Instructions: Permit Application for Composting Facilities and Anaerobic Digesters
Oregon Revised Statute 459 requires that solid waste disposal sites apply to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for a Solid Waste Disposal Permit prior to starting operation. For composting facilities (includes aerobic composting facilities and anaerobic digesters), Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 340-096-0060(3) requires all compost facilities, subject to regulation, to undergo a risk screening to determine the potential environmental risk a facility poses to human health and the environment. The type of composting facility permit (composting facility or anaerobic digester) will be determined based on the environmental risk evaluation.
DEQ will conduct an environmental risk screening of composting
facilities as provided in DEQ’s rules and guidance. DEQ will use
information provided by a compost operator (see below) and other
available information as necessary to evaluate the potential of a
composting facility to adversely impact surface water and
groundwater, soil or cause unacceptable offsite odors.
PERMIT: REGISTRATION, INDIVIDUAL COMPOSTING FACILITY OR ANAEROBIC DIGESTER
At the conclusion of the Environmental Screening, DEQ will notify applicants of the results of the screening. Composting facilities that DEQ determines present a low environmental risk will be issued a Registration Permit. In addition to requiring compliance with composting facility performance standards identified in OAR 340-096-0070, the Registration may include Approval Conditions for retaining a Registration-level permit.
Aerobic composting facilities and anaerobic digesters that DEQ determines present a potential risk to the environment will be required to submit a Site Operations Plan for DEQ review and approval. DEQ review of an Operations Plan requires a separate fee. The amount of the fee depends on the size of the facility. The Operations Plan must describe how a facility will be operated to address the identified environmental risks. After DEQ approval of an Operations Plan, the facility will be issued an Individual Composting Facility Permit or an Anaerobic Digester Composting Facility Permit.
The following documentation must be submitted in writing in order
for DEQ to conduct a risk screening and for the permit application
to be complete. A complete application should include the following
Composting facility/ Anaerobic digester application items
The following items are requested to be submitted as part of the solid waste permit application form.
- Permit Application (completed and signed)
- Land Use
Compatibility Statement (completed and signed) Submit a Land Use Compatibility Statement which
acknowledges a composting facility of a specified, proposed size is
an allowed use on the specific property covered by the LUCS; attach any findings of fact.
- Disposal Site Compatibility with Solid Waste Management Plan -(contact DEQ to determine if necessary). A written recommendation from the local solid waste planning
- Certificate of Business Registry (contact DEQ to determine if necessary). This certificate can be obtained from the Oregon Secretary of State office.
- Identification of any other known or anticipated permits.
- Composting facility screening fee of $150.
Environmental Risk Screening information
The following facility
operational and physical information is necessary in order for DEQ to
conduct an environmental risk screening. DEQ can help obtain some of the
required information. If you have any questions, please contact a
regional DEQ composting facility representative to discuss.
A description of the composting or anaerobic digestion operation including feedstock types, volumes and sources, feedstock receiving area prectices, methods of feedstock preparation such as grinding, feedstock or digestate storage area practices, composting or digestion methods, and uses of composted material or digestates;
- A description of all existing or planned structures and features
for managing leachate and stormwater, including but not limited to
information about any detention or infiltration basins, and any
infiltration structures such as filter strips and bioswales;
- If the facility is subject to the pathogen reduction
requirements of OAR 340-096-0070(5), a description of the methods
the facility will use to achieve such pathogen reduction;
- A description of Odor control measures including site design features and operational practices;
- A description of the methods the facility will use to achieve
- Any seasonal variations in the operation of the facility;
- For anaerobic digesters:
- A description of digestate retention structures and practices.
- A description of uses for liquid and solid digestate including a description of agronomic use if land application of material.
- Contact information including the composting facility operator,
composting facility owner, and property owner; and
- Operational and compliance history of the facility.
- The location and site schematic, including areas for management
of leachate and stormwater, of the existing or proposed
facility by latitude and longitude, identified on a map;
- The location of the facility on a tax lot map;
- The location of and distance to surface water in the drainage
area of the composting facility, and all drainage channels, ditches
and any other water conveyances leading from the composting facility
to surface water, identified on a map;
- The locations of all commercial and residential structures
within a one mile radius of the composting facility, identified on a
map or photograph (aerial photograph);
- A description of any leachate and stormwater produced at the facility, including information about the chemical composition of leachate;
For anaerobic digesters
- Facility plans identifying leachate storage areas and biogas collection and storage facilities.
Note: DEQ will collect the following information if you have
difficulty obtaining it.
- Distance to the uppermost groundwater aquifer and other known
aquifers at the location of the composting facility and in any areas
proposed for infiltration of leachate or stormwater from the
- Soil type or types, and permeability if known or available, at
the location of the composting facility and in any areas proposed
for infiltration of leachate or stormwater;
- The location and well logs of all wells on the property where
the composting facility is located; the location and well logs of
any wells within ¼ mile of the composting facility; and, if known,
the location of any proposed wells within ¼ mile of the composting
- The prevailing wind direction, by season, identified on a map,
and any other climactic information related to wind and air
What to expect:
At the conclusion of the Environmental Screening, DEQ will notify applicants of the results of the screening. Composting facilities and anaerobic digesters that DEQ determines present a low environmental risk will be issued a Registration Permit. Composting facilities and anaerobic digesters that present a potential risk to the environment will be required to submit a Site Operations Plan (with fees) for DEQ approval and will receive an Individual Composting Facility Permit or Anaerobic Digester Permit once the Operations Plan is approved. For more information on DEQ’s permitting process go to the Regulating Composting Facilities and Anaerobic Digesters page.
In addition to an Environmental Screening Fee of $150, composting facilities and anaerobic digesters that are required to submit an Operations Plan for DEQ review and approval will be subject to an Operations Plan Review and Approval Fee (see table) and may be subject to a Composting Facility Engineering Review Fee of $500. DEQ will contact the applicant regarding additional requirements and fees, after the environmental risk screening is completed.
Operations Plan Review and Approval Fee
|100 tons – 3,500 tons
|3,501 tons – 7,500 tons
|7,501 tons – 10,000 tons
|10,001 tons – 50,000 tons
|> 50,000 tons
A Composting Facility Engineering Review Fee will apply if DEQ
requires review of engineering plans and specifications for engineered
facilities including but not limited to storage ponds, impervious
composting surfaces, buildings, roads and or water drainage or storage
Annual Compliance Fees:
Composting facilities that are issued a Registration permit will not
pay annual compliance fees. Annual compliance fees will apply to
composting facilities that DEQ determines pose a potential environmental
risk and receive a Composting Facility permit. Annual compliance fees
will be based on tonnage of feedstocks received.
Annual Composting Permit Compliance Fees
|< 100 tons
|101 - 3,500
|3,501 – 7,500
|7,501 – 50,000
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact
the regional solid waste permit coordinator in your area.
Disclaimer: These instructions are provided so potential
permittees can more easily understand DEQ’s requirements for composting
facilities in Oregon. For complete rule language and definitions, refer
to Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 340, Divisions 93, 96, and