The unsung hero at landfills with a landfill gas collection system is the humble Wellfield Technician. The position of Wellfield Technician is multifaceted; this individual needs to be well equipped to deal with constant changes. A good technician is capable of:
All while communicating effectively with those on their team, during all kinds of weather and changing conditions.
One practice that most good Technicians embrace is keeping effective field notes. Those not engaging in this practice should consider doing so. Field notes and comments added to a row of monitoring data can be of great future value to the technician and the rest of the team. Accurate and detailed field notes contain information that can help the project team when it comes time to diagnose, repair, or troubleshoot various wellfield issues.
Whether it’s a handwritten entry in a logbook, a comment stored in a field instrument, or notes saved in a smartphone, tablet, or computer, the information recorded in field notes is indispensable for the proper, efficient maintenance of the wellfield.
Technicians are hard-pressed to recall every detail during the hectic daily push to get the wellfield read, while multitasking and keeping up with items that pop up at a moment’s notice. By keeping track of this information through note-taking or SCSeTools®, the technician can be more efficient over time – they won’t be scratching their head, trying to remember a detail important to a task.
Examples of items we track in our database include: wellhead valve positions, surging in vacuum supply risers at wellheads, required maintenance of sample ports, flex hoses, audible wellhead leaks, ponding water around wells, surface cracks around a well, and borehole backfill material settlement.
Regardless of how recorded, save field notes as valuable points of reference.
Handwritten notes are entered into a preventative maintenance program or a wellfield database so that they are accessible for use in planning repairs or troubleshooting problems. Another option is to capture them automatically, even noting the GSI coordinates into a database such as SCSeTools, to save time and lessen transcription errors.
Once completing wellfield monitoring and tuning, technicians then use comments or notes as a punch-list to return to the wellfield − ready to perform maintenance or repairs. These are the actions that keep the landfill gas collection components operating efficiently, and clients’ happy.
About the Author: Ken Brynda is an SCS Field Services OM&M Compliance Manager in North Carolina. He is an active member of SWANA’s Landfill Gas and Biogas Technical Division, Field Practices Committee serving clients for over 30 years. Ken’s expertise includes the design, construction, operation and maintenance, evaluation, troubleshooting, and assessment of landfill gas collection and control systems and LFG-to-energy production facilities.
Learn more about Landfill Services here.
Learn more about Waste Management’s Award at minute 30:54 of the video conference recording. Congratulations to the Waste Management Team!
The Ignition Firebrand Awards recognize system integrators such as SCS Engineers and industrial firms for their use of technology to create innovative solutions.
Today at the virtual Ignition Community Conference, Waste Management (WM) is accepting the 2020 Firebrand Award for its landfill technology and automation platform advances. The Company designed an internal solution then contracted with SCS Engineers’ RMC Practice, and Vertech Industrial Solutions to deploy WM’s new innovative ‘Connected Landfills’ pilot.
“Waste Management is excited to be recognized for our innovative work and use of new technologies,” said Bryan Tindell, vice president of disposal operations at Waste Management. “Striving for the most innovative and advanced technology in the world of waste helps ensure we are able to continue providing essential services for residents, customers and our communities. The use of advanced technology has also introduced new ways of working for our employees, further elevating their daily experience and streamlining our processes.”
WM’s Connected Landfills system was first piloted at the West Edmonton Landfill in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The pilot proved to simplify workflows, equipping landfill assets with internet-connected devices and sensors. Technicians are able to review data remotely via dashboards on mobile devices, allowing them to monitor changes, make decisions and even directly interact with equipment with the push of a button. With less time spent in transit, landfill employees will be able to spend more time managing landfills’ productivity and health.
“The integration of remote monitoring and control helps make landfill operations more efficient, sustainable, and creates a safer environment for landfill staff and the surrounding community,” said Dave Hostetter, regional manager of SCS RMC®. “That the innovation is being recognized as well is gratifying.”
