Introduced Version House Bill 3206 History

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FISCAL NOTEWEST virginia legislature

2021 regular session


House Bill 3206

By Delegates Hornbuckle, Lovejoy, Rohrbach, Barach, Hansen, Pushkin, Williams and Worrell

[Introduced March 16, 2021; Referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources then Government Organization]

A BILL to amend and reenact §22-15-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §22-15-24, all relating to the development and implementation of a program to regulate source-separated organic material waste; requiring permits for the facilities and general operation; providing for general handling of organic material waste; authorizing the secretary to promulgate rules; authorizing the secretary to provide exemptions; and to provide for curb-side pickup of composting.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


§22-15-2. Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article the terms:

(1) “Agronomic rate” means the whole sewage sludge application rate, by dry weight, designed:

(A) To provide the amount of nitrogen needed by the food crop, feed crop, fiber crop, cover crop or vegetation on the land; and

(B) To minimize the amount of nitrogen in the sewage sludge that passes below the root zone of the crop or vegetation grown on the land to the groundwater.

(2) “Applicant” means the person applying for a commercial solid waste facility permit or similar renewal permit and any person related to such person by virtue of common ownership, common management or family relationships as the director may specify, including the following: Spouses, parents and children and siblings.

(3) “Approved solid waste facility” means a solid waste facility or practice which has a valid permit under this article.

(4) “Back hauling” means the practice of using the same container to transport solid waste and to transport any substance or material used as food by humans, animals raised for human consumption or reusable item which may be refilled with any substance or material used as food by humans.

(5) “Bulking agent” means any material mixed and composted with sewage sludge.

(6) “Class A facility” means a commercial solid waste facility which handles an aggregate of between ten thousand and thirty thousand tons of solid waste per month. Class A facility includes two or more Class B solid waste landfills owned or operated by the same person in the same county, if the aggregate tons of solid waste handled per month by such landfills exceeds nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine tons of solid waste per month.

(7) “Commercial recycler” means any person, corporation or business entity whose operation involves the mechanical separation of materials for the purpose of reselling or recycling at least seventy percent by weight of the materials coming into the commercial recycling facility.

(8) “Commercial solid waste facility” means any solid waste facility which accepts solid waste generated by sources other than the owner or operator of the facility and does not include an approved solid waste facility owned and operated by a person for the sole purpose of the disposal, processing or composting of solid wastes created by that person or such person and other persons on a cost-sharing or nonprofit basis and does not include land upon which reused or recycled materials are legitimately applied for structural fill, road base, mine reclamation and similar applications.

(9) “Compost” means a humus-like material resulting from aerobic, microbial, thermophilic decomposition of organic materials.

(10) “Composting” means the aerobic, microbial, thermophilic decomposition of natural constituents of solid waste to produce a stable, humus-like material.

(11) “Commercial composting facility” means any solid waste facility processing solid waste by composting, including sludge composting, organic waste or yard waste composting, but does not include a composting facility owned and operated by a person for the sole purpose of composting waste created by that person or such person and other persons on a cost-sharing or nonprofit basis and shall not include land upon which finished or matured compost is applied for use as a soil amendment or conditioner.

(12) “Cured compost” or “finished compost” means compost which has a very low microbial or decomposition rate which will not reheat or cause odors when put into storage and that has been put through a separate aerated curing cycle stage of thirty to sixty days after an initial composting cycle or compost which meets all regulatory requirements after the initial composting cycle.

(13) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.

(14) “Energy recovery incinerator” means any solid waste facility at which solid wastes are incinerated with the intention of using the resulting energy for the generation of steam, electricity or any other use not specified herein.

(15) “Incineration technologies” means any technology that uses controlled flame combustion to thermally break down solid waste, including refuse-derived fuel, to an ash residue that contains little or no combustible materials, regardless of whether the purpose is processing, disposal, electric or steam generation or any other method by which solid waste is incinerated.

