BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 17.50.301 pertaining to state solid waste management and resource recovery plan
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On April 11, 2013, the Department of Environmental Quality published MAR Notice No. 17-345 regarding a notice of public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 465, 2013 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 7.
2. The department has amended the rule exactly as proposed.
3. The following comments were received and appear with the department's responses:
COMMENT NO. 1: The short- and long-term goals in the 2013 Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP or Plan) being adopted by reference in the proposed rule amendment should be broken down into specific objectives that can be measured at the local, regional, and state level. The commenter proposed an example: Establishing four regional tire shredding operations in Montana (north, south, east, west) within 24 months, with an increased landfill diversion rate of 10 percent in year two and 20 percent in year three.
RESPONSE: The department appreciates this comment, but does not believe short-term or more specific objectives are appropriate for this document. Broad goals are necessary so that short-term goals and objectives can be made at the local level where factors, such as population, geography, transportation, and volume of commodities generated, are taken into consideration. No modification to the Plan has been made.
COMMENT NO. 2: The goals and objectives in the IWMP need to be more ambitious to challenge and motivate communities and that Montana needs the inspiration and leadership from major players across the state. Greater expectations can commence with a couple of specific projects that DEQ may decide to spearhead through the IWMP. The proposed plan is fairly comprehensive, but gets diluted rather quickly, and does not generate excitement and the essential consumer activism needed. The IWMP should contain more substantive goals and objectives.
RESPONSE: The department appreciates this comment, but notes that county and local governments are not bound to follow the actions described in the plan. Therefore, the goals and objectives are kept broad so that each community can set smaller goals that are achievable for that specific community and that are also based upon the enthusiasm and engagement of that community's citizens. The department develops inspiration and leadership at the local level through individual interaction, training, conferences, newsletters, workshops, and public outreach. Citizen engagement and activism receive support through assistance to community programs and volunteers, as well as department participation in local recycling events. The department also supports Recycle Montana, a nonprofit organization providing public education and outreach.
The department introduces major initiatives that are embraced by local communities based upon their level of public engagement. The "Hub and Spoke" initiative encourages communities to form alliances that combine the volumes of recyclables collected and increase revenue returned to the communities through recycling. No modification to the Plan has been made.
COMMENT NO. 3: The purported rationale for the 2013 Plan is to serve as "a planning document for department activities as well as an educational document for state and local governments." The commenter stated that it falls short on inspiring a shared Montana vision for solid waste management. The commenter praised the educational content of the plan concerning batteries, cathode tubes, and composting efforts, but felt that it does not energize readers towards action. The commenter stated that the Plan should have some creative and innovative strategies that promote source reduction and waste minimization. The commenter referred to the waste-tire-shredding example in Comment No. 1, and suggested that if the IWMP grasps onto several key waste issues and provides opportunities for local and regional action, there will be a significantly improved chance of project success and measurable environmental impact.
RESPONSE: The department appreciates this comment. The legislative intent for the IWMP is to provide statewide policy on an integrated waste management strategy for the state. The 2013 revised Plan does include information on alternative technologies for solid waste management and provides the basics from which decision-makers may choose, at the local level, what is best for their communities. Throughout the five-year period between IWMP publications, the department continually seeks out innovations and strategies that are introduced to solid waste managers and stakeholders through workshops, webinars, conferences, and more. The department believes that these activities are appropriate and that more specific tactics and actions are best developed and implemented at the local level. No modification to the Plan has been made.
COMMENT NO. 4: Source reduction is prioritized, as it should be, and waste minimization needs to be promoted in terms of greater efficiencies. Environmental costs should be emphasized to a greater extent, in terms of whole-life product cycles.
RESPONSE: The department appreciates this comment and does incorporate life-cycle cost analyses into agency actions and outreach. The IWMP addresses life-cycle analyses under the concept of product stewardship. See IWMP pages 26 and 28. The department will continue to educate businesses and citizens about life-cycle analysis of products and services. The department believes that the level of emphasis in the Plan on environmental costs and life-cycle analysis is appropriate. No modification to the Plan has been made.
COMMENT NO. 5: The commenter stated that five steps are the crux of the program and suggested that the department promote them in a graphic format as fingers on a hand: reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, landfill.
RESPONSE: The department appreciates this comment and will consider incorporating this idea into public outreach materials and presentations. No modification to the Plan is necessary to implement the comment.
COMMENT NO. 6: The commenter stated that the hub-and-spoke approach to rural recycling is excellent and should be promoted continuously.
RESPONSE: The department agrees with the comment. The department intends to strengthen the existing programs, as well as implement this strategy in additional communities. No modification to the Plan is necessary to carry this out.
COMMENT NO. 7: The local government framework for implementing IWM systems will rely heavily on department leadership and promotion in the field. If the department aggressively promotes uses for products such as pulverized glass for asphalt projects, community assistance for E-waste, alternative uses for carpet products, and biogas collection at landfills, then local and regional efforts can take a path towards greater involvement, improved communications, and collaboration on projects.
RESPONSE: The department believes that the IWMP proposes an appropriate level of emphasis at the state level for community assistance for E-waste recycling (pages 19-20) and recycling of, and alternative uses for, carpet products (pages 16-17, 28).
The department maintains web pages to promote the recycling of glass, http://deq.mt.gov/Recycle/Glass/default.mcpx, and the use of pulverized glass, http://deq.mt.gov/Recycle/Glass/pulverizer.mcpx, but the task force that helped the department set the priorities to be addressed in the IWMP did not identify the recycling or diversion of glass from the waste streams as high priorities, so the department did not address them in the IWMP. Biogas collection at two landfills was mentioned at page 7 of the IWMP, but was not identified by the task force as a priority and was not further addressed. Furthermore, biogas collection is not a waste diversion activity; it is an energy recovery activity. The department will work with local communities to help them address appropriate activities to promote waste reduction and diversion. No modification to the Plan has been made.
Reviewed by: DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
/s/ John F. North By: /s/ Tracy Stone-Manning
JOHN F. NORTH TRACY STONE-MANNING, DIRECTOR
Certified to the Secretary of State, July 29, 2013.