Chapter 15.30



15.30.010    Title.

15.30.020    Authority and purpose.

15.30.030    Responsibility.

15.30.040    Applicability.


15.30.050    Responsibility.

15.30.060    Permits required.

15.30.070    Exemptions.

15.30.080    Permit and exemption application process.

15.30.090    Permit issuance or exemption approval.

15.30.100    Permit modification.

15.30.110    Permit denials, suspensions and appeals.

15.30.120    Permit deferral.

15.30.130    Permit or exemption renewals.

15.30.140    Performance standards.

15.30.150    Groundwater monitoring.

15.30.160    Financial assurance requirements.

15.30.170    Remedial action.

15.30.180    Criteria for inert waste.

15.30.190    Variances.

15.30.200    Inspections.

15.30.210    Fees.

15.30.220    Violations.


15.30.230    Disposal.

15.30.240    Responsibility.

15.30.250    Notification procedure.

15.30.260    General requirements.

15.30.270    Solid waste containers/receptacles.

15.30.280    Violations.


15.30.290    Definitions.

15.30.300    Severability.

15.30.310    Liability for damages.

15.30.320    Conflict with other regulations.

15.30.330    Effective date.


Chapter 70.93 RCW: Litter control.

Chapter 70.95 RCW: Solid waste management.

Chapter 173-310 WAC: Litter receptacles.

Chapter 15.34 CCC: Dump fees.


15.30.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known and cited as the Solid Waste Rules and Regulations of the Cowlitz County Board of Health. [Ord. 04-061, § I(A), 3-30-04.]

15.30.020 Authority and purpose.

These solid waste rules and regulations are promulgated under the authority of Chapters 70.05, 70.93 and 70.95 RCW and Chapters 173-304, 173-350 and 173-351 WAC. Cowlitz County adopts by reference Chapter 173-304 WAC, Minimum Functional Standards for Solid Waste Handling; Chapter 173-310 WAC, Litter Receptacles; Chapter 173-350 WAC, Solid Waste Handling Standards; and Chapter 173-351 WAC, Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, as are now or hereafter amended; with the exceptions or additions as stated in this chapter.

It is the purpose and objective of this chapter to prevent land, air, and water pollution, and conserve Cowlitz County’s natural, economic, and energy resources by:

A. Promoting regulatory consistency by establishing county-wide minimum standards for solid waste handling;

B. Following the priorities for solid waste management as set by the Legislature in Chapter 70.95 RCW, Solid waste management – Reduction and recycling;

C. Ensuring solid waste management complies with Chapters 70.93 and 70.95 RCW;

D. Encouraging the development and operation of waste recycling facilities and activities needed to accomplish the management priority of waste recycling;

E. Identifying those functions necessary to assure effective solid waste handling programs;

F. Requiring solid waste handling facilities to be located, designed, constructed, operated and closed in accordance with this regulation;

G. Describing the responsibility for persons, agencies, and departments related to solid waste;

H. Preventing the accumulation of solid waste that may adversely affect land values, present a nuisance, or pose a public health and safety hazard; or environmental hazards affecting surface water, groundwater, air, or soils. [Ord. 04-061, § I(B), 3-30-04.]

15.30.030 Responsibility.

Under the authority of the Health Officer, the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning (hereafter referred to as Department) shall administer this chapter. The Department may refer violations of this chapter to the Prosecuting Attorney for appropriate action.

A. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Department is hereby authorized to declare any abandoned vehicle or automobile hulk/part thereof to be a public nuisance if located on property in the unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County, not including state and federal highways. Such vehicle or parts thereof shall be removed and impounded at the direction of the Sheriff, pursuant to statute.

B. The Cowlitz County Public Works Department shall be responsible for:

1. The development, implementation, and revision of the Cowlitz County Solid Waste Management Plan and each element therein. Each element of the Solid Waste Management Plan shall comply with Chapters 70.93 and 70.95 RCW and shall be submitted to the Board of Health for approval. The plan shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, at least every five years;

2. The selection of sites for county solid waste disposal;

3. Securing all appropriate permits for county waste disposal operations;

4. For construction, operation, and maintenance of county disposal sites, transfer stations, and processing sites;

5. For collecting solid waste disposal fees; and

6. County litter program and abandoned vehicle abatement program for the abatement and disposal of abandoned vehicles, automobile hulks, and solid waste on property owned by the county. [Ord. 04-061, § I(C), 3-30-04.]

15.30.040 Applicability.

A. The provision of this chapter and codes and regulations adopted herein shall govern solid waste handling, storage, collection, transportation, treatment, utilization, processing, and final disposal of all solid waste within Cowlitz County, including the issuance of permits and enforcement.

