Earlier this month, the California State Water Quality Control Board (“State Water Board”) approved a General Order for Waste Discharge Requirements (“WDRs”) for composting operations, which will streamline and standardize permitting processes and regulate water quality at new and existing composting facilities. While the General Order was approved with very little fanfare or media coverage, its implications are significant.
General Order Coverage
The General Order, which applies to State composting facilities that process at least 500 cubic yards of material per year, will impose a regulatory scheme on a large number of the organics facilities already operating in the State. Moreover, the General Order’s facility coverage is likely to expand in the coming years, given the recent passage of California Assembly Bill 341 (“A.B. 341”) (2011), which encourages the addition and expansion of State composting facilities by establishing a State policy goal that at least 75 percent of the solid waste generated in the State be source-reduced, recycled, or composted by 2020.