2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Jun 2003 13:14:05 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Innovative Landfill Cover Designs Harness Nature to Protect the Env
For Immediate Release

Contact: Roseanne Black, (540) 557-6101, roseanne_black@wpi.org

Innovative Landfill Cover Designs Harness Nature to Protect the

The Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC) has just published
an overview of an innovative approach to designing and constructing
landfill covers to keep the environment safe from contamination.
Technology Overview Using Case Studies of Alternative Landfill
Technologies and Associated Regulatory Topics (ALT-1) reveals
flexibility in the regulatory framework for alternatives that may rely
on native vegetation rather than artificial liners to keep water from
reaching buried waste.

ALT-1 presents three types of case studies related to solid waste,
hazardous waste, and mixed waste alternative landfill cover projects.
One group documents alternative landfill cover regulatory controls,
design, and construction at solid and hazardous waste facilities.
Another section reports research on types of alternative landfill covers
being conducted by the Desert Research Institute, discussing the cover
elements as the test fill was constructed, the associated monitoring,
and an evaluation of the alternative landfill cover results. Additional
research information is provided on a compact disk (CD) provided with
this case study document. A third section compiles cited research
information assimilated on behalf of the Air Force Center for
Environmental Excellence describing alternative landfill covers,
specifically evapotranspiration designs, with discussion and references
containing information verifying the concept.

This technology overview is intended for use by regulators, facility
owners and operators, consultants, academics, and stakeholders
associated with solid, hazardous, and mixed waste alternative landfill
cover projects. The case studies don’t offer specific answers to all the
possible questions that practitioners might have regarding regulatory
flexibility, design, construction techniques, or long-term postclosure
care associated with alternative covers, but instead are presented as
they were developed to satisfy the requirements of the regulators,
facilities, and consultants working on the specific projects they

In compiling these case studies and developing the technology overview
document, the ALT Team concluded that alternative landfill cover designs
represent a substantial contribution to the waste management industry
and can be as protective and economically feasible as traditional
capping technologies, but the industry has limited experience and needs
valid guidance describing the regulatory flexibilities currently
available, critical design parameters, construction considerations,
monitoring, and postclosure care. The follow-up technical and regulatory
guidance from this ITRC team—including a decision tree for evaluating
the design, construction, and monitoring of alternative landfill
covers—will encourage the proper application of this innovative
technique and increase awareness of these new cover designs within the
regulatory, consulting, and stakeholder communities.

The ALT Team, led by Charles Johnson (charles.johnson@state.co.us) of
the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is one of 15
currently active ITRC technical teams that are producing guidance
documents and conducting training on the deployment of innovative
environmental technologies. ITRC teams have produced more than 40
guidance documents, all available online at the ITRC Web site
(www.itrcweb.org). Click on “Guidance Documents” and then “Alternative
Landfill Technologies” to access ITRC’s newest product.

ITRC is a state-led group working to overcome regulatory barriers to the
deployment of innovative environmental technologies. The ITRC Board is
cochaired by Brian C. Griffin (bcgriffin@cox.net), a senior program
advisor with the Southern States Energy Board, and G. Ken Taylor
(taylorgk@dhec.state.sc.us), director of the Hydrogeology Division of
South Carolina’s Bureau of Land and Waste Management. ITRC participants
come from the ranks of state regulatory agencies, federal agencies
concerned with environmental cleanup, environmental consulting firms,
and technology vendors. These diverse professionals work together in
technical teams to develop documents and training to expand the
knowledge base among members of the environmental community and help
regulators develop a more consistent and streamlined approach for
regulating innovative technologies. ITRC products also help
environmental consultants improve the way innovative technologies are

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