(a) Unless granted an exemption pursuant to subdivision (c) or Section 25208.13 or 25208.18, on or after January 1, 1989, no person shall discharge any liquid hazardous waste or hazardous wastes containing free liquids into a surface impoundment, unless the surface impoundment is double lined, as specified in subdivision (b), equipped with a leachate collection system, and groundwater monitoring is conducted, in accordance with the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, the regulations and guidance documents adopted pursuant thereto, and the regulations adopted by the
state board and the department.
(b) Until the regulations and guidance documents specified in subdivision (a) relating to double liners for surface impoundments go into effect, the requirement of installing double liners in subdivision (a) may be satisfied by installing a top liner which is designed, operated, and constructed of materials to prevent the migration of any constituents into the top liner during the period the facility remains in operation, including any postclosure monitoring period, and by installing a lower liner which is designed, operated, and constructed to prevent the migration of any constituents through the lower liner during the same period, and is constructed of at least a three-foot thick layer of recompacted clay or other natural materials which have a permeability of not more than 1x10-7 centimeter per second.
(c) A person may apply for an exemption from subdivision (a) for a surface impoundment for which construction had begun on or before July 1, 1984, and which was issued waste discharge requirements by filing an application with the regional board on or before January 1, 1986. The initial application for exemption shall include a completed hydrogeological assessment report which contains the accurate data and documentation specified in Section 25208.8. An application for renewal of an exemption shall include the report only if required by the regional board. If the regional board has not granted the exemption by June 30, 1988, the person shall then comply with the requirements specified in subdivision (a), except that if the regional board denies the application for exemption but determines that a reasonable person would have applied for an exemption, the regional board may temporarily exempt the applicant from subdivision (a), for up to one year from
the date of the denial of the exemption, for the sole purpose of bringing the surface impoundment into compliance with subdivision (a).
(d) The regional board may grant an exemption upon reviewing the application and making all of the following findings:
(1) The applicant has fully complied with subdivision (c).
(2) No hazardous waste constituents have migrated from the surface impoundment into the vadose zone or the waters of the state in concentrations which pollute or threaten to pollute the waters of the state.
(3) Continuing the operation of the surface impoundment without the requirements specified in subdivision (a) does not pose a significant potential of hazardous waste constituents migrating from the surface impoundments into the
vadose zone or the waters of the state, in concentrations which pollute or threaten to pollute the waters of the state.
(e) If the regional board grants an exemption pursuant to subdivision (d), the regional board shall revise the waste discharge requirements prescribed pursuant to Section 13263 of the Water Code for that surface impoundment based upon a review of the report and shall include conditions in the waste discharge requirements to ensure that the waters of the state will not be threatened with pollution or polluted.
(f) An exemption granted pursuant to subdivision (d) or (g) shall not be effective for more than five years. A regional board shall not renew the exemption unless the regional board makes the findings specified in subdivision (d).
(g) If a regional board does not take any action by June
30, 1988, on a completed application for an exemption that was filed on or before January 1, 1986, the person who filed the application may file a request with the state board on or before July 31, 1988, to review the application. The state board shall deny or grant the exemption pursuant to the findings specified in subdivision (d) within four months after the request for review is filed, and, if the board grants the exemption, the state board shall revise the waste discharge requirements pursuant to subdivision (e). An exemption granted pursuant to this subdivision is subject to the requirements specified in subdivision (f). The state board shall act on an application for exemption on or before November 30, 1988. A person who files a request for a review of an application with the state board is exempt from subdivision (a) until the state board acts on the application, and, if the state board denies the exemption, the applicant is exempt from subdivision (a) for one year from the date of the denial of the
exemption for the sole purpose of bringing the surface impoundment into compliance with subdivision (a).
(h) Applications for an exemption or a renewal of an exemption shall be accompanied by the fee specified in the fee schedule adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 25208.3.