California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Permit Toolbox

RFI Amendments

This page provides guidance and resources for making the findings required to submit and approve a Report of Facility Information (RFI) amendment pursuant to Title 27, Sections 21665, 21666, and 21620(a)(2).

Operators of solid waste facilities are required to submit an RFI, which describes the design and operation of a permitted solid waste facility. This document is required to be maintained, updated, and kept current. In addition, any proposed changes at the facility shall be submitted to the local enforcement agency (LEA) in the form of an "RFI Amendment" prior to the change taking effect. In some instances, if specified findings can be made, the LEA can approve an RFI amendment without revising or modifying the permit.

Overview

3 Criteria for RFI Amendments

Resources

RFI Amendments are only applicable for the full permit tier. Standardized and registration permits must obtain new permits to reflect any changes in design or operation.

Overview

A Report of Facility Information (RFI) is a design and operations plan that describes the solid waste facility and how it will comply with state minimum standards (SMS) for solid waste handling and disposal. A full list of the types of RFIs required for each type of facility is available for reference.

An RFI is required to be kept current and up to date. Any significant changes will require the permit to be revised. However, in certain cases, RFI amendments for facilities with full permits can be approved without revising or modifying the permit.

The resources section of this page summarizes the applicable statutes and regulations.

Timelines

An application for any change in operations should be submitted well in advance of implementation of the proposed changes. Title 27 Section 21620(a) states that

"Any applicant proposing to make a significant change in the design or operation of the facility shall file an amendment to the RFI with the EA at least 180 days prior to the proposed change unless otherwise determined by the EA."

Timeline for submittal by an operator and processing by the LEA of an application for a change in the design or operation of a facility
Number of Days Action by Operator or LEA
180 The number of days prior to a change in design and operation that an operator must submit an application for an RFI amendment.
30 The number of days that the LEA has to make a determination on the received application package.
5 The number of days that the LEA has to notify the operator, the public, CalRecycle and the RWQCB after they have made their determination.

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Operator Requirements

Title 27 Section 21600(a) requires the operator to maintain the RFI and to submit amendments. Title 27 Section 21620 states that any applicant proposing to make a significant change in the design or operation of the facility shall file an amendment to the RFI with the EA at least 180 days prior to the proposed change unless otherwise determined by the LEA.

Although an RFI amendment can be approved in less than 30 days, the applicant should submit the proposed changes to the LEA as early as possible, noting the timelines described in the above section. Submitting proposed changes 180 days prior to implementation gives the LEA enough time to process a permit revision should the LEA not approve the RFI amendment.

The applicant shall submit an RFI amendment application package pursuant to Title 27 Sections 21570 and 21600 (landfill), or 14 CCR sections, 18221.6 (transfer station), or 18227 (compost facility) to the LEA. The submittal shall contain only those items listed in Title 27 Section 21570(f) that have changed, are proposed for change or as otherwise specified by the EA.

Applicants who are required to have a full SWFP shall submit an application package for a SWFP in duplicate to the LEA. The applicant shall also simultaneously submit one copy of the application form to the RWQCB and to the director of the local land use planning agency.

Events that might trigger the submittal of an RFI amendment application package include:

  • The operator proposes or anticipates any changes in design or operation.
  • The operator submits an application for five-year permit review which requires any RFI amendments to be included.
  • The LEA's permit review report directs the operator to submit additional amendments to the RFI.
  • Amendments to preliminary or final closure and postclosure maintenance plans.
  • Other reasons specified by the LEA.

Complete and submit the Full Solid Waste Facility Permit Application Form (CIWMB Form E177). The form is available in Excel and PDF formats. The operator should be sure to check the box labeled "RFI/ROWD/JTD Amendments".

The EA will review the package to determine whether the proposed amendments can be approved without permit action or whether the operator will need to apply for a permit modification or revision.

Applicable sections of the application form shall be completely filled out. It is recommended that the application be attached to a cover letter which summarizes the proposed change and provides instructions for replacing pages in the RFI. The enclosed RFI pages should be dated or otherwise marked as replacement or new pages. For landfills, the package might also require the submittal of a JTD index pursuant to Title 27 Section 21590(c).

For landfills, the operator should be aware of any changes that might also require an amendment to the preliminary or final closure and postclosure maintenance plans.

The operator shall prepare within 5 days after the EA approves the application and post for at least 10 days a temporary notice at the facility entrance that meets the requirements of Title 27, Section 21660.1(a).

LEA Processing

The EA shall review the applicant’s amendments to the RFI and determine if such amendments or lack thereof are the basis for changes in the permit. The steps for processing the application include:

  • Fill in the date received in the upper right hand corner of the application form.
  • Review RFI amendments for consistency with the three criteria:
    1. CEQA
    2. SMS
    3. Permit
  • Accept or reject application for RFI Amendment within 30 days of receipt. The date of the determination should be noted on the application form.
  • Determine if the RFI Amendment meets the above requirements within 30 days of receipt.
  • Notify the operator, CalRecycle and the RWQCB of their determination within 5 days. The EA shall include in their notification to CalRecycle, a copy of the amended RFI, and a copy of the application form along with the EA determination.
  • Notify the applicant of the right to appeal in the case that the amendments are rejected.

It is recommended (but not required) that the LEA use the Report of Facility Information (RFI) Amendment Checklist (CIWMB Form 216) to help organize their review of the application.