B. All references in this chapter to any section of Chapter 173-350 WAC shall mean that section, as now enacted or hereafter amended. Cowlitz County solid waste regulations shall not apply within the limits of any city where the city has by local ordinance determined that the county shall not exercise such powers within the corporate limits of the city; providing, that the city ordinance is consistent with the priorities established in RCW 70.95.010, so as to protect public health, prevent air and water pollution, and avoid the creation of nuisances.

C. This chapter does not apply to exempt solid waste as defined in WAC 173-350-020, unless stated otherwise in this chapter.

D. This chapter applies to applicable sections of Chapter 173-304 WAC, Minimum Functional Standards for Solid Waste Handling, that have not been superseded by Chapter 173-350 WAC. This includes, but is not limited to, solid waste handling facilities engaged in closure or closed before the effective date of Chapter 173-350 WAC.

Solid waste handling facilities that have engaged in closure and closed before the effective date of this chapter are exempt, except for those facilities with post closure requirements, such as landfills. Closure and post-closure requirements for applicable facilities are in effect, including, but not limited to, financial assurance, inspections, monitoring, reporting, and permitting. [Ord. 04-061, § I(D), 3-30-04.]


15.30.050 Responsibility.

A. The owner, operator, or occupant of any premises, business establishment, or industry, including waste haulers, generators, and operators of disposal sites, shall be responsible for the satisfactory and legal arrangement for the handling and disposal of all solid waste generated or accumulated on the property.

B. No solid waste storage, treatment, processing, handling or disposal facility shall be maintained, established, substantially altered, expanded or improved until the person engaged in solid waste activity or owning the site has obtained a solid waste handling permit, solid waste permit deferral, categorical permit exemption, or a beneficial use permit exemption.

C. Solid waste permits issued under Chapter 173-350 WAC are not required for remedial actions performed by the state and/or in conjunction with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), or remedial actions taken by others to comply with a state and/or federal cleanup order or consent decree.

D. Cowlitz County may enter into an agreement with the Department of Ecology providing for the exercise by the Department of Ecology of any power that is granted to Cowlitz County under Chapter 70.95 RCW. Cowlitz County shall have the approval of the Board of County Commissioners prior to entering into any such agreement with the Department of Ecology. [Ord. 04-061, § II(A), 3-30-04.]

15.30.060 Permits required.

A. Recycling. All facilities engaged in recycling solid waste shall comply with WAC 173-350-210, as adopted, unless exempt herein.

B. Composting Facilities. All facilities or sites that treat solid waste by composting shall comply with WAC 173-350-220, as adopted, unless exempt herein.

C. Land Application. All facilities engaged in landspreading disposal of solid wastes shall comply with WAC 173-350-230, as adopted herein.

D. Energy Recovery and Incineration. All facilities designed to burn more than 12 tons of solid waste or refuse-derived fuel per day shall comply with WAC 173-350-240, as adopted, unless exempt herein.

E. On-Site Storage, Collection, and Transportation Standards. Any premises, business establishment, or industry temporarily storing solid waste in a container, or collecting and transporting solid waste shall comply with WAC 173-350-300, as adopted, with the following additions:

1. Infectious waste collection/transportation vehicles used by permitted infectious waste transporters shall have a leak-proof fully enclosed vehicle compartment of a durable, easily cleanable construction, and shall be identified on each side of the vehicle with the name or trademark of the infectious waste transporter. Collection, transportation, and disposal of infectious waste are subject to approval by the Department.

2. The Department may, under appropriate conditions, require disinfections of any vehicle. Vehicles transporting solid waste shall be cleaned frequently to prevent rodent, vector and odor nuisances. All wastewater from vehicle cleaning shall be disposed of in an approved manner into a sanitary sewer system, unless otherwise authorized by the Department.

F. Intermediate Solid Waste Handling Facilities. Facilities engaged in solid waste handling that provide intermediate storage and/or processing prior to transport for final disposal shall comply with WAC 173-350-310 as adopted, unless exempt herein.

G. Piles Used for Storage or Treatment. All facilities engaged in the storing or treating of solid waste in piles shall comply with WAC 173-350-320, as adopted, unless exempt herein.

H. Surface Impoundments and Tanks. All facilities utilizing surface impoundments for solid waste shall comply with WAC 173-350-330, as adopted.

I. Waste Tire Storage and Transportation. All facilities engaged in the storage of tires shall comply with WAC 173-350-350, as adopted.

J. Moderate Risk Waste Handling. Any person or facility transporting or handling solid waste categorized as moderate risk waste shall comply with WAC 173-350-360 as adopted, unless exempt herein.

