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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Waste Management - WM - Solid Waste - Disaster Debris Management - LCID

Waste Management

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Emergency/Disaster Vegetative and Land Clearing Debris Guidance

The Solid Waste Regional staff shall be contacted to approve selected temporary sites for debris storage, staging and processing.

These guidelines apply only to sites for staging or burning vegetative storm debris (yard waste, trees, limbs, stumps, branches, and untreated or unpainted wood). Arrangements should be made to screen out unsuitable materials. The two methods of managing vegetative and land clearing storm debris is "chipping/grinding" for use in landscape mulch, compost preparation, and industrial boiler fuel or using an air curtain burner (ACB)", with the resulting ash being land applied as a liming agent or incorporated into a finished compost product, as needed.

Environmental assessments of the temporary debris staging site should be conducted prior to beginning and after completion of the waste staging and processing operations. The assessments should include the collection of soil and water samples for chemical analysis. Contact the Solid Waste Section Environmental Senior Specialist in your area for a sample parameter list. Any contaminant spills or releases should be reported immediately to the Solid Waste Section Environmental Senior Specialist in your area.

CHIPPING/GRINDING SITES
Grinding wood debris for use as mulch, compost bulking agent, or industrial boiler fuel is encouraged if feasible as a method of management.  To produce a wood chip that is suitable for mulch or fuel, chip size and absence of contaminants are critical. Debris must be separated prior to grinding, and only tree waste and untreated and unpainted lumber shall be included in the chipping.

Locating sites for chipping/grinding of vegetative and land clearing debris can be accomplished by contacting the Regional Solid Waste Section staff for evaluating potential sites and to revisit sites at future dates to see if site conditions have changed or if the surrounding areas have changed significantly to alter the use of the site. The following guidelines are presented in locating  a site for "chipping/grinding" and are considered "minimum standards" for selecting a site for use.

1. Sites should be located outside of identifiable or known floodplain and flood prone areas; consult the Flood Insurance Rate Map for the location in your county to verify these areas. Due to heavy rains associated with hurricanes and saturated conditions that result, flooding may occur more frequently than normally expected.

2. Storage areas for incoming debris and processed material should be at a minimum 100 feet from all surface waters of the state.  "Waters of the state" includes but is not limited to small creeks, streams, watercourses, ditches that maintain seasonal groundwater levels, ponds, wetlands, etc.

3. Storage areas for incoming debris and processed material shall be at least 100 feet from the site property boundaries and on-site buildings/structures.  Management of processed material shall be in accordance with "GUIDELINES FOR REDUCING THE POTENTIAL FOR SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION IN COMPOST/MULCH PILES".

4. Storage areas for incoming debris shall be located at least 100 feet from residential dwellings, commercial or public structures, potable water supply wells, and septic tanks with leach fields.

5. Sites that have identified wetlands should be avoided, if possible. If wetlands exist or wetland features appear at a potential site, verification by the local Corps of Engineers office or Division of Water Quality Regional Office will be necessary to delineate areas of concern. Once areas are delineated, the areas shall be flagged and a 100-foot buffer shall be maintained for all activities on-going at the site.

6. The Division of Land Resources, Land Quality Section should be contacted for assistance on good erosion control measures and permitting guidance.

7. Dust control measures shall be implemented when necessary to prevent dust from moving off-site or causing visibility problems.

8. Sites bisected by overhead power transmission lines need careful consideration due to large dump body trucks/trailers used to haul debris.  All underground utilities need to be identified due to the potential for site disturbance by truck/equipment traffic and possible site grading.

9. Sites shall have an attendant(s) during operating hours to minimize the acceptance of unapproved materials and to provide directions to haulers and private citizens bringing in debris.

10. The operator shall manage the temporary debris management site to minimize the risk of fire. Any occurrence of fire, excluding authorized controlled burning, shall be reported within 24 hours to the Solid Waste Section Environmental Senior Specialist in your area.

11. Sites should be secure after operating hours to prevent unauthorized access to the site. Temporary measures to limit access to the site could be the use of trucks or equipment to block entry. Gates, cables, or swing pipes should be installed as soon as possible for permanent access control, if a site is to be used longer than two weeks. Sites should have adequate access that prohibits traffic from backing onto public right-of-ways or blocking primary and/or secondary roads to the site.

12. When possible, signs should be installed to inform haulers and the general public on types of waste accepted, hours of operation, and who to contact in case of an after hours emergency.

