Considerations for landfill closures start from the day a site is permitted…

August 6, 2020

… according to the experts, and continue through its active life. All along, operators should consider what they will need to show regulators once they are ready to install the final cap.

Choosing the right designer for liquids and gas management is critical.  The complexity of landfills varies from site to site, and issues related to conflicts among gas and liquids pipes, and pipes and final cover geosynthetics vary depending on the geometry and other landfill features involved at each location. In short, your designers must understand and work closely with your operations and monitoring team.

The best way to resolve conflicts before the closure is to have a coordinated effort among parties involved in the design to discuss and find solutions to every conflict at the design stage.

Read the article here.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

MSW Landfills EG Comment Period Ends October 7, 2019

August 22, 2019


EPA 40 CFR Part 62


This proposed MSW Landfills Federal Plan includes the same elements as required for a state plan: identification of legal authority and mechanisms for implementation; inventory of designated facilities; emissions inventory; emission limits; compliance schedules; a process for the EPA or state review of design plans for site-specific gas collection and control systems (GCCS); testing, monitoring, reporting and record-keeping requirements; public hearing requirements; and progress reporting requirements. Additionally, this action summarizes implementation and delegation of authority of the MSW Landfills Federal Plan.

This proposed action addresses existing MSW landfills and associated solid waste management programs. For the purpose of this regulation, existing MSW landfills are those that accepted waste after November 8, 1987, and commenced construction on or before July 17, 2014.

Tables 1 and 2 in the publication list the associated regulated industrial source categories that are the subject of this action and the status of state plans. The EPA tables are not intended to be exhaustive but do provide a guide for readers regarding the entities that this proposed action is likely to affect. The proposed standards, once promulgated, will be directly applicable to the designated facilities.

The document contains the full text and how/when to comment or appear at the public hearing. Feel free to share this document or page with others using the icons at left.



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Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:53 am

Landfill Gas Collection and Control Systems – GCCS Article Series in MSW Magazine

September 24, 2018

To generate a return on investment of site-specific GCCS, you need OMM staff who understand the strengths and weaknesses of your site. From that understanding, successful OMM teams and facility owners can design, perform, and fine-tune their program.

SCS’s BMP’s uses a “beyond the compliance OMM model” because the practice leads to strengthening relationships with regulatory agencies and LFG energy providers. Our clients expect to move toward a field optimization program when both OMM procedures and regulatory requirements are fine-tuned to work in concert. That investment pays dividends by increasing compliance and improving gas recovery. When developed OMM principles are defined clearly, and evolved along with GCCS design and construction, teams rise to the challenge, and the reward is a consistent track record of excellent GCCS operation.

Part 1 of the series discusses design considerations for landfill gas collection and control systems (GCCS); Part 2 takes into account construction quality assurance (CQA) measures during construction of GCCS; and Part 3 covers BMP’s for GCCS Operation, Monitoring, and Maintenance (OMM) in the September/October issue of MSW Magazine. The SCS Team covers:

  • Safety
  • Monitoring Plans
  • LFG Well Start-up
  • Wellfield Tuning and Maintenance
  • Compliance





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:05 am

SCS Advice From the Field: GCCS Construction Quality Assurance

May 21, 2018

CQA is essential for ensuring the proper construction of GCCS and meeting the intent of the design, and can help prevent safety mishaps. Even highly experienced design-build teams invest in expert CQA professionals to protect their capital investment, maintain maximum LFG capture through constructed GCCS, and keep operating and maintenance costs in line. It is critical for CQA person-nel to understand the overall intent of the design drawings, current field conditions, long-term conditions, and strict safety protocols. They must also have the expertise to respond to the questions contractors have during construction, especially regarding modifications to the design which will positively impact safety, long-term performance, and maintenance.

Part 1 of the 3-part article series in MSW Magazine discussed essential elements of the piping system in a landfill gas collection and control system (GCCS). The authors examine landfill GCCS design perspective and the benefits of designing landfill gas (LFG) headers outside of the waste boundary. In Part 2, we focus on construction quality assurance (CQA) services and outline the process of taking the design drawings through completion of the CQA report.

Read Part 2 here. Contains link to Part 1.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

SCS Advice from the Field: Considerations for the Piping Network

March 5, 2018

An essential part of landfills accepting organic matter is the gas collection and control system (GCCS) for controlling odors and landfill gas (LFG) emissions into the environment; the piping network. GCCS design and construction have evolved significantly over the past four decades, from passive venting trench systems to a sophisticated and elaborate piping systems with specialized components for handling LFG, landfill liquids, and condensate flowing through the piping network.

This detailed article discusses best practices and recommendations that GCCS designers keep in mind; careful attention to these details can potentially save  landfill operators significant modification costs and inconveniences prior to and during construction of the final covers.

Read the full article published in MSW Magazine.

About the Authors: Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. Srividhya Viswanathan, PE, is a Senior Project Manager with over 10 years of engineering experience. David Fisher is an SCS National OM&M Compliance Manager with 18 years of environmental experience.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am

Advice from the Field: Plan for and design a landfill gas collection system with particular attention to landfill bottom liners.