K. Limited Purpose Landfills. All applicable landfills shall comply with WAC 173-350-400, as adopted.

L. Inert Waste Landfills. All applicable landfills accepting only inert wastes, as defined in WAC 173-350-990, shall comply with WAC 173-350-410, as adopted.

M. Other Methods of Solid Waste Handling. Any person engaged in other methods of solid waste handling not specifically identified or excluded in Chapter 173-350 WAC shall comply with WAC 173-350-490 as adopted. [Ord. 04-061, § II(B), 3-30-04.]

15.30.070 Exemptions.

A. Beneficial Use Permit Exemption. Pursuant to RCW 70.95.300, the Department of Ecology may exempt a solid waste activity from the permitting requirements for one or more beneficial uses by approving an application for such an exemption. The Department of Ecology shall consider whether the material will be beneficially used or reused and whether the beneficial use or reuse of the material poses any threat to human health or the environment. Persons seeking such an exemption shall apply to the Department of Ecology under the procedures established in WAC 173-350-200. Every complete application shall be approved or disapproved by the Department of Ecology within 90 days of receipt.

B. Categorical Exemptions. Any owner or operator seeking a categorical exemption for recycling, composting, energy recovery, material recovery facilities, moderate risk waste or inert waste landfills shall apply to the Department for the specific exemption.

1. The Department is authorized to require a permit application where any disposal, recycling or reclamation of solid wastes is occurring, irrespective of whether or not the facility or site might ultimately be exempt from permit requirements, if the responsible official determines that application information is necessary to determine the nature of the site or operation.

2. The Department shall review the application materials for compliance with the exemption conditions of Chapter 173-350 WAC. The Department shall inspect the site and observe solid waste activities prior to issuing exemption approvals. An exemption of applicable solid waste handling permits shall be approved when the Department determines that the solid waste handling facility presents little or no environmental risk, and that it meets the environmental protection and performance requirements required for other similar solid waste facilities.

C. Exemptions shall be renewed on an annual basis.

D. Any person engaged in solid waste activity under a categorical exemption that does not comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption shall obtain a solid waste permit in accordance with Chapter 70.95 RCW, Chapter 173-350 WAC and this regulation.

E. Violations of the terms and conditions of categorical exemptions are subject to the penalty provisions of RCW 70.95.315, not to exceed $1,000 per day per violation to any person exempt from solid waste permitting who fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption. Each such violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance shall be a separate and distinct violation. [Ord. 04-061, § II(C), 3-30-04.]

15.30.080 Permit and exemption application process.

A. Any owner or operator required to obtain a permit or permit exemption shall apply for such from the Department, on forms supplied by the Department. All applications shall include two signed copies of the application and related materials. An application shall not be considered complete until the required information under WAC 174-350-715 has been submitted.

B. If an application for a permit or permit exemption is determined incomplete, the Department may deny the application. In such a case, if the application is made factually complete within six months of its denial, it shall be considered to be a continuation of the initial application. Thereafter, submittal of additional data or changes to the original application shall be considered a new application. Reapplication for a permit or permit exemption involving substantially the same proposal shall not be considered for two months.

C. Application fees are nonrefundable.

D. Application procedures and requirements shall be in accordance with WAC 173-350-710 and 173-350-715. [Ord. 04-061, § II(D), 3-30-04.]

15.30.090 Permit issuance or exemption approval.

A. When the Department has evaluated all pertinent application materials, the Department may issue or deny a permit or an exemption. Solid waste permit applications or exemptions shall be approved or denied within 90 days of their receipt by the Department.

B. Every permit or exemption approval shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year, effective the date of issuance, through January 31st of the following year.

C. A copy of every permit and exemption shall be filed with the Department of Ecology within seven days of issuance. The Department of Ecology shall review permits in accordance with RCW 70.95.185 and report its findings to Cowlitz County within 30 days after the permit issuance. The Department of Ecology may appeal the issuance of the permit by Cowlitz County to the Pollution Control Hearings Board, as described in Chapter 43.21B RCW, for noncompliance with RCW 70.95.185.

D. The Department is authorized, at its discretion, to issue one permit for a location where multiple solid waste handling activities occur, if it is determined that all activities meet the applicable requirements of this regulation. [Ord. 04-061, § II(E), 3-30-04.]

15.30.100 Permit modification.

A. Any significant change to the operation, design, capacity, performance, or monitoring of a permitted facility may require a modification to the permit. Modification procedures are in accordance with WAC 173-350-710.

B. Upon receipt of an application for a permit modification, the Department shall forward one copy of the application to the Department of Ecology which shall review and report its findings to Cowlitz County.

