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Land Disposal Restriction FAQs


Land Disposal Restrictions FAQ


Information for Generators:

What is land disposal and the Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) Program?

What are the Notification and Recordkeeping Requirements?

Additional Information on LDRs:

What are the components of the LDR Program?

Are there Hazardous Wastes that are not subject to LDR?

When Do the Restrictions Apply?

What is Wastewater and Non-wastewater?

What are Treatment Standards?

What are Underlying Hazardous Constituents?

Are any wastes subject to alternative treatment standards? 

Where can I find more information on LDR?

What is land disposal and the Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) Program?

Currently, about 23 million tons of hazardous waste are land disposed each year. Land disposal means placement either in or on the ground—in a landfill, injection well, or other land-based unit.  Even though permitted hazardous waste land disposal units are equipped with safeguards, when hazardous waste is not properly treated before land disposal, it can contaminate groundwater and surface water.  Rain can pass through disposed hazardous waste and carry hazardous chemicals into the groundwater.

The Vermont Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (VHWMR) incorporate the federal 40 CFR Part 268 LDR requirements by reference through VHWMR section 7-106(a). In addition to wastes subject to the federal LDR requirements, VHWMR section 7-106(b) allows the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary to restrict the land disposal of any waste in Vermont if such disposal presents an undue risk to human health and the environment or is incompatible with Vermont’s Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy.

What are the Notification and Recordkeeping Requirements?


Federally –regulated generators (i.e., SQGs and LQGs) sending hazardous waste off-site for treatment must send a one-time notification with the initial shipment of each LDR waste to the TSD facility. The required notification information is listed in the Generator Paperwork Requirements Table of 40 CFR 268.7(a). As long as the hazardous waste and TSD do not change, no further notification is required. If a generator is treating their hazardous waste to meet the LDR requirements, they must develop and follow a waste analysis plan (WAP) as described in 40 CFR 268.7(a)(5). The WAP must include all information necessary to treat the hazardous waste and must be kept onsite.

Treatment Facilities

Owners and operators of treatment facilities must send similar notifications with the shipment of treated wastes to disposal facilities and must test hazardous wastes they manage in accordance with their WAP [see Treatment Facility Paperwork Requirement Table in 40 CFR 268.7(b)]. A certification normally accompanies the notification indicating that the hazardous waste meets the treatment standards and may be land disposed.

Note: TSD facilities are often generators of new wastes and must comply with the generator notification requirements.

Disposal Facilities

Owners and operators of disposal facilities must retain notifications and certifications from generators and treatment facilities. Disposal facility owners and operators must also test the waste (as specified in their approved WAP) prior to disposal to assure compliance with the applicable treatment standards [see 40 CFR 268.7(c)].

What are the components of the LDR Program?

 The LDR program has three major components, which address hazardous waste disposal, dilution, and storage.

Disposal Prohibition

The disposal prohibition is the most fundamental aspect of the LDR program. It includes treatment standards, variances, alternative treatment standards and notification requirements. The disposal prohibition states that specified treatment standards must be met before a hazardous waste can be land disposed.  Land disposal includes, but is not limited to, any placement of hazardous waste in:

  • landfills (permitted hazardous waste landfills);
  • surface impoundments;
  • waste piles;
  • injection wells;
  • land treatment facilities;
  • salt domes or salt bed formations (not found in Vermont);
  • underground mines or caves; or
  • concrete vaults or bunkers, intended for disposal purposes.

Dilution Prohibition

Section 7-106(c) of the VHWMR states that dilution of hazardous waste subject to the land disposal restrictions of 4- CFR Part 268 is prohibited pursuant to 40 CFR § 268.3.  The dilution prohibition ensures that hazardous wastes are properly treated.

Storage Prohibition

The storage prohibition allows permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities to store waste for up to one year.  This prohibition is applicable to hazardous waste disposal facilities only.  At this time, there are no such facilities in Vermont.


Are there Hazardous Wastes that are not subject to LDR?  

While the LDR program generally applies to all persons who generate, transport, treat, store and dispose of restricted hazardous wastes, some exclusions from the LDR requirements may be applicable. The following hazardous wastes are not subject to the LDR program:

  • hazardous waste generated by conditionally exempt generators (CEG);
  • waste pesticides and pesticide container residues disposed of by farmers on their own land;
  • wastes identified or listed as hazardous for which the U.S. EPA has yet to promulgate land disposal prohibitions or treatment standards;
  • de Minimis losses of characteristic wastes to wastewaters (e.g., minor leaks of process equipment); and
  • wastes that are regulated as hazardous wastes only by the state of Vermont (i.e., the Vermont-listed hazardous wastes found in VHWMR 7-211).


When Do the Restrictions Apply?

As soon as a hazardous waste is generated, it is subject to LDR requirements unless the concentrations of waste constituents are already below the LDR concentration-based treatment standards. If a business generates hazardous wastes that are above the LDR treatment standards, the generator must either treat the wastes on-site before having them disposed of, or send them off-site for proper treatment and ultimate disposal.  A generator must always inform the receiving treatment, storage, or disposal facility of the LDR status of the hazardous waste and ensure that it is handled safely.  A one-time LDR notification form is used to document that communication and must be retained by the generator for three years.

