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Buchanan County, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 8-24-1992]
This article shall become effective from the date of its approval and adoption as provided by law. This article shall supersede and repeal any conflicting ordinances. This article shall not operate to alter, modify or rescind any existing zoning or subdivision ordinances nor to affect the application and enforceability of the Buchanan County Comprehensive Plan.
For the purpose of this article, the terms or words used herein shall have the same meaning as the same terms or words as defined in the Virginia Waste Management Act, §§ 10.4-1400 through 10.1-1457 of the Code of Virginia. In addition, this article shall specifically apply to and prohibit private thermal burn units, private commercial incinerators and gas injection wells. Thermal burn units prohibited hereunder are systems that separate chemicals and fuels from soil by using heat and other evaporation methods, and these systems are sometimes referred to by the industry as "regenerative thermal oxidizers," "rotary drum dryers" and "low-temperature thermal extraction systems." Private commercial incinerators prohibited hereunder are those incinerators that are used and maintained to incinerate off-site solid waste, waste fuels and chemicals. Gas injection wells include wells and boreholes which are used to store or dispose of brine water or any waste by-product of gas or oil drilling, exploration or production.
This article is established for the purpose of protecting, promoting and preserving an environment that is conducive to public health and welfare, preventing the creation of nuisances and the depletion of natural resources and to maintain such levels of air quality and water quality as will protect human health, welfare and safety and, to the greatest degree practicable, prevent injury to plant and animal life and property and to nurture the comfort of the people in their enjoyment of life and property and to encourage the social and economic development of Buchanan County and to facilitate the enjoyment of its attractions.
A. 
It shall be unlawful to establish, maintain or operate an unregulated dumping place, an open dump or a privately owned or privately operated solid waste management facility or components thereof within the territorial boundaries of Buchanan County, except as provided in § 76-14A as hereinafter set forth.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to transport for disposal into the territorial boundaries of Buchanan County any garbage, trash or refuse which has been compacted or baled in such a manner that it cannot be readily examined and inspected by manual, chemical, electronic or other acceptable and mandated means by county officials for the purpose of determining whether such garbage, trash or refuse contains hazardous substances.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to collect, haul, transport or convey garbage or trash for disposal within the boundaries of Buchanan County, except from a residence, business, approved collection point, including highway and stream cleanup activities, to an approved bulk container in the community or to a county-approved solid waste management facility.
D. 
It shall be unlawful to transport such refuse to points through and outside Buchanan County, except for the transporting of such refuse in adequately covered trucks to points outside of the boundaries of Buchanan County, Virginia.
A. 
This section of this article, regarding siting of solid waste management facilities, shall apply only to landfills operated by Buchanan County or by a regional waste or service authority in which Buchanan County is a participating member. In addition, the provisions of this § 76-14 shall apply to captive industrial landfills which accept waste only from a business or industry located on the same site. The provisions of this section shall not apply to privately owned or privately operated solid waste management facilities other than captive industrial landfills. The provisions of this section shall apply to privately owned or privately operated solid waste management facilities only in the event that the prohibition provisions of § 76-13 of this article are ruled invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction.
B. 
No person shall establish, operate or maintain a solid waste management facility without a certificate from the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors.
C. 
A solid waste management facility shall not be sited or constructed in areas subject to base floods.
D. 
No solid waste management facility shall be sited in geologically unstable areas where adequate foundation support for the construction components for the solid waste management facility does not exist, giving due consideration to soil conditions, geological and geomorphologic features, man-made features, caverns, tunnels, mines and sinkholes.
E. 
No solid waste management facility disposal area shall be closer than 500 feet to any regular flowing surface body of water nor 1,000 feet to any well, spring or other groundwater source of drinking water. Any solid waste management facility disposal area shall also be minimum of 100 feet from any public road or right-of-way used by anyone other than the person operating the facility and a minimum of 1,500 feet from any residence, school, hospital or nursing home, church recreational and park area and retail establishment.
F. 