C. The Department shall investigate every application, as may be necessary, to determine whether the proposed modification to the site or facilities meets all solid waste, air, and other applicable laws and regulations, and conforms with the approved comprehensive solid waste handling plan, and complies with all zoning requirements. [Ord. 04-061, § II(F), 3-30-04.]

15.30.110 Permit denials, suspensions and appeals.

A. Any permit or categorical exemption for a solid waste handling facility or activity shall be subject to suspension at any time by the Department if it is determined that the site or facilities are being operated in violation of this regulation, Chapter 173-350 WAC, or other laws and regulations.

B. Whenever the Department denies or suspends a solid waste permit, it shall, upon request of the applicant or permit holder, grant a hearing on such denial or suspension within 30 days after the request is made.

C. The Department shall give notice of the hearing to all interested parties. Within 30 days after the hearing, the Department shall notify the applicant or permit holder, in writing, of their determination and the reasons therefor. Any party aggrieved by such determination may appeal to the Pollution Control Hearings Board by filing a notice with the Hearings Board within 30 days after receipt of the notice of determination. The Hearings Board shall hold a hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 34.05 RCW.

D. If the Department denies or suspends a permit for a waste recycling facility currently in operation that receives waste from more than one city or county, and the applicant or permit holder requests a hearing or files an appeal, the permit denial or suspension shall not be effective until the completion of the appeal process; providing, that the Department determines the continued operation of the waste recycling facility does not pose an immediate health hazard to human health or the environment. [Ord. 04-061, § II(G), 3-30-04.]

15.30.120 Permit deferral.

A. Pursuant to WAC 173-350-710(8), the Department may, at its discretion and with the approval of the Department of Ecology, waive the requirement for a solid waste permit if other air, water, or environmental permits are issued for the same facility; provided, that the applicant and the Department demonstrate that other permits for the facility or site will provide an equivalent or superior level of protection for human health and the environment.

B. Any person who owns or operates a solid waste handling facility subject to a solid waste permit may apply to the Department for permit deferral.

C. This deferral process does not apply to any transfer station, landfill, or incinerator that receives municipal solid waste destined for final disposal.

D. If, before June 11, 1998, either the Department of Ecology or Cowlitz County has deferred solid waste permitting or regulation under other environmental permits for the same facility, such deferral is valid and shall not be affected by the rules developed under RCW 70.95.310.

E. The Department shall notify the applicant, in writing, of a deferral if it elects not to waive the requirements of a solid waste permit. If the Department elects to proceed with the deferral, the requirements of WAC 173-350-710(8) shall be in effect. [Ord. 04-061, § II(H), 3-30-04.]

15.30.130 Permit or exemption renewals.

A. It shall be the responsibility of the facility owner/operator to apply for permit/exemption renewals annually on, or before, January 1st of each year. Solid waste handling permit renewals or exemptions shall be valid for a period of one year, beginning February 1st of each year.

B. Prior to renewal of a permit or a categorical exemption, the Department shall conduct a review as it deems necessary to assure that the solid waste handling facility(ies) or activity(ies) continue to meet minimum functional standards of Chapter 173-350 WAC, this regulation, other local regulations, and are not in conflict with the approved solid waste management plan.

C. The Department shall approve or disapprove a permit renewal or categorical exemption within 45 days of conducting its review.

D. The Department shall forward permit and exemption renewals to the Department of Ecology for review, in accordance with RCW 70.95.190. The Department of Ecology shall report its findings in writing to Cowlitz County. The Department of Ecology may appeal permit renewals, in accordance with RCW 70.95.185. [Ord. 04-061, § II(I), 3-30-04.]

15.30.140 Performance standards.

Performance standards for all solid waste facilities subject to Chapter 173-350 WAC shall be in conformance with WAC 173-350-040. [Ord. 04-061, § II(J), 3-30-04.]

15.30.150 Groundwater monitoring.

Groundwater monitoring, when applicable, shall be in conformance with WAC 173-350-500. [Ord. 04-061, § II(K), 3-30-04.]

15.30.160 Financial assurance requirements.

Financial assurance requirements, when applicable, shall be in conformance with WAC 173-350-600. [Ord. 04-061, § II(L), 3-30-04.]

15.30.170 Remedial action.

Solid waste facilities subject to remedial measures in accordance with Chapter 173-340 WAC. The Model Toxic Control Act shall be in conformance with WAC 173-350-900. [Ord. 04-061, § II(M), 3-30-04.]

15.30.180 Criteria for inert waste.

Criteria for determining if a specific solid waste is inert waste shall be established in WAC 173- 350-990. Dangerous wastes regulated under Chapter 173-303 WAC, Dangerous Waste Regulation, PCB wastes regulated under 40 CFR Part 761, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution in Commerce, and Use Prohibitions, and asbestos-containing waste regulated under 40 CFR Part 61 are not inert wastes. [Ord. 04-061, § II(N), 3-30-04.]

