e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter OPart 503 → Subpart C


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 503—STANDARDS FOR THE USE OR DISPOSAL OF SEWAGE SLUDGE


Subpart C—Surface Disposal


Contents
§503.20   Applicability.
§503.21   Special definitions.
§503.22   General requirements.
§503.23   Pollutant limits (other than domestic septage).
§503.24   Management practices.
§503.25   Operational standards—pathogens and vector attraction reduction.
§503.26   Frequency of monitoring.
§503.27   Recordkeeping.
§503.28   Reporting.

§503.20   Applicability.

(a) This subpart applies to any person who prepares sewage sludge that is placed on a surface disposal site, to the owner/operator of a surface disposal site, to sewage sludge placed on a surface disposal site, and to a surface disposal site.

(b) This subpart does not apply to sewage sludge stored on the land or to the land on which sewage sludge is stored. It also does not apply to sewage sludge that remains on the land for longer than two years when the person who prepares the sewage sludge demonstrates that the land on which the sewage sludge remains is not an active sewage sludge unit. The demonstration shall include the following information, which shall be retained by the person who prepares the sewage sludge for the period that the sewage sludge remains on the land:

(1) The name and address of the person who prepares the sewage sludge.

(2) The name and address of the person who either owns the land or leases the land.

(3) The location, by either street address or latitude and longitude, of the land.

(4) An explanation of why sewage sludge needs to remain on the land for longer than two years prior to final use or disposal.

(5) The approximate time period when the sewage sludge will be used or disposed.

(c) This subpart does not apply to sewage sludge treated on the land or to the land on which sewage sludge is treated.

§503.21   Special definitions.

(a) Active sewage sludge unit is a sewage sludge unit that has not closed.

(b) Aquifer is a geologic formation, group of geologic formations, or a portion of a geologic formation capable of yielding ground water to wells or springs.

(c) Contaminate an aquifer means to introduce a substance that causes the maximum contaminant level for nitrate in 40 CFR 141.62(b) to be exceeded in the ground water or that causes the existing concentration of nitrate in ground water to increase when the existing concentration of nitrate in the ground water exceeds the maximum contaminant level for nitrate in 40 CFR 141.62(b).

(d) Cover is soil or other material used to cover sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit.

(e) Displacement is the relative movement of any two sides of a fault measured in any direction.

(f) Fault is a fracture or zone of fractures in any materials along which strata on one side are displaced with respect to strata on the other side.

(g) Final cover is the last layer of soil or other material placed on a sewage sludge unit at closure.

(h) Holocene time is the most recent epoch of the Quaternary period, extending from the end of the Pleistocene epoch to the present.

(i) Leachate collection system is a system or device installed immediately above a liner that is designed, constructed, maintained, and operated to collect and remove leachate from a sewage sludge unit.

(j) Liner is soil or synthetic material that has a hydraulic conductivity of 1 × 10−7 centimeters per second or less.

(k) Lower explosive limit for methane gas is the lowest percentage of methane gas in air, by volume, that propagates a flame at 25 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure.

(l) Qualified ground-water scientist is an individual with a baccalaureate or post-graduate degree in the natural sciences or engineering who has sufficient training and experience in ground-water hydrology and related fields, as may be demonstrated by State registration, professional certification, or completion of accredited university programs, to make sound professional judgments regarding ground-water monitoring, pollutant fate and transport, and corrective action.

(m) Seismic impact zone is an area that has a 10 percent or greater probability that the horizontal ground level acceleration of the rock in the area exceeds 0.10 gravity once in 250 years.

(n) Sewage sludge unit is land on which only sewage sludge is placed for final disposal. This does not include land on which sewage sludge is either stored or treated. Land does not include waters of the United States, as defined in 40 CFR 122.2.

(o) Sewage sludge unit boundary is the outermost perimeter of an active sewage sludge unit.

(p) Surface disposal site is an area of land that contains one or more active sewage sludge units.

(q) Unstable area is land subject to natural or human-induced forces that may damage the structural components of an active sewage sludge unit. This includes, but is not limited to, land on which the soils are subject to mass movement.

[58 FR 9387, Feb. 19, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 42570, Aug. 4, 1999]

§503.22   General requirements.

