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Solid Waste Facility Monitoring

Article 7 of the state solid waste regulations (18 AAC 60 (PDF)) 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 907-269-1099.

Monitoring News

EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery has finalized the SW-846 update VI, Phase II. This update contains two organic methods (8260D and 8270E) for the analysis of volatile and semi-volatile compounds in solid waste and various other environmental media using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). These two major organic methods have been revised to include the addition of new analytes and preparation methods, the option of hydrogen as a carrier gas, the use of advanced measurement techniques, and updated language for lower limit of quantitation and method blanks. For more information on these methods and other phases of Update VI to SW-846, please see the SW-846 Update VI web page.

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.



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. 

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