There shall be a minimum separation of 10 feet between the deposit of solid waste and the maximum seasonal water table or bedrock, unless equal isolation or separation can be achieved and maintained by engineered construction and operation methods to meet the standards of the Virginia Department of Waste Management (DWM).
G. 
The access from a primary highway to the proposed facility site shall be an all-weather paved road.
H. 
Evaluation criteria.
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors shall consider the following siting criteria in evaluating an application:
(a) 
Suitability of the proposed solid waste management facility site in light of the surface and subsurface conditions (porous, fractured or subsided or as subjected to the same from past, present or future mining or as otherwise affected by natural sinkholes, fissures and cracks).
(b) 
Impact of the proposed solid waste management facility site on groundwater and water used by surface owners and localities with Buchanan County.
(c) 
The fitness of the applicant, its owners and their companies to guard and to protect the safety and welfare of the public and of water and other natural resources.
(d) 
The likelihood that a breach of the solid waste management facility containment systems could occur and, if so, the impact such breach would have upon groundwater and surface water.
(2) 
The impact of the solid waste management facility, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, shall be subject to the review of the Buchanan County Planning Commission pursuant to § 15.1-456 of the Code of Virginia.
I. 
The siting of a solid waste management facility, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, shall be subject to the review of the Buchanan County Planning Commission pursuant to § 15.1-456 of the Code of Virginia.
J. 
A certificate awarded pursuant to this article shall not be transferable or assignable without the vote and consent of the Board of Supervisors.
K. 
A new certificate shall be required pursuant to this article for the establishment of a new facility, the expansion of any existing facility beyond the previously approved boundaries or due to any material change in design or process at an existing facility.
A. 
Facilities for the disposal of solid waste from the extraction, beneficiation and processing of coal shall be exempt from this article, provided that such facilities are managed in accordance with the requirements promulgated by the appropriate agencies of the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
B. 
Limitations.
(1) 
The exception provided in Subsection A shall not apply to facilities for the disposal of by-products of coal combustion, such as fly ash and bottom ash, unless such facility:
(a) 
Is captive;
(b) 
Is in existence and operation at the time this article is adopted;
(c) 
Conforms with all state and federal regulations; and
(d) 
Does not accept fly ash and ash bottoms from sources other than the owner's captive sources or its affiliates within Buchanan County.
(2) 
All future exceptions from this article for the disposal of on-site or captive fly ash and ash bottoms at sites not presently in existence shall be applied for by the owner to the governing body and shall be granted upon proper notice, public hearing and proof that such application qualifies for exception hereunder.
C. 
On-site captive incinerators used to dispose of medical wastes by hospitals shall be exempt from this article, provided that such incinerators otherwise comply with state and federal regulations, and further provided that the incinerator facilities do not accept off-site wastes from sources other than medical care facilities within Buchanan County.
D. 
Publicly owned and managed regional solid waste management facilities approved and located within Buchanan County shall be exempt from the prohibitions set forth in § 76-13A, B, C and D herein upon the following conditions:
(1) 
The waste management facility site meets the requirements of §§ 76-14, 76-16, 76-17, 76-19, 76-20, 76-21 and 76-22 herein;
(2) 
The ultimate control, through appointment of directors or a member to the regional authority, of the regional landfill remains with the governmental authorities, including the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors, which are parties to the placement and development of the regional waste management facilities; and
(3) 
That privately owned components of the regional waste management facility shall comply with and be responsible to the regional waste management facility and the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors in addition to all relevant state and federal governmental authorities and agencies.
A. 
An application for a certificate shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and phone number of applicant.
(2) 
The names, addresses and work and home phone numbers of all persons and entities owning an interest exceeding 5%, whether expressed or silent, in the proposed solid waste management facility's operating entity, in the site or in the applicant.
(3) 
The legal description of the property on which the facility is proposed to be located and the Tax Map reference.
(4) 
A copy of the lease or deed establishing the applicant's right to use the proposed site.
(5) 
A description of the current use of the proposed site.
(6) 
The present zoning district of the site.
(7) 
The proposed size and type of the solid waste management facility.
(8) 
A preliminary site plan, showing the boundary of the site, the proposed disposal areas and other facilities and equipment to be located at the site.
