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Financial Assurance for Solid Waste Facilities

South Carolina's financial assurance provisions require facility or site owners/operators to demonstrate means to "ensure that the funds necessary to meet the costs of closure, post-closure and corrective action (for known releases) will be available whenever they are needed."

State regulations require owners/operators of permitted solid waste facilities or sites to provide financial assurance. This ensures that funds will be available if the owner/operator fails to perform proper closure and post-closure care.

For example, if an owner/operator abandons their site, or can't close or conduct post-closure care for some reason, the established financial assurance provides DHEC with the funds needed to do so.

Financial assurance must be demonstrated by owners/operators of:

  • Class I, II, and III Landfills;
  • Solid Waste Transfer Stations;
  • Solid Waste Processors;
  • Solid Waste Incinerators;
  • Tire Collection, Processing, and Disposal Facilities;
  • Composting Facilities; and
  • Wood Chipping Facilities.

The amount of financial assurance is decided after the owner/operator submits a cost estimate to DHEC. The estimate is reviewed by DHEC staff to ensure that costs for closing and conducting post-closure care have been taken into consideration. The following specific requirements are considered when calculating a cost estimate:

  • Third party costs (cost for an independent contractor to complete the work);
  • Closure (worst-case scenario);
  • Post-Closure (total post-closure period); and
  • Corrective Action (total corrective action period).

South Carolina Law does not require financial assurance for emergencies such as a fire.

On January 3, 2014, the financial institution holding the Bennett's Landfill financial assurance mechanism (a Certificate of Deposit ("CD"), which was assigned to DHEC, confirmed with DHEC that it had released the CD without DHEC approval. Upon this discovery, DHEC initiated a review of all permitted solid waste facilities or sites that are required to provide financial assurance to ensure each facility's compliance.

As a result of the unauthorized withdrawal of the Bennett's Landfill CD, DHEC has modified its financial documentation process to further aid a facility and a financial institution to maintain compliance with financial assurance requirements.