Earthworks receives response from U.S. EPA
Earthworks Industries Inc. (the “Company”) reports that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary Cortina Integrated Waste Management Inc. (“CIWM”) has received a response letter from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regarding the federal site-specific flexibility requests (SSFRs) for CIWM’s waste handling project (“Project”) in Colusa County, California.
CIWM is developing the Project on a federally approved lease of 443 acres of the Kletsel Dehe Nation’s Rancheria which has established the Kletsel Environmental Regulatory Authority (“KERA”). The Project is the development of a Class III municipal waste landfill, material recovery facility, composting facility and soil bioremediation system.
As its next step, CIWM is seeking tentative approval from EPA for its proposed SSFRs. The SSFRs relate to specific design components of the facility and must comply with current regulations.
In August 2020, EPA confirmed it was proceeding with the SSFR review process under the “Draft Guidance for SSFRs for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills in Indian Country” (Draft Guidance). Upon completion of the review EPA requested CIWM to consider a preference requested by KERA on a final cover.
Since the currently proposed cover meets both federal and tribal regulations, CIWM informed EPA that it would defer to KERA on the final cover when a cover is finally required. In January 2021, CIWM submitted the currently proposed cover SSFR along with the other previously approved SSFRs for tentative approval under the Draft Guidance.
EPA has indicated in its response to CIWM’s last submission that it wants CIWM to work with KERA to provide EPA with SSFRs that are fully supported by KERA. Earthworks is however requesting clarification from EPA that it will complete the technical analysis of the revised SSFRs, consistent with the provisions outlined in the Draft Guidance, which indicates EPA is to review the SSFRs for tentative approval on their technical merits, but does not require full support of the SSFRs from KERA as a prerequisite for its review.