Note:  A generator who treats hazardous waste on-site must follow the requirements of VHWMR 7-502(o).  This section of the VHWMR also includes the requirements to develop a waste analysis plan if a generator is treating waste to meet LDR treatment  standards.

What is Wastewater and Non-wastewater?

Treatment standards can vary for each hazardous waste depending on if it is a “wastewater” or “non-wastewater.”  40 CFR 268.2(f) defines wastewater as wastes that contain less than one percent by weight total organic carbon (TOC) and less than one percent by weight total suspended solids (TSS). Wastes that do not meet this definition are non-wastewaters.


What are Treatment Standards?

Prior to land disposal, federally-regulated hazardous wastes (CEGs are exempt) must meet treatment standards. Treatment standards, arranged by hazardous waste code, are identified in 40 CFR 268 Subpart D. Treatment standards can be expressed as concentration-based standards or specific treatment technologies. 

Concentration-based treatment standards are waste specific, expressed as either concentration in the waste or a waste extract. When the use of a specific technology is required, the standard is expressed as a five-letter code.  These specified technologies are described in 40 CFR 268.42.

Depending on the type of hazardous waste, your business may meet the treatment standards by:

  • ensuring all hazardous constituents in your waste or treatment residue are at or below the total concentration values based on total constituent analysis (total waste standards) or a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) analysis (waste extract standards), whichever is applicable;
  • treating the hazardous constituents in your waste or treatment residue to at or below the values based on total constituent analysis (total waste standards) or a TCLP analysis (waste extract standards), whichever is applicable; or
  • treating your hazardous waste by using a specific treatment technology (technology standards) when applicable.

If you generate a hazardous waste that is both federally listed and exhibits a characteristic, the treatment standard for the waste code listed in 40 CFR 268.40 will operate in lieu of the treatment standard for the characteristic waste code(s) indicated in 40 CFR 268.48. This only applies if the treatment standard for the listed waste includes a treatment standard for the constituent that causes the waste to be characteristic. If these conditions aren’t met, the hazardous waste must meet the treatment standards for all applicable listed and characteristic waste codes.

What are Underlying Hazardous Constituents?

At the point of generation, generators must determine if their waste is a federally listed and/or a characteristic hazardous waste and determine applicable LDR requirements (i.e., treatment standards). If you generate a characteristic hazardous waste [other than a D001 non-wastewater treated by combustion (CMBST), recovery of organics (RORGS) or polymerization (POLYM)], you must determine if the waste contains underlying hazardous constituents [see 40 CFR 268.40 and 268.48].

40 CFR 268.2(i) defines underlying hazardous constituents as any constituent listed in the “Table UTS - Universal Treatment Standard” table in 40 CFR 268.48. These constituents are not those that cause the waste to exhibit a characteristic, but they can pose environmental hazards nonetheless. The underlying hazardous constituents must be treated to meet the constituent-specific levels listed in the universal treatment standards (UTS). Removal of hazardous waste characteristics may not be sufficient for land disposal. Some characteristic hazardous wastes that no longer exhibit a characteristic may require additional treatment to meet additional LDR requirements. Once your characteristic hazardous wastes have been de-characterized and treated for their underlying hazardous constituents, they can be disposed of in a non-hazardous waste (RCRA Subtitle D) landfill.

Are any wastes subject to alternative treatment standards? 

The EPA also created a number of broad alternative treatment standards that a facility may choose to use in place of meeting waste code-specific treatment standards.  Some of those alternatives are described below:

Contaminated Soil

Contaminated soil from remediation sites must be handled as hazardous waste if it contains a listed hazardous waste or exhibits a characteristic. The EPA has designated soil as a unique treatability group and created alternative soil-specific treatment standards.  The alternative for soil treatment allows a facility to reduce the hazardous constituents by 90 percent, capped at 10 times the universal treatment standard (UTS).  For more information on the contaminated soil alternative treatment standard, see 40 CFR 268.49 or Guidance on Demonstrating Compliance with the LDR Alternative Soil Treatment Standards


EPA developed alternative standards for manufactured items and environmental media of a certain size that are contaminated with hazardous waste because materials such as rocks, bricks, and industrial equipment (i.e. debris) may not be amenable to the waste code-specific treatment standards.  40 CFR 268.45 allows a waste handler to choose among several types of treatment technologies, based on the type of debris and type of contamination.  Debris alternative treatments are divided into three categories – extraction, destruction, and immobilization.  Further details can be found in 40 CFR 268.45.

Lab Pack Wastes

Laboratories typically generate multiple small containers of different listed and characteristic wastes.  Rather than manage all of these wastes individually, laboratories take advantage of a provision that allows them to over pack many smaller containers into a larger drum, which is commonly known as a lab pack.  For more information on lab packs and the treatment standard for each, refer to 40 CFR 268.42(c).  Note that one exception is that a lab pack may not contain any heavy metal-bearing waste codes identified in Part 268, Appendix IV.


Where can I find more information on LDR?

Introduction to Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs)

LDRs:  Summary of Requirements

Guidance on Demonstrating Compliance with the LDR Alternative Soil Treatment Standards

Other EPA Guidance Documents




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