LEA Determination

Possible LEA determinations include:

  • Accept the application and approve the RFI amendment(s).
  • Deny the RFI amendment and request further information.
  • Deny the RFI amendment and request an application for permit revision and any additional documentation.
  • Deny the RFI amendment and not allow the proposed changes in design and operation.
  • Partial acceptance of some of the RFI amendments with direction to the operator to submit an application for permit revision for the other proposed changes.

Please refer to the entire text of Title 27, Section 21665 before making a final determination.

In denying an application, the applicant shall be notified of their right to appeal. A "Request for Hearing" form is available for inclusion as an attachment.

Public Notice

Per California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 27, Section 21660.1(b), enforcement agencies (EA) are required to inform the public via posting of public notice of any approved applications for Report of Facility Information (RFI) amendments within 5 days after approving the application.  [More...]

Board Role

While RFI amendments do not require approval by CalRecycle, CalRecycle staff still have a role in the RFI amendment process:

  • Provide guidance, tools, and resources.
  • Review LEA approvals and findings.
  • Monitor and document the process for facility files.
  • Tracks RFI's and amendments in the SWIS database.
  • Update amended RFI's located in CalRecycle's file room.

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Three LEA Findings Required for Approval

All RFI amendments must meet the three criteria described in Title 27, Section 21665. If any of the proposed amendments to the RFI do not meet all of the standards described below, the LEA shall make one of the following determinations:

  • Deny the RFI amendment and request further information.
  • Deny the RFI amendment and request an application for permit revision or modification and accompanying documentation.
  • Approve some of the proposed changes and and request an application for permit revision or modification for other proposed changes.
  • Deny the RFI amendment and not allow the proposed changes in design and operation.

The EA may approve and file the amendment to the RFI without revising the permit if all of the following criteria are met:

1. CEQA Criteria Guidance

Title 27, Section 21665(c)(1) requires the proposed change to be "... consistent with all applicable certified and/or adopted CEQA documents in that no subsequent EIR or Negative Declaration or supplemental EIR is warranted ... or if the EA finds the change being requested is exempt from the requirements of CEQA..."

Review Questions:

  • Will the change cause any adverse environmental impacts?
  • Is the change consistent with the certified or adopted environmental document for the last permit issuance? Is the document and page number cited?
  • Does this change have any cumulative impacts when taken into considerations with other recent on-site or nearby changes?
  • Is the change exempt from the requirements of CEQA?
  • If yes, did the Lead Agency file a Notice of Exemption (NOE)?
  • If so, is the CEQA exemption and NOE included?

Also see the RFI Amendment Checklist form.

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2. SMS Criteria Guidance

Title 27, Section 21665(c)(2) requires the LEA to make a finding that "...the proposed change is acceptable and consistent with, but not limited to, state minimum standards pursuant to Chapter 3 of this subdivision or applicable minimum standards in Title 14 (commencing with section 17200), and including financial assurances and operating liability criteria pursuant to Chapter 6 of this subdivision if applicable." 

The term "state minimum standards" or SMS refers to the siting, design, and operating standards that apply to each type of facility:

Review Questions:

  • Does the change conflict with any State Minimum Standards?
  • If the facility is a landfill, would the change conflict (and cause a violation) with Financial Assurance or Operating Liability standards or with the Closure/Postclosure Maintenance Plans?
  • Are there any ongoing or long term violations at the site?
  • Could the change potentially cause a violation of any other State Minimum Standard?
  • Does the change require any new monitoring requirements?
  • Will the change exacerbate any compliance problems?
  • Is the change consistent with any outstanding compliance orders?
  • Is the site listed on the Inventory?
  • Does the change impact any environmental control systems? Such as landfill gas control, litter control, etc...?
  • Are there any changes that might also require an amendment to the preliminary or final closure and postclosure maintenance plan?

Also see the RFI Amendment Checklist form and the Permit Toolbox CEQA page.

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3) SWFP Criteria Guidance

Title 27, Section 21665(c)(3) requires the LEA to make a finding that "...the changes do not conflict with the terms and conditions in the current SWFP."

Review Questions:

  • Does the change effect any of the site design parameters identified in the SWFP? Such as daily tonnage, hours of operation, acreage, etc...
  • Does the change conflict with any terms, conditions, specifications, prohibitions, or monitoring requirements identified in the SWFP?
  • Does the change require any new or changed terms, conditions, specifications, prohibitions, or monitoring requirements?
  • Are there any outstanding permit or RFI violations?
  • Did the most recent Permit Review Report identify any other potential changes?

Also see the RFI Amendment Checklist form.

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Resources

Regulatory Resources

  • PRC Section 44004 prohibits any significant changes in design or operation of a solid waste facility with out first revising the permit.
  • Title 27 Section 21600(a) requires the operator to maintain the RFI and to submit amendments.
  • Title 27 Section 21620(a)(2) states that "...the operator shall file an amendment to the RFI with the EA at least 180 days prior to the proposed change unless otherwise determined by the EA..."
  • Title 27, Section 21660.1(b)--Public Notification Requirements for RFI Amendments
  • Title 27, Section 21666--Processing RFI Amendments
  • Title 27, Section 21663 provides definitions for "design" and "operation".
  • Title 27, Section 21665 describes the RFI amendment criteria and states that the applicant shall submit an RFI amendment and application package pursuant to section 21570 and section 21600, or 14 CCR sections 18221.5, 18223.5, 18227, 18221.6, or 17863.4 to the EA. The submittal shall contain only those items listed in Title 27 Section 21570(f) that have changed, are proposed for change or as otherwise specified by the EA.

Other Resources

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Last updated: December 20, 2013
Permit Toolbox, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Permitting/
Kevin Taylor: Kevin.Taylor@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6582