Ohio General Assembly Considers New Law for Processing Facilities for Construction and Demolition Debris


Ohio EPA and construction demolition debris (C&DD) industry representatives have become increasingly concerned about problems associated with sites processing C&DD. According to an Ohio EPA factsheet, “Over the past several years, a large number of illegal construction and demolition debris (C&DD) disposal sites have begun operating under the premise of ‘processing’ C&DD materials to then be resold, an activity that is currently unregulated in Ohio. However, many times…the material is being collected and then abandoned, leaving local communities and the state to bear the cost of cleanup and mitigation of potential hazards.”

Cuyahoga County has experienced this problem first hand. In 2015, the Cuyahoga County Environmental Crimes Task Force raided a property suspected of being used by a private company as an illegal dump. The property was leased to a company to recycle construction and demolition debris, however, investigators discovered it was being used for the dumping of all kinds of waste.

In order to address these problems, the Ohio General Assembly is considering legislation in Senate Bill 333 that will have an impact on the management of construction and demolition debris. The proposed legislation includes a new definition of processing facility.

"Processing facility" means a site, location, tract of land, installation, or building that is used or intended to be used for the purpose of processing, transferring, or recycling construction and demolition debris that was generated off the premises of the facility. As used in this paragraph, "transferring" includes the receipt, storage, and movement of construction and demolition debris from vehicles or containers to a working surface and into other vehicles or containers for transportation to a solid waste landfill facility, a construction and demolition debris facility, or a processing facility. "Processing facility" does not include any construction site where construction debris and trees and brush removed in clearing the construction site are used as fill material on the site where the materials are generated or removed. "Processing facility" also does not include any site where materials composed exclusively of reinforced or non-reinforced concrete, asphalt, clay tile, building or paving brick, or building or paving stone are recycled or used as fill material, either alone or in conjunction with clean soil, sand, gravel, or other clean aggregates, in legitimate fill operations for construction purposes or to bring the site up to a consistent grade.

There is also a new definition for recycling construction and demolition debris.

"Recycling" means processing construction and demolition debris that would otherwise be disposed of and returning the material to commerce as a commodity for use or exchange in a legitimate market or for use in a beneficial manner that does not constitute disposal.

The draft legislation allows Ohio EPA to draft rules to regulate construction and demolition processing facilities. Regulation of these facilities is expected to be similar to that required for solid waste transfer stations, and would include requirements for a permit-to-install and financial assurance. 

Provisions in this MBR legislation will establish regulatory oversight of C&DD processing facilities to ensure these materials are properly managed and disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Finally, this bill also includes legislative language on the membership of the Lake Erie Commission, community water systems and dredge materials. Click here to obtain more information about Senate Bill 333.

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Greenberg, Principal Consultant, at 614-794-3570 ext. 16.