If signs are posted less than three days
prior to land application, records shall be maintained documenting
the unforeseeable circumstance that necessitated the change in a planned
land application unit. Such records shall be retained by the operator
and be readily available for review by a TCEQ representative.
(m) All vehicles and equipment used for the transport
of bulk biosolids and/or domestic septage for land application or
disposal shall be constructed, operated, and maintained to prevent
the loss of liquid or solid materials during transport. An operator
of a bulk biosolids land application unit may not accept bulk biosolids,
unless the biosolids is transported to the land application unit in
a covered container with the covering firmly secured at the front