Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Solid Waste Disposal Sites and Landfills Permit Applications

Oregon Revised Statutes 459 requires that a solid waste facility apply to the Department of Environmental Quality for a Solid Waste Disposal Permit prior to starting operation. Types of facilities that require a Solid Waste Disposal Permit include:

  • Municipal solid waste landfills,
  • Industrial solid waste landfills, demolition landfills, wood waste landfills and non-municipal land disposal sites,
  • Energy recovery facilities and incinerators,
  • Composting facilities,
  • Disposal site, land application disposal sites and land use for deposit, spreading, lagooning or disposal of sewage sludge, septage and other sludges,
  • Transfer stations and material recovery facilities, and
  • Treatment facilities and petroleum contaminated soil remediation facilities.

Application process

Anyone applying for a DEQ Solid Waste Disposal Permit should contact the Solid Waste Program for an Initial Site Evaluation. The evaluation process will allow the Department to discuss with you what types of plans should be submitted and what conditions must be met for your type of facility.

The following documentation and information must be included with the permit application in order for the application to be complete:

  • A Land Use Compatibility Statement
  • A recommendation from the local solid waste planning authority
  • Demonstration of the need for a new, modified or expanded facility
  • A Certificate of Business Registry
  • Identifying any other known or anticipated permits
  • Application fee and compliance fees (if required)
  • Any other information DEQ deems necessary

Landfills and some other facilities may also have to include the following documentation in order for the application to be complete:

  • A Site Characterization Report
  • Detailed plans and specifications
  • For land disposal sites
    • A written closure plan
    • Evidence of financial assurance

Detailed information about permit submission

This guidance document describes the recommended content of permit applications and plans submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality. It is intended to serve as a technical resource for the regulated community.

This guidance document applies principally to municipal solid waste landfill facilities permitted under OAR 340-93-050 and regulated under OAR 340 Division 94. Much of the guidance will also be relevant and helpful in preparing applications and plans for non-municipal landfill and other solid waste facilities.

Document is guidance
This document represents technical guidance from the Department with the intent of assisting landfill permittees and others in the preparation of permit applications and associated plans. Nothing in this document is intended to be binding upon the permittee. This document does not have the force of law or rule.

Compliance expectations
Compliance with Oregon Revised Statutes 459 and 459A and with Oregon Solid Waste Regulations, OAR Chapter 340 Divisions 93 through 97 is required of permittees and all others whose activities fall under the purview of those statutes and rules.

Organization of applications and plans
The Department recommends that permit applications and plans follow the organization suggested in this guidance. Using this organization will facilitate Department review and approval of documents.

Comments on guidance
The Solid Waste Program intends to review and update this guidance document periodically to assure it remains clear and current.

Comments on the guidance are welcomed, and should be forwarded to:

Department of Environmental Quality
Solid Waste Program
4026 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE
Salem, OR 97302
Phone: 503-378-8240
Toll free in Oregon: 800-349-7677
Fax: 503-373-7944

Guidance organization
This guidance document is organized in sections relevant to landfill siting, characterization, design, construction, operation, monitoring, and closure. Each section is designed to assist an existing or potential landfill operator in meeting Department expectations.

User's guide
Identify the topic of interest and refer to the appropriate guidance section. Note that many sections are inter-related, and pertinent information may be in multiple sections.

Navigate through each section using:
  • How to respond,
  • In this section (describes the content of the section), and
  • Additional resources.
Table of Contents

All Solid Waste Facilities that will require storage or disposal of wastes for over one year are required to submit a Phase I Site Characterization Report. One-time-use-only sites may also need to develop a Phase I SCR and so must certain types of composting facilities, MRFs, and even transfer stations. Typically, this report is required as part of a new Solid Waste Permit Application, or in some cases, a Letter Authorization Application. Many existing sites may also need to complete or update their SCR if it has not been done recently. Guidance on the structure and content of the SCR can be found in DEQ’s Solid Waste Guidance, Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, Section 2 (Phase I) and Section 3 (Phase II). An electronic version of the guidance is available and the Department encourages the use of this guidance document to complete any SCR.

The purpose of the Phase I SCR is to provide general information about the site and the surrounding area. It is not meant to be an exhaustive, in-depth examination since that will be dealt with in further phases of the SCR as required. The Phase I SCR has always been meant to be more of a current literature review rather than the summary of site-specific fieldwork accomplished. The only real exception to this is the required door-to-door survey to determine the current water source (community system, well, or surface water intakes are examples) for each improved property in the area of interest.

The following is the Department’s recommended organizational structure of a Phase I Site Characterization Report and some possible sources of information. See DEQ’s Solid Waste Guidance, Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, Section Two: 
  1. Introduction
    Provide a brief review of the location restriction information covered under Section 1. Note any problems locating data. Describe the owner and operator of the proposed facility including how to contact them. State the reason or purpose of this facility. Provide a brief description of proposed (current) site operations.

  2. Existing conditions
    Describe the location of the site (township, range, and section); nearest city or town; nearest U.S. or State Highway; access to the site; legal description; local land use zoning; and vicinity map(s). Try the following web sites for information for this section: USGS quadrangles can be found using DEQ’s Longitude Latitude Identification application. Most Oregon counties have tax lot and zoning information available on the web. Contact the county office in question for availability and access. Aerial photographs can be accessed via Google Earth and the USGS Earth Explorer, for example.

  3. Climate/meteorology
    A good place to start is the Western Regional Climate Center or the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University.

  4. Hydrology
    Surface water and stream flow data can be found at Oregon's Water Resources Department web site. Wetlands are described in the National Wetlands Inventory. Flood plain delineation and/or flood maps can be found at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Hazard Mapping Section.

  5. Water balance
    The most common water balance model is the EPA’s Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP). Another useful set of models can be found on the USGS web site.

  6. Water use inventory
    Oregon Water Resources Department contains a lot of useful information. Nearly all water well logs on file with this Department are available in summary format. Groundwater and surface-water Public Water System locations can be found using DEQ’s interactive map viewer. The Oregon Health Authority Drinking Water Program houses a database on the latest chemical testing of drinking water sources, including nitrate.

  7. Geology
    Oregon's Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and the US Geologic Survey provide information on Oregon geology and hazards.

  8. Soils
    While not specified in the Phase I guidance, a review of the on-site soils is required if there is no liner system or if the natural soils are to be used in construction and/or operation of the site. The Natural Resources Conservation Service Web Soil Survey provides easy access to soils information.

  9. Hydrogeology
    Regional basin reports are available from either Water Resources Department, the US Geological Survey, or DEQ’s Water Quality Division.

  10. Other information
    Other information may be required to complete the Phase I SCR. An example of this may include, but is not limited to, a description of any mining activities nearby, nearby high-tension electrical transmission lines or airports, pipelines adjacent or passing through the site, or any known endangered or threatened species in the general area. Rare and endangered species information can be found at the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (formerly Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center). The Department of State Lands web site houses essential indigenous anadromous salmonid habitat information, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service can provide information on wetlands.

  11. Phase II SCR Workplan
    The Phase II SCR Workplan must be included with the Phase I SCR. The workplan must describe how the information requirements found in Section 3 of the Landfill Guidance will be addressed. A schedule of events must be included.


For additional information, contact the Permit Coordinator responsible for your county.