November 21, 2017

We continue SCS’s Advice from the Field blog series with guidance from an article in MSW Magazine by Daniel R. Cooper, Jason Timmons, and Stephanie Liptak.

Planning a landfill gas collection system before collection is required can increase the long-term benefits for multiple stakeholders.

The authors of a recent article in MSW Management Magazine present engineering ideas that provide for more efficient construction of a GCCS.  Gas system operators will benefit by having fewer pumps to operate and maintain and shallower headers that are more easily accessible. Odor management will be easier along with other benefits.

Read the full article here to learn about the design elements for maximizing long-term benefits, impacting: bottom liners, location of the blower/flare station, leachate risers, extraction well targets, and external header piping.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Take a Look at the Benefits of Early LFG System Design

November 14, 2017

Most often, landfill gas system design is added to an existing landfill cell, but the co-authors of this article explain the benefits of  considering the LFG system during the landfill bottom liner design process. Doing so during the early stages of the landfill’s life, make it possible to improve collection efficiencies, lower operating costs, and save time in the future.

Continue to the full article, Planning Ahead for the Bottom Liners, published in MSW Magazine’s November 2017 issue and learn about the co-authors from Sarasota County, Florida Public Utilities and SCS Engineers.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

“Landfills are living, breathing beasts …

September 12, 2016

…and as waste settles, it can have an effect on equipment,” according to Pat Sullivan of SCS Engineers in this ClimateWire article. As the U.S. EPA focuses on pushing landfill owners into cutting down on methane emissions some worry that a combination of tightening regulations and poor cost analysis might put some smaller landfills out of business.

Read the full article here.

LANDFILL EMISSIONS: Going to the dump? You might make electricity
Kavya Balaraman, E&E reporter

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from E&E Publishing, LLC. Copyright 2016. 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SWANA Tech News, Landfill Gas and Biogas, October 2015

October 19, 2015

SWANA Landfill Gas & Biogas Tech News, October 2015


Leadership Note
By Patrick S. Sullivan, REPA, CPP, BCES, Division Vice Director

Pat Sullivan, Sr. VP, SCS Engineers
Pat Sullivan, Senior Vice President, SCS Engineers

The SWANA Landfill Gas and Biogas Division is very busy right now with several important efforts. On the Rules and Regulations front, the U.S. EPA has promulgated two draft landfill gas (LFG) rules that were published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2015. These include a draft Emission Guideline (EG) rule and a supplemental draft New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule.

The proposed EG rule affects “existing” landfill sites (i.e., landfills that have not been expanded and were not newly constructed after July 17, 2014). The NSPS rule is a supplemental proposal that affects “new” landfill sites (landfills that are new or were expanded in capacity after July 17, 2014). Comments on both are due by October 26, 2015. Final issuance of both rules is expected in the first quarter of 2016. The Division Rules and Regulation and Advocacy committees are working together to develop SWANA’s industry comments on the rules.

The major focus of both rules is the current 50 Mg/year of non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) emission threshold, which triggers the installation of a LFG collection and control system (GCCS). In the proposed rules, that threshold will be lowered to 34 Mg/year for all landfills except existing, closed sites. This appears to be the centerpiece of the U.S. EPA’s plan to create additional NMOC and methane reductions from landfills. With a lowered NMOC threshold, some landfills, particularly those that have been too small to trigger the installation of a GCCS, will be required to install them.

Other key components of the draft EG rule, which are likely to be similar in the NSPS rule, include the following:

  • A definition of LFG treatment.
  • Additional surface emissions monitoring (SEM) requirements.
  • A new Tier 4 methodology using surface emissions monitoring to avoid or delay GCCS installation.
  • Updated LFG wellhead criteria to exclude limits for oxygen and temperature.
  • Additional options for removal of the GCCS in non-producing areas.
  • Elimination of the Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) exemption contained within current versions of the rules.

The draft EG rule also provides clarifications on several existing rule topics, as well as topics where U.S. EPA decided not to include such items in the rule:

  • GCCS Design Plans.
  • Organics Diversion.
  • Best System of Emission Reductions (BSER).
  • Electronic Reporting.
  • NMOC Test Methods.
  • Waste Definitions.
  • Early Collection.

During the comment period, the EPA also is looking for public comment on:

  • Defining closed areas and how such areas should be regulated under the rule.
  • Implementing enhanced SEM requirements.
  • Defining “wet” landfills and how such landfills should be regulated under the rule.
  • Monitoring LFG flow at wellhead and uses of that data.
  • Third-party GCCS Design Plan certifications to relieve the burden on state/local agencies and speed up plan approvals.
  • Using portable meters for compliance with U.S. EPA Methods 3A and 3C (nitrogen and oxygen).

The EPA will have the ability to add more provisions to the final version of the rule based on the information submitted as a part of these information requests. This means the industry must make a strong case to the EPA to get them to consider our opinions on these issues.


Comments on this article should be addressed to Patrick S. Sullivan, Senior Vice President, SCS Engineers, at 916-361-1297 or 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am