15.30.190 Variances.

A. Variances of any section of this regulation or Chapter 173-350 WAC may be applied for by any person who owns or operates a solid waste handling facility subject to a solid waste permit, under this regulation and WAC 173-350-700. Variances shall be in written form and shall include sufficient information to determine the applicability of the variance.

B. No variance shall be granted for requirements specific to Chapter 70.95 RCW, Solid Waste Management – Reduction and Recycling.

C. The Department shall grant a variance only after due notice or a public hearing, if requested, if it determines that the variance complies with requirements set forth in WAC 173-350-710(7).

D. No variance shall be granted by the Department without the prior approval and written concurrence of the Department of Ecology. [Ord. 04-061, § II(O), 3-30-04.]

15.30.200 Inspections.

A. Inspections of solid waste facilities and activities shall be performed by the Department at a minimum of once per year.

B. All facilities, sites, and activities shall be physically inspected prior to issuance of a permit, permit renewal, modification, variance, exemption or after a complaint has been filed with the Department.

C. Any duly authorized representative of the Department may enter and inspect any property, premises or place at any reasonable time for the purpose of determining compliance with this regulation, and other relevant laws and regulations.

D. Findings shall be documented and kept on file. A copy of the inspection report shall be furnished to the site operator, upon request.

E. If, during inspections of solid waste facilities, the Department observes waste suspected of being regulated dangerous waste, the Department shall have the authority to require the site operator to segregate and hold any such waste.

1. If it is determined by the Department that testing is required to identify the waste, the generator shall be responsible for such analysis.

2. The site owner, operator, or attendant shall have authority not to accept suspect waste.

3. The site owner or operator shall assume responsibility of disposal of the waste, if the generator is unknown.

4. The site operator shall maintain records of loads refused as suspected dangerous waste to include, at a minimum, name and address of the generator and transporting vehicle, description of waste, and reason for refusal. The site operator shall refer this information to the Department as soon as possible. [Ord. 04-061, § II(P), 3-30-04.]

15.30.210 Fees.

The Cowlitz County Board of Health may establish fees for solid waste reviews for permits, permit exemptions, permit and exemption renewals, and inspections performed as a function of this regulation. The fees shall be deposited in the treasury and to the account which the Department’s operating expenses are paid. Fee schedules are subject to periodic review and adjustment by the Board of Health. [Ord. 04-061, § II(Q), 3-30-04.]

15.30.220 Violations.

A. Any person violating Article II of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or by both fine and imprisonment. Each violation of this section of this chapter shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance shall be a separate and distinct violation.

B. It shall also be a violation to:

1. Fail to make a timely application for a permit as required in this chapter;

2. Fail to make application for a permit if directed to do so by the Department;

3. Submit a fraudulent or false application; or

4. Operate without a permit until a review has been completed and a determination made. [Ord. 04-061, § II(R), 3-30-04.]


15.30.230 Disposal.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to dump or deposit, or allow to be dumped or deposited, whether from a vehicle or otherwise, any solid waste onto or under the surface of the ground or into the waters of this county except at a county-approved disposal site.

B. Unlawful dumping shall also include unauthorized deposition of solid waste into a container that is owned or leased by another person, business establishment, or other entity.

C. If, during inspections of solid waste violations, the inspector observes waste suspected of being regulated dangerous waste or infectious waste, the inspector shall have the authority to require the property owner or occupant to segregate and hold any such waste. If it is determined by the Department or designee that testing is required to identify the waste, the generator or property owner shall be responsible for such analysis. The property owner shall assume responsibility of disposal of the waste if the generator is unknown. [Ord. 04-061, § III(A), 3-30-04.]

15.30.240 Responsibility.

A. Presumption of Responsibility. When solid waste is dumped/deposited in violation of this chapter, and contains material bearing the name of one or more individual(s) and/or address(es), there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the individual(s) whose name or address appears on such material committed the unlawful act.

B. Lack of Identification/Failure to Locate. When the Department investigates unlawful dumping, but finds no identification as evidence of ownership, or the responsible person(s) cannot be located, it will become the responsibility of the property owner, whether private or public, to remove and legally dispose of the solid waste.

C. Final Responsibility. The owner and/or occupant of any property, whether public or private, shall be responsible for the safe, sanitary, and legal handling of all solid waste on the property until it is removed to an approved solid waste disposal site. The property owner and/or occupant are responsible whether or not the solid waste was accumulated by them, provided the property owner has actual or constructive notice that the solid waste is on the property and violates this chapter, and after notification procedures of the person identified as having illegally dumped/deposited the solid waste have been unsuccessful. Where this occurs on public land, the appropriate governmental agency shall be notified and held responsible for the removal and disposal. [Ord. 04-061, § III(B), 3-30-04.]

