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Does My Business Need A Land Pollution Control Permit?

1. Do I need a land pollution control facility permit from the Bureau of Land?

A land pollution control permit from the Bureau of Land is generally required to manage waste. If you do not treat, store, or dispose of some kind of waste, then you will not need a land pollution control permit.

The need for a permit is dependent upon the type of waste, what you do with a waste, and the location of the activities.

The type of land permit that you need will be determined by the type of waste that you manage and how you manage it.

There are a variety of waste activities that are regulated to control contamination by wastes. Because some regulated activities require a permit, you need to understand what these activities are and how they are used to determine if your business needs a land permit. If your company or business activities generate waste, you are a waste generator. The regulations explain how you must handle the waste while it is on your property. Waste management by the generator is a regulated activity but does not need a permit unless you conduct one of the activities described below. These are the activities that may trigger the need for a permit:

  • Waste storage  If you store waste on your property, you must comply with all the storage requirements in the regulations. Several different sets of regulations may apply to this activity depending on who generates the waste, the classification of the waste, and how long the waste is stored at your facility.
  • Waste treatment  Any activity that changes the waste is regulated as waste treatment. Treatment includes, among other things, mixing the waste with other wastes or materials, burning, grinding, or separating the waste.
  • Waste transportation  The transport of waste is also regulated. If you transport the waste on a public road, you must comply with transporter rules.
  • Waste disposal  The disposal of waste is the most highly regulated waste management activity. Disposal may include, among other things, the following: dumping waste on the ground; storing waste in piles on the ground; placing waste in a landfill or lagoons; and, storing waste indefinitely, even when it is held in tanks, buildings, or containers.

If you conduct one of these activities, please continue reading to determine if your activities require a permit.

2. What is waste?

Waste is anything that is being discarded or can no longer be used for its original purpose. Something may be a waste if it no longer has a dollar value or if it is used carelessly, spilled, burned, buried, or poured down the drain. All waste is referred to as solid waste. In fact, in the regulations, solid waste and waste mean the same thing. The term solid waste as used in the regulations can be misleading in another way because it includes not only solid materials but also liquids and gasses. The term "solid waste" is meant to distinguish these wastes from the wastes that are put into the sewage system through your plumbing. If you want to re-use something, it may not be a waste.

3. What is waste management?

Managing a waste refers to any kind of waste storage, treatment or disposal activity. You will hear the term "manage" used frequently in the land regulations and in almost any discussion of waste. Examples of waste management include burning a waste, burying a waste, or storing a byproduct or sludge.

Waste management is regulated in many different ways, including the requirement to obtain a permit. However, you should be aware that many other requirements may apply. These other requirements include regulation of waste transportation, design and operating requirements for waste treatment, storage, disposal and reporting requirements on waste generation.

4. What type of waste do I manage?

Wastes are grouped into different categories by the regulations. You must determine which categories of waste you are managing to determine the kind of permit you will need.

Solid waste is divided into two categories: nonspecial waste and special waste.

  • Nonspecial Waste Nonspecial wastes are generally not as harmful to people or the environment, so they are not regulated as special waste. Nonspecial wastes include garbage and commercial waste. These types of wastes are generally associated with offices, homes and restaurants, but also include clean packaging, landscape waste, clean machinery components and construction or demolition debris.
  • Special Waste Special waste includes potentially infectious medical waste (PIMW), industrial process waste, pollution control waste and hazardous waste. Because the mismanagement of these wastes may cause serious health or environmental problems, special waste may be regulated under one or more sets of regulations in addition to the regulations for nonspecial waste. Special permitting requirements may also apply.
    • PIMW includes most medical waste generated by health care professionals or medical research that may be infectious to humans. It does not include medical waste generated at your home. PIMW transporters must have a permit and each load must be accompanied by a PIMW manifest. Fees are associated with transportation or disposal activities. Generally, the PIMW transportation service takes care of these fees.
    • Industrial process waste  includes waste generated by industry or commercial services such as gas stations or painting contractors. Industrial process waste does not include clean packaging materials, office or food waste. Generally, there are state (and sometimes local) fees charged at the landfill when these wastes are disposed.
    • Pollution control waste is generated by the treatment or cleanup of other wastes. Treatment residues from wastewater treatment, air scrubbing and spill cleanups are all pollution control waste.
    • Hazardous waste  is the most highly regulated category of waste. Some wastes are hazardous because of their ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic properties. These are called characteristically hazardous wastes. In other instances, U.S.EPA has decided that the waste produced by certain industrial activities will always be a hazardous waste. These are called listed hazardous wastes. There are a series of state fees collected for generating and/or handling hazardous waste. Only large quantity generators (over 2200 lbs/month) must pay a fee for generating waste.

