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 or 907-269-7626.

Updated November 8, 2017

Monitoring News

Chain of Custody Procedure Notice

ADEC Solid Waste requires that a separate chain of custody (COC) form is generated and accompanies each sample shipment cooler in accordance with EPA’s Sampler’s Guide: Contract Laboratory Program Guidance for Field Samplers (October 2014, PDF 3.2M), ASTM D4840 Sampling Chain of Custody Procedures (PDF 3.15M), and EPA Region 10 policy.  

Trainings by the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC)

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

Change in Regulations for Groundwater Cleanup Levels

ADEC’s Division of Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR) has recently updated the 18 AAC 75 regulations including changes to soil and groundwater cleanup levels and associated provisions in 18 AAC 75.325, 340, 341, 345, 990, and a few other housekeeping changes for Alaska. These regulations went into effect November 6, 2016.  The following guidance documents adopted in regulation have also been updated:

Change in Analytical Method Requirements for Surface Water Monitoring

Please note that the ADEC Division of Water Quality has proposed new regulatory language and updated citations to ensure that analytical methods at 18 AAC 70.020, 18 AAC 70.030 and 18 AAC 83.010 are consistent with Clean Water Act (CWA) approved methods in 40 CFR Part 136. What this means is that if a solid waste facility is doing surface water monitoring and comparing to water quality standards, then they should be using the EPA methods listed in 40 CFR Part 136 (not the Solid Waste (SW-846) methods used for other solid waste sample analyses).

Groundwater Monitoring

Well Log Example Hydrology Map Example

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. 

Hydrologic Study Guidelines (PDF 151K)

Maintaining Monitoring Wells Tech Memo (PDF 199K)


GW Flowchart
Unified Guidance Groundwater Monitoring Framework
Click to View Larger


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.


Surface Water Monitoring

Surface WaterSurface 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.

Surface Water Monitoring Tech Memo (PDF 384K)


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

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