(16) “Incinerator” means an enclosed device using controlled flame combustion to thermally break down solid waste, including refuse-derived fuel, to an ash residue that contains little or no combustible materials.

(17) “Landfill” means any solid waste facility for the disposal of solid waste on or in the land for the purpose of permanent disposal. Such facility is situated, for purposes of this article, in the county where the majority of the spatial area of such facility is located.

(18) “Materials recovery facility” means any solid waste facility at which source-separated materials or materials recovered through a mixed waste processing facility are manually or mechanically shredded or separated for purposes of reuse and recycling, but does not include a composting facility.

(19) “Mature compost” means compost which has been produced in an aerobic, microbial, thermophilic manner and does not exhibit phytotoxic effects.

(20) “Mixed solid waste” means solid waste from which materials sought to be reused or recycled have not been source-separated from general solid waste.

(21) “Mixed waste processing facility” means any solid waste facility at which materials are recovered from mixed solid waste through manual or mechanical means for purposes of reuse, recycling or composting.

(22) “Municipal solid waste incineration” means the burning of any solid waste collected by any municipal or residential solid waste disposal company.

(23) “Open dump” means any solid waste disposal which does not have a permit under this article, or is in violation of state law, or where solid waste is disposed in a manner that does not protect the environment.

(24) “Person” or “persons” means any industrial user, public or private corporation, institution, association, firm or company organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country; State of West Virginia; governmental agency, including federal facilities; political subdivision; county commission; municipal corporation; industry; sanitary district; public service district; drainage district; soil conservation district; watershed improvement district; partnership; trust; estate; person or individual; group of persons or individuals acting individually or as a group; or any legal entity whatever.

(25) “Publicly owned treatment works” means any treatment works owned by the state or any political subdivision thereof, any municipality or any other public entity which processes raw domestic, industrial or municipal sewage by any artificial or natural processes in order to remove or so alter constituents as to render the waste less offensive or dangerous to the public health, comfort or property of any of the inhabitants of this State before the discharge of the plant effluent into any of the waters of this state, and which produces sewage sludge.

(26) “Recycling facility” means any solid waste facility for the purpose of recycling at which neither land disposal nor biological, chemical or thermal transformation of solid waste occurs: Provided, That mixed waste recovery facilities, sludge processing facilities and composting facilities are not considered recycling facilities nor considered to be reusing or recycling solid waste within the meaning of this article, §22-15A-1 et seq., §22C-4-1 et seq., and §22C-1-1 et seq., of this code.

(27) “Sewage sludge” means solid, semisolid or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, domestic septage, scum or solids removed in primary, secondary or advanced wastewater treatment processes and a material derived from sewage sludge. “Sewage sludge” does not include ash generated during the firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator.

(28) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or such other person to whom the secretary has delegated authority or duties pursuant to § 22-1-1 et seq. of this code.

(29) “Sewage sludge processing facility” is a solid waste facility that processes sewage sludge for: (A) Land application; (B) incineration; or (C) disposal at an approved landfill. Such processes include, but are not limited to, composting, lime stabilization, thermophilic, microbial and anaerobic digestion.

(30) “Sludge” means any solid, semisolid, residue or precipitate, separated from or created by a municipal, commercial or industrial waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility or any other such waste having similar origin.

(31) “Solid waste” means any garbage, paper, litter, refuse, cans, bottles, waste processed for the express purpose of incineration; sludge from a waste treatment plant; water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility; and other discarded materials, including offensive or unsightly matter, solid, liquid, semisolid or contained liquid or gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining or community activities but does not include solid or dissolved material in sewage or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges which are point sources and have permits under §22-5A-1 et seq. of this code, or source, special nuclear or byproduct material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, including any nuclear or byproduct material considered by federal standards to be below regulatory concern, or a hazardous waste either identified or listed under §22-5A-1 et seq. of this code or refuse, slurry, overburden or other wastes or material resulting from coal-fired electric power or steam generation, the exploration, development, production, storage and recovery of coal, oil and gas and other mineral resources placed or disposed of at a facility which is regulated under §§22A-1-1 et seq. or §§22B-1-1 et seq. of this code, so long as placement or disposal is in conformance with a permit issued pursuant to such chapters.