5. What if I accept waste from someone else?

If you accept any waste from someone else for treatment, transfer, storage or disposal, including a facility of your own located at a different address, you must get a permit from the Bureau of Land.

The type of permit that you must obtain depends upon the types of waste that you accept from someone else. Even if you do not accept waste from someone else, a permit may be required for certain hazardous waste management activities.

6. What type of permit do I need?

Solid waste permits are required for the nonspecial waste storage, treatment and disposal facilities that accept waste from someone or somewhere else.

Special waste permits are required for facilities that receive or store, treat or dispose of nonhazardous special waste and for hazardous RCRA exempt waste storage or treatment facilities. (RCRA is the acronym for the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  There are separate programs that issue permits for special waste that is either hazardous (RCRA) waste or medical (PIMW) waste.

7. What is the permitting process?

The same system is used for permitting both solid and special waste management units.

  • Development permits are required to construct new units;
  • Operating permits are then required before receiving waste at a new unit; and
  • Supplemental permits or modifications are required to modify an existing permitted activity.

Usually, a development permit is issued prior to construction. An operating permit is issued for operation of the business if the new unit was properly constructed. In some cases, the development and operating permits are issued jointly.

A permit for most categories of nonhazardous waste may be obtained through a single permit application. There are separate permitting regulations for medical waste, landscape waste and landfills, and separate applications must be made for each of these categories.

Hazardous waste permits are required for hazardous waste storage, treatment or disposal facilities. A new hazardous waste management facility must obtain a Part B RCRA Permit prior to construction and prior to receiving waste. This is a single permit for the facility. Unlike the permits for nonhazardous waste, separate development and operating permits are not required. Annual permit and inspection fees are assessed by the state for managing hazardous waste.

The requirements for used oil are separate from other types of waste.

Used oil means any oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil, that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities.

Permits are not required for used oil activities but you must follow the design and operating requirements in the use oil regulations. Facilities that receive used oil from off-site and used oil transporters must register with the Illinois EPA.

8. How do I determine if I need a hazardous waste management permit?

To establish whether or not you need a hazardous waste management permit, you must determine:

  • The type of waste (The time limits for unpermitted storage may vary by hazardous waste type);
  • The amount of hazardous waste you generate per calendar month (There are time limits on the storage of hazardous waste generated onsite based upon these amounts); and
  • The process that generated the waste (Some processes produce listed hazardous waste even when analysis indicates the waste would not be very harmful).

There are many instances where hazardous waste management activities may be exempt from the permitting requirements.

For further information or assistance in these determinations, you may contact the Bureau of Land Permits Section at (217) 524-3301. They will be happy to assist you.

9. Are there any special requirements?

Before the IEPA can review your permit application, you must provide proof that you have complied with the local siting requirements. All new pollution control facilities must obtain siting approval from a specified unit of local government. The procedures for obtaining local siting approval and the operations which are exempt from these requirements are found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.

As indicated earlier, in general, all facility operators that accept waste from another location must first get a permit.

10. Is a land permit needed for the transportation of wastes?

The Agency recommends that you always use a licensed special waste hauler to transport your special waste. Some waste transportation operations must be licensed by the Agency. There are three types of permits issued to transport waste.  The special waste hauler permit is required to transport all hazardous and nonhazardous special waste including used oil, but not potentially infectious medical waste (PIMW). A separate PIMW hauling permit is required to transport potentially infectious medical waste. Remember hazardous waste and potentially infectious medical waste are also subcategories of special waste. A separate tire permit is required to transport used tires. 

  • You must have a license to transport special waste unless you are a small quantity generator transporting your own waste from your own site to a permitted storage, treatment, or disposal facility.
  • If you are not a small quantity generator, you must either obtain a special waste hauler license or have a licensed special waste hauler transport the waste for you. If the waste is potentially infectious medical waste, a PIMW permit is required instead of the special waste hauler permit.  Used oil transporters must also register their used oil activity in addition to obtaining a special waste hauling permit.
  • You must also use a manifest as the shipping paper which accompanies your waste, unless you are a small quantity generator.
  • No state permit is needed to transport nonspecial waste such as garbage.

You should be aware that the transportation of hazardous material is regulated by the Illinois Department of Transportation. You may contact them at (217) 782-4974 for further information.

Supplement You can only haul your own waste without a special waste haulers license or without a manifest if you generate 100 kg. or less of special waste including hazardous waste and less than 1 kg. of acutely hazardous waste in a calendar month. You may also qualify for an exemption from manifesting if you generate between 100 kg. and 1000 kg. of hazardous waste in a calendar month and the waste is reclaimed under a contractual agreement. The exemption for small quantity generators hauling their own waste referred to in Question #10 of this document and the exemption from manifesting for small quantity generators referred to in Question #10 of this document are not applicable to a small quantity generator as defined in Appendix 1. The exemption is different for PIMW. PIMW operators who are not commercial haulers may transport PIMW without a permit if they transport less than 50 pounds at one time or they are transporting their own waste between two sites that they own.

