Waste Management

Environmental Permitting and Regulation Guide

Why are solid waste regulations important?
South Dakota Codified Law 34A-6 requires that for the purposes of proper, effective, and safe disposal of solid waste, any person intending to dispose of solid waste within South Dakota must comply with the provisions of state law. These provisions require a solid waste permit and establish requirements and procedures for obtaining the permit.

Prior to the early 1970s, there were few restrictions on the disposal of solid waste. Following passage of state laws in the 1970s and additional federal legislation, a state permitting program was developed to ensure the safe and environmentally sound disposal of solid waste.

In 1991, EPA adopted new regulations on the disposal of municipal solid waste. The state regulations were revised in 1993 to include these new federal requirements. In October 1993, the state received approval from EPA for its program. This was extremely important because it allows the state flexibility in the application of the federal rules.

What is a solid waste facility, and which statutes and rules apply if I operate one?
A solid waste facility, as defined in state law, is any facility that is acquired, purchased, modified, maintained or operated to facilitate the storage or disposal of solid waste. The statutes are found in South Dakota Codified Law 34A-6, and the rules developed to implement these statutes are found in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:27.


Do I need to obtain a permit if I dispose of solid waste?
Individuals, government entities, businesses and industries are required to obtain a permit only if they own or operate a solid waste facility. Farmers and ranchers are allowed to dispose of their wastes on their own land without a permit under the following conditions: 1) if the domestic waste is generated on their property; 2) if the disposal is not a threat to human health or the environment; and 3) if the disposal does not unduly pollute the air or waters of the state. In regard to landfill bans, state law (SDCL 34A-6-67) prohibits certain materials from being landfilled, unless it is determined that recycling costs more than disposal. These began taking effect in 1995.

How does the permitting process work?
Solid Waste Permit Process Flowchart

The permitting process requires that you send the department an application. The department reviews the application to determine whether the facility will comply with the statutes and administrative rules. The department makes a recommendation on the permit and publishes it in a local newspaper for a 30-day public comment period. If the permit is not contested within this time frame, the recommendation becomes final.

For questions about solid waste requirements, please contact Jim Wendte by email or call (605) 773-3153.