New Management of Fill Policy
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has issued a new Management of Fill Policy (MoFP) effective January 16, 2021. PADEP last updated the MoFP on January 1, 2020 with major changes to what classifies soil as ‘PA Clean Fill’ or ‘PA Regulated Fill’ in Pennsylvania. This new revision clarifies that proposed beneficial reuse of soils containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations greater than 2 parts per million will require approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 3. The basis of this rule is to ensure that proposed soils are not subject to regulation under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This minor change was published in the January 16 Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Outlook for Soil Disposal at Pennsylvania Facilities
Metro New York City and New Jersey contractors often consider Pennsylvania beneficial reuse facilities for disposing excavated soils. At the start of 2020, major updates to the MoFP immediately tied PA Clean Fill and Regulated Fill criteria to the standards listed in Chapter 250 Regulations of the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2). This action effectively eliminated PA Clean Fill approvals by setting vanadium criteria below typical background levels. However, PADEP is currently revising the Chapter 250 Standards, and will likely adopt them in mid-2021. This should raise the standards to higher levels for many constituents, such as benzo(a)pyrene. However, changes to the low vanadium criteria are still under evaluation by PADEP. If they significantly increase the vanadium criteria, expect that PA Clean Fill facilities will once again become very viable for disposal of New York and New Jersey soils.
Per the current MoFP, PA Regulated Fill criteria is also supposed to be linked to the Chapter 250 Standards tables. However, inconsistencies between the MoFP and the tables in the General Permit for Regulated Fill (WMGR096) have not been reconciled yet. So at this time, the tables in the WMGR096 define the criteria for PA Regulated Fill. Expect PADEP to work through this issue and reconcile the two documents later in 2021.
These pending changes have little affect on more highly contaminated soils that are subject to solid and hazardous waste disposal. Regulators continue to apply a rigorous permitting process at Subtitle D lined landfills and RCRA facilities.
We can help
Upcoming changes in the beneficial use and disposal landscape in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York are dynamic. Factor Group will continue to post new changes as we learn more. Contact us if you would like to discuss further!