(9) 
A list of all property owners, both surface and mineral, and mailing addresses, as shown on the Buchanan County land books, who are contiguous, adjacent or within one mile of the proposed site.
(10) 
The names, addresses and phone numbers of all residents and owners living within a one-mile radius of the proposed solid waste management facility site or within 1/2 mile of a collection and separation site and detailed information regarding the source of each listed resident's water supply and any surface and water damage reported to the applicant by the resident due to past or present mining activities. That applicant shall take a written statement from the resident and have the resident sign and verify that the information contained therein is true and accurate with a copy being given to the resident. Should the resident refuse to cooperate with the applicant, the applicant shall report that fact in the application.
(11) 
A description of the type of waste to be deposited in the proposed solid waste management facility.
(12) 
A description of the anticipated rates or fees to be charged for the disposal of solid waste, an estimate of the total volume of waste to be disposed of each year and an estimate of the total annual revenues to be generated by waste disposal activities at the proposed site.*
(13) 
A complete description of the nature of any contracts and the identity of parties to such contracts for the acceptance of solid waste involving the proposed site that have been agreed to at the time the application is submitted or prior to the final action of the Board of Supervisors or its agent on the applications.*
(14) 
A complete and thorough listing concerning the environmental record of the entities who have been in contact or have contracted with the applicant to utilize the solid waste management facility.*
(15) 
A complete and thorough record of the compliance history of the applicant, concerning state and federal environmental laws.*
[*NOTE: All information contained in Subsection A(12), (13), (14) and (15) above shall be updated periodically by the applicant pending the approval or disapproval of the solid waste management facility siting application.]
(16) 
A plan for land use of the site after the facility is closed.
(17) 
Complete information regarding violations of federal or state environmental laws or regulations by any of the applicant's owners, officers or any corporate entities in which the applicant owns or has owned an interest. The environmental controls referred to herein include but are not limited to any and all statutes and regulations enforced by the Division of Mined Land Reclamation, the Division of Mines and Quarries, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Office of Surface Mining, the State Air Pollution Control Board, the State Water Control Board and the United States Army Corp of Engineers.
(18) 
Information regarding felony convictions of the applicant or any of the applicant's owners, officers or any corporate entities in which that applicant or any of its owners owns or has owned an interest.
(19) 
A map showing the location of the facility, the roads and right-of-way giving access to the facility and an approximate location of residences, schools, hospitals, churches and retail establishments located along any street or secondary road proposed to be used as an access road for the facility.
(20) 
A site plan showing the entire acreage owned or controlled by the applicant, the names of adjoining property owners, the location of any adjoining property or other properties within 1,500 feet of the site and the location of any residence, school, hospital, church, recreational park and retail establishment.
(21) 
The anticipated type, amount and source of financial protection to be provided by that applicant to satisfy the financial assurance regulations of the DWM and the additional requirements, if any, of the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors, which shall be determined on a site-by-site basis.
(22) 
The names, addresses and relevant experience of all key personnel to be employed or retained by the applicant in connection with the operation of the proposed solid waste management facility.
(23) 
Complete information regarding violations of federal or state environmental laws or regulations by any of the key personnel identified in Subsection A(22) above or in any application submitted to the DWM.
B. 
In addition, the applicant for a certificate may request to furnish engineering and site plans to show the slope and direction of rock strata and aquifers; the availability of cover material on site or arrangements for obtaining adequate cover material from a borrow site; the location of springs, seeps and other groundwater sources; other possible groundwater intrusion to the site; the location of any gas, water, sewage, electrical or other transmission lines under, on or over the site; and the location on the site of a prior open dump, landfill, lagoon, surface or deep mine or similar facility. If requested, the applicant shall provide detailed core hole samples from two locations within 50 horizontal feet of the opposite extremities of the site of at least 300 feet deep (50 feet deep if near a utilized freshwater aquifer). If requested, the applicant shall also provide certified test results of the water quality of any freshwater aquifers beneath the proposed site to a depth of 300 feet. If requested, the applicant may be asked to furnish a plan for transporting waste through Buchanan County to the waste management facility site.
