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EPA APPROVES FINAL AIR PERMIT FOR CAMPO LANDFILL IN SAN DIEGO

Release Date: 8/18/1995
Contact Information: Arnold Robbins, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1486

   (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has approved a final air quality permit for construction of a solid waste landfill on the reservation of the Campo Band of the Mission Indians in eastern San Diego County.  

     "We believe this permit offers the best possible protection for controlling air pollution at the site," said Dave Howekamp, director of the regional air and toxics management division.  "The technology required to control air emissions will set a precedent for future landfill air permits."

     The Clean Air Act requires that potential major sources of certain air pollutants reduce their emissions as much as possible to protect air quality.  The air quality permit being approved   today makes final the conditions from a draft permit issued for public comment in May 1995 that limited emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter from the landfill.  

     The final permit contains only slight changes to the VOC and particulate matter controls that the Agency proposed in May 1995.  U.S. EPA has determined that without controls, the proposed landfill would have the potential to emit 380 tons per year of VOCs when landfill gas from decomposition reaches a peak after about 30 years of landfill operation.  But because a state of the art gas collection system and flares are required by the U.S. EPA final permit, total VOC emissions will be reduced by about 90%, to approximately 39 tons per year.

     VOCs react with sunlight in the atmosphere to form ground- level ozone, or smog.  High ozone concentrations can impair breathing, irritate mucous membranes in the nose and throat, and may have depressive effects on the body's immune system.

     The primary source of particulate matter emissions at the landfill would be from truck travel on paved and unpaved roads at the site.  U.S. EPA has determined that without controls, the proposed landfill would have the potential to emit about 56 tons per year of particulate matter.  But because the U.S. EPA permit requires the use of road cleaning, dust suppression and speed limits, particulate emissions will be reduced by almost 85%, to about 9.2 tons per year.

     Particulate matter includes dust, smoke, fly ash and condensing vapors that can be suspended in the air for long periods of time.  When inhaled, these microscopic particles can lodge in the lungs and affect respiratory function.  Chronic exposure to high levels of particulate matter can cause respiratory disease, lung damage and possibly premature death.  Young people, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease (such as asthma) are especially at risk.

     Copies of the final permit and air quality impact report can be obtained from Barbara Witter, U.S. EPA Region 9 (A-5-1), 75 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, Calif., 94105, (415) 744-1245.

     Under separate authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), U.S. EPA announced on April 13 its approval of the Campo Band's municipal solid waste landfill regulatory program.  That action gave the Campo EPA the authority to enforce the requirements of RCRA, which apply primarily to solid waste.  U.S. EPA will continue to be responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act on tribal land.


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