Project 15: LANDFILL WASTE CHARACTERIZATION AND SOURCE EVALUATION
Steve Hampson, Assistant Director, Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, University of Kentucky
Joe Hagerty, Ph.D, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Louisville
Jim Watters, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Louisville
Of primary interest at the present time is the possibility that the S & T Landfill is the source of contaminants, including TCE and Tc99, found in the Regional Gravel Aquifer and, to a lesser extent, in soils lying over the Regional Gravel Aquifer. One contention is that the landfill could not be the source of these contaminants because such materials were not placed in the three cells of that landfill. However, the composition of wastes in the three cells of the S&T Landfill has been called into question. The evaluation of the S&T Landfill and other landfills as possible sources of identified contaminants has been made more difficult by the lack of monitoring/sampling devices in sufficiently close proximity to the landfills. To improve this situation, three projects will be undertaken.
1. Characterize the wastes in the S&T landfill and in other landfills on the PGDP site.
2. Evaluate mobility of contaminants in the S&T Landfill and in other PGDP landfills and the likelihood that contaminants from PGDP landfills have entered the groundwater flow system, or the surface water flow system.
3. Evaluate existing data that has been collected to characterize site conditions and groundwater flow around the PGDP landfills. Assess the adequacy of that data in identifying sources of contaminants and portraying concentration zones of those contaminants.
- 1. Review and evaluate documents that describe the flow of materials into the
PGDP facilities and the flow of wastes that were placed in PGDP landfills.
- Search the technical literature for generic information on waste generation and treatment that could be expected in facilities such as those that were operated at the PGDP site.
- Interact with other KRCEE personnel doing waste characterization studies.
- Based on the results of tasks 1 and 2, identify any potential contaminants other than TCE and Tc99 that could have been released from the S&T Landfill and other PGDP landfills.
- Recommend, on the basis of tasks 1, 2 and 3, any additional measures such as direct sampling that could be needed to accomplish adequate waste characterization.
- Characterize, in general, the chemical environments in each type of landfill cell (solid “municipal” waste cell; industrial waste cell; radioactive waste cell; etc.) on the basis of published information on the physico-chemical evolution of landfill contents in those types of landfills.
- Evaluate pathways for migration of mobilized species from S&T Landfill cells on the basis of published information on contaminant migration from landfills and site-specific information on landfill characteristics (nature of landfill liner, if any; nature of landfill cap, if any; site precipitation and evapotranspiration rates; construction histories of the landfill cells; etc.).
- Evaluate the adequacy of data on soil and rock conditions under and around the S&T Landfill, the data on groundwater flow around that landfill, and the data on contaminant identification and quantification in the groundwater around that landfill.
- Perform a less intensive evaluation of the data on site conditions and patterns of groundwater flow around and under other PGDP landfills, in conjunction with a general assessment of the adequacy of that data.
- Interact with other KRCEE personnel doing site characterization and groundwater modeling tasks
- Perform assessment of spatial distribution and concentration of contaminants in the groundwater flow system on the basis of collected data, if possible, and, if the quality of the data permits, correlate identified contamination with source areas (in addition to landfills and burial grounds) based on process history and groundwater contaminant data.
- Recommend any additional measures deemed necessary for adequate characterization of the groundwater flow systems and contaminant transport phenomena under the S&T Landfill, and, to a lesser degree, under other PGDP landfills (e.g., further sampling and testing; installation of horizontal borings and
- Provide recommendations for addressing identified landfill source areas (monitoring, containment, removal of wastes, or other remedial actions)
- Quarterly progress reports.
- Project progress presentation at quarterly meetings.
- Final report addressing the results of tasks 1, 2, 4 and 5 of Project 1A, tasks 1 and 2 of Project 1B, and tasks 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 of Project 1C.
Dr. Joe Hagerty
Dr. Jim Watters
Dr. Lindell Ormsbee
Dr. Alan Fryar
KRCEE is a collaborative effort of Kentucky universities and is administered by the University of Kentucky.