(a) No person shall place sewage sludge on an active sewage sludge unit unless the requirements in this subpart are met.

(b) An active sewage sludge unit located within 60 meters of a fault that has displacement in Holocene time; located in an unstable area; or located in a wetland, except as provided in a permit issued pursuant to either section 402 or 404 of the CWA, shall close by March 22, 1994, unless, in the case of an active sewage sludge unit located within 60 meters of a fault that has displacement in Holocene time, otherwise specified by the permitting authority.

(c) The owner/operator of an active sewage sludge unit shall submit a written closure and post closure plan to the permitting authority 180 days prior to the date that the active sewage sludge unit closes. The plan shall describe how the sewage sludge unit will be closed and, at a minimum, shall include:

(1) A discussion of how the leachate collection system will be operated and maintained for three years after the sewage sludge unit closes if the sewage sludge unit has a liner and leachate collection system.

(2) A description of the system used to monitor for methane gas in the air in any structures within the surface disposal site and in the air at the property line of the surface disposal site, as required in §503.24(j)(2).

(3) A discussion of how public access to the surface disposal site will be restricted for three years after the last sewage sludge unit in the surface disposal site closes.

(d) The owner of a surface disposal site shall provide written notification to the subsequent owner of the site that sewage sludge was placed on the land.

[58 FR 9387, Feb. 19, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 42570, Aug. 4, 1999]

§503.23   Pollutant limits (other than domestic septage).

(a) Active sewage sludge unit without a liner and leachate collection system.

(1) Except as provided in §503.23 (a)(2) and (b), the concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 1 of §503.23 in sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit shall not exceed the concentration for the pollutant in Table 1 of §503.23.

Table 1 of §503.23—Pollutant Concentrations—Active Sewage Sludge Unit Without a Liner and Leachate Collection

PollutantConcentration (milligrams per kilograms1)
Arsenic73
Chromium600
Nickel420

1Dry weight basis.

(2) Except as provided in §503.23(b), the concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 1 of §503.23 in sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit whose boundary is less than 150 meters from the property line of the surface disposal site shall not exceed the concentration determined using the following procedure.

(i) The actual distance from the active sewage sludge unit boundary to the property line of the surface disposal site shall be determined.

(ii) The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 2 of §503.23 in the sewage sludge shall not exceed the concentration in Table 2 of §503.23 that corresponds to the actual distance in §503.23(a)(2)(i).

Table 2 of §503.23—Pollutant Concentrations—Active Sewage Sludge Unit Without a Liner and Leachate Collection System That Has a Unit Boundary to Property Line Distance Less Than 150 Meters

Unit boundary to property linePollutant concentration1
Distance (meters)Arsenic (mg/kg)Chromium (mg/kg)Nickel (mg/kg)
0 to less than 2530200210
25 to less than 5034220240
50 to less than 7539260270
75 to less than 10046300320
100 to less than 12553360390
125 to less than 15062450420

1Dry weight basis.

(b) Active sewage sludge unit without a liner and leachate collection system—site-specific limits.

(1) At the time of permit application, the owner/operator of a surface disposal site may request site-specific pollutant limits in accordance with §503.23(b)(2) for an active sewage sludge unit without a liner and leachate collection system when the existing values for site parameters specified by the permitting authority are different from the values for those parameters used to develop the pollutant limits in Table 1 of §503.23 and when the permitting authority determines that site-specific pollutant limits are appropriate for the active sewage sludge unit.

(2) The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 1 of §503.23 in sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit without a liner and leachate collection system shall not exceed either the concentration for the pollutant determined during a site-specific assessment, as specified by the permitting authority, or the existing concentration of the pollutant in the sewage sludge, whichever is lower.

§503.24   Management practices.

(a) Sewage sludge shall not be placed on an active sewage sludge unit if it is likely to adversely affect a threatened or endangered species listed under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act or its designated critical habitat.

(b) An active sewage sludge unit shall not restrict the flow of a base flood.

(c) When a surface disposal site is located in a seismic impact zone, an active sewage sludge unit shall be designed to withstand the maximum recorded horizontal ground level acceleration.

(d) An active sewage sludge unit shall be located 60 meters or more from a fault that has displacement in Holocene time, unless otherwise specified by the permitting authority.