15.30.250 Notification procedure.

A. The Department shall investigate and inspect for a solid waste violation prior to giving notice of a violation. Inspections shall be made from streets, roads or alleys, or from private property with the consent of the owner or occupant thereof, for purposes of verifying and documenting a violation.

B. The Department will use all available means to serve a notice (actual or constructive) of a solid waste violation to the person responsible for the violation and/or the person responsible for maintenance of the property. The notice shall contain a request for voluntary compliance with this regulation and a date corrections shall be completed. The notice shall also contain a statement that if the person responsible does not voluntarily complete correction by the date required, or has not made other appropriate arrangements with the Department, a civil infraction will be served.

C. Correction dates shall be not less than 20 days unless the Department determines the waste may create an immediate hazard to the health or safety of the public or environment. The Department may extend the time limit for correction or may agree to modify the required corrective action if the person responsible has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting the violation, or if circumstances that require extension/modification can be demonstrated.

D. Service by mail shall be deemed effective the fifth day following the day notice is placed in the mail, excluding Sundays and legal holidays.

E. After a property owner and/or responsible person has received notice, it shall be a violation of this chapter to allow the solid waste to remain on the property.

F. A violation of this chapter shall be charged if, after notification, the responsible person fails to voluntarily comply. This shall be in the form of a civil infraction, subject to penalties set forth in this chapter. [Ord. 04-061, § III(C), 3-30-04.]

15.30.260 General requirements.

A. It shall be unlawful to store solid waste in such a manner that the solid waste may be carried away, deposited, or exposed by the elements, animals, or vectors. This shall include storing of solid waste in plastic bags or other unapproved receptacles located on, but not limited to, the ground, exposed decks, patios, or carports, or within the back of pickups or trailers.

B. No agricultural waste shall be deposited, piled or allowed to accumulate in or near areas such as, but not limited to, ditches, ravines, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marine water, or upon the surface of the ground, highways or road rights-of-way or near any source of drinking water. Agricultural waste has potential to be a nuisance and/or health hazard, as determined by the Department, by the breeding of flies, harboring of rodents, or polluting of water. Agricultural waste stored on single-family farms shall be stored in compliance with farm management plans as determined by the Cowlitz Conservation District. All facilities, other than single-family farms, piling, storing, accumulating or containerizing agricultural waste, or proposing to do so, shall require a solid waste facility permit or exemption.

C. Infectious waste or waste determined to be potentially infectious shall be disposed in a manner consistent with Chapter 246-203 WAC, General Sanitation, or other state or federal disposal techniques, as determined by the Department. When regulations conflict, the more restrictive regulation shall apply, when required by the Department and with the concurrence of the Health Officer, and such application shall extend to those specific provisions that are more restrictive. The Department, under appropriate conditions, may require disposal techniques above and beyond other state or federal regulation.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to burn solid waste that may cause a health hazard or nuisance, including garbage or rubbish, unless these materials are burned in an appropriate permitted facility. Land-clearing debris may be burned at certain times and under specific conditions specified by the Southwest Washington Air Pollution Control Authority and local fire control agencies, in accordance with Chapter 70.94 RCW.

E. It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or allow any nuisance to exist which causes odorous emission of air contaminants to the property of others over a substantial amount of time, or is proven to be injurious to human health, plant or animal life, or property, or which unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property. This applies to odorous emissions due to the storage, handling, collection, treatment, recycling, composting, or disposal of solid waste. This does not apply to solid fuel burning devices, motor vehicles, or aircraft.

F. When a situation arises where disposal of solid waste is not covered under these regulations, the Department shall determine acceptability of a disposal method on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with WAC 173-350-490.

G. The Department may require a receipt from a permitted solid waste disposal, recycling, and/or reclamation facility as proof of legal disposal.

H. The Department may require the owner or occupant to obtain regularly scheduled commercial solid waste collection and transportation service from a solid waste collection and transportation company, if commercial solid waste collection and transportation service exists or is offered in the geographical area where the person resides. If service is not available, the Department may require the owner or occupant to implement a solid waste removal schedule for disposal to an approved facility, if it is determined by the Department that the owner or occupant will repeat or has repeated violations of this chapter. [Ord. 04-061, § III(D), 3-30-04.]

15.30.270 Solid waste containers/receptacles.

A. These standards apply to all solid waste, except at a solid waste facility subject to the standards of WAC 173-350-300, for the temporary storage of solid waste in containers. Solid waste storage containers shall be maintained in a clean, safe and nuisance-free condition.