11. In addition to the permit requirements, are there any other kinds of regulations concerning waste of which I should be aware?

There is a hierarchy of wastes dependent upon their potential to harm people or the environment. Generators and receivers of the wastes must comply with all the regulations specific to their category plus those applicable to less dangerous wastes.

Nonspecial wastes are regulated under the solid waste rules found in 35 Ill. Adm. Code 807 through 815. Portions of these regulations also pertain to all non-hazardous special waste.  In some instances, the generator can certify that certain industrial process wastes or pollution control wastes are not special waste.  More information on this certification process may be found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.

Hazardous wastes are also regulated under the federal rules resulting from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The RCRA rules have been made a part of the state’s rules and can be found in 35 Ill. Adm. Code 700 through 739. The hazardous waste rules are very complicated and contain many specific inclusions, exclusions and exemptions. A guidance document on understanding the hazardous waste rules is available from the Bureau of Land at 217-524-3301. This guidance document includes a helpful discussion of how you can determine the classification of your waste.

12. In addition to the permit requirements, are there any other kinds of regulations of which I should be aware?

The Agency has the authority to provide beneficial use determinations, a written opinion that a material is not a waste when used as a raw material or ingredient in a specific manner. Beneficial use determination requests must be submitted on Agency forms and are limited to certain non-hazardous waste. Since a generator is required by regulation to make the waste determination, it is not mandatory that you obtain a solid waste determination; but it is provided as a service to encourage proper recycling. An application form is available on the Agency's website.

For further information or assistance in these determinations, you may contact the Bureau of Land Permit Section at (217) 524-3301. They will be happy to assist you.

13. What are the requirements concerning the use of clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) or uncontaminated soil as fill?

What is CCDD?  Clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) is "uncontaminated broken concrete without protruding metal bars, bricks, rock, stone, reclaimed or other asphalt pavement, or soil generated from construction or demolition activities." Uncontaminated soil, which is not mixed with other CCDD material, is not CCDD.

Is CCDD a waste? When CCDD is used as fill material, it is not considered to be a waste, as long as:

  • The CCDD is not placed within the setback zone of a potable water supply well;
  • The CCDD is not placed higher than the highest point of elevation; existing prior to the filling, immediately adjacent to the fill area; and
  • Within 30 days after filling has been completed, the CCDD is covered by a road or structure or by sufficient uncontaminated soil to support vegetation.

14. Do I need to get a permit from the Bureau of Land to use CCDD as fill?

A permit from the Bureau of Land is needed to use CCDD to fill a current or former quarry or mine, unless:

  • The CCDD was generated from a construction or demolition project that is located on the same site as the quarry, mine or other excavation being filled;
  • CCDD is being use to fill an excavation other than a current or former quarry or mine and its use complies with Illinois Department of Transportation specifications; or
  • The excavation being filled is a hole, trench or similar void created as part of normal construction, removal or maintenance of structure, utility, or transportation infrastructure.

15. Do I need to register with the Bureau of Land to use uncontaminated soil as fill?

Current or former quarries and mines that are being filled exclusively with uncontaminated soil are called uncontaminated soil fill operations. Owners and operators of uncontaminated soil fill operations must register their fill operations with the Bureau of Land.

16. Where can I get more detailed information about CCDD, uncontaminated soil and regulated fill operations?

For more in-depth information on CCDD, uncontaminated soil and regulated fill operations see our  Changes to Clean Construction or Demolition Debris (CCDD) Requirements page.

17. Whom should I contact if I still have questions?

If the previous information indicates that you may need a permit or need to register, you should contact the Bureau of Land's Permits Section at (217) 524-3301. Different types of permits are issued by different Permits Section Units. To help you get to the appropriate person to answer your questions, we have identified the Permits Section Units that review each type of application or permit previously discussed.

Non Hazardous Waste Disposal:

Solid Waste Unit

Use of CCDD and Uncontaminated Soil as Fill:

Non-Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Transfer:    

Beneficial Use Determinations:

Disposal Alternative Unit

Disposal Alternative Unit

Disposal Alternative Unit

Hazardous Waste Disposal, Storage, and Treatment:       

RCRA Unit/Disposal Alternative Unit

When calling, you should ask to speak to a permit reviewer in the Unit which you anticipate will be involved with your operation.

Questions about special waste hauler licenses and manifests should be directed to the Materials Management  and Compliance Section at (217) 785-8604.