C. 
Proposals near coal-mining operations.
(1) 
If the applicant's proposed solid waste management facility is situated within 3,000 feet of any abandoned, inactive or active coal mining operation, the following information shall be supplied as part of the application prior to consideration for the applicant's request for siting approval:
(a) 
The names and addresses of the coal and mineral owners within a three-thousand-foot radius of the proposed solid waste management facility site, with supporting documentation as available in the county land book records.
(b) 
A list, with certification from the Division of Mined Land Reclamation (Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy), of all applications and past and present permits for the surface mining or deep mining of coal within a three-thousand-foot radius of the proposed solid waste management facility site.
(2) 
If the Division of Mined Land Reclamation finds that such permit applications are pending or such mining is in progress or that abandoned coal mines exist within the three-thousand-foot radius area, then the applicant shall provide copies of the relevant mining permit applications, complete with maps of the active, inactive, proposed or abandoned mining sites, with the boundary of the proposed solid waste management facility site outlined in red and the boundary of the proposed, active or inactive abandoned mining site outlined in blue, and the applicant shall also supply copies of all relevant hydrological formation and subsidence control plans contained within the mining permit applications as set forth in the mining permit files.
(3) 
If the landfill site is on limestone or similar soluble rock, then it will be required that the applicant document all caves, openings, sinkholes, disappearing streams, known cave passages and any types of subterranean life forms and their status on the federal and state endangered species list.
D. 
Verification of application. The information in the application shall be sworn to as being complete and accurate and shall be signed by the president of the applicant's corporation, if said applicant is a corporation, or by all of the partners in a partnership, both general and silent partners, or the individual sole proprietor, if the same applies.
E. 
Application fee. The nonrefundable fee established by the county to cover the costs of processing and reviewing the application, giving notice to effective property owners and advertising a public hearing shall be a minimum of $5,000 or the actual cost of processing and reviewing the application, whichever is greater, and shall include the costs of legal and technical review, and the minimum fee shall be payable by the applicant with the application.
A. 
Within 60 days after the receipt of a complete application, as determined by the Board of Supervisors or its agent, the Board shall hold a public hearing on the proposed siting of the solid waste management facility. The hearing shall be advertised as all other nonrevenue ordinances are advertised. The Board shall make a decision following the receipt of the complete application. If the Board approves the siting location, it shall issue a certificate as specified by § 10.1-1408.1 of the Code of Virginia. If the Board declines to issue a certificate, it shall advise the applicant of the reasons for declining to issue a certificate.
B. 
If the Board of Supervisors or its agent returns an application to an applicant with instructions to provide additional information because of the applicant's failure to obtain approval required by any ordinance of Buchanan County or the Code of Virginia or because of the application of this article or any other ordinance prohibiting the establishment, operation or maintenance of a privately owned or privately operated solid waste management facility, the application shall be deemed incomplete, and no further action by the Board or its agent shall be required until the reason for the return of the application has been corrected. Should any application be so returned, the applicant shall have the right to resubmit the application to be reviewed by the Board or its agent for completeness without the deposit of any additional application fee.
C. 
The submission of any application pursuant to this article shall not result in the establishment of any right to establish, operate or maintain a solid waste management facility.
A. 
In making a decision as to whether the certificate shall be issued, the Board of Supervisors shall consider the potential effect of the proposed solid waste management facility on the health, safety and welfare of the county and its residents and the criteria set forth in this article.
B. 
The Board of Supervisors, in determining whether to issue a certificate, may also consider whether the proposed facility is compatible to existing land uses and what visual barriers, such as tree buffers or berms, are to screen the site from adjacent residences, schools, hospitals, churches, parks and recreation areas and retail establishments. The Board of Supervisors may consider litter on the access road to the site, fugitive dust, noise, odor, hours of operation and artificial lighting that may negatively affect adjacent uses of land.
A. 
In denying a certificate, the Board of Supervisors may state conditions which, if complied with, would result in the issuance of a certificate, and if the applicant agrees to comply with such conditions and resubmits his application containing all such conditions, then the Board may grant a certificate upon further public hearing.
