Managing CCDD Material in Illinois

Well now that the dust has settled on the CCDD regulations, many of us are figuring out how we are going to manage the material in order to comply with the law. Basically, the process for many of us will be some modification of the following:

Determine if the excavation is near a Potentially Impacted Property or PIP

If near a PIP and not returning the material to the excavation,

  1. Place excavated material in a pile separated from other material
  2. Mark the pile in some manner to designate where it came from
  3. Arrange for testing of the material and if not contaminated receive form LPC-663 signed by a PE/PG
  4. If testing shows material is not contaminated, take material with form LPC-663 to a CCDD fill operation
  5. If testing shows material is contaminated, take the material to a landfill


If NOT near a PIP and not returning the material to the excavation,

  1. Place excavated material in a pile separated from other material
  2. Mark the pile in some manner to designate where it came from
  3. Arrange for pH testing of the material and if not contaminted, fill out form LPC-662
  4. If testing shows material is not contaminated (a pH between 6.5 and 9.0), take material with form LPC-662 to a CCDD fill operation
  5. If testing shows material is contaminated, take the material to a landfill

If CCDD material has been painted, it cannot be placed in a CCDD fill operation unless the owner is able to certify the paint meets certain requirements and indicates this using form LPC-667.

What each company and agency will have to work out will be if they are requiring crews to fill out a customized form for each excavation to document handling of that material, who will perform all the testing, and where material will be placed while it is being tested. For some, the cost of testing material excavated near a PIP will be more than the cost to just take it to a landfill. In those cases, the policy might be to take all soil excavated from a location near a PIP directly to a landfill.

In order to assist in the management of CCDD material, companies and agencies can set up websites to inform and track the material and testing status. I put together a Google Sites template that can be used for this purpose – you can view it here: CCDD Management Site. To use this to create your own site, click the "Use Template" button in the top right corner of that site. This will bring you to the Google Sites page (make sure you are signed into your Google account – if you don't have one, you can visit this site to find out how to get one: Social Media in Public Works 101 – Introduction/Email). Your template is already selected so all you need to do is type in a name for your site, make sure the URL is what you want, then type in the funny looking characters to let Google know you are not a robot. Google will then create your site.

After your site is created, you can begin editing and customizing it for your own purposes. The CCDD Status Table can be edited and all entries and column headings changed as needed. You can also add or delete anything to the pages depending on what you want your group to see when they visit your site. Also, make sure to go in and edit any viewing permissions. Right now the site is set up to be viewed by the public. You might want to change this so only those who you give the link to or those who you invite to the site can view or edit it. Another benefit of a site like this is that users can subscribe to the site so they are notified whenever changes are made. Below is a screenshot of the sample site:

CCDD Management Site


A CCDD Update – February 2011

Background information for those just wandering into this legislative disaster:

Last year, some of our Illinois legislators passed a law to regulate and impose a fee on anyone trying to dump dirt in a hole. At least that's the way it started out. As you will see from this update, the IEPA has worked to amend the requirements of the law.

The bill started out as an Electronic Recycling bill but was soon changed to regulate the dumping of soil from a construction site. No one working in the industry seemed to be aware of it until a day or so after Governor Quinn signed it into law. This was when contractors began calling inspectors on their jobs asking the owner's professional engineer to sign the form that was now required to dump any load of dirt.

Because of the uproar and confusion over this law, the IEPA had a few meetings to try to find out what all the fuss was about. The meetings were only open to a select few, and from talking to those who did attend, it appears no further guidance or information was obtained from the sessions. Then, winter hit, and construction shut down.

And now the update:

Anyway, what we have all been wondering is, what's the current status?

First of all, we need to understand they are really still working through the formal rules. It appears the official rules will not be decided until next year even though we can be charged with a felony if they feel we haven't complied. So the following information, from what I understand, is the best we will get until they figure out what the law they passed really means.

Next, I heard through the grapevine (meaning this is totally unverified) that the aggregate industry was behind this. They supposedly wanted to minimize their liability in receiving construction material.

It also appears IDOT moved quickly to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the IEPA establishing their obligations. IDOT was obviously affected dramatically by this law since it immediately went into effect in the middle of the construction season. With millions of dollars of construction projects at stake, IDOT could not wait around for two years for everyone else to figure out what was really going on.