B. Containers used for collection and transportation of any solid waste shall be located and moved in such manner that the containers will not fail, and the contents will not spill or leak. Where such spillage or leakage occurs, the solid waste shall be picked up immediately and the area properly cleaned. Containers/receptacles shall be cleaned as necessary to prevent nuisance odor, insect breeding, or a public nuisance. Solid waste containers and receptacles shall meet the following requirements:

1. Reusable containers (other than detachable containers) shall be:

a. Rigid and durable;

b. Corrosion-resistant;

c. Nonabsorbent and watertight;

d. Rodent-proof and easily cleaned;

e. Equipped with a close-fitting cover to prevent littering;

f. Suitable for handling with no sharp edges or other hazardous conditions;

g. Equal to or less than 32 gallons in volume where manual handling is practiced; and

h. Maintained in good repair.

2. Disposable containers shall:

a. Be sufficiently strong to allow lifting without breakage;

b. Be 32-gallon capacity or less where manual handling is practiced; and

c. Not allow spillage or leakage onto the ground, or into the waters.

3. Detachable containers shall be:

a. Durable;

b. Corrosion-resistant;

c. Nonabsorbent;

d. Nonleaking;

e. Equipped with a solid cover or screen cover to prevent littering;

f. Maintained in good repair.

C. The Department may require disinfections of any container.

D. The Department shall have the authority to order an increased collection frequency or larger receptacle/container if the existing solid waste receptacle/container is determined to be insufficient for the needs of the users.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the deposition of solid waste into approved receptacles/containers of private or public property; provided, that:

1. Such receptacle is designated by the property owner, agency, or establishment for the disposal of garbage or refuse; and

2. When such person depositing is authorized to do so by the property owner or establishment; and

3. All receptacles/containers meet applicable standards. [Ord. 04-061, § III(E), 3-30-04.]

15.30.280 Violations.

A. It is unlawful for any person to violate Article III of this chapter or assist in the violation of this section. Any violation of this section shall be subject to a civil infraction, unless otherwise stated, as provided in Chapter 2.06 CCC as it now exists or is hereafter amended.

B. Payment of monetary penalty does not relieve the violator from the duty of compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

C. Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any code adopted herein is declared to be a public nuisance.

D. Criminal misdemeanor penalties as prescribed in CCC 15.30.220 may be imposed in a case of repeated violations or if the Department determines civil penalties are not effective. [Ord. 04-061, § III(F), 3-30-04.]


15.30.290 Definitions.

Adopted as written in WAC 173-350-100, with the following additions or exceptions:

“Abandoned vehicles” means any vehicle left within the limits of any public road or upon the property of another without the consent of the owner of such property for a period of 24 hours or longer; provided, that a vehicle shall not be considered abandoned if its owner or operator is unable to remove it from the place that it is located and so notifies law enforcement officials and requests assistance.

“Actual notice” shall be when a property owner has received notice of a violation by the Department by certified mail, telephone, personal contact, or other method.

“Automobile hulk” means the abandoned or unused remnant or remains of a motor vehicle which is inoperative and cannot be made mechanically operative without the addition of vital parts or mechanisms and the application of a substantial amount of labor to effect repairs.

“Board” means the Cowlitz County Board of County Commissioners.

“Construction waste” means materials resulting from the construction, remodeling, and repair of buildings and other structures.

“Constructive notice” shall be when solid waste has been present and visible on the property for at least one month.

“County” means Cowlitz County.

“Demolition waste” means any solid waste resulting from the demolition, razing of buildings, roads, and other manmade structures. Waste consists of, but is not limited to, concrete, brick, bituminous concrete, wood and masonry, composition roofing and roofing paper, steel, and minor amounts of other metals like copper. Plastic (i.e., sheetrock or plaster board) or any other material, other than wood, that is likely to produce gases or leachate during the decomposition process and asbestos wastes are not considered to be demolition waste for the purposes of this regulation.

“Department” means the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning, or as may be redesignated.

“Designee” means the person(s) designated as the responsible official by the Health Officer or Department Director.

“Director” means the Director of the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning, or designee.

“Discarded commodity” means an economic good, a product of mining and agriculture, or an article of commerce, no longer useful or valuable.

“Etiological” means all the causes of a disease or abnormal condition.

“Fomite” means an inanimate object or substance that is capable of transmitting infectious organisms from one individual to another.

“Garbage” means all putrescible material, including, but not limited to, animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food, and swill and carcasses of dead animals, and of such a character and proportion as to be capable of attracting or providing food for rodents and other vectors.

