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Solid Waste Facility Monitoring

Article 7 of the state solid waste regulations (18 AAC 60) outlines the monitoring and corrective action requirements for solid waste facilities in Alaska.  Monitoring requirements are determined by the type and design of the facility and the type of waste accepted.  Solid waste facilities are designed and operated to prevent the release of contaminants to the environment that may impact human and environmental health.  Monitoring programs are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts and must be conducted with care to ensure that the data collected provide the information needed to make informed management and regulatory decisions.

The ADEC Solid Waste Program has convened a Monitoring Workgroup made up of ADEC Solid Waste regional managers, facilities’ regulators, and technical staff to develop programmatic policies and guidance for monitoring at solid waste facilities across the state. This web page will be updated with additional guidance and resources as they become available.

For questions contact Kaylie Holland at kaylie.holland@alaska.gov or 907-269-7626.

Monitoring News

The ADEC Solid Waste Program has reviewed the current regulatory language and most recent state and federal guidance regarding handling of non-detect values in statistical analysis for groundwater monitoring. First, we need to define our terminology to ensure consistency. We will reference the definitions in Department of Defense Quality Systems Manual (DOD QSM) for Environmental Laboratories version 5.1 (January 2017):

Detection Limit (DL): The smallest analyte concentration that can be demonstrated to be different from zero or a blank concentration with 99% confidence. At the DL, the false positive rate (Type I error) is 1%. A DL may be used as the lowest concentration for reliably reporting a detection of a specific analyte in a specific matrix with a specific method with 99% confidence.

Limit of Detection (LOD): The smallest concentration of a substance that must be present in a sample in order to be detected at the DL with 99% confidence. At the LOD, the false negative rate (Type II error) is 1%. A LOD may be used as the lowest concentration for reliably reporting a non-detect of a specific analyte in a specific matrix with a specific method at 99% confidence.

In each laboratory or monitoring report, the DL must be recorded for each constituent, and the LOD and the LOQ must be recorded for each constituent in each sample.

For non-detect values, you may record and use either the LOD or the LOQ value in statistical analysis, but this should remain consistent, and satisfy the assumptions of the statistical methods. All estimated concentrations with an E or J flag must be reported and treated as valid for statistical purposes. Statistical analysis must be performed in accordance with EPA Unified Guidance.

Trainings by the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC)

ITRC has the following guidance pertinent to solid waste facility monitoring. Check their website for a full list of course offerings and dates.

Groundwater Monitoring

Hydrogeological Study

The adequacy of a groundwater monitoring program hinges on the characterization of the site’s hydrology. Data of sufficient quantity and quality are required to determine the subsurface geology and hydrology to understand groundwater flow at the site and develop an appropriate groundwater monitoring program. Groundwater is not static in its behavior and therefore continued assessment of the hydrology is also necessary. 

Detection Monitoring

Detection monitoring is required in order to detect if the landfill is impacting groundwater quality. Monitoring results are therefore compared to background concentrations.

Assessment Monitoring

Assessment monitoring is required to assess the nature and extent of landfill impacts to groundwater. Monitoring results are therefore compared to groundwater protection standards (GWPS) to determine if a corrective action must be taken to protect human health and the environment.

References

Surface Water Monitoring

Surface water monitoring is required in accordance with 18 AAC 60.810 at solid waste facilities where surface water pollution is likely to endanger public health or cause a violation of water quality standards in 18 AAC 70.

Visual Monitoring

Visual monitoring is an internal quality control measure to detect problems or potential problems at the facility that might be detrimental to the design, impact operations, result in a permit or regulatory violation, or impact human health or the environment. Documented monthly visual monitoring is required for the active life and post-closure period of a facility [18 AAC 60.396, 18 AAC 60.397, 18 AAC 60.490, & 18 AAC 60.800(a)]. In addition, the permit application for most landfills requires that the visual monitoring plan must include the checklist or form that will be used for visual monitoring.

Gas Monitoring

Gas monitoring is conducted at solid waste disposal facilities to monitor for explosive or hazardous gases. Gas Monitoring Tech Memo coming in the future.