For the rest of us, there are now two levels of certification. If soil is obtained from an area that is historically considered to be residential, the Source Site Certification by Owner or Operator LPC-662 form must be filled out. This does NOT need to be signed by a professional engineer.

If soil is obtained from a commercial/industrial area, but is uncontaminated, the Uncontaminated Soil Certification by Licensed Professional Engineer LPC-663 form must be filled out. This form MUST be signed by a professional engineer. And of course not all of us who have PE licenses are comfortable with signing this based on our expertise. So many are hiring engineers with a background in soil contamination to sign for their projects.

And I guess there is still no official decision on whether moving dirt on the same jobsite from one hole to another is a problem. Here is the information on the IEPA website:

How does this apply at the "ground" level?

The advice I heard so far from other engineers is to create a map of your city that is broken into two areas: one colored for residential and one colored for commercial/industrial. For public works departments, crews can then use this map to figure out what form to use for the material they excavate and need to dump. One idea is to create separate piles for residential and commercial/industrial. Then when the piles need to be hauled out and dumped, the proper form can be filled out and signed if necessary. Some cities are hiring engineers to analyze the commercial/industrial pile and then sign the form if found to be uncontaminated. If there is contamination, the pile is hauled to a special waste site.

The other idea is to just haul all material from a commercial/industrial site straight to a transfer station. Then the station is responsible for disposing of the material.

For projects, many are talking about having the residential form filled out and placed in the proposal documents for residential areas. For commercial/industrial areas, an engineer has to be hired during design to analyze the area and sign the form if necessary. This form is also included in the proposal. Also, provisions must be in the proposal for disposal of contaminated soil if found. And because a load that is certified to be uncontaminated can later be turned away, there must be provisions for who is responsible for disposing of that load. Because the soil from my project might be ok, but the contractor could go pick up a contaminated load and come back and try to tell me that was my soil. Now we have to pay for its disposal at a special waste site. And how am I to know? This is one area where it just makes everything that much more confusing and difficult to manage.

Some final tips:

Make sure you separate the pavement material from the soil. I was told having pavement material mixed in the soil will make it contaminated.

Also, tell the crews on the jobsite NOT to throw paint cans into the loads. This is a very typical practice on construction sites. But your clean load will come up contaminated at the dump site if this is done.

And finally, make sure you do your own research and talk to your attorney before deciding your process because no one still seems to know what is really going on. Feel free to post your own comments or experiences dealing with this law.


Garbage Cans Help Fight Breast Cancer

Yesterday I attended the annual APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition & WASTECON2010 in Boston. As usual I met great people and learned about new products, ideas, and information. This year, one of the highlights for me was meeting Jo-Anne Perkins and listening to her story. After losing her mother to breast cancer, Jo-Anne became determined to do something to help in the fight against breast cancer. Last year, she realized garbage cans could help her in this quest by using them to do something more than just hold garbage. Her idea was to change the color of the receptacle to pink and place the breast cancer awareness logo on the outside. Each week, garbage cans sitting at the curb would remind people of the fight against breast cancer. Information cast into the lid would remind women pushing the cart to the curb to check themselves regularly and schedule regular breast exams. 

Pink Cart Garbage Can

Jo-Anne worked with Cascade Cart Solutions to create the carts and with waste haulers to start offering them to residents. The pink carts now come in 35-gallon, 64-gallon, and 96-gallon sizes and can be ordered through several different options depending on their availability:

  • Private Haulers & Cities/Municipalities
  • Distributors
  • Retail
  • Online at the Pink Cart Website

The company donates $5 to the American Cancer Society for each cart purchased. So far the carts have been a big hit – one customer ordered several to be used during a Breast Cancer event in New York. But Jo-Anne has not stopped with just selling the carts. The Pink Cart Website not only offers information about the carts, but also hosts the Trash Talk Blog where people can share stories of their experience with breast cancer. And people are encouraged to upload photos of their pink carts at the The Pink Cart Flickr Group, like the Pink Cart on Facebook, and follow the Pink Cart on Twitter.