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Fact Sheet

March 2011

Permit Modification Comment Period, Black Hawk County Landfill, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 invites the public to review and comment on the tentative decision to approve the Class III permit modification to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Post-Closure Permit for the Black Hawk County Landfill (BHCL) Facility, located at 1509 E. Washburn Road in Waterloo, Iowa.

The 60-day comment period begins March 28, 2011 and ends May 31, 2011. A formal public hearing has not been scheduled for these actions, but will be held if there is sufficient public interest.

Requests for a public hearing must be made in writing to:

Ruby Crysler
U. S. EPA Region 7
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, KS 66101
e-mail: crysler.ruby@epa.gov

and must state the nature of issues to be raised at the hearing. EPA will evaluate any request and hold a formal hearing, if it finds that a hearing will contribute to the decision-making process by clarifying significant issues affecting the permit modification. Comments or requests should be submitted by May 31, 2011.


The BHCL Facility covers about 320 acres along Washburn Road, approximately one mile south of the City of Waterloo, Iowa. The original Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sanitary disposal project permit was issued on May 29, 1975, for landfill operation. The facility began operation on July 1, 1975. Since that time, it has been the primary disposal site for residential, commercial, and industrial wastes generated in Black Hawk County.

The BHCL Facility's hazardous waste areas that are currently covered by the RCRA Post-Closure Permit consist of two regulated units:

From 1975 to 1985, municipal and hazardous wastes were sent to the Co-Disposal Area under special waste authorizations from IDNR. Various wastes were either sent to the drying beds or mixed with regular garbage and disposed of in the Co-Disposal Area.

From 1981 to 1985, sludges and clays from the drying beds were taken to the Neutral Trench Area, which was a specially constructed, unlined trench, for disposal.

During operations both areas received hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents, including paint, oil and industrial wastewater treatment sludges, and baghouse dusts. Primary contaminants in the wastes were heavy metals and light organics associated with paints and oils.

After the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission (Commission) bought the Facility in 1984, the Commission stopped accepting manifested hazardous waste and began formal closure procedures for the two areas.

The Neutral Trench Area was closed in 1988 with grading and capping, and no excavation of waste. Debris from the dismantled sludge unloading station was sent to the Neutral Trench Area and was covered with a minimum of six inches of clay and an impervious cover. Liquids collected in the Neutral Trench Area are being sent to the Waterloo sanitary sewer for treatment at the Water Pollution Control Facility.

The drying beds were dismantled and placed in the Co-Disposal Area in 1989. It was also graded and capped. An EPA RCRA Post-Closure Permit was issued for both areas in May 1991, and renewed in January 2004. Both areas are formally closed and in post closure.


EPA proposes the following draft permit modifications:

  1. Revise the Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). The SAP was revised to include low flow purging technology and to revise statistical analysis of groundwater data based on new EPA guidance. The QAPP has been revised to better describe site conditions and quality assurance/quality control procedures, identify all compounds sampled and laboratory limits, and include landfill inspection procedures/reporting.
  2. Update the names and descriptions of site monitored wells based on new information on shallow groundwater flow. This includes the addition of a new point of compliance monitoring well to detect any contamination released from the Co-Disposal Area.
  3. Revise the Groundwater Protection Standards to show only one set of up-to-date groundwater standards for screening monitoring data. This will ensure continued protectiveness of human health and the environment.
  4. Make minor administrative updates to the permit.


Again, the comment period runs March 28, through May 31, 2011. Comments or requests should be submitted by May 31, 2011, and be sent to Ruby Crysler at the contact information on page one. EPA will approve or deny the permit modification only after the public comment period has ended and all comments have been reviewed.

EPA encourages the community to review the Administrative Record and comment on EPA's tentative decision. The Administrative Record is available at these locations during normal business hours:

Waterloo Public Library
415 Commercial St.
Waterloo, Iowa
(319) 291-4480

EPA Records Center
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, Kansas
(913) 551-7166

Questions or requests for information can be submitted to:

Beckie Himes
Office of Public Affairs
EPA Region 7
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll free: 800-223-0425
e-mail: himes.beckie@epa.gov

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