Solid Waste Facilities and the Permitting Process
What Types of Solid Waste Facilities are Permitted?
Many facility types require solid waste permits in Washington State. The majority of the facilities are
chapter 70.95 RCW
, Solid Waste Management
- Reduction and Recycling.
Specific requirements are found in regulations as follows:
Chapter 173-306 WAC
, Special Incinerator Ash
, applies to ash monofills.
Chapter 173-351 WAC
, Criteria for
Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
, contains permit requirements for municipal solid waste landfills.
Chapter 173-350 WAC
, Solid Waste Handling
, contains permit requirements for :
- Anaerobic Digesters
- Limited purpose landfills
- Inert waste landfills
- Transfer stations and drop boxes
- Compost facilities
- Other organic material handling activities
- Land application sites
- Pile storage and treatment
- Surface impoundments
- Waste tire storage facilities
- Moderate risk waste facilities
- Recycling and material recovery facilities
- Energy recovery facilities and incinerators
Who Writes the Regulations for Solid Waste Facilities?
The Department of Ecology, per
, is directed to
write minimum standards for solid waste handling. Jurisdictional health departments (JHDs) have primary
oversight of solid waste facilities and issue permits and enforce the standards. Under
, JHDs must adopt
regulations that may be more stringent than the state's “minimum” standards. For anyone planning
to handle solid waste, it is important to contact the JHD where the facility is located to discuss
standards, permitting and associated fees.
What is the Permitting Process for Solid Waste Facilities?
health departments (JHDs) are the permitting entities in Washington State. A facility can obtain a
permit application from the JHD for the county in which the facility is located. Many JHDs use the permit
application form created by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) and found on the
Solid Waste Facility Forms page. Besides filling out the form, a
complete permit application will typically include design, operating, environmental monitoring and closure
plans. Contact the JHD to see what permit fees to submit with permit applications.
After a facility submits two complete applications to the JHD, the JHD must submit one copy to Ecology.
Ecology has 45 days to recommend for or against issuance of a solid waste permit to the JHD. Ecology has
only review authority, not permit approval. The JHD has 90 days after receiving the complete application
to decide if the facility conforms to solid waste and other laws and regulations, and to the local
comprehensive solid waste management plan.
Once a JHD issues a solid waste permit, it must submit a copy of the permit to Ecology within seven days.
Ecology has 30 days to review the permit and can appeal its issuance to the Pollution Control Hearings
Board as described in
chapter 43.21B RCW.
Permit application process and requirements are found in
WAC 173-350-710 and
WAC 173-350-715 and, for municipal
solid waste landfills,
- All permit applications must include proof that it meets requirements of the State Environmental
chapter 197-11 WAC, SEPA Rules. The JHD can provide
appropriate contacts for this.
- Some facilities require proof of financial assurance before they can start operating.
Financial assurance is required for municipal solid waste landfills, limited
purpose landfills, waste tire storage facilities and moderate risk waste facilities that store more than nine
thousand gallons of MRW on-site, excluding used oil.
Chapter 173-350 WAC
, Solid Waste Handling
, allows for a "Permit Deferral" under
. The jurisdictional
health department, at its discretion and with the concurrence of the Department of Ecology, can waive the
requirement for a solid waste permit if other air, water or environmental permits issued for a facility will
provide an equivalent or superior level of environmental protection. A facility can apply for a permit
deferral using the
Permit Deferral Form
Exemptions from Solid Waste Permitting
In contrast to permitted facilities, which are overseen by jurisdictional health departments, Ecology has direct
oversight for permit-exempt facilities.
chapter 173-350 WAC, Solid Waste Handling Standards,
Ecology can grant a beneficial use exemption from the permit requirements of this regulations. The process and
required application forms can be found at
- Chapter 173-350 WAC, Solid Waste Handling
Standards, specifies that certain solid waste facilities are exempt from solid waste permitting, if they meet
certain requirements and operating procedures as identified in the rule. These facilities include recycling, material
recovery, composting, piles of agricultural,
inert or wood waste, and some moderate risk waste handling activities. Consult applicable sections of
chapter 173-350 WAC to see if your facility will
be able to meet the conditions for exemption or contact Department of Ecology (Ecology)
staff. To assist facilities, Ecology has developed a notification form
Form ECY 070-493 - Notification of Exemption
from a Solid Waste Permit
State-Issued Solid Waste Permits, Licenses and Certifications
- Special Incinerator Ash Monofills
Chapter 70.138 RCW, Incinerator Ash Residue directs that
generators of special incinerator ash, incinerating more than twelve tons of municipal solid waste per day, are required to
prepare Generator Management Plans, per
WAC 173-306-200, that are approved by Ecology.
Disposal facilities for special incinerator ash, ash monofills, are required to have a permit issued by Ecology per the
WAC 173-306-300. Disposal facilities for special
incinerator ash, ash monofills, are required to have a permit issued by Ecology per the requirements of
- Incinerator and Landfill Operators and Inspectors
Chapter 70.95D RCW, Solid Waste
Incinerator and Landfill Operators, requires that landfill and incinerator operators and inspectors be
Solid Waste Incinerator and Landfill Operator (and Inspector) Certification site
for more information.
Ecology oversees regulation of biosolids
when treated, processed, stored or used. Biosolids are not
regulated under solid waste regulations, but under
chapter 70.95J RCW, Municipal Sewage
Sludge - Biosolids, and
chapter 173-308 WAC, Biosolids Management.
- Waste Tire Carrier and Storage Licensing Requirements
Anyone engaged in the business of transporting or storing waste tires is required to obtain a license from the
Washington State Department of Licensing. For information on tire fees and licenses and a current list of Licensed Tire
Haulers and Storage Business go to
Waste Tire Fees and Licenses.