This design and integration advances WM’s existing environmental management platform by increasing worker safety, the user experience, and running the landfill systems efficiently. It also supports Waste Management’s commitment to ensuring public safety and environmental protection for landfill staff and the surrounding community. Landfills, and the municipalities and companies that operate landfills use sophisticated technology to manage the complex environmental systems that keep citizens and the air, water, and soil surrounding landfills healthy. Ongoing collection of data from these assets, often collected by checking meters positioned throughout landfill sites, is essential for landfills’ safe operation.
Waste Management operates the largest network of landfills in the industry, managing the disposal of almost 100 million tons of waste every year at over 250 sites across Canada and the US. Based on the pilot’s success, WM plans to expand the Connected Landfills system to other sites throughout North America.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The Company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, www.wm.com.
About SCS Engineers
SCS Engineers’ environmental solutions and technology are a direct result of our experience and dedication to |solid waste management and other industries responsible for safeguarding the environment while delivering products and services. For more information about SCS, please visit our website at scsengineers.com or watch our 50th Anniversary video.
In the wake of COVID-19, the ability to remotely access and control critical processes is not only recommended for industrial organizations — it has become absolutely essential. Ignition Premier Integrators, such as SCS Engineers, make it seamless to set up remote control on any systems used at landfills; however, you should take the proper steps to keep your process safe from threats.
In this timely webinar, experts from Inductive Automation and SCS Engineers will show you why Ignition is such a powerful platform for remote process control solutions, and they’ll share best practices for getting the most out of it.
SWANA recognizes members for their contributions and advancements to the Landfill Gas and Biogas Division and the industry with the Landfill Gas and Biogas Distinguished Individual Achievement Award.
This year, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is presenting the 2020 Landfill Gas and Biogas (LGB) Division, Distinguished Individual Achievement Award (DIAA) to Patrick Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan, an SCS Engineers’ Sr. Vice President, will receive the award at his home with recognition at SWANA WASTECON® later in December.
Pat Sullivan is one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the nation on the subjects of landfill gas (LFG), or biogas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), Clean Air Act regulations, as well as greenhouse gas and climate change. He serves as SCS Engineers’ expert on these topics and throughout the industry.
SWANA’s LGB Division is widely recognized as a leading authority on issues surrounding LFG recovery, control, management, utilization, system design, operation, and maintenance. Mr. Sullivan has been a participating member for decades, serving as chair and vice-chair of the rules and regulations committee; division director, vice director, and past director, and continues to serve as a member of the joint rules/regulation and advocacy committee within the LGB Division.
Mr. Sullivan generously shares his knowledge and time by publishing and presenting over 120 technical papers in industry journals, publications, conferences, seminars, and workshops. The majority of these topical materials relate to LFG, air quality, greenhouse gas, and risk assessment issues for landfills. He routinely provides high-level training to SCS’s LFG staff and professionals.
“I am honored to receive the DIAA from SWANA as it is always rewarding to get recognized by your peers for your professional accomplishments,” stated Pat Sullivan. “Although it would have been nice to share the award with my colleagues in person at SWANAPalooza, it was a pleasant surprise to receive the award in the mail at home.”
San Bernardino County’s almost 500-acre San Timoteo landfill upgraded with gas monitoring and controls that manage its four blowers, flare station, pumps, valves, thermocouples, and other devices. There are 340 tags, 16 screens and more than 50 alarms monitored and managed by web-based SCADA software. Simpler, streamlined SCADA is more capable and closely connected, and less costly for landfill gas monitoring and control.
San Timoteo added options such as 3D imaging from flying drones and augmented reality (AR) displays. After flying the site, the imagery is uploaded to update its map and create point-cloud graphics. Aerial data is used to create topographic mapping, 2D images, 3D renderings, and GIS, thermal and tunable diode laser (TDL) images for methane leak detection.