(e) An active sewage sludge unit shall not be located in an unstable area.

(f) An active sewage sludge unit shall not be located in a wetland, except as provided in a permit issued pursuant to section 402 or 404 of the CWA.

(g)(1) Run-off from an active sewage sludge unit shall be collected and shall be disposed in accordance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements and any other applicable requirements.

(2) The run-off collection system for an active sewage sludge unit shall have the capacity to handle run-off from a 24-hour, 25-year storm event.

(h) The leachate collection system for an active sewage sludge unit that has a liner and leachate collection system shall be operated and maintained during the period the sewage sludge unit is active and for three years after the sewage sludge unit closes.

(i) Leachate from an active sewage sludge unit that has a liner and leachate collection system shall be collected and shall be disposed in accordance with the applicable requirements during the period the sewage sludge unit is active and for three years after the sewage sludge unit closes.

(j)(1) When a cover is placed on an active sewage sludge unit, the concentration of methane gas in air in any structure within the surface disposal site shall not exceed 25 percent of the lower explosive limit for methane gas during the period that the sewage sludge unit is active and the concentration of methane gas in air at the property line of the surface disposal site shall not exceed the lower explosive limit for methane gas during the period that the sewage sludge unit is active.

(2) When a final cover is placed on a sewage sludge unit at closure, the concentration of methane gas in air in any structure within the surface disposal site shall not exceed 25 percent of the lower explosive limit for methane gas for three years after the sewage sludge unit closes and the concentration of methane gas in air at the property line of the surface disposal site shall not exceed the lower explosive limit for methane gas for three years after the sewage sludge unit closes, unless otherwise specified by the permitting authority.

(k) A food crop, a feed crop, or a fiber crop shall not be grown on an active sewage sludge unit, unless the owner/operator of the surface disposal site demonstrates to the permitting authority that through management practices public health and the environment are protected from any reasonably anticipated adverse effects of pollutants in sewage sludge when crops are grown.

(l) Animals shall not be grazed on an active sewage sludge unit, unless the owner/operator of the surface disposal site demonstrates to the permitting authority that through management practices public health and the environment are protected from any reasonably anticipated adverse effects of pollutants in sewage sludge when animals are grazed.

(m) Public access to a surface disposal site shall be restricted for the period that the surface disposal site contains an active sewage sludge unit and for three years after the last active sewage sludge unit in the surface disposal site closes.

(n)(1) Sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit shall not contaminate an aquifer.

(2) Results of a ground-water monitoring program developed by a qualified ground-water scientist or a certification by a qualified ground-water scientist shall be used to demonstrate that sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit does not contaminate an aquifer.

§503.25   Operational standards—pathogens and vector attraction reduction.

(a) Pathogens—sewage sludge (other than domestic septage). The Class A pathogens requirements in §503.32(a) or one of the Class B pathogen requirements in §503.32 (b)(2) through (b)(4) shall be met when sewage sludge is placed on an active sewage sludge unit, unless the vector attraction reduction requirement in §503.33(b)(11) is met.

(b) Vector attraction reduction—sewage sludge (other than domestic septage). One of the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33 (b)(1) through (b)(11) shall be met when sewage sludge is placed on an active sewage sludge unit.

(c) Vector attraction reduction—domestic septage. One of the vector attraction reduction requirement in §503.33 (b)(9) through (b)(12) shall be met when domestic septage is placed on an active sewage sludge unit.

§503.26   Frequency of monitoring.

(a) Sewage sludge (other than domestic septage). (1) The frequency of monitoring for the pollutants in Tables 1 and 2 of §503.23; the pathogen density requirements in §503.32(a) and in §503.32(b)(2); and the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(1) through (b)(4) and §503.33(b)(7) through (b)(8) for sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit shall be the frequency in Table 1 of §503.26.

Table 1 of §503.26—Frequency of Monitoring—Surface Disposal

Amount of sewage sludge1
(metric tons per 365 day period)
Frequency
Greater than zero but less than 290Once per year.
Equal to or greater than 290 but less than 1,500Once per quarter (four times per year).
Equal to or greater than 1,500 but less than 15,000Once per 60 days (six times per year).
Equal to or greater than 15,000Once per month (12 times per year).

