Full text of "Forward"
Adopted By Board
The Board of Health and Environmental Sciences formally
adopted the proposed state solid waste management plan and
the rules for the implementation of S.B. 175 at the board's
As directed by state law, the draft state plan as well as the pro-
posed rules for Senate Bills 175 and 200 was circulated statewide
for public review and comment. Senate Bill 175 provided for
development of a state solid waste management plan and Senate
Bill 200 provided for the development of a program to handle
and dispose of wastes including hazardous wastes.
Over 800 copies of these materials were distributed to local
governments, governmental agencies and concerned citizens. In
addition, five public hearings were held to solicit public com-
ment. The final plan was prepared based on comments received
during the public review period.
Three particular areas of interest received the greatest atten-
tion: the relationship of the state strategy to the state plan;
the use of the Governor's Planning Regions; and the pay-back
provision of the plan.
The Preface of the state plan was expanded to provide a clear-
er distinction between the state strategy and the plan. The
strategy, which was the result of the solid waste management
study conducted by the department, recommends a suggested
least-cost configuration for areawide sanitary landfills and re-
source recovery facilities. The plan does not require local govern-
ments to adopt these suggested systems. It only provides techni-
cal and financial assistance to local governments to develop the
systems economically and politically acceptable to their area.
The pay-back provision of the plan is required by House Bill
708 which was the appropriation bill for S.B. 175. The house
bill contains an amendment which says if money appropriated for
a grant is spent for planning purposes and the planned project
is constructed, the planning money shall be repaid, but if the
planned project is not constructed, the grant does not need to
This requirement received the most severe criticism. Because
of its statutory status, it can only be eliminated by the legislature.
However, the Bureau is currently examining several suggestions
which may minimize the impact of the pay-back provisions.
In general, the draft state plan and rules were favorably re-
ceived. With the adoption of the final plan by the Board of
Health, the Bureau and local governments can begin working on
development of local solid waste management plans.
For S.B. 200
The Department of Health and Environmental Sciences has
proposed rules to govern solid waste management systems state-
wide. The rules provide uniform standards for the storage, treat-
ment, recycling, recovery and disposal of solid wastes, including
hazardous wastes and for the transport of hazardous wastes.
The proposed rule received public comment from June
through September of this year.
The provisions of the rule include the classification of wastes
and disposal sites into three groups. It also establishes criteria for
the physical characteristics required of each type of site including
soil type, permeability and water table. Operational requirements
are also included.
License Application to be Sent Out
S.B. 200 provided for the licensing of solid waste management
systems including storage, treatment, recycling, recovery or dis-
posal of solid waste. The law states that "no person may dispose
of solid waste without a license from the state" with the excep-
tion of those disposing of waste on their own lands.
The department shall furnish application forms and, with the
approval of the local health officer, issue licenses. These forms
will be mailed out within the next couple of months.
According to the rules developed for S.B. 200, application
forms will include: 1. Name and address of applicant; 2. Gen-
eral and legal description of the system's location; 3. Total
acreage involved; 4. Population served and proximity to popula-
tion center; 5. Water quality, soils and geology information;
6. Description of present uses of adjacent land and proposed use
of land after disposal areas are closed; 7. Applicable zoning in-
formation and 8. An operation and maintenance plan including:
days and hours the site will be open for use; how access will be
controlled; equipment to be used; how traffic will be directed
and controlled; maintenance schedule; provision for litter control
and types of waste to be accepted.
Following receipt of application, the local health officer will
be notified in writing within 15 days. If the license is issued, it
must be validated by the local health officer. However, the
health officer may refuse to validate the license if he finds the re-
quirements of the law are not satisifed. In this case, the law con-
tains provisions for appeal by the applicant.
Duane Robertson, 36, is the new chief of the Solid Waste
Management Bureau replacing Terry Carmody who resigned to
become director for the Environmental Quality Council. He
has worked with the Bureau since 1972 when he was hired to
administer the Junk Vehicle Program.
Duane graduated from Montana State University at Bozeman
with a degree in animal science and worked for five years as Lake
County sanitarian before joining the Bureau as one of its first
Since he has worked closely with the former chief in devel-
oping the Bureau's programs, Duane says the "ship will stay on
the course it has been following."
