California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Permit Toolbox

Guidance: Seasonal Storage Adjustment for Green Material Composting Operations

This guidance provides local enforcement agencies (EAs) and operators with information regarding the seasonal storage adjustment for stabilized compost produced at green material composting operations.

Definitions

"Green material composting operation" is an operation that composts green material, additives, and/or amendments. A green material composting operation may also handle manure and paper products.

"Green material" means any plant material, except food material and vegetative food material, that is separated at the point of generation, contains no greater than 1 percent of physical contaminants by dry weight, and meets the requirements of Title 14, California Code of Regulations (14 CCR) Section 17868.5.

Green material includes, but is not limited to, tree and yard trimmings, untreated wood waste, natural fiber products, wood waste from silviculture and manufacturing, and construction and demolition wood waste.

Green material does not include food material, vegetative food material, biosolids, mixed material (compostable material that is mixed or commingled with the municipal solid waste stream or that contains 1 percent or more physical contaminants), material separated from commingled solid waste collection or processing, wood containing lead-based paint or wood preservative, or mixed construction and demolition debris. Agricultural material, as defined in 14 CCR Section 17852(a)(5), that meets this definition of "green material" may be handled as either agricultural material or green material.

"Stabilized Compost" means any organic material that has undergone the process to further reduce pathogens as described in 14 CCR Section 17868.3 and has reached a stage of reduced biological activity as indicated by a lower temperature and a rate of respiration below that of active compost.

Seasonal Storage Limit

To allow for seasonal variations in the rate at which stabilized compost is utilized by agricultural users and other consumers, a green material composting operation may submit a written request to the EA to temporarily exclude stabilized compost from the calculation of the 12,500 cubic-yard maximum material allowed on-site for operations that fall under an enforcement agency notification tier [14 CCR Section 17857.1(a)(2)].

This adjustment may be extended to the storage time and storage volume specified in the land use entitlement (e.g., conditional use permit, local land use approval, zoning designation, etc.) for the site provided the EA finds, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the adjustment does not increase the potential harm to public health and safety and the environment.

Term Limit

The initial term for the seasonal storage limit may not exceed the storage time specified in the land use entitlement or 30 days, whichever is less. If a land use entitlement does not specify a storage time and storage volume, the seasonal storage time limit may not exceed 30 days.

The seasonal storage adjustment may be extended by one or more additional 30-day periods, not to exceed the storage time specified in the land use entitlement or a total of 90 days per calendar year, whichever is less. If a land use entitlement does not specify a storage time and storage volume, the seasonal storage time limit may not be extended for more than a total of 90 days per calendar year.

If an operator requests more than one seasonal storage adjustment in a calendar year, then the total term limit for the seasonal storage adjustments may not exceed an annual total of 90 days. Each request should be accompanied by a seasonal storage plan as detailed below.

Seasonal Storage Plan Submittal

The operator shall submit a request in writing to the EA to exclude the stabilized compost from the 12,500 cubic yard limit.

With its request for a seasonal storage adjustment, the operator shall submit to the EA a storage plan containing the following [14 CCR Section 17857.1(a)(2)(A)]:

"1. A description of the storage capacity including the assumptions, methods, and calculations used to determine total storage capacity."
The description of the storage capacity calculations demonstrates to the EA the storage of additional stabilized compost does not pose an increased risk to public health and safety and the environment.
"2. The maximum and average lengths of time the compostable material will be stored."
The maximum and average lengths of time will be limited by the land use entitlement or 30 days, whichever is less. A copy of the land use entitlement should be provided to the EA if necessary.
"3. A schematic drawing showing the general layout of the operation and the location(s) where all materials at the site are stored with specific identification of the proposed location of the excess material."
It is suggested, but not required, that the schematic drawing be drawn to scale and include legal boundaries, all buildings or structures on the site, locations of stored materials, and site access.
"4. A description of any additional prevention, protection and control measure needed to minimize the risk of fire from the temporary increase in site capacity and to control and extinguish any such fires, which measures shall be approved by the local fire authority."
A description of any additional prevention, protection, and control measures needed to minimize the risk of fires is necessary to demonstrate to the EA that the storage of additional stabilized compost does not increase the potential risk to public health and safety and the environment. Any additional measures needed shall be approved by the local fire authority, and the local fire authority’s approval should be submitted as part of the request.
"5. Where applicable, any revisions to the odor impact minimization plan (OIMP) necessary to address the storage of the additional material or a statement, with supporting information, that no revisions are necessary."
Any necessary revisions to the OIMP to address and prevent potential odors resulting from the storage of additional stabilized compost shall be submitted to the EA within 30 days from implementation of the proposed changes pursuant to 14 CCR Section 17863.4(c).
More information can be found on the Odor Impact Minimization Plan webpage.

In addition to the storage plan, the operator shall provide to the EA any supporting documentation to assist the EA’s review of the request.

EA Review

The EA shall review the storage plan, including any revisions to the OIMP, and provide a response in writing to the operator within 30 days of receipt of the request. The EA will approve or deny the adjustment based on substantial evidence (e.g., complaints, compliance history with state minimum standards, etc.) indicating whether such an adjustment would increase the potential harm to public health and safety and the environment. 

Last updated: May 13, 2016
Permit Toolbox, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Permitting/
Kevin Taylor: Kevin.Taylor@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6582