Solid Waste Land Disposal Program / Landfills

The Solid Waste Land Disposal Program regulates the discharge to land of certain solid and liquid wastes. These wastes include municipal solid waste (MSW), hazardous wastes, designated wastes, and nonhazardous and inert solid wastes. In general, these wastes cannot be discharged directly to the ground surface without adversely affecting groundwater or surface water, and therefore must be contained to isolate them from the environment. The regulations applicable to these discharges are found in Title 27, for nonhazardous wastes, or Chapter 15 of Title 23, for hazardous wastes, of the California Code of Regulations. These regulations have both prescriptive and performance standards for waste containment, monitoring, and closure. The requirements are implemented through the adoption of Waste Discharge Requirements for the disposal facilities.

    Disaster Debris Management

    In the wake of the severe wildfires in October 2017, that cumulatively burned hundreds of thousands of acres across several counties both within and adjacent to the region, the North Coast Regional Water Board adopted a Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements emergency cleanup activities related to the removal, storage, transportation, and disposal of solid waste and debris resulting from the fires. Natural disasters generate large amounts of debris including, building materials, sediments, vegetative debris, personal property, and other materials. For large-scale disasters, staging and storage areas may be needed to store, separate, or process the debris before it is sent to a recycling, composting, combustion, or disposal facility.

    To obtain coverage under the Conditional Waiver, entities accepting disaster-related wastes for staging or final disposal must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) within 30 days after initial discharge of any disaster-related waste from Declared Disaster Areas. The NOI must indicate that the proposed discharge meets the conditions of the temporary waiver. Following completion of the discharge/disposal of the waste, dischargers must file a Notice of Termination (NOT) confirming that waste was disposed of in compliance with the conditions of the temporary waiver.

    Order No. R1-2017-0056 (Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Disaster-Related Wastes During a State of Emergency Within the North Coast Region)

    Waste Classification

    Section 13260(a) of the California Water Code requires that any person discharging waste or proposing to discharge waste within any region, other than to a community sewer system, that could affect the quality of the waters of the State, must file a report of waste discharge. This report must outline the types of wastes to be discharged in order to determine appropriate waste management unit design, operation, monitoring, closure and post closure maintenance requirements. So, the first step in Land Disposal Program regulation is the classification of wastes discharged to land according to risk they pose to water quality, and determine appropriate waste management options. This link provides a conceptual framework for waste classification and determination of waste management options.

    The Solid Waste program does not regulate the following types of facilities:

    • Ash reuse for agricultural amendments falls under the Policy for Waiving Waste Discharge Requirements for Specific Types of Waste Discharge in the North Coast Region (General Waiver). For most recent version, see Adopted Orders.
    • Involve confined animal facilities (which falls under the Dairy Program)
    • Involve Forestry Management Practices (Which falls under the Forest Activites Program)

  (Page last updated 7/21/23)