Landfill-Cover Conflict

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 12, Pg. 70-71


Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)

Abstract: Last July, EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD), in Cincinnati held a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) workshop to discuss the latest technology and regulations for landfill covers. Unbeknownst to the approximately 150 participants—or to their ORD hosts—EPA's Office of Solid Waste Management (OSW) in Washington, D.C. had issued a significant, and unexpected, regulatory clarification. Simply put, while landfill design professionals and geosynthetic manufacturers thought closure regulations were headed north, EPA sent them due south. About a year and a half ago, EPA issued an interpretation of the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Rules set forth in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's (RCRA) Subtitle D. The wording was similar to RCRA Subtitle C that covers hazardous waste landfills and generally requires a composite liner made up of a geomembrane and compacted clay with a permeability of ten to the minus seven. Most people in the industry felt that closure regulations would move toward a similar requirement. But about two weeks prior to the GCL workshop, in the June Federal Register, EPA issued a clarification of Subtitle D. Robert Koerner, head of the Geosynthetic Research Institute at Drexel University, summed up the new clarification for a crowd at the ASCE convention last September: You can grow tomatoes in soil with a ten to the minus five permeability, but it's no clay liner.

Subject Headings: Clay liners | Coverings | Geosynthetics | Landfills | Solid wastes | Waste management

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