California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA Advisory #56—November 4, 1998

Attachment 3—Procedures to Follow When Remediating Burn Dump

The four scenarios that will typically be encountered when regulating burn dumps are:

  1. Minimal action required.
  2. Leave burn ash in place and cap.
  3. Consolidate burn ash on site or on another adjacent parcel that already contains burn ash and cap.
  4. Clean closure of the burn dump site.

Scenario 1, Minimal Action Required

(Refer to Figure A, "Leave Ash in Place with Minimal Action Required")

Under this scenario a determination is made through the Site Investigation Process (SIP) that at the site in question there is no exposed burn ash, no proposed postclosure land use (PCLU), and that the current land use does not pose an immediate threat to public health and safety and the environment. If the site is located in an area that is accessible to the public the owner may be required to fence and post the site to limit access and to warn the public that a burn dump is present. For sites that fit this scenario there would likely be no other mitigation measures or actions proposed for managing the burn ash at the site. The procedure shown on Figure A would then be followed.

Generally, waste characterization will not be required for sites under this scenario because there are no proposed actions at the site. In the future, if site conditions were to change (e.g., erosion of the cover or PCLU), waste characterization may be warranted.

The primary concerns for sites that fit this scenario are changes in site conditions that might pose a threat to public health and safety and the environment or changes in land use. The following actions can be taken to identify and minimize the risk of such changes:

  • A determination should be made of whether erosion control is needed to protect the cover at the site.
  • If it has not already been done the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) should determine whether the owner should provide site security and limit public access by fencing the site and posting a sign warning the public that a burn dump is present. This determination should be based on current relative risk to human health and safety and the environment (e.g., increase in adjacent population).
  • The owner should be notified in writing by the LEA that future development of the property will be subject to the PCLU requirements contained in California Code of
  • Regulations, Title 27 (27 CCR), section 21190 and that any proposed change in land use must be approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies.
  • A deed notification or restriction should be placed on the title of the property to limit the types of PCLU that are allowed on the site and to also notify the appropriate agencies when a PCLU is being proposed for construction on the site. A deed restriction will also notify prospective buyers that the property contains a burn dump and the buyer will assume all responsibility for managing it should they purchase the property. Lastly, it would require that the owner notify the LEA of changes in ownership. The procedure to follow in recording a typical deed restriction for a burn dump is contained in Attachment 4.

Scenario 2, Leave Burn Ash in Place and Cap

(Refer to Figure B, "Leave Ash in Place and Cap")

Under this scenario it has been determined through the SIP process that there is exposed burn ash or potential exposure of burn ash at the site in question but no proposed PCLU. The primary human health threat associated with burn dump sites under this scenario is exposure through direct contact with the burn ash or exposure to windblown particulates that have been contaminated with burn ash. Therefore, the best mitigation might be to simply cap the exposed burn ash. The procedure shown on Figure B should be followed to mitigate the sites that fit this scenario.

The first step under this scenario is to determine whether the site poses an immediate threat to public health and safety and the environment. To determine the immediate threat to public health and safety and the environment the owner is required to perform waste characterization on the burn ash material. To ensure a proper waste characterization the owner should submit a waste characterization workplan to the LEA for approval. Waste characterization is necessary to define the limits of the waste and to determine whether the waste is hazardous. This information will ensure that all exposed burn ash is properly capped and that appropriate measures are incorporated into the site health and safety plan and properly implemented during the capping activities.

A waste characterization of the burn ash will likely show that it is a hazardous waste and would therefore be subject to the hazardous waste regulations and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) oversight and approval. However, in a memorandum dated March 3, 1995, DTSC states that if there is no active management of the burn ash material (i.e., the burn ash will be left in place and capped) the "...regulations regarding the management of hazardous waste do not apply". In other words, DTSC does not require that the owner of the burn dump site obtain DTSC approval of on-site activities to consolidate and cover the ash, nor is the owner required to obtain a DTSC variance in order for the LEA to oversee these capping activities.

It should be noted that even though DTSC has made the policy decision that the burn ash does not need to be managed as a hazardous waste under this scenario, the LEA must still make the necessary notifications as required under the Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65), Health and Safety Code sections 25249.5 et. seq.

In the event that the analyses show that the burn ash cannot be classified as a hazardous waste DTSC coordination would not be necessary. Regardless of whether the waste is hazardous or not, the LEA should coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).

After the burn dump site is capped (e.g., covered with two feet of compacted earthen material) the owner should provide site security (e.g., fencing and posting the area where burn ash remains). This will limit public access to the site.

Next, a deed notification or restriction should be placed on the title of the property to limit the types of PCLU that can be constructed on the site and to also notify the appropriate agencies when a PCLU is being proposed for construction on the site. It will also notify any prospective buyers that the property contains a burn dump and the buyer will assume all responsibility for managing it should they purchase the property. Lastly, it would require that the owner notify the LEA of changes in ownership. The procedure to follow in recording a typical deed restriction for a burn dump is contained in Attachment 4.