Landfill operators and managers can remotely view the site using a mobile device, and “walk the site” from their offices or anywhere using the HoloLens.
Now nearly all landfills can afford to gather data with Ethernet and wireless networking, analyze data with sophisticated software, and display it on ubiquitous interfaces including tablet PCs and smartphones. The trick is applying the technologies in applications that enable more effective decisions.
SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them. We also publish these on our website.
Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the 2020 Virginia State Plan for New Landfill EG approved by the USEPA on June 23, 2020.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d) plan submitted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ). This plan was submitted to fulfill the requirements of the CAA and in response to EPA’s promulgation of Emissions Guidelines and Compliance Times for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.
The Virginia plan establishes emission limits for existing MSW landfills and provides for the implementation and enforcement of those limits. Highlights of the plan are explained in a newly published SCS Technical Bulletin.
SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed.
On March 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized amendments to the 2003 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. The NESHAP rules affect air permits and landfill gas system operating requirements for most active landfills. Read the Technical Bulletin here.
Some permittees welcome the revised wellhead operational standards, but other changes including additional monitoring requirements for wells operating at higher temperatures, and correction and clarification of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) requirements are creating confusion. Landfill owners have an 18-month phase-in period before full compliance with the NESHAP requirements, so now is the time to unravel the confusing language between NESHAP rules and existing New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rules (Subpart WWW and Subpart XXX).
SCS Engineers and SWANA are presenting a series of webinars and resources to help landfill owners and operators untangle the confusing permit phraseologies and implications created when state agencies with air permitting authority incorporate the NESHAP requirements into Title V operating permit renewals and construction permits.
Tune in for advice on Wednesday, June 24, 3:40 PM – 4:15 PM:
SWANAPalooza 2020 Virtual Conference — Navigating the Maze of Federal Air Quality Regulations for Landfills with Pat Sullivan. Pat and other presenters will discuss the EPA’s landfill regulations, including NSPS, NESHAP, and Emission Guidelines.
Tune in earlier for other key presentations including:
On March 26, 2020, the EPA issued the COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program memorandum. This temporary policy allows for enforcement discretion for noncompliance resulting from the pandemic. The memorandum requires regulated entities to take specific steps, then document how COVID-19 caused the noncompliance and efforts to return to compliance. Noncompliance issues may include but are not limited to, routine monitoring, reporting, and testing.
EPA is the implementing authority for programs where the consequences of the pandemic may affect reporting obligations and milestones set forth in settlements and consent decrees. These consequences may affect the ability of an operation to meet enforceable limitations on air emissions and water discharges, requirements for the management of hazardous waste, or requirements to ensure and provide safe drinking water.
These are very distinct situations that the EPA plans to manage differently, as described on the EPA website page https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/oecamemooncovid19implications.pdf
Not all states and commonwealths have adopted a temporary discretionary enforcement policy. As an example, the Illinois EPA has not adopted a discretionary enforcement policy, and all state statutes and regulations remain in effect. Should your organization face a situation where regulatory compliance may be at risk due to COVID-19, this special circumstance may still be a mitigating factor in the event of an enforcement action by Illinois EPA.
If you are uncertain if you will be able to meet your compliance obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and you need assistance please visit our locations to find the office nearest you or contact an SCS professional at .
SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them. We also publish these on our website at http://www.scsengineers.com/publications/technical-bulletins/.
Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the 2020 National Emission Standards For Hazardous Air Pollutants: Solid Waste Landfills. SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed. These include additional guidance, industry reaction, and a webinar with Pat Sullivan on our website and social media accounts.
SCS Contact Information:
Locate an SCS professional near you, or contact SCS at .
SCS will continually update coverage of this Rule on our website blog and social media channels on SCS Engineers LinkedIn and SCS Engineers Facebook. If you have any questions regarding this Technical Bulletin, feel free to contact your local SCS Engineers representative.
