California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Local Enforcement Agency Permit Toolbox

LEA Permit Review Questions

The following review questions and considerations provide guidance for conducting a 5-year permit review report for facilities that have been issued full permits. Many of these questions may not apply in every case.

Review of Compliance History

Objective: Determine whether specific permit terms or conditions have been effective in contributing to overall compliance. For example, if a permit contains a condition establishing specific litter control measures, and those measures have been implemented, yet there are still frequent citations or violations of the litter control standard, that condition is probably not effective and should be revised.

Permit

  • Are there any terms or conditions in the permit which specify design features, methods, or procedures directed toward compliance with State minimum standards or CEQA mitigation measures? 
  • Have they been implemented?
  • What is the overall compliance history with respect to those standards for which there is a specific term or condition in the permit?
  • Does the permit condition need to be revised or removed from the permit?

State Minimum Standards

  • What is the overall compliance history with respect to State Minimum Standards?
  • Is there a specific permit term or condition specifying design features, methods, or procedures to improve the level of compliance?
  • Does the review of  past violations or areas of concern indicate a need for additional permit terms and conditions, or monitoring requirements?

Complaints

  • Does a review of the LEA's complaint log indicate a need for additional permit terms and conditions?

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Review of Permits, Statutes, and Regulations

Objective: Determine whether terms and conditions are appropriate in light of changes in other permits, statutes, and/or regulations which may have occurred since the permit was issued or last revised. Determine whether terms or conditions have become obsolete as a result of the passage of time. It is also sometimes useful to look at older  permit documents to make sure no changes were overlooked during a previous permit revision or review.

Permits

  • Have there been any changes in any of the other permits applicable to the site since issuance or the last review or revision of the Solid Waste Facilities Permit (SWFP)?
  • If so, do any of the changes in the terms or conditions of those permits conflict with any term or condition of the SWFP?
  • Are there other activities operating under one of the regulatory tier permits that should be reflected in the SWFP?
  • Does a review of LEA-approved RFI amendments indicate a need for new or revised terms and conditions?

Regulations

  • Have there been any changes in federal, State, or local statutes, ordinances, or regulations since the issuance or the last review or revision of the SWFP?
  • If so, do any of those changes conflict with or negate any of the terms or conditions of the SWFP, or necessitate the incorporation of additional terms or conditions into the SWFP?
  • Are there any pre-AB1220 conditions (such as RWQCB or AQMD requirements) that need to be removed from the permit?

Terms and conditions

  • Are there any terms or conditions containing action dates which have passed?
  • Have those conditions been satisfactorily met?
  • Should the dates be revised or the condition removed from the permit?
  • If there are violations of the terms and conditions, has a notice and order been issued to the operator?

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Review of Application Package Conditioning Documents

Objective: Based on a review of the documents of the Full Permit Application and Permit Package Checklist ("The Laundry List"), determine whether any other changes in design or operation might need to be incorporated into a revised permit?

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Review of Service Area Characteristics

Objective: Determine whether the terms and conditions of the permit are appropriate in light of changes in surrounding land uses, waste stream characteristics, waste collection and transport systems, service area boundaries, etc. Have such changes resulted in conditions which increase the potential occurrence of any of the environmental impacts which were considered at the time the permit was issued or last revised, thereby requiring additional conditions to mitigate those potential impacts.

Surrounding land use

  • Have there been any changes in land use or land use zoning of properties adjacent to the facility since the permit was issued, or since the last time the permit was revised or reviewed?
  • If so, are the new uses more susceptible to environmental impacts or susceptible to different kinds of environmental impacts than the previous uses?
  • Are additional terms or conditions needed to implement mitigation measures identified as becoming necessary if, and when, anticipated changes in surrounding land uses occurred?

Waste stream

  • Have there been any changes in the characteristics of the waste stream handled by the facility?
  • If so, is there a need to incorporate special handling provisions for any wastes into the permit conditions to prevent health, safety, or environmental impacts?

Waste collection

  • Have there been any changes in the waste collection and transport systems utilized in the facility service area? 
  • If so, do such changes result in an increase in the number of vehicles using the site?
  • Has there been an increase in recycling and diversion activities that should be reflected in the SWFP?

Service area boundaries

  • Has there been a change in service area boundaries since the permit was issued or was last revised or reviewed?
  • Have the city limits of any cities within the service area expanded through annexation?
  • Have new cities been incorporated, and added to or removed from the service area?
  • Have new areas been added to or removed from the service area?
  • Could the service area changes impact the types or amounts of waste accepted?

Contracts and franchises

  • Have new areas been added to or removed from the service area through changes in contracts, franchises, or other agreements, or as a result of the closure of some other facility?
  • Do the new service area boundaries result in new or increased potential for direct or indirect environmental impacts associated with the operation of the facility?
  • Are additional terms or conditions needed to ensure needed mitigation measures are implemented?
  • Has there been a change in operator or land owner as a result?

Waste generation

  • Have waste generation rates changed within the facility's service area since the issuance or the last revision or review of the permit?
  • Were projections of future waste delivery rates to the facility considered at the time of permit issuance or the last revision of the permit?
  • What is the maximum waste delivery rate which is specifically identified in those projections?
  • Has the waste delivery rate to the facility exceeded the maximum rate permitted?

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Review of Anticipated Future Events

Objectives: Determine whether changes in facility design or operation, statutes or regulations, surrounding land uses, waste generation rates, waste stream characteristics, waste collection and transport systems, or service area boundaries—which can be reasonably anticipated to occur in the next five years—are likely to increase the potential for environmental impacts beyond that which was considered when the permit was issued.

Design or operation

  • Does the operator propose to make any changes in the facility design or operation during the next five years which would be in conflict with any of the permit specifications, or which have the potential to increase the likelihood or magnitude of potential environmental impacts?

Facility closures

  • Are there likely to be any facility closures during the next five years which would result in a change in the size of the service area, or the volume of waste delivered to the facility under review?

Future waste generation

  • Using current waste projection estimates, is the amount of waste anticipated during the next five year period likely to exceed the maximum amount considered for acceptance at the time the permit was issued or revised?

Adjacent land use

  • Are there any anticipated changes in land use adjacent to the facility which are likely to result in the need for permit terms or conditions to prevent or mitigate potential environmental impacts?

Regulations packets

  • Are there any regulations being developed, or recently adopted but not yet effective, which are likely to require changes in the terms or conditions of the permit in the next five years?

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Last updated: July 14, 2004
Permit Toolbox, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Permitting/
Kevin Taylor: Kevin.Taylor@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6582