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Evaluating Landfill Gas Emissions from Closed or Abandoned Facilities

Vincent D. Reynolds, MBA, PE

Landfills are the final destination for the majority of our solid waste. They can have a service life of well over 20 years. During the life of a landfill changes occur to the solid waste producing landfill gas. Landfill gas is produced by the anaerobic decomposition of biodegradable waste in landfills. The two main gases that are produced are methane, and carbon dioxide. Other constituents of primary concern in landfill gas include mercury, benzene, chloroform, toluene, vinyl chloride, and chlorofluorocarbons.

These gases can cause a host of problems with one being cancer when it comes into contact with humans. Contact can be made with the landfill gas as it seeps through the soil, water and building structures to the surface.

This course will provide the reader with the procedures and tools for evaluating health and safety impacts of landfill gas. Federal guidelines will be discussed such as the Resource Conservation of Recovery Act (RCRA), The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Case studies will be presented to illustrate the monitoring procedures discussed.

This course material is based on the document “Evaluating Landfill Gas Emissions from Closed or Abandoned Facilities,” as published on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.