EPA has issued a revised NESHAP standard for municipal solid waste landfills. The new rule reflects EPA’s conclusions regarding the residual risk and technology rule, resolves confusion created when the previous rule was not updated at the same time as the landfill NSPS and updates landfill gas well head criteria for temperature. EPA is also clarifying that the standards are applicable during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction, and requiring electronic reporting of performance test results.
This action finalizes the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category regulated under National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) contained within 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 63, Subpart AAAA. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to:
The EPA is also finalizing minor changes to the MSW Landfills NSPS and Emission Guidelines (EG) and Compliance Times for MSW Landfills contained within 40 CFR Part 60, Subparts XXX and Cf. Specifically, the EPA is finalizing provisions to the most recent MSW Landfills NSPS and EG that would allow affected sources to demonstrate compliance with landfill gas control, operating, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by following the corresponding requirements in the MSW Landfills NESHAP. According to EPA, these final amendments will result in improved compliance and implementation of the rule and eliminate some of the confusion created by the previous version of the EPA rule.
We’ve pulled this information from the Final Amendments to Air Toxics Standards for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills and SCS will publish an SCS Technical Bulletin on our blog and social media sites. Please contact your Project Manager for details specific to your operation.
Approximately 738 MSW landfills are subject to the NESHAP.
On February 25, 2020, EPA finalized amendments to the 2003 NESHAP for MSW Landfills. EPA issued air toxics standards for the MSW Landfills source category in 2003 that established emission limitations based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from major and area sources.
The rule required MSW landfills greater than 2.5 million megagrams (Mg) and 2.5 million cubic meters with uncontrolled emissions greater than 50 Mg/year of non-methane organic compounds (NMOC) to install and operate a gas collection and control system (GCCS). Most emissions from MSW landfills come from the continuous biodegredation of the MSW. Landfill gas contains methane, carbon dioxide and more than 100 different NMOC, including, but not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethyl benzene, benzene and toluene.
Based on the RTR, EPA is finalizing no changes to the existing standards because the agency determined the risks to be acceptable with an ample margin of safety to protect public health and the environment. In addition, EPA did not identify any new cost-effective emission controls for MSW landfills. However, EPA is finalizing several minor amendments to reorganize and streamline requirements for MSW landfills that will improve the clarity, compliance and implementation of the rule. These include:
The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to regulate toxic air pollutants, also known as air toxics, from categories of industrial facilities in two phases. The first phase is “technology-based,” where EPA develops standards for controlling the emissions of air toxics from sources in an industry group or “source category.” EPA bases these MACT standards on emission levels that are already being achieved by the best-controlled and lower-emitting sources in an industry. Within 8 years of setting the MACT standards, the CAA directs EPA to assess the remaining health risks from each source category to determine whether the MACT standards protect public health with an ample margin of safety and protect against adverse environmental effects. This second phase is a “risk-based” approach called residual risk. Here, EPA must determine whether more health-protective standards are necessary.
Every 8 years after setting MACT standards, the CAA requires EPA to review and revise the standards, if necessary, to account for improvements in air pollution controls and/or prevention and to address any residual risks that still remain after the MACT is implemented.
The CAA requires EPA to assess the risk remaining after application of the final air toxics emission standards; known as a residual risk assessment. Based on the completed risk assessment, available health information, and associated uncertainties, EPA determined risks from the MSW Landfills source category are acceptable and provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health. EPA estimates the maximum individual lifetime cancer risk for inhalation for the source category to be less than 10-in-1 million.
The CAA requires EPA to assess, review and revise air toxics standards, as necessary, taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies. The technology review of the standards for MSW Landfills did not identify any developments that would further reduce HAP emissions beyond the original NESHAP.
Download a copy of the final rule notice from EPA’s website at the following address: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/municipal-solid-waste-landfills-national-emission-standards.
SCS will publish an SCS Technical Bulletin on our blog and social media sites. Please contact your Project Manager for details specific to your operation.
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