1Amount of sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit (dry weight basis).

(2) After the sewage sludge has been monitored for two years at the frequency in Table 1 of this section, the permitting authority may reduce the frequency of monitoring for pollutant concentrations and for the pathogen density requirements in §503.32(a)(5)(ii) and (a)(5)(iii).

(b) Domestic septage. If the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(12) are met when domestic septage is placed on an active sewage sludge unit, each container of domestic septage shall be monitored for compliance with those requirements.

(c) Air. Air in structures within a surface disposal site and at the property line of the surface disposal site shall be monitored continuously for methane gas during the period that the surface disposal site contains an active sewage sludge unit on which the sewage sludge is covered and for three years after a sewage sludge unit closes when a final cover is placed on the sewage sludge.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2040-0157)

[58 FR 9387, Feb. 19, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 42570, Aug. 4, 1999]

§503.27   Recordkeeping.

(a) When sewage sludge (other than domestic septage) is placed on an active sewage sludge unit:

(1) The person who prepares the sewage sludge shall develop the following information and shall retain the information for five years.

(i) The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 1 of §503.23 in the sewage sludge when the pollutant concentrations in Table 1 of §503.23 are met.

(ii) The following certification statement:

I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the pathogen requirements in (insert §503.32(a), §503.32(b)(2), §503.32(b)(3), or §503.32(b)(4) when one of those requirements is met) and the vector attraction reduction requirement in (insert one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33 (b)(1) through (b)(8) if one of those requirements is met) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(iii) A description of how the pathogen requirements in §503.32 (a), (b)(2), (b)(3), or (b)(4) are met when one of those requirements is met.

(iv) A description of how one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33 (b)(1) through (b)(8) is met when one of those requirements is met.

(2) The owner/operator of the surface disposal site, shall develop the following information and shall retain that information for five years.

(i) The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 2 of §503.23 in the sewage sludge when the pollutant concentrations in Table 2 of §503.23 are met or when site-specific pollutant limits in §503.23(b) are met.

(ii) The following certification statement:

I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the management practices in §503.24 and the vector attraction reduction requirement in (insert one of the requirements in §503.33(b)(9) through §503.33(b)(11) if one of those requirements is met) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(iii) A description of how the management practices in §503.24 are met.

(iv) A description of how the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33 (b)(9) through (b)(11) are met if one of those requirements is met.

(b) When domestic septage is placed on a surface disposal site:

(1) If the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(12) are met, the person who places the domestic septage on the surface disposal site shall develop the following information and shall retain the information for five years:

(i) The following certification statement:

I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(12) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(ii) A description of how the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(12) are met.

(2) The owner/operator of the surface disposal site shall develop the following information and shall retain that information for five years:

(i) The following certification statement:

I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the management practices in §503.24 and the vector attraction reduction requirements in (insert §503.33(b)(9) through §503.33(b)(11) if one of those requirements is met) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine or imprisonment.

(ii) A description of how the management practices in §503.24 are met.

(iii) A description how the vector attraction reduction requirements in §503.33(b)(9) through §503.33(b)(11) are met if one of those requirements is met.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2040-0157)

[58 FR 9387, Feb. 19, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 42571, Aug. 4, 1999]

§503.28   Reporting.

Class I sludge management facilities, POTWs (as defined in 40 CFR 501.2) with a design flow rate equal to or greater than one million gallons per day, and POTWs that serve 10,000 people or more shall submit a report on February 19 of each year. As of December 21, 2016 all reports submitted in compliance with this section must be submitted electronically by the operator to EPA when the Regional Administrator is the Director in compliance with this section and 40 CFR part 3 (including, in all cases, subpart D to part 3), 40 CFR 122.22, and 40 CFR part 127. As of December 21, 2020 all reports submitted in compliance with this section must be submitted electronically in compliance with this section and 40 CFR part 3 (including, in all cases, subpart D to part 3), 40 CFR 122.22, and 40 CFR part 127. Part 127 is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to the start dates for electronic reporting (see Table 1 in 40 CFR 127.16), the Director may also require operators to electronically submit annual reports under this section if required to do so by state law.

[80 FR 64158, Oct. 22, 2015]

Need assistance?