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Industrial Composting: Environmental Regulations
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Operations and Technology
Environmental Regulations
Reasons for Change
Terms & Definitions
Complete List of Links

Organic material management is regulated (i.e., siting, permitting, and management) at the state level, except for biosolids and animal manures.

States have assumed the lead role in regulating composting facilities. Composting facilities may need approval from the state before operating. The permit requirements for composting facilities vary among states. Examples of topics covered in the permitting process include: a detailed facility design, operating plans, a description of incoming materials, the amount and types of residue to be generated in the plant, monitoring plans, potential environmental releases, landfills to be used, and potential markets for the compost. Please visit the EPA's "Where You Live" page to find information about regional and state composting programs.

On the federal level, the Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge (40 CFR Part 503 under the Clean Water Act ) was published in the Federal Register (58 FR 9248 to 9404) on February 19, 1993. This act pertains to land application (and biosolids composting), surface disposal, and combustion of biosolids sewage sludge. Many of the standards promulgated in this rule can be applicable to municipal solid waste compost. For more information about this regulation, please go to EPA's Biosolids Page. Below is the Standard For The Use Or Disposal Of Sewage Sludge broken into individual chapters and offered in text or pdf format as taken from the National Archives and Records Administration's Code of Federal Regulations.

Title 40--Protection of Environment



TEXT PDF 503.1 Purpose and applicability.
TEXT PDF 503.2 Compliance period.
TEXT PDF 503.3 Permits and direct enforceability.
TEXT PDF 503.4 Relationship to other regulations.
TEXT PDF 503.5 Additional or more stringent requirements.
TEXT PDF 503.6 Exclusions.
TEXT PDF 503.7 Requirement for a person who prepares sewage sludge.
TEXT PDF 503.8 Sampling and analysis.
TEXT PDF 503.9 General definitions.
TEXT PDF 503.10 Applicability.
TEXT PDF 503.11 Special definitions.
TEXT PDF 503.12 General requirements.
TEXT PDF 503.13 Pollutant limits.
TEXT PDF 503.14 Management practices.
TEXT PDF 503.15 Operational standards--pathogens and vector attraction reduction.
TEXT PDF 503.16 Frequency of monitoring.
TEXT PDF 503.17 Recordkeeping.
TEXT PDF 503.18 Reporting.
TEXT PDF 503.20 Applicability.
TEXT PDF 503.21 Special definitions.
TEXT PDF 503.22 General requirements.
TEXT PDF 503.23 Pollutant limits (other than domestic septage).
TEXT PDF 503.24 Management practices.
TEXT PDF 503.25 Operational standards--pathogens and vector attraction reduction.
TEXT PDF 503.26 Frequency of monitoring.
TEXT PDF 503.27 Recordkeeping.
TEXT PDF 503.28 Reporting.
TEXT PDF 503.30 Scope.
TEXT PDF 503.31 Special definitions.
TEXT PDF 503.32 Pathogens.
TEXT PDF 503.33 Vector attraction reduction.
TEXT PDF 503.40 Applicability.
TEXT PDF 503.41 Special definitions.
TEXT PDF 503.42 General requirements.
TEXT PDF 503.43 Pollutant limits.
TEXT PDF 503.44 Operational standard--total hydrocarbons.
TEXT PDF 503.45 Management practices.
TEXT PDF 503.46 Frequency of monitoring.
TEXT PDF 503.47 Recordkeeping.
TEXT PDF 503.48 Reporting.

Taken from the National Archives and Records Administration.


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Industrial Composting Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange
Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange
Contact email: abray@newmoa.org

Hub Last Updated: 3/10/2009