13. Grinding of clean wood waste such as pallets and segregated non-painted/non-treated dimensional lumber is allowed.

14. Final written approval is required from the Solid Waste Section to consider any debris management site to be closed. Closure of staging and processing sites shall be within six (6) months of receiving waste. If site operations will be necessary beyond this time frame, permitting of the site by the Solid Waste Section may be required. If conditions at the site become injurious to public health and the environment, then the site shall be closed until conditions are corrected or permanently closed. Closure of sites shall be in accordance with "DISASTER DEBRIS CLEAN UP GUIDELINES, CLOSURE AND RESTORATION OF TEMPORARY DEBRIS MANAGEMENT SITES".

15. Contact the Department of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, at  919-707-8100, for a list of contractors/suppliers of tub grinders and for a list of outlets for mulch/wood chips to be used as a boiler fuel.

AIR CURTAIN BURNER SITES
Locating sites that are intended for air curtain burning (ACB) operations is a coordinated effort between the Solid Waste Section and Division of Air Quality regional office staff for evaluating the surrounding areas and to reevaluate potential sites used in the past. The following guidelines are presented for selecting an ACB site and operational requirements once a site is in use:

1. Contact the local fire marshall or fire department for input into site selection in order to minimize the potential for fire hazards, other potential problems related to fire fighting that could be presented by the location of the site, and to ensure that adequate fire protection resources area available in the event of an emergency.

2. The requirements for ACB device(s), in accordance with Air Quality rules, 15A NCAC 2D .1900 to .1904, require the following buffers: a minimum of 300 feet from the ACB device to homes, dwellings and other structures and 250 feet from roadways. Contact the Regional office of Air Quality for updates or changes to their requirements.

3. Sites should be located outside of identifiable or known floodplain and flood prone areas; consult the Flood Insurance Rate Map for the location in your county to verify these areas. Due to heavy rains associated with natural disasters and saturated conditions that result, flooding may occur more frequently than normally expected. If ACB pit devices are utilized, a minimum two-foot separation to the seasonal high water table is recommended. A larger buffer to the seasonal high water table may be necessary due to on-site soil conditions and topography.

4. Storage areas for incoming debris should be at a minimum 100 feet from all surface waters of the state. "Waters of the state" includes but is not limited to small creeks, streams, watercourses, ditches that maintain seasonal groundwater levels, ponds, wetlands, etc.

5. Storage areas for incoming debris shall be located at least 100 feet from property boundaries and on-site buildings/structures.

6. Air Curtain Burners in use should be located at least 200 feet from on-site storage areas for incoming debris, on-site dwellings and other structures, potable water supply wells, and septic tanks and leaching fields.

7. Only untreated and unpainted lumber and tree debris may be burned

8. Wood ash stored on-site shall be located at least 200 feet from storage areas for incoming debris, processed mulch or tub grinders (if a grinding site and ACB site are located on the same property).  Wood ash shall be wetted prior to removal from the ACB device or earth pit and placed in storage. If the wood ash is to be stored prior to removal from the site, then rewetting may be necessary to minimize airborne emissions.

9. Wood ash to be land applied on site or off site shall be managed in accordance with "GUIDELINES FOR THE LAND APPLICATION OF WOOD ASH FROM STORM DEBRIS BURN SITES" and it shall be incorporated into the soil by the end of the operational day or sooner if the wood ash becomes dry and airborne.

10. Sites that have identified wetlands should be avoided, if possible. If wetlands exist or wetland features appear at a potential site, verification by the local Corps of Engineers office or Division of Water Quality Regional Office will be necessary to delineate areas of concern. Once areas are delineated, the areas shall be flagged, and a 100-foot buffer shall be maintained for all activities on-going at the site.

11. The Division of Land Resources, Land Quality Section should be contacted for assistance on good erosion control measures and permitting guidance.

12. Sites bisected by overhead power transmission lines need; careful consideration due to large dump body trucks/trailers used to haul debris and the intense heat generated by the ACB device. Underground utilities need to be identified prior to digging pits for using the ACB device.

13. Provisions should be made to prevent unauthorized access to facilities when not open for use. As a temporary measure, access can be secured by blocking drives or entrances with trucks or other equipment when the facilities are closed.  Gates, cables, or other more standard types of access control should be installed as soon as possible.

14. When possible, post signs with operating hours and information about what types of clean up waste may be accepted. Also include information as to whether only commercial haulers or the general public may deposit waste.

15. Closure of air curtain burner sites shall be within six (6) months of receiving waste. If site operations will be necessary beyond this time frame, permitting of the site by the Solid Waste Section may be required. If conditions at the site become injurious to public health and the environment, then the site shall be closed until conditions are corrected or permanently closed. Closure of sites shall be in accordance with "DISASTER DEBRIS CLEAN UP GUIDELINES, CLOSURE AND RESTORATION OF TEMPORARY DEBRIS MANAGEMENT SITES".


Sites shall be managed and monitored in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules and to prevent threats to the environment or public health.

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