Duane and his wife, Barbara, have two girls: Darci, 7 and
Forty- six on the
Way To Local Plans
To date, forty-six Letters of interest from local governments
have been received by the Solid Waste Management Bureau.
Those initial steps for applying for solid waste management plan-
ning grants will be followed through with pre-application con-
At the informal meetings between the Bureau and applicants,
the steps to begin the planning and development of solid waste
management plans will be reviewed and all interested parties will
make at least a tentative choice of the members of the selection
committee which will choose the planning consultant.
Letters have been received from;
South Central Montana including Carbon, Stillwater and
Teton County and municipalities;
Madison County and municipalities;
North Central Montana including Hill and Choteau
Counties, Havre and Big Sandy;
5. Phillips County including the towns of Malta, Dodson
6. Valley County and municipalities;
7. Richland County and municipalities;
8. Blaine County;
9. Sheridan, Daniels and Roosevelt Counties and munici-
10. Mineral, Missoula and Ravalli Counties and municipal-
n. Granite County and Drummond.
Beware of Spills
From the Bandwagon
Solid Waste has become the new "bandwagon" with experts
emerging from behind every garbage can. Systems, solutions and
programs are being offered or proposed in increasing numbers.
The Solid Waste Management Bureau can help local govern-
ment officials get through the maze of information, identify the
most appropriate material and avoid the danger of making de-
cisions based on inadequate data. The Bureau has access to both
state and national information retrieval systems, if the informa-
tion required is not available in the Helena office.
The following is a partial list of other services available from
the Bureau which will assist local planning efforts in establishing
new or more efficient waste management systems. Assistance
1 . Development of applications for planning grants;
2. Selection of appropriate planning consultants;
3. Study of alternate waste management systems;
4. Information on improved waste management practices
such as collection, disposal, billing, accounting, routing,
collection and disposal equipment.
The Bureau will also help establish contact with other agencies
and industries which can provide technical help such as the
Workers Compensation Division, waste management consultants
and waste marketing experts both in and out of state.
I understand the Bureau has adopted some rules concerning
the transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes. Can you tell
me what the definition of hazardous wastes is?
Signed : Student of language
You will be disappointed in the definition used in the rules. It
states "Any solid waste or combination of solid wastes shall be
termed a hazardous waste if so classified or identified by the En-
vironmental Protection Agency." You see, the problem is that
EPA is working on this identification now and it should be an-
nounced in the next several months. Therefore to insure com-
plete consistency between the federal and state laws regarding
hazardous waste, the Bureau decided it would be better to wait
and use the EPA definition.
In the last issue of Forward, you announced that Terry Car-
mody was leaving. Who is the new Bureau chief?
Signed: Nosey Neighbor
Duane Robertson is the new chief of the Solid Waste Manage-
ment Bureau. A story in this issue introduces Duane. Take a
minute to meet him.
I attended a public hearing about the state plan. Whatever
happened with the whole thing?
Signed: Meeting goer
The state plan and the rules for S.B. 1 75 were adopted by the
Board of Health and Environmental Sciences. A great deal of
public comment was received and reviewed for incorporation into
the final plan prior to its adoption. The Bureau is very pleased
with the interest shown. On the first page of this issue, some of
the particular comments and suggestions are discussed.
My mailbox is full of information about solid waste manage-
ment lately. A lot of it is being put out by groups I 've never
heard of. How can I judge its validity?
You are right to be concerned. One of the Bureau's jobs is to
help local governments and individuals who are seeking particular
kinds of information. We either already have it or we know
where to get it for you. We will put you in touch with sources
which are respected in the field with years of experience. That's
one guarantee of validity. A partial list of the Bureau's services
are presented in this issue. Please call on us to help.
Signed: The Staff of the Solid Waste
► State Solid Waste Plan Adopted By Board
State Department of Health
and Environmental Sciences
Helena, Montana 59601
Permit No. 096050
Helena, MT 59601
► Rules Proposed For S.B. 200
► Duane Robertson New Bureau Chief