Lastly, the LEA should notify DTSC of the location and actions taken at the burn dump site and should also continue to monitor the site for illegal dumping, PCLU, or erosion of the cap.

Scenario 3, Consolidate Burn Ash on Site or on a Contiguous Parcel That Already Contains Burn Ash

(Refer to Figure C, "Consolidate Ash, Either On Site or on a Contiguous Parcel that Already Contains Ash")

Under this scenario there are multiple burn dump sites on one property or the burn ash is shallow and spread over a large area. There may or may not be exposed burn ash on the site. There is no existing or proposed PCLU that would pose a threat to public health and safety and environment. Under these conditions one possible mitigation would be to consolidate these sites into fewer sites or even one site.

The primary human health threat associated with burn dump sites is exposure through direct contact with the burn ash or exposure to windblown particulates that have been contaminated with burn ash. Therefore, appropriate health and safety measures should be implemented during excavation and movement of the burn ash material. If the owner does not want to develop the property the site can be remediated in place and maintained by the owner. The procedure shown on Figure C should be followed.

Because the burn ash will be excavated and moved under this scenario a waste characterization is necessary to define the limits of the waste and to determine whether the waste is hazardous. This information will ensure that 1) all exposed burn ash is identified and properly capped, and 2) appropriate measures are incorporated into the site health and safety plan and are properly implemented.

A waste characterization of the burn ash will likely show that it is a hazardous waste. However, as long as the burn ash material is only moved and consolidated on site or onto a contiguous pre-contaminated parcel DTSC would not consider this active management of hazardous waste. Therefore, the hazardous waste regulations would not apply under this scenario and the LEA could use 27 CCR regulations to regulate these sites. As stated previously in Scenario 2 the LEA must still make the necessary notifications as required under Proposition 65.

Since excavation of the burn ash will occur during the consolidation of the burn dump sites, the excavation activities should follow guidance contained in LEA Advisory Number 26, Excavation Permit.

Lastly, the purpose of consolidation of one or more burn dumps is clean closure of the portions of the site from which burn ash is removed. Therefore, guidance contained in LEA Advisory Number 16, Clean Closure, is recommended to be followed to ensure that the clean closure is complete and documented.

Once the consolidation activities are complete the burn ash can be covered with at least two feet of earthen material and graded to drain. If the finished grades are relatively steep the owner should provide erosion protection. In many cases more than two feet of cover material are necessary. The owner should also provide confirmation sampling of the "clean closed" areas to verify all burn ash materials have been removed.

After the burn ash is capped the owner should provide site security to limit public access (e.g., fencing and posting the area where burn ash remains).

Next, a deed notification or restriction should be placed on the title of the property to limit the types of PCLU that can be constructed on the site and to also notify the appropriate agencies when a PCLU is being proposed for construction on the site. The deed notification or restriction will also notify any prospective buyers that the property contains a burn dump and the buyer will assume all responsibility for managing it should they purchase the property. It would require that the owner notify the LEA of changes in ownership. The procedure to follow in recording a typical deed restriction for a burn dump is contained in Attachment 4.

Lastly, the LEA should notify DTSC of the location and actions taken at the site and they should also continue to monitor the site for illegal dumping, PCLU, or erosion of the cap.

Scenario 4, Clean Closure

(Refer to Figure D, "Clean Closure for a Site that Contains Ash")

Under this scenario the burn dump site, or a portion of the site if consolidation has occurred, will be clean closed. This means that all the burn ash at the site is removed and transported off-site to an appropriate disposal site.

The primary human health threat associated with burn dump sites is exposure through direct contact with the burn ash or exposure to windblown particulates that have been contaminated with burn ash. Therefore, appropriate health and safety measures should be implemented during excavation of the ash material. The procedure shown on Figure D should be followed for sites that fit this scenario.

Since the burn ash will be excavated and moved waste characterization is necessary to determine the proper disposal site for the burn ash and to also ensure that appropriate measures are incorporated into a health and safety plan and properly implemented during the excavation of the burn ash material.

A waste characterization of the burn ash will likely show that it is a hazardous waste. But as long as the waste is not a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste and passes the Deionized Water Waste Extraction Test (DI WET) it can be regulated using 27 CCR regulations. However, the LEA must still make the necessary notifications as required under Proposition 65. Also, as stated in a memorandum dated March 3, 1995, DTSC must first issue a variance for the burn ash before it is allowed to be disposed of at a non-Class I disposal facility.

Guidance contained in LEA Advisory Number 16, Clean Closure, should be followed to ensure clean closure is complete and documented.

Also, once clean closure of the burn dump site is achieved and certified clean by the LEA, DTSC, and the RWQCB the owner would be free to develop the site without any additional land use restrictions or postclosure maintenance requirements.

Advisory 56

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LEA Advisories, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LEA/Advisories/
Martin Perez: Martin Perez (916) 323-0834