B. 
If a certificate is granted, the certificate shall name the applicant and its address, describe in detail the location of the site and list the types of solid waste which may be disposed of on the site. The certificate shall specifically refer to the date of the application and shall specifically list the date of any amendment thereto. When a certificate is issued, the certificate shall state that the location and operation of the facility are consistent with all applicable ordinances of the county. A copy of the application and all amendments thereto shall be attached to the copy of the certificate which is to be filed by the applicant with the DWM.
C. 
No certificate shall be issued if the Board of Supervisors determines that the applicant lacks sufficient financial resources to safely and adequately establish, operate, maintain and close a proposed facility.
D. 
No certificate shall be issued if the Board of Supervisors determines that the applicant or its privately owned components or subcontractors, owners, officers, any corporate entities in which the applicant owns or has owned an interest or any key personnel identified in the application and any application submitted to the DWM have been found to have violated any federal or state environmental laws or regulations which have resulted in permanent permit revocations, bond forfeitures or criminal sanctions.
A. 
No certificate issued pursuant to this article shall be transferable unless approved and consented to by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors. A material change in the corporate ownership of any corporation that has been issued a certificate shall be considered a prohibited transfer.
B. 
Once a certificate has been issued pursuant to this article, the size of the site shall not be enlarged nor the type of waste accepted changed without reapplication and a new public hearing. A site may be decreased in size or the types of waste or volume disposed of may be reduced without amendment of a certificate or the submission of a new application, provided that in the event of a reduction in the size of the site or a reduction in types of waste to be handled at any time after the issuance of the certificate, the applicant shall, within 30 days thereof, file with the Board of Supervisors a new plat of the site and a new description of the types of waste which shall be disposed of at the site.
C. 
Any certificate issued pursuant to this article shall lapse 12 months after the final action of the Department of Waste Management on the application, unless the holder of the certificate has begun that actual construction of the proposed facility.
D. 
Any certificate granted pursuant to this article shall lapse if at any time the holder of the certificate shall cease operation of the facility for a period of 12 months.
E. 
Any certificate granted pursuant to this article may be revoked by the Board of Supervisors should the Board determine that the facility is being operated or maintained in a manner that poses a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment based upon the applicant's material noncompliance with this article or state or federal regulations.
F. 
Any certificate granted pursuant to this article or pursuant to any prior ordinance may be revoked by the Board of Supervisors should the Board determine that the grant of the certificate was based on an application containing material misrepresentations or omissions.
The Board of Supervisors reserves the right to make such inspections of the site as necessary to carry out the purposes of this article. The Board reserves the right to suspend and close a facility upon a finding by the Board of imminent dangers to the public and/or to the environment based upon the applicant's failure to comply with the material provisions of this article or state or federal regulations. The Board will provide a reason for such closing to the facility manager and owner and a list of corrective actions to be taken to correct such problems.
A. 
The Buchanan County local government, including but not limited to the Sanitation Officer/Litter Control Officer and any other local or state law enforcement officers performing law enforcement activity within Buchanan County, Virginia, shall be responsible for enforcing the requirements of all the articles set forth within Chapter 76.
[Amended 4-6-2015; 6-6-2016]
B. 
Violation of any ordinance within any of the articles set forth in Chapter 76 and any other solid waste ordinance previously adopted by Buchanan County shall be subject to a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to 12 months' imprisonment, as provided in § 15.2-1429 of the Code of Virginia. Each day that a person violates these ordinances shall constitute a separate offense. In addition, the provisions of this article may be enforced by a suit for injunction relief in a state court of competent jurisdiction.
[Amended 4-7-1997; 4-6-2015]
C. 
Nothing in this article shall be constructed to exempt any person or applicant from any other federal, state or local regulations required for the establishment, operation or maintenance of a solid waste management facility. Other such regulations include but shall not be limited to the National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, the Federal Power Act of 1920, the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Endangered Species Act and the Virginia Waste Management Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 10.1-1400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.