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News Brief: New Draft Rules Would Allow Landspreading of Petroleum Contaminated Soil Without DNR Approval

Spring 1996

The DNR has recently presented draft rules for consideration by the Natural Resources Board which would allow responsible parties to treat excavated contaminated soil through single-application landspreading. Under the draft rules, landspreading of the contaminated soil would be exempt from the requirements of the solid waste program and, in certain circumstances, landspreading could proceed without obtaining prior approval from the DNR.

These draft rules provide that soil which is contaminated with petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil and kerosene may be landspread without prior DNR approval provided the landspreading facility is a minimum specified distance from surface water bodies, water supply wells and residences. Responsible parties would also have to abide by certain limitations regarding the maximum number of pounds of total organic compounds which may be landspread and location requirements designed to ensure that a sufficient distance between the ground surface and the groundwater is present and is maintained.

If enacted, the rules would streamline the administrative process, thereby making landspreading a much more attractive remedial alternative. In addition to the streamlined administrative process, landspreading may be significantly cheaper than other remedial approaches such as disposal, incineration or bio-piling. Responsible parties who are currently engaged in or about to embark upon a petroleum-related cleanup should be aware that these proposed rules, if enacted, may provide an avenue for significant remedial cost savings.

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