“Health hazard” means a condition or situation where, in the opinion of the Health Officer or designee, disease and/or injury potential exists and, if unabated, may endanger the health of the public.

“Health Officer” means the Health Officer appointed by the Board of County Commissioners pursuant to RCW 70.05.050.

“Immediate health hazard” means a condition or situation where, in the opinion of the Health Officer or designee, an imminent risk potential exists and, if unabated, may endanger the health of the public or the environment.

“Infectious waste” means waste from medical, dental, or intermediate care facilities, research centers, veterinary clinics, or other similar facilities; farms; and persons which may contain pathogens or other biologically active materials in sufficient concentrations that risk exposure to the waste directly or indirectly and create a risk of disease, as determined by the Health Officer. This may include, but is not limited to:

1. Cultures and stocks of etiologic agents and associated biologicals, including specimen cultures, cultures and stocks of etiologic agents, wastes from production of biologicals and serums, and discarded live and attenuated vaccines;

2. Laboratory waste that has come into contact with cultures and stocks of etiologic agents or blood specimens. Such waste includes, but is not limited to, culture dishes, blood specimen tubes, devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures, paper and cloth which has come into contact with cultures and stocks of etiologic agents;

3. Sharps, which mean medical and laboratory equipment generated by an infectious waste generator that may cause punctures or cuts. Such waste includes, but is not limited to, needles, syringes, lancets, and scalpel blades;

4. Pathological waste, which means most human and animal tissues and anatomical parts that emanate from surgery, obstetrical procedures, autopsy and the laboratory. Pathological waste does not include extracted teeth, toenails or fingernails;

5. Human blood, blood components, and blood products, including their container and absorbent materials that were used in patient’s care, laboratory analysis, or the development of pharmaceuticals. These shall be infectious waste when they are pourable liquids, have saturated absorbent material, or have dried after having saturated absorbent material. This shall include intravenous bags;

6. Wastes, animal carcasses, or animal products that have come into contact with human or animal substances infected with, but not limited to, anthrax, smallpox, rabies, plague, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Lassa fever and Ebole-Warburg virus disease;

7. Animal carcasses or animal products exposed to pathogens, their bedding, or other waste from such animals.

“Litter” means all waste materials including, but not limited to, disposable packages or containers susceptible to being dropped, deposited, discarded or otherwise disposed of upon any property in the county, and solid waste that is illegally dumped, but not including the wastes of primary processes of mining, logging, sawmilling, farming or manufacturing.

“Littering” means the throwing, dropping, depositing, discarding or otherwise disposing of litter upon any public property or upon any private property or in the waters of Cowlitz County, whether from a vehicle or otherwise.

“Medical waste” means all the infectious waste and injurious waste originating from, but not limited to, a medical, dental, veterinary, or intermediate care facility.

“Nuisance” means unlawfully doing an act or omitting to perform a duty, which act or omission either annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, or safety of others, offends decency, or unlawfully interferes with, obstructs, or tends to obstruct any lake or navigable river, bay, stream, canal or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway.

“Person” means an individual, firm, association, copartnership, political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, public or private corporation, or any other entity whatsoever.

“Rubbish” means a general term for solid waste, excluding food wastes and ashes, taken from residences, commercial establishments, and institutions.

“Vital parts” means vital parts or mechanisms that include, but are not limited to, the body, engine and short blocks, frames, transmission or transfer cases, cabs, doors, front or rear differentials, front or rear clips, quarter panels or fenders, bumpers, track beds or boxes, seats, hoods, or parts or remains of a motor vehicle whether abandoned or not. [Ord. 04-061, § IV(A), 3-30-04.]

15.30.300 Severability.

If any section, clause, or provision of this chapter or any code adopted herein or application to any person or circumstance is declared invalid by a court, the same shall not affect the validity of the remainder, either in whole or in part. [Ord. 04-061, § IV(B), 3-30-04.]

15.30.310 Liability for damages.

This chapter shall not be construed to hold Cowlitz County, its officers, employees or agents responsible for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person subject to this chapter to comply with this chapter, or by reason or in consequence of any act or omission in connection with the implementation or enforcement of this chapter on the part of Cowlitz County, its officers, employees or agents. [Ord. 04-061, § IV(C), 3-30-04.]

15.30.320 Conflict with other regulations.

Where other Cowlitz County ordinances, resolutions, or regulations, or other state or local regulations are in conflict with this chapter, the more restrictive regulation shall apply and such application shall extend to those specific provisions which are more restrictive. [Ord. 04-061, § IV(D), 3-30-04.]

15.30.330 Effective date.

These standards apply upon the effective date of this chapter and as written and adopted in WAC 173-350-030. [Ord. 04-461, § IV(F), 3-30-04.]