(32) “Solid waste disposal” means the practice of disposing of solid waste including placing, depositing, dumping or throwing or causing any solid waste to be placed, deposited, dumped or thrown.

(33) “Solid waste disposal shed” means the geographical area which the solid waste management board designates and files in the state register pursuant to § 16-26-8, and §16-26-1 et seq. of this code.

(34) “Solid waste facility” means any system, facility, land, contiguous land, improvements on the land, structures or other appurtenances or methods used for processing, recycling or disposing of solid waste, including landfills, transfer stations, materials recovery facilities, mixed waste processing facilities, sewage sludge processing facilities, commercial composting facilities and other such facilities not herein specified, but not including land upon which sewage sludge is applied in accordance with §22-15-20 of this code. Such facility shall be deemed to be situated, for purposes of this article, in the county where the majority of the spatial area of such facility is located: Provided, That a salvage yard, licensed and regulated pursuant to the terms of §17-23-1 et seq. of this code, is not a solid waste facility.

(35) “Solid waste facility operator” means any person or persons possessing or exercising operational, managerial or financial control over a commercial solid waste facility, whether or not such person holds a certificate of convenience and necessity or a permit for such facility.

(36) “Source-separated materials” means materials separated from general solid waste at the point of origin for the purpose of reuse and recycling but does not mean sewage sludge.

(37) “Organic composting facility” means land, appurtenances, structures, or equipment where organic materials originating from another process or location that have been separated at the point or source of generation from nonorganic material are recovered using a process of accelerated biological decomposition of organic material under controlled aerobic or anaerobic conditions.

(38) “Organic material waste” includes, but is not limited to, food scraps, food processing residue, and soiled or unrecyclable paper.

(39) “Source-separated organic material waste” means organic material waste that has been separated at the point or source of generation from nonorganic material.

(40) “Backyard organic composting” means composting of food scraps and food residuals that are managed so as not to attract vectors at residential, commercial, or industrial property by the owner or tenant for use on site.  All feedstocks must be generated and composted on site.”

§22-15-24.  Food Waste Management.

(a) The department shall develop and implement a comprehensive program for the regulation and management of source-separated organic material waste.  The department is authorized to require permits for all facilities and activities which generate, process, or dispose of source-separated organic material waste by whatever means, including, but not limited to, composting, incinerations, or any other method of handling organic material waste within this state.

(b) The secretary shall promulgate emergency rules and propose legislative rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provision of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code to effectuate the requirements of this section.  All rules, whether emergency or not, promulgated pursuant to this section shall assure, at a minimum, the following in the proposed rules:

(1) A method to ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of organic composting facilities.

(2) A method to ensure that compost digestion be done at a minimum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

(3) Appropriate training of organic composting facility employees pursuant to the standards adopted by the United States Composting Council, or other such standards deemed appropriate by the secretary.

(4) A method to determine appropriate odor and greenhouse gas pollutants and implement necessary restrictions of those pollutant levels.

(5) A method to collect and record relevant data and nutrient load in the finished compost.

(6) A certification process to ensure the finished compost satisfies an appropriate standard pursuant to the United States Composting Council, United States Environmental Protection Agency, or such other standard as deemed appropriate by the secretary.

(7) Permit requirements; and

(8) Appropriate fees.

(c) The secretary may provide for exemptions to the general provisions of this section relating to backyard organic composting. 

(d) There shall be established a system for curb side pick-up for the purpose of composting, for the purpose of encouraging more individuals to participate in composting and to help create jobs across the State of West Virginia.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a safe process for organic waste composting and require the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to promulgate related rules related to implementing organic waste composting, and providing for curb-side pickup of composting.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.


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